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Jermaine Dupris was the star of the Saturday morning Keynote at BlogWorld Expo. He truly convinced me that he knew what social media was and who had a strong, working knowledge of how to best utilize social media in his overall marketing plan. I almost wish that Jermaine Dupris sat on stage alone and spoke but he was accompanied by Anthony Edwards, @MattGoss and Robin Antin (who had almost nothing constructive to contribute, maybe she was nervous? Or maybe, I am just being polite towards Ms. Antin).
Jermaine Dupri blogs, vlogs and posts on YouTube, he has a YouTube channel, Living the Life. He calls it his life his life channel. His goal is to bounce his fans from the blog, to his vlog to twitter – keep it going in a circle in order to keep them entertained and engaged (and spending more time with his personal brand). “My life is not just about Lamborghinis, (it is also about things like BlogWorld) my fans don’t care about BlogWorld, but they are going to have to follow me to BlogWorld because this is what I am about”.
Jermaine Dupri encourages his fans to comment, “I don’t see the point if you don’t allow people to comment on your blogs because you need the feedback. What is the point if you cannot see the feedback.” Dupri also uses social media as a tool to stay on top of music trends and converse, or engage, with his fans. “I don’t need some 50 year old music exec to tell me who my fans are, who says they're 18 to 34 males, I can look at my fan base and know who they are. I know they are watching what I am doing (through their feedback) and that is the most important part about all this.”
Jermaine Durpi continued on with the corporate drones, “In my business, the corporate guys don’t understand this.” Regarding release dates in entertainment, traditionally, you release an album in one country and then roll it out in other countries later should the original release go well. When Dupri posts something on YouTube or Twitter he said, “I get messages from people from all over the world, saying ‘hey, why isn’t the album here?’” Dupri went onto emphasize “This (BlogWorld or perhaps social media) is important and they (the corporate guys) need to learn and understand this. They need to start listening to the fans.”
Brian Solis was the moderator for this AM keynote, I must say, Brian Solis did an amazing job moderating this session and every other session I watched him moderate. Solis's commentary, “We are all forming these human connections, these powerful connections, depending on what we care for or stand for in life. Social media gives people an opportunity to do or give something to do that is meaningful.” This started the topic of Causes (not for profit) in social media. Causes can really thrive in the social media space because they allow people to get involved. And then Anthony Edwards discussed the not-for-profit that he supports in Africa and made his “first tweet”. Though this was a feel good moment, and I am glad that a big name like Anthony Edwards was there, I found Jermaine Dupri to be exponentially more relevant because he actually uses SM in his daily life and marketing practices. Unlike Anthony Edwards, in fact, I couldn't even find Anthony Edwards Twitter page when writing this post.
Brian Solis also asked the celebrities about reciprocity. “A form of reciprocity is expected, they (your fans) just don’t want to be fans anymore. How do you feel about that form of reciprocity?” Most of the celebrities acknowledged and understood that fans wanted to be a part of the process and half believed an artist should embrace this. This started a little debate about celebrities being “human” and that most people on the web not realizing that their comments and words are powerful. Jermaine Dupri went on to say “I control this” and his statement was received with a loud applause. I believe this statement was well received because we were in a room filled with people who want to believe they are the snake charmers who can “control” the web, or shall I say, “The ground swell.” I mean, that is the point of all this, isn’t it? We all want to shape peoples’ thinking in an effort to make a buck, right?