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When you represent some of the biggest country and pop music stars in the world, including the likes of Taylor Swift, Florida Georgia Line, Rascal Flatts, Cheap Trick and Reba McEntire, getting love on social media isn’t exactly back-breaking work.

No. 1 radio hits and sold-out stadium shows tend to do the heavy lifting when it comes to attracting attention. What is difficult is keeping up with it, and parsing out what’s most important.

Social has broken down the barrier between fans and the artists they love. The buying public is hungry for connection and up-to-the minute news, and efficiently managing social presence is key to maintaining loyalty. In a saturated space where new artists emerge every day and fans must think carefully about where to spend their limited funds, organizations in the entertainment industry can’t afford to let social opportunities fall through the cracks.

That’s why Nashville’s Big Machine Label Group (BMLG) record company relies on Sprout Social to cut through the feedback and amplify its social signal. From publishing and customer care to reporting and social listening, BMLG turns to Sprout to connect with fans, uncover valuable insights and build strong brand relationships.

There’s No Business Like Show Business

Matt Brum, Director of Digital Strategy and Social Media at BMLG, understands the value of social.

“Over the past several years, as social media has evolved, all our artists have built these strong communities within each platform,” he said. “And we have the pleasure of helping them curate and share content their fans care about.”

With so many social pages to oversee – whether for individual artists or label-specific profiles – Brum depends on Sprout to simplify processes and workflows. Tagging often plays a major role.

“We try to tag all our posts, whether they’re connected to a campaign or a theme or a certain artist, so we can easily pull reports afterward,” Brum said. “It’s a full-time job just to keep track of what it is we’re pushing out. Sprout’s publishing tool has been really helpful in regards to that.”

We’re utilizing the listening tool to monitor conversations and what people are talking about online. It’s been helpful as far as trying to understand how people are reacting to us and our artists.
Matt Brum
Director of Digital Strategy and Social Media, BMLG

Meanwhile, Brum and his team utilize Sprout’s Smart Inbox to maintain oversight of different fan communities.

“We want to know the questions we as a label or some of our artists are getting directly, whether it’s related to a tour or a piece of merchandise,” Brum said. “We can quickly comb through all the incoming messages and see what’s most important, and also see who’s engaging with us or our artists and what people are saying.”

BMLG can take an even deeper dive into online sentiment using Sprout’s social listening tool.

“We’re utilizing the listening tool to monitor conversations and what people are talking about online,” Brum said. “It’s been helpful as far as trying to understand how people are reacting to us and our artists. It’s also extremely helpful to have a listening tool where we can flag certain conversations internally and amongst the team, including conversations that could be delicate.”

Success by the Numbers

BMLG also relies on Sprout to help build and strengthen brand partnerships, primarily through the platform’s robust reporting features. Using Sprout reports, Brum and his colleagues can easily show potential partners the popularity and reach of BMLG artists.

“Our brand partnerships team is always looking for the latest and greatest opportunities,” Brum said. “I find the Sprout reporting tool is just so easy to use to pull that pertinent information for them. Whether it’s impressions, total fan growth, engagement…. Brand partnerships are not one-size-fits-all. Maybe a brand is looking for a female artist to do a makeup endorsement, which is completely different from what another brand might want. We try to look at what the goals are for that potential brand partner, whether they’re looking for reach or engagement or certain demographic information. Sprout’s reports are a clean, easy and very organized way to pull that info.”

There’s no way I can disseminate all the information for all our artists, so another great Sprout feature is auto-scheduling reports for people outside the company who are closer to the artist than I am.
Matt Brum
Director of Digital Strategy and Social Media, BMLG

Of course, BMLG’s partnerships aren’t just about promotion. The label teamed up with General Mills and Feeding America in 2017 for the Outnumber Hunger campaign to raise awareness about hunger in America and help those in need.

“As part of this amazing partnership with Outnumber Hunger, we needed to post a certain amount of times, so Sprout’s publishing tools and tagging features were really great to keep track of the campaign and monitor what we were posting,” Brum said. “We had this partnership for several years, and when I came on board, it was like, ‘Here’s all this stuff, here’s the contract, here’s what we’ve posted.’ And I was like, ‘Wait, am I supposed to do this all manually by hand and calculate engagement, reach and all these other metrics? Oh, no.’ The tag report was tremendous in that regard, and I feel like that was such a win because I was able to provide reports on a weekly or monthly basis that showed the status of where we were with everything.”

Sprout’s comprehensive reporting functionality is also a major boon to individual artists and their teams. Brum is able to quickly pass along insights to help refine social presence.

“There’s no way I can disseminate all the information for all our artists, so another great Sprout feature is auto-scheduling reports for people outside the company who are closer to the artist than I am,” Brum said. “I’m not there to say, ‘OK, this was your biggest Facebook post over the past 90 days. You should do more of that.’ And when we bring on newer artists who may be struggling on social, sending a report to their manager where they can do a deeper dive into the content and see what works, that has been really helpful.”

At the end of the day, BMLG measures ROI by records sold. But for Brum, social success comes back to the fans.

“I feel like we evaluate success on social by asking, ‘Do our fans and fans of the artists know what’s going on? Are they informed?’” Brum said. “Social media is such a noisy space. There’s so much content. I want to make sure we’re utilizing that space wisely to get our messaging out there to fans.”

With the help of Sprout Social, Brum and BMLG will continue to cut through the noise and engage target audiences.

That’s music to any business’s ears.

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