In Conversation with… Sabian Wilde

Marketing Lecturer. Writer. Music Bod. Claims to have coined 'Perthonality'

Archive for the ‘Status Report’ Category

Does my business need to be on facebook?

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My, my; but it has been a long time between drinks, hasn’t it?

But as another cliche puts it: If you haven’t got anything nice to say, blog away until discomfort passes, using your custom keyboard that only accepts keystrokes made in blood don’t say anything at all…

Fortunately, I find myself with rather a lot of nice things to say.

I’ve recently taken up a position as a Marketing Lecturer for Music Industry Business students.

I love teaching — it provides (a) a reason to organise all the things you think you know into tiny units of communicable information, and (b) an audience that had better damn well listen.

So much for my stand-up comedy aspirations.

Anyhoo, I was asked if it was necessary for a music business (not necessarily a band) to be on Facebook, to which I replied, “Not really — noone does any real business on FB.”

In response: “People do business on facebook all the time — excuse me, I’ve got a Skype-call coming through…”

[commence rant]

Taking the opportunity to organise a considered reply, I offer you all this (in recognition that this blog had ceased to be useful).

“People do business on facebook all the time”

To my mind, this isn’t quite right.

People don’t buy, sign contracts or conduct credit checks using facebook.

People conduct elements of their business activities online using facebook, but ‘business’ in and of itself (ie. commerce; transaction of goods and services in exchange for $) doesn’t really occur at all. Even the much-ignored advertising that accompanies the delivery of social media doesn’t result in an actual sale — it simply directs you to places where commerce can occur.

Social media is a new (but relatively recent and ever-changing) tool which artists/businesses can use to promote their goods, or develop professional networks with people they hope to conduct actual ‘business’ with (networking up).

Used well, social media can also be a powerful tool for developing your fans and customers into communities — Seth Godin calls them tribes —  groups that are better able to link with one another and/or organise themselves to undertake additional business activities (predominantly marketing and promotion) on your behalf, ie.testimonials (word of mouth/third party advocacy), discovering new audiences or creating a presence that can be easily found by others — in some cases, people who exist in markets outside your direct influence or awareness.

Because of the nature in which people use digital media, I’ve made a distinction between fans and customers
(people who like your products/services and people who actually pay for them). Traditionally, one could easily make this distinction using bands such as The Wiggles — the person who buys the product isn’t necessarily the person who consumes the product.

Given the varying ways and levels of sophistication with which people engage/use/consume digital media – this distinction becomes less obvious — are the people that are championing your product/service/brand online people your customers?

I won’t get into piracy, IP or ‘traditional sales’ issues here, but it is pretty clear across most forms of digital media (Music, Film, Gaming etc) that the purchase of a product is not nearly as important to modern consumers as the enjoyment of that same product.

However, there are a couple of points on the nature of digital consumer culture that deserve a mention here — the emerging and unreliable philosophy of “try it — and if you like it, buy it” which can result in actual sales — sometimes long after the initial release and accompanying marketing strategy have run their course.

There is also the important (and hard to measure) influence of product/brand ‘champions’ — people who have discovered your business through non-traditional (and sometimes illegal) means, but then actively promote on your behalf — buying legitimate copies for friends or producing indirect sales by introducing the product to their peer groups and/or social networks.

Social media can also be a powerful tool for market research, conflict resolution, customer identification and retention — most of which are elements of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) [see Wikipedia — in particular the section on Social Media]

But REMEMBER – the development of communities or tribes requires a lot of interaction; opportunities for individuals to engage directly with your business in a manner that they feel is both practical and personal, interactions that ‘feel’ meaningful to both parties.

Ultimately, I believe that this requires a lot more time, effort and skill than most businesses might expect –it’s a form of communication/engagement that;

  • is difficult to measure in terms of the bottom line (time and resource management versus sales).
  • inherently exposed to risk (real-time publishing within the public domain) with potential public relations debacles.
  • needs to be tailored to the strengths and nuances of the different (and emerging) social media platforms.

Keeping all of this in mind, I believe the short answer to the “does my business need to use social media” question is this: Not necessarily.

The long answer is more like this: devotees of social media (your perceived or potential market base) are often deeply engaged and quite sophisticated in their use of specific platforms. Accordingly,  there are two common traps for businesses with regard to social media:

  1. the belief that a business must engage in social media; and alternatively,
  2. the belief that social media is an ‘add-on’ or ‘plug-in’ to existing/traditional business activities.

My belief is that a business that does not use social media is better off than a business that uses it badly.


Written by Xab

Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 4:56 am

With a little help from my friends…

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Today I bought a lot of books in one of the few remaining second-hand book shops where the books are stacked almost to the ceiling, precariously hanging off and over shelves, full of forgotten lore….

It was exactly the same sort of sense of safety I used to get from hanging out in those places as a child… hundreds of thousands of impossible worlds, lives, adventures and tragedies stacked higgledy-piggledy against the fundamentals of physics, ‘Life-Lite’ Literature and motorcycle mechanics.

I stayed there for hours, and then made a deal with the owner so I can go back and clean up his comic collection.

It will give me an enormous sense of well-being, feeding some of my obsessive-compulsive tendencies, but also attempting to bring order to chaos, and to care for these objects, which are remnants of other people’s dreams or quest for knowledge.

Books are the shadow on the wall of Plato’s cave…

Written by Xab

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Quick update – RAW COMEDY

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Last night, Bonnie Davies and I progressed through our West Australian heat for RAW COMEDY, so in 5-6 weeks it will be time for the semi-finals.

Thanks to everyone who came to show their support and for everyone who has since sent thankyou messages.

In particular, thanks to Ms Pemberton, Ms Scott-Norman and Ms Berger for their support and pushing me to get up onstage and have a crack at it, and to Mr Montague for taking the time to advise me on how to do it better.

Onwards and (trending) upwards.

Raw Comedy 2010

Written by Xab

Friday, January 15, 2010 at 10:34 am

What the hell have I been doing?

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Getting my head straight…feeling my way through a few projects I have delayed for far too long…

And distracting myself with an incidental project called “The Bumper Sticker Graveyard”, in which creative concepts are rejected by imaginary clients.

Rejected by the Hitchcock Appreciation Society because if you look closely, I've used an 'open single quote' instead of an apostrophe.

Rejected by the Hitchcock Appreciation Society because if you look closely, I've used an 'open single quote' instead of an apostrophe.

Rejected by Telstra because... well... because they don't like anyone else's ideas.

Rejected by Telstra because... well... because they don't like anyone else's ideas.

Rejected by the Societe Philosophy for being too 'racy'.

Rejected by the Societe Philosophy for being too 'racy'.

Lots of other stuff on the go, but not necessarily in keeping with the gravitas you’ve come to expect from In Conversation With… do stay tuned… an interview with the screenwriter (Jan Sardi) and the subject (Li Cunxin) of Mao’s Last Dancer will be coming soon!

Also, a review of Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, Whip It — a roller-derby hero’s journey/coming of age flick starring Ellen Page (Juno).

Wildely inappropriate witticisms…

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You know how I feel about lies…
They’re only to be used offensively, not in self defense.

Everythings fine...

Everything's fine...

Written by Xab

Friday, July 24, 2009 at 5:42 pm

New Shirt Design

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It’s not funny, and it’s not true… but if someone can make a credo out of  ‘just a band’, like hell I’m going to be left out of the cynical pleasure of dehumanising our shared experiences.

Just a Pump.

Just a Pump.

Wow… I *so* don’t feel better…

When cynicism and sarcasm fails to bring you joy, you are well and truly f*cked.

Written by Xab

Monday, July 20, 2009 at 10:49 am

IN CONVERSATION WITH… Clumsy: What I Have Is Gold II

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AUDIO (Courtesy of RTRFM): Click HERE to listen to me approach a cover of Halogen, Clumsy, clumsily.

Last night’s gig went swimmingly… very happy to be amongst it again.

For the record, my setlist was as follows:

Autopilot: What You’ve Got Pt. I & II
Red Jezebel: Find Our Way Back Home
Fourth Floor Collapse: Primary School
Halogen: Clumsy

Highlights (of the rest of the evening) include my first chance to see a young singer/songwriter called Timothy Nelson, appearing around the traps with The Infidels. What a great voice, and some neat chops on keys and guitar.

Jake Snell went even more retro than me, with Header, Ammonia and Flanders — luckily, I had decided not to play Anky Fremp — how embarrassment would that have been… would have been worse than me turning up in the same outfit as Abbe May.

Also noteworthy, Ms May — one of the only people who didn’t appear to have pneumonia (rocking or otherwise), according to my guestlist —  played a cover of Eskimo Joe’s Liar that inspired a strange reaction from the audience… finger-snaps are percussive, yet these seemed imbued with sarcasm as expressive as the lady’s voice.

Apparently there’s a desk recording that will be available in the near future…

In the meantime, here’s a desk recording of my RTRFM appearance yesterday on Breakfast With Barr, covering Halogen.

Clumsy’s an odd looking word, really when you look at it. Is there a word for ‘visual onomatopœia’?


And of course, rescpect to Tania, who has been keeping the flag flying at the Hydey up to this sad point.

Eternal thanks also to Hayley Beth for giving me the spot (get up and fight, kiddo)  and to Nick Taylor, for loaning a guitar worth more than my life and far beyond my ability to play with any sense of justice.

Thanks also to Steve and Hugh, who turned up too late to hear me murder their song. Sweet kids.

What’s next?

Well, let me just say: Bob gave rock’n’roll to ya…