The music of the world's top DJs sometimes earns scorn from many people over 30 years old. But those DJ's have a lot to teach the world's marketing personnel, many of whom are over 30 years old. Acts like Skrillex are just as talented at things like content marketing as they are at producing electronic dance music (EDM). These superstars are building their brands and followings as well, if not better than most large companies.

One artist who has much to teach companies is 35 year-old Thomas Wesley Pentz, or Diplo. From Facebook to YouTube, Twitter to Instagram, Diplo has become a social media dynamo who's almost as well-known for his online antics as he is for his raucous onstage performances. With millions of die-hard fans all over the world, Diplo has had a hand in countless Internet fads, and even played an instrumental role in blowing up the "twerk" fad over the course of the last year. Billboard magazine just wrote about his "midas touch." Everything he does, even down to the parties he throws, is a business--a business that reaps massive rewards. All of it relies on a strong online presence and his social media accounts.

Why So Serious?

First of all, a disclaimer: Diplo takes his music, his professional image, and his business very seriously. Just look at how calculated all of his press photos appear to be, or how matter-of-fact he sounds in interviews, or look at his recent conquest against the drug use that often plagues his parties. But despite how business-minded he may be, he also, very definitely, knows how to have fun. That's a big part of his job, of course. That's also why his social media channels shine, and a big reason why he gets so much traffic on nearly every social networking site.

Diplo has 1.2 million Facebook fans, the same amount of Twitter followers, 4.2 million Soundcloud followers, and those are just on his artist pages. Factor in the pages for his label Mad Decent, his YouTube channel with superstar DJs Skrillex and A-Trak, and you've got such a massive audience that one must constantly keep them engaged. To do so, Diplo straddles the line between musician, comedian, and Internet culture icon. With one look at his pages, you'll notice hilarious memes, short videos centered upon Internet trends and buzzwords and a constant barrage of pop culture references that his young audience simply eats up. Couple this with his impressive catalog of music releases and never-ending tour schedule and you’ve got a recipe for social media domination.

The lesson: you can be a serious brand or business and still exude a bit of silliness or playfulness on social media. In fact, that’s what it was built for and that’s how you should use it if you want to engage with younger, larger audiences. Notice that none of Diplo’s posts are focused on selling anything, rather, they’re there for the sake of entertaining, for engaging, for driving traffic. It's a never-ending entertainment channel of his own design. By keeping people laughing and constantly checking his pages, he keeps them interested and eventually, those interested visitors are bound to make a purchase, be in a music release, a concert ticket, or a t-shirt.

Consistency Is Key

Despite his penchant for trendy and entertaining content, Diplo's social media is always active, which is another key element to his online success. He’s always tweeting, always posting to Facebook and basically is just always there. Between making music, hosting a radio show, running a label, throwing block parties and touring around the world, you've got to wonder how he manages to keep the content flowing, but somehow he does it, and does it well. And, the consistency and/or frequency of his updates is another reason why his users are so engaged. The amount of posts and updates he provides is appropriate for the size of his following.

The Internet moves fast, especially in the dance music world. In fact, a song that’s been online for a month is considered "old" by current standards. That’s why frequent posting, sharing, and interacting with fans on social media is such an integral part of overall success. In a community where relevance is everything, social media can be used to stay at the forefront of your audience’s mind, and that’s exactly how Diplo uses it.

So, how can brands emulate this?

  • Certainly, posting all day everyday is a futile practice and in most cases, it may actually hurt your business. However, a consistent stream of content is an important part of keeping your brand active online and your audience interested and engaged.
  • Try to post often and on a schedule.
  • Find out when your audience is online and tailor your activity to those specific hot spots.
  • Do you know what your audience likes? Talk about it with them. Ask questions. be human. relate to them.
  • Find interesting content and create interesting content.

If you are able to insert yourself into the consciousness of your customers through frequent (and interesting) posts, you are more likely to inspire them to engage with your brand, be it through likes, comments, shares, or even sales.

Nowadays, it can seem like the Internet needs more social media marketing advice like you need a hole in the head. However, much of the advice you’ll find online fails to actually examine the actions and accounts of people who are doing it really well. By looking outside of your particular industry and identifying the attributes of successful social media marketing, you can learn more about how to do it well yourself. Diplo is a shining example of someone who uses social networking as it’s intended to be used, and advances his brands and expands his business because of it. He may be a DJ, but he’s also an exceptionally intelligent (and successful) online marketer.

Published on: Aug 28, 2014