Earlier this month I had the privilege of visiting the offices of The Recording Academy to learn more about the social media and online initiatives planned for the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards. I'm an independent new media consultant, but more importantly I'm a music fan, so I was interested in learning how The Recording Academy is integrating social media into their digital presence. Could the GRAMMYs develop and embrace a solid social media strategy? Would they challenge themselves or play it safe?
I spent several hours grilling team leaders about their social media plan, the technology behind their digital initiatives, and the advertising campaign for this year's awards. I was impressed to find The Academy is well-prepared and supportive of a comprehensive social media and digital campaign. They were eager to cover as much of the social Web as possible, while maintaining the integrity of the GRAMMY brand. Overall, their digital and marketing teams have crafted some amazing online experiences that are neither amateur nor lazy in execution.
Here are 10 ways the GRAMMYs are taking over the social Web this year:
- GRAMMY.com redesign: The new iteration of GRAMMY.com has incorporated a sleek design and structure, indicative of today's world of Web3.0. Launched in December, the new site is operating on Drupal (open source!), and it features a clean and organized design that is consistent with their creative campaign. The new site is an effective home base for their numerous digital campaigns floating around the Web.
- WereAllFans.com: If you are a lover of music, social media, user-generated content, or creative data visualizations, then you will love WereAllFans.com. This site creatively displays fan content submitted via YouTube, Twitter and Flickr. Not only are GRAMMY-nominated artists continuously added to the site, but new features are being added as we draw closer to GRAMMY Week.
- Guess the GRAMMYs iPhone app: The GRAMMY iPhone app allows you to pretend you and your friends are voting members of The Recording Academy for this year's ballot. Guess who you think will win the GRAMMY and find out how your picks measure up when the winners are announced on GRAMMY night.
- GRAMMY iTunes Store: The comprehensive store lists all nominated artists and titles for this year, and brings together all GRAMMY compilation albums dating back to 1958. GRAMMY-winning history is easy to browse and purchase in this beautiful iTunes store.
- GRAMMY.com Video section: It's no surprise the Recording Academy has a treasured video archive of previous ceremonies dating back for decades. Although musical performances are likely on lockdown due to licensing concerns, GRAMMY moments new and old are showcased in this online video library. Acceptance speeches, red-carpet moments and nomination concerts are available for fans to take a digital stroll down memory lane.
- Community bloggers: The Recording Academy has invited a handful of established music bloggers to contribute original content to GRAMMY.com, and has credentialed them to cover events during GRAMMY week. Community bloggers are given freedom to write about their area of expertise in the Blogs section of GRAMMY.com.
- GRAMMY Live: Three-day live-streaming event. I am most excited by the live-streaming production planned for the three days leading up to the ceremony. I'll be writing more about this in another post, but this won't be your typical live-streaming event.
- GRAMMY Radio: Stream this year's nominated music from your computer via an online radio player. This is an excellent way to sample some of the music that is being sold at the GRAMMY iTunes store.
- Twitter: Not only is @TheGRAMMYs the best way to stay on top of breaking news for the GRAMMYs, this official Twitter account regularly holds contests where followers can win some cool GRAMMY-affiliated prizes.
- Facebook, YouTube and MySpace: The GRAMMYs is online with a full-court social media press. My favorite is their YouTube channel, where you'll find they have tagged this year's GRAMMY commercials with links to the original YouTube mash-up videos. Click through to find more content from the YouTube stars featured in the commercials.
Make sure you take some time to explore these digital experiences. I know that there are more surprises in store, so check back frequently for updates.