Mike Posner and Lil Wayne Give Fans Their Cell Phone Number?!?
Celebrities giving away their phone number? What the hell? What kind of person would do that? All the crazy texts and stalkers you would attract? That’s insane!
Exclusivity has been a key theme in the music and entertainment industries for years. In the past, we would daydream about our favorite artists and the only interaction we would ever have with them is seeing them perform or listening to their music. Then, social media came along. Now, we can send them messages, leave comments, get a glimpse of their everyday lives, and interact with them on a deeper level.
Taylor Swift has been known to show up in the comments section of her Instagram to talk to fans.
And we all know that if you throw shade at Rihanna, it’s very likely she’ll come at you.
The opportunity for artists to engage with their fans, build a deeper connection, and create stronger loyalty has increased tenfold due to social media.
But, getting to know your fans/customers, listening to what they have to say, and loyalty programs aren’t new ideas, at least to other industries outside of music and entertainment. The retail and food industry have been practicing this concept for years. Remember that little punch card your favorite sandwich shop gives you? Buy ten sandwiches and get a free sub? Yea, you know. Or the customer service surveys you would get after you buy a car or after getting some work done at the dealership. Titan fashion retailer, Nordstrom, is well known for their customer service and customer appreciation days.
Other industries have grasped the idea that loyal and return customers are the key to sustaining longevity with their businesses. So, engaging and connecting with them is a crucial step in being able to cater to their needs and concerns.
But, why give away your cell phone number? Let’s go a little deeper into this…
The technology that Wayne and Mike Posner are using is called the Superphone. Developed by singer, songwriter, rapper, producer, and music mogul, Ryan Leslie, the Superphone is a mobile and desktop application that issues you a new phone number and allows you to text back and forth with your fans in order to help build a one-to-one relationship with them. It helps gather fan information like birthdays, location, email, and social handles. It also neatly organizes your contacts. You can sort through them and set filters for easy searches. On top of that you can connect your Shopify store and Gumroad account to see which of your fans are supporting you the most through music and merchandise sales. It’s like having an automated online street team and correspondence manager all in one.
Social media has opened the doors for a deeper fan connection, but being able to directly text your favorite artist? That’s on some whole new level sh*t. Let’s get a little fanboy/fangirl for a bit and set up a scenario…
Imagine texting the queen bee herself, Beyonce. At first you’re saying to yourself, “Yo… This isn’t real. She’s not gonna get this.” But, you roll the dice anyways and put together a nice, short message, “Hey Beyonce! I’m a huge fan! Just want to say wasup!” A few minutes go by and nothing. The anxiety starts to build and it feels like you’re waiting for that text from your crush. You calm down for a bit and then all of a sudden… *ding!* You look over at your phone and see the incoming text, “Hey! Thanks for your message. I really appreciate your support. It means so much to me!” Your excitement is uncontrollable at this point. You screenshot the text and start blasting it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even open up your old MySpace account just to tell the world that you talked to Beyonce.
Right there. That moment of connection between you and Beyonce changed the way you see her. She’s not just a huge, unreachable celebrity. She’s a person that cares about her supporters.
So, how do you get the Superphone? Unfortunately, the app is in private beta, which means that only a small handful of people have been granted access to it. But, one Bay Area, CA artist has been utilizing it for quite some time.
Omar Kadir is an independent, Urban R&B music artist and dancer. He’s built a substantial following on various social platforms from Vine, Instagram, and Soundcloud. Over the years, Omar has been able to garner attention from not only his music, but his dance clips.
“Having a lot followers is great, but it seems like every time I’m able to build a little hype on one platform something new comes out and I have to tell my fans to come follow me on this new thing. There’s always something new popping up and it’s hard to manage the connections you have with fans on all these different platforms. Building an email list was the one way to have a consistent record of my fans, but people just weren’t responding well to emails. Just because most of my fans aren’t big on emailing. There is one thing that not only stays pretty consistent, but my fans are more active on it than anything and that’s text. Having the Superphone gives me a chance to connect with them and thank all the people that really support me. It’s really the fans that allow me to continue doing what I love to do, so without them my career as an artist would be nothing. It’s incredible to be able to talk my fans and supporters. I’m just as excited to talk to them as they are to me.”
Omar is currently using the Superphone app to give away a private Soundcloud link of his latest single with rapper IAMSU before it even hits the stores to anyone that texts him directly. Curious? Text him for yourself. +1–925–233–4999
So, what does the Superphone mean to the music industry? Will we be able to text any of our favorite artists just like that? It’s a slow shift in the industry, but the change could open up whole new doors of how we communicate with people who are guarded by a team of managers, A&R’s, and publicists. But, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the Superphone and rising artists like Omar Kadir. Who knows? That text you send him now could open up doors for you in the near future.