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A Guide

gin f o r E nga

g Mus ic L o v

e r s i n W estern

N o rth Ca r o l i n a &

for the

bey o n d


E A SO GM N N I OLA BELLE REED

© BLUE RIDGE MUSIC TRAILS OF NORTH CAROLINA

” G

“S

TENTS N O C SIDE A

Side A 4 Meet Your Market............................................................................................... 6 Hashtags................................................................................................................ 10 User-Generated Content (UGC).............................................................. 14 Make it Visual...................................................................................................... 18 Twitter..................................................................................................................... 22 Facebook............................................................................................................... 26 Instagram............................................................................................................ 30 Social Listening......................................................................................34 Know Thyself………………………………………………………………………… 38 Making Real World Connections............................... 42 Introduction...........................................................................................................

Side B 46 Social Media Promotions................................ 48 Liner Notes............................................................. 50 Additional BRMT Recommendations.........

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Jones House Jam, Boone, NC photo courtesy of Destination by design

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IN

“B E

FLATT & SCRUGGS

© BLUE RIDGE MUSIC TRAILS OF NORTH CAROLINA

”* U

I MET YO RE O F

N

DUCTIO O R T SIDE A

W

elcome to the Social Media Songbook, your custom strategy to promote our traditional mountain music via the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina (BRMT) using the latest social media technology. This simple guide will assist you and unify the marketing efforts of BRMT Partners across social media to bring more visitors into our region and sites. With this simple guide, you can help us share our wonderful music with a larger audience, while at the same time build your own business with current technology. Let’s get this show on the road! In 2003, Congress and the President of the U.S. designated the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area (BRNHA) to recognize the unique character, culture, and natural beauty of Western North Carolina and its significance to our nation. The Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, a project of BRNHA with the North Carolina Arts Council, is becoming known as a unique cultural heritage attraction, drawing the interest of music fans and travelers from both near and far. With deep musical roots and rich traditions passed down through generations of families, our region boasts a special heritage that has contributed to traditional music in the past and today continues to influence and shape new music genres.

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The Power of Today’s Social Media Today’s travelers crave authentic travel experiences, and they use social media to find the best opportunities. Once they have an enjoyable experience, they want to share it with their friends. Today, the best and preferred form of sharing is through social media. Social media offers an inexpensive and direct method to capture and express what traditional music means to us in this region.

How to Use This Songbook This Songbook presents a simple guide for all BRMT partners to engage with music lovers using the latest in social media technology. Don’t be intimidated by the technology; this book will help you become a pro in no time. Feel free to pick and choose from these 10 “songs”. You may not use them all, but this guide will provide everything you need to get started. In good folk song fashion, each “Song” includes an Introduction, Verse, and Chorus to explain the most important tools and techniques for spreading your marketing message and shared musical traditions:

JJ

The Introduction brings you up to speed with everything you need to know about each topic.

JJ

JJ

The Verse expands on the most important concepts and provides some examples for you. The Chorus tells you what to do in an easy stepby-step guide for getting started.

If we “sing” all these parts together we can “harmonize” our partners’ and visitors’ voices across social media and help carry out the mission of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.

Let’s sing together! * For song title information, see Liner Notes in back of book.

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“H

ME

THE CARTER FAMILY

© BLUE RIDGE MUSIC TRAILS OF NORTH CAROLINA

R”

STRAN GE LO L E

KET

UR MAR O Y ET

SIDE A

introduction

V

isitors to the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area are crucial to the economic and cultural life of our mountain communities. Our unique musical traditions can play a key role in attracting them to the region.

Verses Understanding the BRMT customer and our “audience” on social media is key to our marketing’s success. As a prelude to our Songbook, we’ve included some quick facts about who the BRMT audience is and why they are vital to our communities.

1

Attendees traveling here specifically for music events spend 1.85 times more than visitors to the area for other reasons.

2

40% of traditional music audiences come just for that event.

3

A typical community event will return more than $4,000 for every 100 visitors attending.

4

Social media is a growing advertising opportunity: 44% of 18-34 year-olds consult social media when planning travel.

5

Millennials (born between 19822004) are set to outspend Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964.)

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99%

61%

72%

of BRMT attendees would return again!

of all travelers use social media while traveling.

of small business owners say their social media efforts are paying off.

Josh goforth, paul crouch, & clarissa roberts photo courtesy of blue ridge music trails of NC

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“H

ME

THE CARTER FAMILY

© BLUE RIDGE

R”

STRAN GE LO EL

KET

YOUR MAR T E

SIDE A

MUSIC TRAILS OF

NORTH CAROLINA

chorus EE

We sing to the choir. The purpose of the BRMT social media

EE

More is better. We’d love to hear more details, engagement,

EE

Tell it again. When we see your messages or content we will

promotions and this Songbook is to provide a “melody line” and speak to all our visitors, to draw them to our region, and provide them information about where, when and what music and events to see.

and social media activity from our BRMT partners. So, sing it, say it, post it, share it with us or just tell us what you’re up to, because we want to “go tell it on the mountain” and the world.

“rebroadcast” or repost it across official BRMT social media channels to our expanding audience. Please return the favor and re-share our BRMT messages across your social networks, too. This digital storytelling will expand the BRMT story to benefit us all.

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Steve Lewis of the Jeff Little Trio photo courtesy of Bob Alexander/flattop merlefest

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Y HASH HO GR N

” SE U

“H U

HASHTAGS CHARLIE POOLE WITH THE NORTH CAROLINA RAMBLERS

© BLUE RIDGE MUSIC TRAILS OF NORTH CAROLINA

SIDE A

introduction

A

hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the hash or pound sign (#), used to identify social media messages on a topic. Hashtags are used mainly on Twitter and Instagram, but are now showing up on Facebook as well. Hashtags are one of the most effective tactics for spreading your messages and connecting with others, and it’s a tried and true way to generate buzz for a marketing campaign. Folks use hashtags to search or follow categories and brands of personal interest.

A recent search of Instagram hashtags reveals: No. of images

230,319 215,951 68,615 112,672 1,771,969

tag

#bluegrass #banjo #fiddle #Blueridge #NorthCarolina

A search of these hashtags on Instagram will lead you directly to your traditional music audience. Monitoring these hashtags regularly on Twitter and other platforms will lead you to real-time news and conversations in which you should participate.

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Verses Hashtag tips to leverage the Music Trails and connect with traditional music fans.

1 Learn, love, and use them. Using popular traditional music and geographic hashtags on your posts will greatly increase how much attention or engagement you receive. To capture interest, pair your posts with interesting details and/or appealing images and visual content.

2 Look and note. Pay attention to the music and travel-related hashtags used by other BRMT partners and your visitors and copy or adopt those hashtags. It’s fine to do this and will help you show up in online searches.

3 Use the BRMT hashtag. Be sure to include

#BlueRidgeMusicNC in ALL of your traditional musicrelated posts. This will create a sense of family and cohesion across all BRMT partners on social media. We’ll track the #BlueRidgeMusicNC hashtag and reshare your best news, events, and stories.

4 Post #BlueRidgeMusicNC on signs. Use our hashtag

prominently on signage for your venue and on your website. Encourage site visitors to use the hashtag when sharing their experiences.

Steep Canyon Rangers photo courtesy of Ryan Case/ Flattop, merlefest

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Y HASH HO GR N

” SE U

“H U

HASHTAGS CHARLIE POOLE WITH THE NORTH CAROLINA RAMBLERS

© BLUE RIDGE

SIDE A

MUSIC TRAILS OF

NORTH CAROLINA

Chorus EE

Consistently use hashtags. It’s essential to build

EE

But wait, there’s more! You also need to search and monitor

EE EE

connections and a following, especially on Instagram. Create unique hashtags for any major music events. Also, consider using these topical hashtags for extra engagement: #Banjo #NorthCarolina #WesternNC #Fiddle #Stringband #oldtimemusic #Bluegrass #Musicfestival #mountainmusic

these hashtags regularly. As soon as you find someone using these, ENGAGE with them by liking, commenting, or following them, and re-share the content on your own social media or web pages.

Use #BlueRidgeMusicNC. Paste our hashtag in all of your social media posts and marketing material. Encourage everyone to use it during your music events. Feature the BRMT hashtag on your website. Encourage your website visitors and social media followers to use #BlueRidgeMusicNC when sharing their BRMT experience and to learn about our stories.

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Underhill Rose photo courtesy of Dr. Burns/Flattop merlefest

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“G OI N

USER -

OLA BELLE REED

© BLUE RIDGE MUSIC TRAILS OF NORTH CAROLINA

” ER TT

G

WRITE ME A LE TO

ENT NT

ERATED CO N E G

SIDE A

introduction

U

ser Generated Content (UGC) is any media form created by everyday people like you and posted or uploaded to social media. It’s simply the messages and content your visitors are creating and posting on Facebook and Instagram. UGC can be seen as the new “word-of-mouth,” which as you know, is still the best form of advertising. Travelers search UGC when trip planning, make their own content while traveling, and share it with their friends.

83% of people reference social networking, video, or photo sites for travel inspiration. Most book their trip based on the content they view. UGC is proven to extend a user’s time on websites by nearly seven minutes for major travel brands (2014 Google report.)

A recent poll found that only

47%

of American consumers trust paid advertising,

while

92%

trust user-generated content and find it more relevant to their travel decisions.

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Verses Why not tap into your audience’s love for traditional music by using UGC and making it easier for them tell it, share it, and learn about others’ experiences?

Here are some basic tips to use User Generated Content to grow your audience and generate more buzz for your business:

1 Encourage your customers to use

#BlueRidgeMusicNC when posting about your venue. Encourage your customers to use this hashtag when posting from or about your venue. Ask them to also search this hashtag to follow the larger BRMT story.

2 Consider UGC as an opportunity to get your

venue or music featured in front of a different and new audience, kind of like a third-party endorsement.

3 When you find good UGC, always reshare it on

your own social pages. Ask for permission to post it on your website, too.

Stokes stomp, danbury, NC photo courtesy of Destination by design

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“G OI N

USER -

WRITE ME A LE TO OLA BELLE REED

© BLUE RIDGE

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ENT NT

ERATED CO GEN

SIDE A

MUSIC TRAILS OF

NORTH CAROLINA

Chorus EE EE EE EE

Prompt, please. Remind customers to share favorite music or dance moments, photos, and videos taken at your business with the #BlueRidgeMusicNC hashtag, and include on your social media profile page. Monitor your social networks. Search for customers using #BlueRidgeMusicNC. When you see it, be sure to tag, like, or comment on it, and of course reshare it. Just be sure to credit the first source to share it (good manners for digital age.) Prizes and freebies. Run promotions such as incentives, contests, ticket giveaways, or gift certificates to followers and customers who reshare your posts or post the best photos and videos of your location. Follow us. Follow the BRMT hashtag yourself to see what folks are saying. It’s easy to search on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Jones House Jam, Boone, NC photo courtesy of Destination by design

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M

L

FACE IN TH UR E O Y

” ON O M

“I S AW

IT VISU E K A A LEONARD HOLLIFIELD

© BLUE RIDGE MUSIC TRAILS OF NORTH CAROLINA

SIDE A

introduction

S

ince we’re all overwhelmed with information, images have become the new social currency, and a viewer’s attention is now a commodity. Did you know our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text?

::

Bottom line. Marketing is a visual game, and we can help you to play by the new rules to succeed. Music comes to life mainly by video imagery, so use simple and short clips (10 seconds or less) which work well for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Give the viewer the feeling of being there and draw them in to see more.

::

Facebook Video. Video has become the new “star” of social media, and the automatic video-play feature in Facebook’s newsfeed is very popular. Don’t miss this opportunity to post frequent video clips (short and sweet is fine) of your music offerings on Facebook.

::

YouTube. YouTube is the world’s secondlargest search engine, and especially for music and travel, people are making purchase decisions based on what they find there. When posting video clips to Facebook, why not put them on YouTube too? Add some descriptive

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“tags” (keywords) to help identify it as traditional music for Internet searches; for example, bluegrass music, old-time, mountain music, North Carolina, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, and guitar.

Verses Utilize these visual media tactics to engage and grow your audience.

1 Don’t make it too polished. Keep videos simple and fun, and don’t be intimidated. Mobile phone videos are usually good enough quality for social media.

2 Get up-close and personal. If you see dancing feet then

get in close to show the action! Shoot videos of fingers on the fretboard, children clapping, and expressions on musicians’ faces.

3 Upload videos directly to Facebook. Videos are shown

more quickly in newsfeed, so don’t miss this opportunity. Try spending a small amount of money to promote your video posts. You’ll be amazed by the results!

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” ON O M

M

FACE IN TH UR E YO

L

“I S AW

IT VISU A AKE LEONARD HOLLIFIELD

© BLUE RIDGE

SIDE A

MUSIC TRAILS OF

NORTH CAROLINA

Chorus EE

Post monthly artist videos.

EE

Use videos to show your offerings. Videos work well to

EE

EE

Create at least one mobile phone video per month of a featured artist playing some lines from a favorite tune. Invite friends and family to help create these fun movies. Videos should be short, up-close with the artist, and should offer a sample of the experience you’re providing.

promote your specific artists, events, or concert series. Talk your followers into coming to your venue next weekend. Plus, the BRMT wants to reshare your videos too!

Network with photographers in your area. Amateur photographers have large social media followings and are often willing to create and/or share images in exchange for promotion of their work, photo credit, free event tickets, or other discounts. Their photos/videos of your venue could bring you good exposure. You can ask around locally to find photographers who may have an interest in this partnering.

Find the “movers and shakers.” Search for influential folks with niche audiences and who might be helpful in sharing your traditional music offerings. Example:

Wilkesboro’s Merlefest partners with professional and amateur photographers who photograph the festival for free in exchange for free entry to the festival and proper photo credit.

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Underhill Rose photo courtesy of Dr. Burns/Flattop merlefest

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LE BIRD IE TT I L

TWITTER © BLUE RIDGE MUSIC TRAILS OF NORTH CAROLINA

SIDE A

introduction

T

weets are short digital message updates containing photos, videos, and up to 140 characters of text. They can be read and understood quickly and easily, especially on a mobile device like a cell phone or tablet. 
Twitter’s mission is to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information, without barriers. It has become the main platform for discovery and networking within the music and tourism industry (for partners, music fans, and the media.) Twitter is a free and prime platform for publishing event news, especially for public and media relations. Consider Twitter your micro-blog.

Verses Ready to tweet your song? Here are some basic ideas for using Twitter to grow your audience.

1 Know what works. Higher engagement

or viewing numbers are related to a higher frequency of tweeting and a variety of tweet types, including re-tweeting, replying, mentions, and the use of images of people.

2 Engage! Twitter is akin to talking, and you can

converse with anyone anywhere to build customer relationships. Talk directly to your audience with re-tweets, replies, and mentions.

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3 Listen up. Use listening techniques to find your subject, such

as hashtag and keyword monitoring (Google for more details.) When you run across someone talking about music in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, please respond with your thoughts.

4 Content matters. The higher quality your content, the more engaged your followers will become, and their numbers will grow. Post messages that will be helpful to visitors. Before posting, ask yourself, “Is this interesting enough for my followers to share?”

5 Use proper hashtags. Pay attention to the hashtags your target audience is using and adopt them. Use the hashtag #BlueRidgeMusicNC and others such as: #bluegrassmusic

#bluegrassfestival

#Blueridge

#bluegrasslife

#NorthCarolina

#mountainmusic

#fiddle

#oldtimemusic

#banjo

#traditionalmusic

6 Be original. Tweet original images and videos to

delight, inspire, and remind your followers why they love traditional music. People won’t reshare your advertisement, but a unique and entertaining image? Sure thing!

The orchard at altapass, spruce pine, NC photo courtesy of Destination by design

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LE BIRD IE TT LI

TWITTER © BLUE RIDGE

SIDE A

MUSIC TRAILS OF

NORTH CAROLINA

Chorus Your Twitter profile shows the world who you are. Lots of folks will look to a business’s Twitter page to learn about it, so keep yours up to date and sing your praises.

Setting Up a Twitter Account EE EE EE

EE

EE EE

Go to http://twitter.com to find the sign-up box and create an account.

Select a username. Your @username, also known as your “handle,” is your business’s unique identifier on Twitter. It should be 15 characters or less, easy to remember, and represent your business so that you can be easily found online. Pick a profile photo. Choose a photo that visually represents your business and fits well in a small space. This image will be shown as the icon in every Tweet you post, so choose something that is instantly recognizable. Logos can work, but be original and feature a person or character. Write your bio. You have 160 characters for a clear, concise biography that describes your business, products, or services. Go ahead and brag; tell people why your business is unique and why they should follow you. Add in useful information such as operating hours and location. Choose a header image. Get really creative with your header and showcase your business with a large, rich image. Follow others. After signing up, follow a handful of accounts to create a customized stream of information from people or use the Twitter search bar to look for people, businesses, or

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topics you are interested in following. Following others means you’ll get these user’s Tweets on your Twitter home timeline.

Interact with BRMT on Twitter EE

Follow BRMT. Find and follow the BRMT account:

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Tweet on. Be sure to tweet frequent, useful notes about your

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Mention BRMT. Include @MusicTrailsofNC username in your

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Pay back the favor. We’d appreciate when you see our

@MusicTrailsofNC, and we’ll be happy to follow you back and watch for your updates.

music, events, and artists. We’ll be glad to “re-tweet” with our growing fans and followers.

tweets often, and we’ll be notified automatically, so it’s a fast way to get our attention.

tweets that you reply, comment, and re-tweet us. This will help spread the BRMT message.

cloggers at shindig on the green, asheville, nc photo courtesy of Destination by design

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COMPA AR N E I D

” N O

“M Y

FACEBOOK COMPOSED BY JEAN RITCHIE

© BLUE RIDGE MUSIC TRAILS OF NORTH CAROLINA

SIDE A

introduction

P

eople check Facebook for information that they care about. Only share content that your target audience would find helpful or interesting — news or travel details, mountain stories, or traditional music information. Facebook has become an advertising platform — plain and simple. Unless you pay to promote your Facebook posts, less than 2% of fans will ever see you in their news feed. You can now target the types of people you want to reach, making the most of your advertising dollars.

Verses Helpful hints to expand your Facebook reach and engagement

1 Promote your local events. Post

announcements before the event and fun photos and videos afterwards.

2 Educate visitors. Tell them how to

find you on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) and encourage them to tag you in their posts about traditional music, especially from your events.

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3 Support artists. Feature your hard-working artists in your posts. How about posting a Q&A with them or photos/ videos of them performing?

4 Preserve our musical heritage. Share informative posts to inspire and remind readers of our shared history and living traditions.

5 Learn about Facebook advertising. Read about it, talk

to your friends using it, and put this easy tool to use. Do a Google search for “Facebook for Business.�

6 Pay up. Experiment by putting just $10 per week into

promoting your page and some posts. You will be amazed at the results.

josh goforth photo courtesy of Blue Ridge Music Trails of nc

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COMPA AR N I DE

” N O

“M Y

FACEBOOK COMPOSED BY JEAN RITCHIE

© BLUE RIDGE

SIDE A

MUSIC TRAILS OF

NORTH CAROLINA

Chorus EE EE EE

EE

EE

You gotta pay to play, but it works. You must promote your posts on Facebook with a small amount of money if you want to reach your Facebook followers. Try setting aside a certain amount of time and advertising money to try it.

Experiment with different ads. Use a variety to promote your Facebook page and grow your followers. **Tip: whenever a normal post performs above average organically, give that post a paid boost. Target your ads. Check into the smart ways to target your ads to the folks most likely to be interested. **Tip: Search “Facebook for Business” on Google and design some ads targeted to fans of other prominent partner Facebook pages, such as the BRMT, the NC Arts Council, or VisitNC Facebook pages.

Keep track of what works. Facebook provides instant statistics that you can use to hone your approach. Adjust your strategies based on how the audience responds. Notice the posts that perform best and provide more content or ads just like those.

Share music buff stuff. People come to Facebook to be entertained, not sold to, so it’s key to post helpful or interesting messages. Search the web and your own personal social media feeds for videos and articles about traditional music or culture in Western NC, and repost them on your Facebook page.

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Town Mountain photo courtesy of Sara Brennan-Harrell/flattop merlefest

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ON THE RE W U T THE CARTER FAMILY

© BLUE RIDGE MUSIC TRAILS OF NORTH CAROLINA

L” AL

“PI C

INSTAGRAM SIDE A

introduction

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nstagram is the leading and fastest growing digital platform for visual influence in the social media world. For that reason brands are flocking to it. Instagram is creating a variety of advertising options, and businesses which use images the best will win. In only a few minutes, you can become skilled with this platform. Tuned in?

user interactions with brands on Instagram are deliver generate

400% 58x 120x

higher than on Facebook and Twitter, more engagement per follower than Facebook, and more engagement per follower than Twitter.

Verses Suggestions for using Instagram to expand your audience

1 “No dumping.” It’s not a dumping ground for poor quality mobile phone photos, so keep your image quality as high as possible. If you don’t have those, be sure to share an

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interesting story or an inspiring moment. People will follow you because you deliver reliable content that’s valuable.

2 Sprinkle hashtags. By using the same hashtags as your

target audience, you can drive the right people to your Instagram profile. From there you can link to any page on your website. Be sure to also use #BlueRidgeMusicNC, making your photos part of the larger BRMT story.

3 Season with captions. Every photo shared on Instagram

is an opportunity to write a story. Think of your photo as the first paragraph of the story and then finish it in the caption.

4 Spread video. You can post videos up to 15 seconds long — the most popular length here. Look for musical and cultural moments best told by motion and sound. Keep it simple and fun!

5 Do your hashtag homework. Search around to see what

hashtags your target audience is using on travel and musicrelated posts. #bluegrassmusic

#bluegrassfestival

#Blueridge

#bluegrasslife

#NorthCarolina

#mountainmusic

#fiddle

#oldtimemusic

#banjo

#traditionalmusic

6 Engage! When someone “likes” your photos, go to their

“feed” and do the same, if appropriate. If they follow you, follow them back.

photo courtesy of eastern band of cherokee indians

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ON THE RE W TU THE CARTER FAMILY

© BLUE RIDGE

L” AL

“PI C

INSTAGRAM SIDE A

MUSIC TRAILS OF

NORTH CAROLINA

Chorus Ready to sing on Instagram? Set up an Instagram account for your business. Since Instagram is a mobile app for Apple and Android phones and tablets, you’ll need to create your account using the mobile app, not a computer.

EE EE EE EE EE EE

Download the Instagram app for iOS from the App Store, for Android from Google Play Store, or for Windows Phone from the Windows Phone Store. Once the app is installed, tap to open it. Tap Sign Up, enter your email address or just log in with your Facebook account. Choose a username to clearly represent your business. Add a profile photo, a biography, and website link. Link your account to Facebook to share photos to those services. Announce to your customers and Facebook followers that you’re up to date and now on Instagram—be sure to let them know your Instagram username.

Interact with BRMT on Instagram EE

Follow BRMT. Find and follow the BRMT account:

EE

Get active. Post frequent photos and videos about your music

@BlueRidgeMusicTrails, and we’ll follow you back and watch for your updates.

events, musicians, and offerings. Tell the world your story with

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EE

EE

pictures and videos. As we see your posts we’ll comment and re-share your news and updates with our audience.

Connect with traditional music fans everywhere. By using and searching the proper hashtags you’ve learned, you’ll find thousands of like-minded others. Be sure to comment, like, and follow those people. They will check you out, too, and you’ll create a new community.

Use the BRMT Hashtag. Include #BlueRidgeMusicNC in all your traditional music posts. We’ll monitor this hashtag and comment or reshare your content. This helps contribute to our unfolding BRMT story.

Waynesville street dance, waynesville, nc photo courtesy of Destination by design

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S

“C AN ’

DEL MCCOURY

© BLUE RIDGE MUSIC TRAILS OF NORTH CAROLINA

’” IN LL

T

EAR ME UH CA YO

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S I L T ENIN L A I CO SIDE A

introduction

“O

nline listening” simply is the process of searching and tracking all that is said online about you or your topic of interest. You want to engage in conversations by commenting and re-sharing the most interesting or relevant content to your followers. “Social Listening” allows you to stay on top of related content, conversations, and competitors, and monitor for regional topics. You can find conversations and make personal connections, giving you the opportunity to keep your message in front of customers.

Verses Here are some Social Listening tips to help you connect with new people and grow your audience through social media.

1 Reply. Make every effort to reply to anyone

talking about you online. Direct them to your offerings — or just say hello — but use the opportunity to proactively get your business in front of new people.

2 Extra Savvy Tip. Challenge yourself and check into the many online listening

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tools available, sometimes called “Listening Dashboards,” ranging from free to paid options to simplify and automate it in a snap. At the very least, set up Google Alerts for specific topics and run frequent manual searches across social media and Google for people mentioning you or your topic.

JJ JJ JJ JJ JJ

Google Alerts (free) Sprout (paid service, very powerful) Hootsuite (free & paid versions) Tweetdeck (free) Encore Alert — email alert service (worth exploring)

3 Make a listening dashboard by setting up dozens of

keyword, username, and hashtag search streams using some of the above tools.

jens Kruger of the kruger brothers photo courtesy of Dr. Burns/flattop merlefest

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S

“C AN ’

EAR ME UH CA YO DEL MCCOURY

© BLUE RIDGE

’” IN LL

T

G

L LISTENIN OCIA SIDE A

MUSIC TRAILS OF

NORTH CAROLINA

Chorus EE EE

Set it up. Create a listening dashboard of hashtags, topics, and influential people for easy, real-time monitoring of what is being said about our music, Blue Ridge travel, or mountain culture. Monitor competitors, too! Example: set up a listening dashboard for your competitors to learn what they do and what fans are saying. This can provide a valuable view into what your target audience might like, which will give you ideas for how to better pull them to your venue.

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concerts on the lawn, Jones House, Boone, NC photo courtesy destination by design

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STRANGE R NO TH E B THE SELDOM SCENE

© BLUE RIDGE MUSIC TRAILS OF NORTH CAROLINA

E” ER

“I’ LL

H T Y SELF W O N K SIDE A

introduction

W

estern North Carolina is proud of its national reputation as a culturally and musically rich region. Our traditions of old-time string band music, ballad singing, and bluegrass are internationally renowned. Our region has been home to musicians who have shaped many forms of American music. Today, young people in the region are learning these traditions, both preserving and transforming them into new forms of roots music.

Verses These tips for using hashtags will help you leverage the Music Trails and connect with traditional music fans from all over.

1 Banjo. No other region in the country has been

more influential in the development of the banjo than the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC. Musicians from the western piedmont and mountain regions — including Earl Scruggs, Charlie Poole, and Snuffy Jenkins, to name a few — are recognized as the creators and popularizers of modern banjo styles.

2 Fiddle. Developed in Surry County, the “Round Peak” fiddle and banjo ensemble tradition came to be loved and adopted by musicians around the world. The Mount Airy Fiddlers’ Convention remains an annual gathering

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place for thousands of young musicians influenced by Round Peak artists.

3 Dance. Flatfooting, buck dancing, and clogging have evolved

over generations from traditional dance forms from the British Isles with notable African and Native American influences. Clogging in Western North Carolina remains one of the most highly developed vernacular dance traditions in the country. Team square dancing originated in Haywood County in the 1930s.

4 Singing. Madison County can claim one of the longest,

unbroken ballad singing traditions in America. English folk song collector Cecil Sharp first documented these ballad singers prior to World War I. The current generation of singers continues to perform a wide range of ballads, including some brought from the British Isles by early settlers.

5 High Honors. Twelve ballad singers, old-time fiddlers, and

banjo players from Western North Carolina have received our nation’s greatest honor in the traditional arts — the National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts. North Carolina is proud to have more recipients in these genres than any other state. The honored recipients are: Tommy Jarrell (1982), Stanley Hicks (1983), Ray Hicks (1983), Ola Belle Reed (1986), Wade Mainer (1986), Arthel “Doc” Watson (1988), Earl Scruggs (1989), Doug Wallin (1990), Etta Baker (1991), Walker Calhoun (1992), Mary Jane Queen (2007), and Sheila Kay Adams (2013).

Merlefest, wilkesboro, nc photo courtesy of Destination by design

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E B

STRANGE R NO TH

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chorus BRMT criteria To be included in the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, a venue, site, event, or artist must meet all of the following criteria:

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Be located within the 29-county project region Provide music experiences that significantly feature one or more traditional music or dance genres:

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Ballad-singing 
 Bluegrass 
 Blues 
 Cherokee music and dance 
 Early country music 
 Gospel 
 Old-time 
 Shaped-note singing 
 Clogging to live music 
 Contra dancing to live music
 Square dancing to live music

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Marc Pruett of balsam range photo courtesy of ebinger photography

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Establish a reciprocal link to BlueRidgeMusicNC.com.

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Easily create low-cost signage. You’ll find high quality artwork for your traditional music concerts and events in your BRMT toolkit. Just take it to a printer to create “stick in the ground” signs that you can put up as needed.

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Get events listed on BlueRidgeMusicNC.com. It’s

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“Like” the BRMT Facebook page and “follow” us on Twitter and Instagram. The toolkit contains

We are already linked to your website, so link back to ours to strengthen our partnership.

easy. Just contact the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area at 828.298.5330 or info@blueridgemusicnc.com. You’ll need to provide a description and photo of your event.

information on how to connect using social media.

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Prominently display a BRMT window sticker in your place of business (Provided free.)

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Distribute BRMT information. Maps, brochures and case stickers are also available from the BRNHA.

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Verses This is the Blue Ridge Music Trails’ story. It makes us who we are. Here’s how you can become part of it.

1 Use the BRMT logo. Feel free to use our logo on your

website, CDs, and promotional material. Simple digital artwork is included on the toolkit CD.

2 Know and share your local music history. Telling stories about your music and culture adds another dimension and enriches the experience, especially for visitors from outside our region.

3 Be professional and prepared. Have your contact

information on hand (create a business card if you don’t have one). Create an updated website and social media presence for posting photos, your bio, and press releases. Try to answer and return phone calls and emails promptly.

4 Use social media to your advantage. “Like” the BRMT

Facebook page and “follow” BRMT on Twitter. Create your own Facebook page and post when you perform at BRMT sites. Repost BRMT articles and get your videos posted on YouTube.

5 Use the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area’s Traditional Artist Directory. This is an excellent resource for event

planning and information about artists. If updates are needed, please contact info@blueridgeheritage.com.

shindig on the green, asheville, NC photo courtesy of Destination by Design

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chorus Sing along with us on Social Media EE EE EE EE EE EE EE EE EE

Place the BRMT logo on your website and make it a hyperlink to www.BlueRidgeMusicNC.com. On your Facebook “About” page, add: “[Venue/Event Name] is a proud partner of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of NC.” Place BRMT signage at your music venue and events. Follow BRMT on all social networks and respond to our posts. Use the hashtags. Tag us on your posts. Mention on social media that you’re a part of the BRMT family. Tag the BRMT in your posts on every network. When we see it, we will reshare it. Ask everyone to share their posts, photos, and anything else relevant to BRMT.

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Instagram: @BlueRidgeMusicTrails

Bookmark this page

Resources Facebook: Facebook.com/MusicTrailsofNC Twitter: @MusicTrailsofNC Official BRMT Hashtag: #BlueRidgeMusicNC Topical

Hashtags: #Banjo #NorthCarolina #WesternNC #Fiddle #Stringband #oldtimemusic #Bluegrass #Musicfestival #mountainmusic

merlefest, wilkesboro, NC photo courtesy of Destination by design

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“I’L LR IS

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introduction

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reate a database of prominent online groups or individuals within traditional music, Blue Ridge culture, and North Carolina heritage travel. Monitor their pages and social networks. Target their followers with Facebook and Twitter advertising. For example:

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The Bluegrass Situation BlueGrassToday.com VisitNC.com

Create a listening dashboard. Make time for engagement. Create a content calendar. List events to promote and pre-schedule posts for them.

Create a social media advertising calendar for yourself. Maybe check it each Friday to update.

verses Social Media Goals 1 Instagram. Build a niche audience of 46


music fans and Blue Ridge culture lovers. Drive traffic to your website and to the BRMT website.

2 Twitter. Network, listen, and engage with partners, tourism promoters, and media.

3 Facebook. Build BRMT community through the sharing of useful content with loyal fans.

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Promote BRMT events. Feature news, artists, and partner sites with original and user-generated content.

chorus Keys to Success EE EE EE EE

Effective listening ENGAGEMENT, ENGAGEMENT, ENGAGEMENT! Consistent, high quality content, relevant to the message and platform Targeting your advertising

merlefest, wilkesboro, nc photo courtesy of destination by design

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“W IL L

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ocial media promotions will be key to growing your social media influence and getting your content in front of new users. Design social media promotions to reward people for using the BRMT hashtag.

Follow these best practices on stage and on social media to leverage the Music Trails and grow your audience.

Twitter Contests Example. Ticket giveaways that rely on re-tweets for eligibility. By tying incentives directly to retweets, you can boost your presence on social media while using destination-based prizes to promote our tourism. Win, win, for everyone!

Instagram contests Call to action. Submit your best Instagram images/videos by #BlueRidgeMusicNC.

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using

the

hashtag

Helps increase the number of followers on your Instagram account by creating or borrowing good content to reshare. Create our brand awareness. Give away prizes: tickets to Merlefest or other events. Promote the contest with Facebook and Twitter advertising.

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BRNHA, NC Arts Council, VisitNC, and other tourism partners can help promote the contest. By the way, don’t fret if your first contest has low participation. Everyone loves free stuff, so word will spread and it’ll grow.

So, let’s go tell it high on the mountain, tell it all over the world, and sing our special songs of our mountain heritage… all together now!

jones house jam, boone,nc photo courtesy of Destination by design

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HE BLUE R ID SS T GE RO M AC O S E’

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songbook song titles

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ach chapter in this Songbook is paired with a kindred song drawn from the region’s rich traditions of songwriting, song transmission, and artistry.

CONTENTS “Sing Me a Song” Ola Belle Reed Ola Belle Reed hails from Lansing, NC. One of thirteen children, she learned guitar and clawhammer banjo and started her first band, The North Carolina Ridge Runners, with her brother, Alex. The Ola Belle Reed Festival is held in Lansing in August. Olabellefest.com

INTRODUCTION “Before I Met You” Flatt & Scruggs Earl Scruggs came from Cleveland County, NC. He pioneered a three-finger style of playing the banjo and introduced it to the world on the Grand Ol’ Opry as part of Bill Monroe’s band. Earl helped to create the sound that became known as “Bluegrass.” In Shelby, visit the Earl Scruggs Center. Earlscruggscenter.org

MEET YOUR MARKET “Hello Stranger” The Carter Family The Carter Family, from southwest Virginia, contributed a whole catalog of songs to the traditional music of North Carolina. Most folks in Western North Carolina heard the Carter Family over the radio on XERA, “The Sunshine Station Between the Nations,” which was broadcast from the border town of Del Rio, Texas. XERA was the brainchild of Jackson County, NC, native Dr. John Romulus Brinkley. Western North Carolina radio stations WPAQ and WNCW

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carry on that tradition of live broadcasts today. WPAQ740.com and WNCW.org

HASHTAGS “Hungry Hash House” Charlie Poole with the North Carolina Ramblers Charlie Poole, from Eden, NC, learned to play the banjo as a youth. Poole also played baseball, and his three-fingered playing technique was the result of a baseball accident. He bet that he could catch a baseball without a glove. When Poole closed his hand too soon, the ball broke his thumb, which led to a permanent arch in his right hand. Poole and his old-time band, the North Carolina Ramblers, recorded many popular songs between 1925 to 1930. The annual Charlie Poole Music Festival takes place in June in Eden, NC. Charlie-poole.com

USER-GENERATED CONTENT “Going to Write Me A Letter” Ola Belle Reed Like many folks in the mountains, Ola Belle Reed’s family left the Blue Ridge during the Depression for job opportunities in the north along the Mason-Dixon line of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Ola Belle’s songs have been recorded by Tim O’Brien, Marty Stuart, and Del McCoury. She performed at Asheville’s first Bele Chere festival in 1979.

MAKE IT VISUAL “I Saw Your Face in the Moon” Leonard Hollifield This song is an old-time country favorite made popular by Mac Wiseman and recorded recently by Western North Carolina guitar legend Leonard Hollifield. Leonard began his musical career as part of the Herron Valley Boys singing gospel music. He had a stint as a guitarist with the famed Kingsman Quartet and played for over thirty years with The Stoney Creek Boys. Leonard lives in the same community (Stoney Knob) where famed country music pioneers J.E and Wade Mainer grew up.

TWITTER “Little Birdie” This old-time song is a favorite of clawhammer banjo players. It has been recorded by Pete Seeger as well as the Grateful Dead. Pete Seeger first fell in love with the banjo at the Mountain Dance and Folk Song Festival in Asheville, NC, where he heard Samantha Bumgarner play. The Festival continues today. Folkheritage.org

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FACEBOOK “My Dear Companion” Unaccompanied ballad singing is found throughout the Appalachian Mountains. British songcatcher Cecil Sharp claimed that folks in Madison County, NC, “were as likely to sing as they were to talk.” Kentucky folksinger Jean Ritchie composed this song in 1963 in the style of ballads handed down for generations in her family. It was later popularized by the classic trio of Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt.

INSTAGRAM “Picture on the Wall” The Carter Family During the heights of the Depression, the Carter Family’s radio program gave solace to lots of mountain people. Songs about mother were always balm for a weary soul.

SOCIAL LISTENING “Can’t You Hear Me Callin’” Del McCoury According to historian Wayne Erbsen, Bill Monroe and Cleo Davis pulled a camper trailer from Atlanta to Asheville in 1938 to take over the 15 minute radio show called “Mountain Music Time” at WWNC in the Flat Iron Building in downtown Asheville. Monroe then named the group “Bill Monroe and The Blue Grass Boys,” adopting the term “Bluegrass” after his native Kentucky’s famed blue grass. Former Blue Grass Boy Del McCoury, who has family roots in Mitchell County, NC, has made “Can’t You Hear Me Callin’” his own.

KNOW THYSELF “I’ll Be No Stranger There” Lou Reid and the Seldom Scene “I’ll Be No Stranger There” is one of the classic numbers performed by the legendary bluegrass band The Seldom Scene. Lou Reid, a member of The Seldom Scene, also performs with his band, Lou Reid & Carolina, a group that hails from Union Grove, NC. Union Grove is home to two major fiddlers’ conventions which take place Easter weekend and Memorial Day weekend. Vanhoyfarms/fiddlersconvention and Fiddlersgrove.com.

MAKE REAL WORLD CONNECTIONS “Sitting on Top of the World” Doc Watson Originally composed and recorded by the Mississippi Sheiks, “Sitting on Top of the World” became a signature piece for Doc Watson who lived on top of the world in Deep Gap, NC.

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ADDITIONAL BRMT RECOMMENDATIONS “I’ll Rise When the Rooster Crows” Doc Watson David Holt wrote, “Doc will take a song like ‘I’ll Rise When the Rooster Crows’ and he will think out every aspect of what is going on in that song: Why the guy is singing it, who he’s singing to, what it all means, what each word means. He adds power to his singing and his presentation by really inhabiting that song. He’s deeply into that story.” I’ll rise when the rooster crows I’ll rise when the rooster crows I’m goin’ down South where the sun shines hot Down where the sugar cane grows “Most people would just sing that as a little ditty. But Doc has thought it out about how this guy has gone up North and he’s dreaming about going back to the South; his girl is back there and his home, and he loves the mountains and the food in the South — he’s thought all this out. He does this with every song.”

SOCIAL MEDIA PROMOTIONS “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” Doc & Merle Watson This well-known Carter Family song became the vehicle for pulling artists together for a groundbreaking recording session in 1972 by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The resulting album catapulted father-and-son duo Doc & Merle Watson to a national commercial audience. The recording also brought Earl Scruggs together with Doc Watson and Maybelle Carter, music legends who are now all singing and picking in the Angel Band. MerleFest.com

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PUBLISHED BY

www.blueridgemusicnc.com

PRODUCED AND DESIGNED BY

www.dbdplanning.com

WITH SUPPORT FROM

www.blueridgeheritage.com

www.ncarts.org

Profile for DbD Planning

Social Media Songbook - Blue Ridge Music Trails  

This Songbook presents a simple guide for all BRMT partners to engage with music lovers using the latest in social media technology.

Social Media Songbook - Blue Ridge Music Trails  

This Songbook presents a simple guide for all BRMT partners to engage with music lovers using the latest in social media technology.