MC Hammer: Role of Social Media in Marketing | Summary and Q&A

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February 25, 2010
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Stanford Graduate School of Business
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MC Hammer: Role of Social Media in Marketing

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Summary

In this video, MC Hammer discusses the power of social media optimization and its benefits for entrepreneurs. He shares his own experiences as an entrepreneur and explains how social media tools can help validate business ideas, connect with audiences, and disrupt traditional industries. Hammer emphasizes the importance of adapting to the changing marketplace and utilizing social media to tell a company's story and engage with customers. He highlights examples like David Letterman and Comcast to demonstrate how social media can be a valuable tool for transparency, conflict resolution, and humanizing brands. Hammer concludes by encouraging entrepreneurs to embrace social media as a means of lowering costs, testing ideas, gathering analytics, and moving their businesses forward.

Questions & Answers

Q: How does MC Hammer frame entrepreneurship in relation to innovative owners and the game of baseball?

MC Hammer explains that he has been around innovators and innovation throughout his life. He shares a story about working with an innovative owner in baseball who introduced various unconventional elements to the game to make it more exciting and engage fans. This experience exposed Hammer to the mindset of an entrepreneur and taught him the importance of thinking outside the box and embracing innovation.

Q: How does MC Hammer use social media to validate business ideas?

MC Hammer believes that social media provides a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to validate their business ideas early on. He uses the example of his song "See Her Face" to illustrate this. Instead of waiting for traditional media outlets to validate the song's potential success, he decided to create his own media by leveraging social media platforms. By inserting himself into the fashion world through social media, he could gauge interest and demand for his song, all without spending a dollar. This approach allowed him to determine if he had something valuable before investing further resources.

Q: How does MC Hammer optimize social media content for search engines?

MC Hammer explains that he strategically optimizes his social media content for search engines to increase visibility and reach. He specifically mentions using Blogspot because it is optimized within the Google search engine. By leveraging the optimized features of certain social media platforms, he ensures that his content appears at the top of search results. He also mentions that Twitter optimization works in a similar way, allowing users to search for specific keywords and find relevant content.

Q: What does MC Hammer plan to build around the brand "See Her Face"?

MC Hammer plans to create a destination around the brand "See Her Face" that goes beyond just promoting the song. He intends to make it a platform for citizen journalism in the fashion world. By sourcing content from places like YouTube, he can showcase events, songs, and social media campaigns related to fashion brands. This approach not only creates a destination for fashion enthusiasts but also attracts the attention of fashion companies like D&G, Versace, and Prada.

Q: How does MC Hammer believe social media is changing the way information is consumed?

MC Hammer believes that social media is transforming the way people consume information. He highlights the instant access to news and recommendations that platforms like Twitter provide. Instead of relying on traditional media outlets like newspapers, people can now quickly retrieve information using their smartphones or other devices. Hammer points out that this shift in information consumption opens up opportunities for entrepreneurs to provide valuable recommendations and content to consumers.

Q: How does MC Hammer argue for the importance of social media in business and entrepreneurship?

MC Hammer emphasizes that social media should not be taken lightly and that entrepreneurs should embrace its power and possibilities. He believes that social media offers the greatest opportunity ever for entrepreneurs, especially given the current down economy. He mentions that during a down market, companies like Intel double down on their investments and bets, and entrepreneurs can take advantage of this favorable environment. Hammer suggests that utilizing social media tools can lower costs, gather valuable analytics, and adapt to the marketplace, creating a huge market for entrepreneurs focusing on social good and telling the stories of distressed companies.

Q: How does MC Hammer use the example of David Letterman to highlight the power of social media in storytelling?

MC Hammer brings up David Letterman's use of social media to deal with a personal story before it became breaking news. He explains how Letterman utilized the principles of social media by breaking the story himself on his show, essentially getting ahead of the news cycle. By doing so, Letterman eliminated the need for networks to proclaim "breaking news," as he had already told the story. This example demonstrates how social media can be effectively used to control the narrative and ensure transparency while addressing sensitive topics.

Q: How does MC Hammer advocate for utilizing social media to humanize companies and resolve customer issues?

MC Hammer argues that social media provides an opportunity for companies to humanize themselves by engaging with customers and resolving their issues. He mentions the case of Comcast, which used social media to give customers a voice and resolve problems more efficiently. Hammer highlights the importance of transparent customer communication and conflict resolution, stating that having a strong social media presence can provide a platform for customers to voice their concerns and for companies to find swift resolutions. He emphasizes that social media should not be underestimated and urges entrepreneurs to utilize its power.

Q: How does MC Hammer view social media optimization compared to traditional media?

MC Hammer challenges the notion that social media and new tools are only supplementary to traditional media. While acknowledging that traditional media still holds value, he argues that many things will be replaced due to the real-time access and reach of social media platforms. Hammer mentions how it has become much more convenient to access news and information through smartphones instead of picking up a newspaper. He believes that recommendation-based information and trending topics will play a more significant role in providing valuable insights, pushing beyond traditional news formats.

Q: How does MC Hammer address critics who think social media is just a passing trend?

MC Hammer firmly disagrees with those who think social media is just a temporary trend. He asserts that social media is not to be taken lightly and urges entrepreneurs not to miss the opportunity it presents. He compares the current era to the gold strike of the 1800s, emphasizing that this is the greatest opportunity ever to be an entrepreneur and that the down economy actually works in their favor. Hammer cites examples like Pepsi investing $20 million in social media and encourages entrepreneurs to adjust their ideas and plans to align with the current market trends and the power of social media.

Takeaways

MC Hammer's talk highlights the power of social media optimization for entrepreneurs and emphasizes its value in validating business ideas, connecting with audiences, and disrupting traditional industries. Social media provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to lower costs, gather analytics, adapt to the marketplace, and move their businesses forward. Hammer encourages entrepreneurs to utilize social media tools to humanize their companies, resolve customer issues, and tell their stories. He believes that this is the greatest opportunity ever for entrepreneurs, and they should not underestimate the transformative potential of social media.

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