10 Questions with ... Nicole Slater
September 19, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Nicole Slater Consulting: Los Angeles, CA - 2010 to Present: I do Social Media and Branding Consulting for recording studios, pro audio, artists and labels to increase web metrics, improve digital branding and develop engaging social media strategies.
House of Blues: San Diego, CA - Marketing and Promotions Manager - 2015-2016: Implement a multi-channel 360 approach against key objectives of House of Blues Entertainment including promoting the House of Blues Restaurant, World Famous Gospel Brunch and producing whole house events.
Slacker Radio: San Diego, CA - Marketing Manager - 2014-2015: Increasing brand awareness through social media and digital marketing as well as working with talent to develop their online presence.
Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters: Los Angeles, CA - Digital Director - 2012-2014: Create & implement a digital strategy plan including social, mobile, email and on-air promotional elements for KKGO, KKJZ, KMZT, KYZZ, KBOQ, KNRY. Work with record labels and artist management on digital promotions. Manage online streaming ad revenue.
Lotus Broadcasting: Reno, NV - Digital Director / On-Air Talent - 2010-2012: I was Lotus Broadcasting's first full-time Digital Director. I was responsible for overseeing the digital marketing plan for KDOT, KOZZ, KUUB. I was on-air on weekends and midday fill-in on KDOT.
Citadel Broadcasting: Reno, NV - Renaissance Woman - 2008-2010: Remote tech, Board-op, Production Asst, Promotions Asst, and Traffic Assistant for KWYL, KNEV, KKOH, KBUL
Citadel Broadcasting: Reno, NV - Webmaster 2006-2007: My first job in radio I was as a webmaster for KWYL, KNEV, KKOH, and KBUL in Reno.
1. You recently announced that you will be leaving your current position with The House Of Blues to start your own social media consultancy aptly called "Nicole Slater Consulting." Please tell us about your vision for this new venture?
There is a great need for digital strategy not only in broadcasting industry, but the music industry as a whole. I've learned so much from radio and my live venue experience that I am now applying it to the recording industry. I am excited to serve this area by increasing web metrics, improving digital branding and developing engaging social media strategies for recording studios and pro audio manufacturers.? ?House of Blues is one of the best jobs I've ever had, it is hard to say goodbye to this great team. However, entrepreneurship has been knocking on my door for quite awhile. There is no time like the present to follow your dreams and make your own destiny. That's what I plan on doing with my consulting business.
2. You've now come full circle having worked in radio, with an internet company and with live performance. How do you feel these different experiences will help your cliental?
I've worked for broadcasters, car dealers, hair salons, fashion stores, rock bands, labels and art galleries to name a few. After working in multiple industries you start to see patterns in what works and what doesn't.
The bottom line is you need to provide value to your followers. You have a story to tell, so find out what that story is and why it provides value to your user base. Drive by posting with no strategy does not work in the long-term. What I can provide my clients is helping them discover what their story is, who their demographic is and the best way to market to their target audience. They don't need a deep understanding of social media or experience, they just need the willingness to learn and the desire to better their business.
3. Will you also be working with businesses outside the broadcast industry?
Absolutely. I'm willing to work with anyone who wants to grow their business or product and create a dynamic social media strategy.
4. As someone who has worked for a major radio streaming company (Slacker), what are your thoughts on the future of that industry (both in radio streaming and on-demand services such as Spotify, Apple, Deezer etc.) It just seems to be very difficult for these services to turn a profit?
I am not an expert on streaming economics, however it does seem like a major issue when the more users you have the less money you make. I don't see that business model working long-term. I am interested in how this transpires and evolves.
5. Just about everyone uses Facebook, but what are the differences in how various generations use Social Media?
I'm sorry to say it, but parents ruined Facebook! They required their kids to be their friends, or have their social media passwords in order to protect them and know what's going on. So kids fled the site and started exploring Instagram and Snapchat. Jacobs Media has done extensive research in this area and provides many interesting insights on the generational breakdown of social media. Check out the results here: jacobsmedia.com/techsurvey-12-results
6. What are some strategies that radio and/or artists can use to drive traffic to their live events?
Here are a few ideas on the top of my head:
- Snapchat scavenger hunt for free tickets to the show
- Instagram videos leading up to the event to promote
- Facebook live to announce details of a contest to win tickets
- Twitter Live Chat with the band to promote the show
- Instagram Takeover with the band
- Facebook advertising targeting listeners who can enter to win a contest. Have it drive traffic to your website, capture their email address and put it in your database. Use email marketing to further advertise the event to your listeners.
7. What was it that got you interested in becoming a social media consultant??
I was a new weekend DJ on Rock KDOT (104.5) in Reno, NV and the other DJs weren't giving me the time of day. I'm sure they thought I was some punk kid who was wasting their time.
But when social media started becoming more prevalent in the studios, DJs were now required to post and promote the station. Since I was the youngest kid there, everyone started asking me how to post, what was a Tweet and why was this important? All of sudden I was responsible for training the other staff. I realized that there were hundreds of DJs around the country, but only a handful of people who understood digital and radio. So I started reading everything I could about social media and eventually became a consultant. It's rewarding to teach other people a new skill and give them the tools to promote their brand and flourish.
8. Does anyone really look at the advertising on social media sites? Or does everyone ignore it like me? Also, do you have any advice on how advertisers can defeat Ad-Blocker Plus?
If social media advertising didn't work, then it wouldn't exist. It can be incredibly effective if you know what you're doing. The marketplace is moving into native advertising so a lot of the things you see and read you might not realize are actually advertising. My advice is to always provide value to your customers and know your audience. If you advertise to the exact people that want your product, they won't care if its an ad or an article, they'll be happy to see it. When you don't target your audience and you go for the biggest group possible, they see it as spam.
One of the biggest benefits of social media advertising is you can target your demographic down to the smallest detail. You can run A/B tests and try out different messages to see which one gets more clicks. For a data nerd like me, I think its fascinating!
9. What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
Staying relevant. I am a millennial and the majority of my friends don't listen to radio. They listen to podcasts or they stream music. How is terrestrial radio going to capture the attention of Gen Z when there is so much competition for their attention?
I think radio needs to invest in younger talent and value their voice. Radio used to be the place you turned to find what's cool and its lost that appeal to the younger generation. So in order to connect with a younger audience, you need a younger demographic to lead the way. I know that's not going to be the most popular answer. Somewhere in Idaho there is a DJ reading this yelling at the computer saying "Back in my day we use to splice tape and use grease pencils!" There is something to learn from all generations, but I'd like to see it more collaboration between them. Staying relevant is the key to long term success with the upcoming generations of radio listeners.
10. What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
Be respectful. You meet the same people going up as you do going down. Not everyone is going to like you or be your best friend and that's ok. However, you always have the time to be respectful.
The other thing that I truly value is mentorship. I've had a lot of mentors throughout the years - Sandy Gamblin, J. Love, Jave Patterson and Fred Jacobs to name a few. I hope to pay it forward and mentor others as well.
There is never a dull moment in the world of high tech, but do you ever miss being on the air?
I miss being on-air everyday. There is nothing like cracking a mic open and the adrenaline rush you get from being live. I miss how colorful and fun it is to work in a radio station. But its also nice to not have air-checks and a PD yell at you because you said something wrong. :)