We are looking forward to attending the Gravity Summit today, where old-school rap artist MC Hammer is being awarded the Social Media Marketer of the Year Award presented by Jeremy Blacklow, managing editor of AccessHollywood.com. You might be wondering: how did the maven who brought us "U Can't Touch This" and Hammer pants transform into a social media guru with more than two million followers on Twitter?
He claims that Silicon Valley technology has inspired him over the years to spread his messages globally and get an early jump on the Internet, social media platforms and techniques like using streaming video. So the question is for brands - are there any lessons to be learned from MC Hammer?
As Hammer pointed out at a recent presentation at Harvard, "Our DNA is made for us to communicate." This can't really be refuted: after all, aren't we creatures who like to confide, discuss and converse on topics not only close to our heart but that pertain to the latest TV show, fashion trend or office gossip?
One unquestionable tactic we can all learn from MC Hammer is his perseverance. He has spent his time tweeting, creating YouTube videos, building his community and updating his blog in way that has not only kept him relevant but has also given him an 'influencer' status in the social media world and - more importantly - among his fan base. Hammer seized the opportunity to use social media to create deeper connections with fans and became a beacon for musicians looking to use social media to connect directly with their fan base. Furthermore, he's used this opportunity to give back by co-founding a community around dance (DanceJam.com) which was invested in by local Bay Area tech influencer Michael Arrington.
In a recent interview in San Francisco, Hammer was quoted saying, "Anyone who's not participating in social media, in the long run, is doing a disservice to their business." We couldn't agree with this more: social media is game-changing and provides an unprecedented opportunity to understand your brand from the perspective of the largest and most vocal focus group on Earth. It enables brands to stay relevant and fosters innovation by offering a more agile and immediate way to react to market opportunities and uncover market gaps.
I'm looking forward to attending the Gravity Summit and hearing what my favorite Hammer-pants wearing star has to say about becoming a social media hero. We will keep you posted on the day's events live from the show on Twitter from @Visible_Tech, and if you have a question for our new-age social media hero just let us know! We'll do our best to keep you updated - especially if we meet Hammer ourselves! Lastly, what do you think of @MCHammer receiving this award? Look forward to your thoughts.