Many assume the stereotypical image of a country music fan as someone from a rural area who is less tech-savvy, but according to Billboard, that’s not the case. Two out of four people buying new technology are country fans. The study also discovered that 76% of CMA Music Festival attendees were engaged in social media.
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Country singer Jana Kramer just might be the social media breakout of her musical genre. Traditionally, pop stars have been the musicians to achieve social success — Justin Bieber is the prime example, having launched his career on YouTube.
Kramer, who is also known for her role on One Tree Hill, recently launched an Instagram contest that challenged fans to unlock new music and exclusive videos off her first-ever upcoming album.
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The challenge tasked fans with creating art that visually represents three songs on her upcoming album: “I Hope it Rains,” “One of the Boys” and “Goodbye California.” Each song unlocked once 50 photos were shared and tagged, and 100 photos revealed an exclusive video.
According to Kramer, all three songs were unlocked within an hour.
“It’s a cool thing for my fans to be creative,” says Kramer. “I get to see what they think and how they see the song through their own eyes.”
Photo submission for #IHopeItRains
Instagram is becoming a hot tool for musicians to engage with fans and drum up awareness about upcoming releases. Recently, famous musicians like Jason Mraz, Rufus Wainwright and Paul Simon have used the platform.
Kramer, who is an avid Instagram user herself, also uses the photo-sharing app to get fans excited while she’s on tour. Every day, Kramer hosts a photo challenge on Instagram with her more than 21,000 followers. Each day, fans receive a different theme, such as “Skyline,” “Breakfast” or “Detroit.”
Normally, the daily challenge receives a few thousand submissions per day.
Social media, as a whole, seems underutilized by country musicians. Some are using it, and thriving, but no artist has really jumpstarted his or her career from the platform.
“I think more are starting to use [social media], but there’s definitely other formats that are utilizing it more, especially in the pop world,” says Kramer. “It’s interesting that there aren’t more in country, though, because we’re often the closest with our fans.”
By the time Taylor Swift joined Twitter in 2008, she had already released her second album Fearless, and was a Grammy nominee.
Country stars like Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler are all very active on social media, however, Shelton was a gold-certified musician long before Twitter existed. Underwood and Pickler got their starts on American Idol, and now Shelton is a costar on The Voice. After all, reality television has made social interaction practically mandatory.
Although some country musicians are taking advantage of social tools, why do you think the genre hasn’t latched onto the trend as quickly as more mainstream pop stars?
Image courtesy of Flickr, Woody H1
This story originally published on Mashable here.