PUNCTUATION USED TO SHOW EMPHASIS — A BREAK IN THOUGHT — AND A BLOG BY EMILY HAGEDORN

My Morning Jacket gets exposure — by not getting exposure

In branding, commentary, entertainment, Facebook, Google+, journalism, Kentucky, Louisville, music, social media, YouTube on August 4, 2011 at 9:00 am

Since Tuesday I’ve been reading about how My Morning Jacket became one of the first bands to debut a music video on Google+.

The video, which is for “Holdin On To Black Metal,” actually went up Monday, a day before the official release. Since groups, including bands, can’t get pages on Google+ yet, two of the band members, Tom Blankenship and Carl Broemel, posted it on their personal pages.

(Band frontman Jim James doesn’t seem to have a page yet, though a Yim Yames, the pseudonym he used for his solo work, has a bare yet strange profile.)

And the reaction has included fans and others questioning the band’s decision to use Google+, Google’s fledgling social network, for the premiere.

They criticized the decision due to the lackluster exposure it would get on Google+ — which then only prompted a few more blog posts and stories.

This is what Mashable had to say:

While we applaud the band for hopping the early adopter train, the rather lukewarm Google+ reception shows that the platform isn’t quite ready for primetime when it comes to this kind of promotion.

Here are some comments from Blankenship’s Google+ page:

Gumper McGee – Your publicist should be shot.

Kyle Cooke – I’m with +Gumper McGee. You don’t post something like this first in Google+ when you have hardly anyone following you. You gotta do some work first getting people to follow you.

Considering MMJ is from Louisville, I have a special place in my heart for them — a warm and fuzzy feeling that even beats out my own doubts about Google+ (which you can read about here and here).

So I decided to look into this a little more. Was this foray onto Google+ really for naught?

In the previously mentioned post, Mashable detailed some of the stats on the pages and video hits from Tuesday.

Blankenship’s Google+ page:
+1’s on video: 3
Comments: 1
Shares: 12
People who have circled Blankenship: 42

MMJ’s Facebook page:
Fans: “quarter of a million”
Likes on video: 56
Comments: 500

Here are where both sites stood late Wednesday.

Blankenship’s Google+ page:
+1’s on video: 56
Comments: 18
Shares: 125
People who have circled Blankenship: 213

MMJ’s Facebook page:
Fans: 242,880
Likes on video: 697
Comments: 85 (I’m not sure where Mashable got their 500-comments figure, unless several comments were deleted.)

Facebook is still beating Google+ in this battle, clearly.

But whether it is because of press mentions of the band members’ Google+ pages or just coincidence — I doubt it — the popularity of Blankenship’s Google+ page and the video posted there has grown extraordinarily. The +1’s grew by almost 1,767 percent.

And the people who have circled Blankenship grew by 407 percent, which I suspect was a reason for this whole thing.

When social media sites first start, it seems getting famous early adopters to pull other people onto the site with them is key. Twitter à la Ashton Kutcher comes to mind.

I wonder — well I very strongly suspect — that Google may have paid the band or at least approached them nicely, asking them to put their video on Google+ first, a smart move by Google. (Though to agree with Kyle Cook, they should have tried to gain more followers on Google+ first if this was the case.)

And these criticisms of lacking exposure clearly got the band, the video and Google+ more exposure than they may have gotten otherwise.

As one example, while I like My Morning Jacket, I’m not sure I would have heard about the new video if it wasn’t for Mashable.

Still, it’s not like MMJ is hurting for eyeballs. Along with Google+ and Facebook, the band posted the video on its website and YouTube’s homepage to much fanfare.

And I do agree with Mashable on this point:

Still, this exercise does highlight how greatly Google+ needs official pages for brands and services in order for it to become a full-on marketing tool for musicians.

Get with it, Google. Let MMJ and other groups truly use your site.

But until then, rock out to MMJ’s new video below. It’s a dark, trippy, surreal, psychedelic goodie.

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