Social Media Saves The Strip
Although it has only been 7 years since the beginning of Facebook and 5 years since the first tweet, “social media” and “social networking” has become part of our daily vocabulary. Companies and organizations are gradually starting to see their importance as they continue to creatively experiment with its abilities. Social media is a community builder – it allows us to easily communicate with those with similar backgrounds, interests, and even tighten the bond of our neighborhood!
This month’s social media spotlight shines on Nic Alder, the son of Lou Alder who produced bands such as “The Mamas and the Papas” and was the creator of the music venue, The Roxy Theater. Now in its 37th year, The Roxy was starting to see a decline in popularity as the younger crowd migrated towards larger clubs in other parts of Hollywood. Lou had successfully operated the venue with traditional marketing and promotion but this no longer seemed relevant to modern music fans. A venue with a legendary history also had very little meaning to anyone. With this challenging dilemma, Nic turned to social media for guidance.
Although it was once a one-stop destination for fans during its early years, what The Roxy was crucially lacking was a community. So with the help of social media expert Kyra Reed, co-founder of Markyr Media, they created Twitter and Facebook accounts where they started to communicate with fans by listening, replying, and paying attention to their needs. “Many believe that social media is an outward expression but for us it was more like a mirror,” Alder explains in a recent interview “we were able to see what people thought about us.” This quickly gained The Roxy praise and managed to build a 10,000 Twitter following by the first year.
The venue took a new turn when competitors The Viper Room and The Comedy Store started Twitter accounts. Instead of ignoring their new appearance, The Roxy welcomed their neighbors with open arms and asked their Twitter community to follow them. This act of online courtesy was acknowledged by The Viper Room and The Comedy Store and the three venues began helping each other out in times of need. Thus the online community of the “Social Strip” was born.
Now in its third year, the “Social Strip” has already organized a Tweet Crawl where venues promote free entertainment and food for their online community. But their most rewarding success was the production of the Sunset Music Festival hosted by Ozzy Osbourne when the street was closed to accommodate 10,000 music fans. To further boost publicity of the “Social Strip” and The Roxy Theater, Nic created a Facebook fan page that gained 65,000 “likes” in the first three months. Today, more than 126,000 have become fans on Facebook as they continue to send status updates, comment replies and maintain engagement with their online community.
The Sunset Strip nearly died, but now fans from all across town and different cities around the world travel to the Strip for a night (or two) of lively entertainment. Social media was able to revive a piece of history that otherwise would have been forgotten.