VerticalResponse marketing team members, Ellery and Colleen, recently attended the BlogWorld Expo in Los Angeles. This is the second in a series of posts on their learnings from the conference. See the first post here.

Imagine the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, circa the 70s, 80s & early 90s: Pure glam rock, heavy metal, punk rock, new wave, grunge (and don’t forget groupies), oozed from nightclubs along the mile and a half stretch of concrete that epitomized a music lover’s haven. The Roxy Theatre, a host and hangout for legends including Bob Marley, John Lennon, Alice Cooper, Guns N’ Roses, and Pearl Jam, was reeling in rock ‘n’ roll Sunset Strip success. Fast-forward 25 years later and the once-glam geographical location that was “the Strip” fell stagnant clinging to its past, no longer remaining relevant, and businesses along the Strip hit an all-time low.


Nic Adler, owner of The Roxy, recognized that a transformation needed to be made and turning to Social Media hit the right chord. At BlogWorld 2011, Adler presented “Traditional Music Brands Hooked on Social – A Case Study Examination,” which dove into The Roxy’s story of reinvention and revitalization via new media.Over the last five years, Adler’s social media campaigns have transformed The Roxy, and the entire Sunset Strip, into a vibrant community with loyal customers. “Social is the change that’s going to pull you through,” says Adler. As a king of content creation, The Roxy’s weekly email newsletter has a subscriber list of 35,000 people and its Facebook page has generated more than 45 million post views as well as 150,000+ comments and likes. In addition, Alder launched and produces the annual Sunset Strip Music Festival, bringing more than 30,000 people, and rock legends back to the Strip. So what’s The Roxy’s secret sauce to social media success?  (Don’t Have an) Appetite for Destruction:According to Adler, The Roxy suffered from a “velvet rope mentality,” combined with a competition, not community-centric thought process. “We were building walls not bridges,” says Adler. His advice for breaking out of the mold:

  • Understand the perception of your business vs. the reality, then make changes.
  • Build a community with your fans, neighbors and even your competition.

Welcome to the (Social Media) Jungle:

Adler’s social media campaigns started with a white board. From there, he created a blog, an email newsletter and joined the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Tumblr, Foursquare and even Groupon (which caused the biggest spike of visitors on The Roxy’s website, ever). His advice for jumping into the thick of it:

  • Find your voice.
  • Be transparent and authentic with your customers.
  • Listen to your audience and respond to them. “Your customers will tell you what they want,” says Adler. “Social is just as much about listening to your customers, as it is about amplifying your message.”
  • Don’t limit your social media platforms – Go where your customers are.
  • Ask questions, create conversation and be attentive.
  • Become a curator of (free) content. “It’s not just about selling,” Adler says. “We want people to check back with us every day.”

(Entering) Paradise City:Reinventing The Roxy through Social Media has not only revitalized the legendary venue, but the entire Sunset Strip. “Our street has really been the biggest benefactor of our social success,” Adler says. “The Strip is busier, the best bands are coming, and new business is coming.” As far as bandwidth goes, Adler states that “you don’t need to have a million dollars to do this, you don’t even need to have a lot of people to do it. It can be one person, as long as they’re putting in the time and effort, it can grow into something great.”

© 2011 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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