It really interests me as an artist how the whole digital landscape is changing and moving... when I won X Factor in 2008, Twitter had been around for a couple of years but was still really just taking its first baby steps.
As contestants, we weren't encouraged to read Facebook and social media, although I did used to look at the YouTube comments to see what people liked and disliked about me - it was really interesting to see what people thought about my hair, my make-up and what type of songs they preferred me to sing. If I could bear to, I also used to play back some of the judges comments as well!
After I came off the show, it became apparent to me how the whole digital world seemed to jump into action and started to take over! It was drummed into me to get straight on Twitter and on Facebook so I could connect with my fans and begin to build a presence.
Now I can see what people are saying whenever I want (sometimes not a good thing!) and it's amazing how stories and gossip can spread through social networks like wildfire! If you were an artist 10 years ago, then it was all about making sure you were on the cover of THAT magazine and had THAT double page spread in the Sunday supplement....now you need to do all of that AND make sure you are all over the internet, you have a website, you are on Twitter and Facebook regularly... it's 24/7!
I do love the old school way, but you have to appreciate the power of digital as it's literally all at our fingertips and you have a (sort of!) control over what you can post and when. Although the only down side is that your fans think you are on your social networks 24 hours a day and can sometimes get frustrated when you don't respond straight away! But if I'm on a busy promo day, or I'm in the studio or at a rehearsal sometimes I can't be on my phone all the time. I do try to be in touch with my fans as much as possible though as you can't get realer than what they say - if they don't like something they won't sugarcoat it - they will just tell you! It's so important for me to have that connection which my fans - after all, they are who got me where I am today. I try and do Alex 'sessions' where I do Q&A sessions with my fans but then I go over the allocated amount of tweets and i get put in Twitter jail... and then can't tweet! Ha....
I have my online dream team called #TeamBurke who I LOVE and who go out and do all my street team promotion for me - these guys are amazing and I keep in touch with them every day when I can.
It's important to feed the fanbase, and I try to include them in my promo and get them out to as many of my events as possible when I can. For example we filmed a session with SBTV this week and I invited some of my fans to come and watch so I could have a catch up with them - I've also got G.A.Y this weekend so I'm hoping to see lots of familiar faces there as well.
In terms of being in touch with your fans, the digital world allows be to have my own personal hold and connection with this and I love it... and it does make me wonder digitally where we will be in five years time?! God only knows!
Until then - goodbye.com!
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