Beatport’s CEO on creating valuable social media to improve user experience

Beatport is an online music store that specializes in electronic dance music and culture. Founded in 2004, the site boasts some impressive social media stats. In the past year Beatport has seen a 67 percent increase in referral visits and a 52 percent increase in gross referral revenue from its Facebook page. They are also hold the number one spot for a non-artist DJ brand on Klout.

Beatport’s CEO Matthew Adell shares his tips for creating authentic content that is convenient, sharable, engaging and boosts future transactions. He also touches on the importance of using social networks to cultivate lasting relationships and gain insights that will help you improve the over-all user experience of your site.

Here are Beatport’s tips for producing valuable content on social media:

Good social media is sharable
Matthew Adell compares social media to dance music: a mash up of elements that creates a new form of expression. He also uses this metaphor to judge the quality of the social media that they are producing: “Additional value is created when it is shared or reproduced,” Adell said.

Focus on value
Be good to your consumer and recognize what is important to them. “When we look at the business model we really have to think about what is important to the user. To be successful you may need to take a smaller profit margin. We focus on scale and value as opposed to thinking about how much cash we can generate,” Adell said.

Create context around your content
Creating a defined context can help small companies outweigh the convenience of large companies. “There remains opportunity in the media space, even against the main players, if you are willing to understand your user and create the appropriate content. This context can outweigh competitor’s convenience,” Adell said. To illustrate his point he used the example of iTunes vs. Beatport: iTunes has the convenience of being in your pocket but Beatport has a curated selection with more specialized categories like Psy-Trance, Deep House and Glitch Hop that helped them to build a loyal audience. 

Bring this content directly to your audience
Because today’s media is so dispersed, you have to build your content and bring it directly to your audience. To do this you must understand their consumption model and find out where they are active online. “It makes little sense to believe that you can build something and they will come. What you have to do is build many things and bring it to your audience. Most people consume media when it reaches a certain level of popularity in their social circle,” Adell said.

Be authentic
To establish a voice that works for your audience you need to listen first, then reflect the tone. Figuring out what platforms they use to communicate is an important part of this listening process. Once you identify these platforms it is important to respect the medium. “Recognize that different networks have different demographics and niches,” Adell said. To keep the communication authentic, remain conscious of who you are talking too: keep the language and culture of your audience in mind.

Cultivate relationships
Creating relationships with important members of your audience is just as necessary as providing good content. “If you have meaningful content and strong relationships it is difficult for even a big company to come in and disrupt that,” Adell said.

Transaction size doesn’t matter, relationships do
The size of the first transaction doesn’t matter—social is about trying to cultivate lasting relationships. “Your social media consumers are likely to have smaller shopping carts than your direct consumers but you can’t judge it solely by that,” said Adell.

“You have to look at if this person becomes a regular customer. Our goal is to take someone from a one-off customer and turn them into a monthly customer—that is the most valuable thing. What I want is the chance to cultivate a relationship.”

Understand you are investing in future transactions
Social media is an investment in future transactions. Beatport creates context around its content to engage customers and increase referral visits. To truly reap the rewards of social media you need to know where your return on investment is coming from. Adell uses Google Analytics to see how often users coming from social media transact. He has found that it is mostly tangential exposure that comes from social media but social can also help increase brand notoriety, bringing customers straight to your front door and eliminating the use of a search engine.

Use Agile Development
Watch traffic, revenue, and trends—use this data to influence any changes you may make on your site. Beatport uses an agile development model: they build, advance and plan every two weeks. During this process they take into account how people are using their site and how the community is connecting. Adell recommends paying close attention to this and then building products and services that give customers a more seamless experience.