Dupri announced, while being interviewed by Leandro De Paula from Microsoft, the launch of a new section in Global14 which allows users to obtain information and discuss sports 24 hours a day.
Some questions were answered by Dupri exclusively for Portada, and others were transcribed directly from the stage interview.
Portada: When did you first start using social media? How and why did you start getting involved in social?
Jermaine Dupri: I have been involved in social media since before anyone knew what social media really was. In 2006, as the President of Urban music at Virgin Records, I created a Janet Jackson cover contest for fans to submit designs for her album, 20 Y.O. The images we picked by fans were used for distribution of the album in the United States. No one used the term “crowdsource” back then, but that’s exactly what we were doing – co-designing a product through a social contest. I was using Myspace message boards to update fans about the Janet contest.
I have always appreciated the power of building a relationship with fans going back to days when I created Kris Kross. My own social media community, Global 14, reflects my personal passion for sharing myself with people. You can’t grow as an artist or a business executive unless you are in constant dialogue with people who share your passions.
Portada: How do you define Global 14?
Jermaine Dupri: Global 14 is the biggest party going in social media. On Global 14, 36,000 people share lifestyle interests such as sports, fashion, and music. Global 14 caters to anyone creative and those that want to celebrate life and have a conversation with me and others. The demographic tends to favor affluent young adult women and men. I launched Global 14 social community to open up my world with people who share the same likes. I created Global 14 the site after I concluded that I could not have a meaningful dialogue with my fans on sites like Twitter, and YouTube was not meeting my needs. I decided it was better to build my own house and host my own party rather than rent someone else’s place.
Portada: What’s Global 14 Sports all about?
Jermaine Dupri: Global 14 Sports is a post created inside Global 14 where you can receive sports news and scores and discuss sports 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Global 14 Sports is like a social ESPN for the affluent young women and men on Global 14. On Global 14 Sports, not only can get updates on the NBA Playoffs, you can talk with me and other Global 14 members about who you think will be NBA champion this year. Want to have a conversation in real-time while you are watching an NBA Playoff or Major League Baseball game? Jump in the conversations occurring on Global 14 Sports!
Global 14 Sports has obvious appeal for corporate sponsors. We’re sharing content 24 hours a day. The Global 14 Sports post is an opportunity for a company to advertise alongside that content.
I’m going to bring aboard journalist to inject more commentary and conversation in Global 14 Sports. Stay tuned. And be ready to share your passion for sports.
Portada: Could you discuss some of the different ways you use social media sites?
Jermaine Dupri: I have created a social whirlwind that revolves around Global 14. But no matter where you find me in the social world, I’m always personally sharing content about my life for people who share my passions. I use Twitter and Google Plus to encourage people to join Global 14, to notify nearly 500,000 Twitter followers each day about new artists I’m launching (such as Leah LaBelle and Brandon Hines), and to keep Team JD up on what city I’m in or coming to. On Twitter I share my brand through announcements on my account, @mr_dupri, as well as related accounts such as @Global14, @Global14Sports, and @SoSoDefGlobal, where you get music-focused news from my record label, So So Def Recordings.
On YouTube, I focus on sharing more immersive, long-form content through my video series, “Living the Life,” where I film segments about what I’m doing, whether I’m in the studio or I’m DJing a party. Through YouTube, I give you a behind-the-scenes look at my world.
I’m all over Instagram. On Instagram, I record my life almost in real-time, whether I’m walking the streets of London or chilling at a nightclub.
But all the content I share comes together on Global 14, where I blog about my life, upload images, share videos, and start conversations with people about what’s in the news. I am the spark that lights the flame of conversation on Global 14.
Portada: What kind of opportunities exist for advertisers and sponsors for Global 14?
Jermaine Dupri: One of the best ways for advertisers to get involved in Global 14 is to sponsor the personal content that Global 14 members share with each other. I call this approach “personalized monetization.” Let’s say you’re an upscale auto brand interested in raising your profile among affluent young men and women. On Global 14, you can sponsor Jermaine Dupri’s personal updates
Personalized monetization isn’t the only way you can get involved. We do sell banner ad space, and we offer plenty of ways to sponsor Global 14 in the offline world. For example, in the fall of 2011, Crown Royal Black sponsored the 1414 Tour, which consisted of events that I hosted in 14 cities in 14 days to celebrate Global 14. We are going to have another tour and are exploring ideas for an international one-night only Global 14 party in cities like Paris, London, and the whole U.K. We are ready to work with brands.
Portada: What is your co-branding relationship with marketing agency iCrossing all about?
Jermaine Dupri: iCrossing is helping me build a more connected brand for Global 14 through content marketing, social media, earned media, and search. We are blogging together, shooting video interviews about creativity and social media, and writing points of view. We are also making Global 14 more visible and engaging on social media sites like Google+ and Pinterest. The activities we are undertaking together also build visibility for the iCrossing brand and provide insights for iCrossing clients. I believe that iCrossing and I are creating a model for co-branding because of our focus on creating content together, like our video series on creativity and social media.
Portada: What advice would you give to music executives to build their brands through digital?
Jermaine Dupri: The music industry needs to use digital to build relationships with fans instead of hiding music and artists from them. The music industry should hire people from the real world of social media to inject new ideas and things that are more sexy in the social media world. Also, music industry people should become content creators and stop letting everybody else do it.
Portada: What are the top three lessons you’ve learned from using social to build your own brand?
Jermaine Dupri: To build your brand through social media, you need to be personal, you need to provide great content, and you need to integrate social with media everywhere.
Everything you do starts with providing useful and engaging content. People often join Global 14 because they are curious to learn more about me or music. But they quickly learn that it’s so much more than that
It doesn’t matter whether you are Disney or Jermaine Dupri. You need to apply a personal touch. People on Global 14 interact with me personally, not with some faceless entity. I welcome all new members, and have created a staff with the same mind set. If you have an issue or a question, we deal with you directly.
Finally, social media does not exist in a vacuum. To build your community, you need to connect your social presence to forms of paid, earned, and owned media. That’s one way iCrossing is helping me, by building my presence across the digital and offline worlds at events like the Portada Latin American Advertising and Media Summit.