WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - How does a 54-year-old communications professional from West Palm Beach end up rubbing shoulders with hip-hop royalty and some of rap’s finest?
Dianne Dorsey would tell you it’s all thanks to Twitter.
Dorsey, known in the rap and hip-hop online community as “Thug Life Social Media” has captured the attention of artists like Waka Flocka Flame, Mopreme Shakur, Chuck D and MC Ren, as well as actors and musicians including Ed Begley, Nancy Sinatra, Mackenzie Phillips, indie band Churchill and rock band The Art of Dying.
Now followed by nearly 45,000 accounts, hundreds of which are verified on Twitter, Dorsey is merging her background in marketing and public relations with her passion for entertainment to create a name for herself online.
The early days
Dorsey said her early involvement with Twitter was driven by her job.
“My company wanted to roll out customer service on social media and I realized I didn’t really 'get' Twitter...I followed media, PR, and marketing folks on social; but I’m also a huge movie and music lover and realized the celebs were the ones doing it well,” she said. She tended to gravitate toward the Tweets of celebs versus those of industry professionals. “I find that a lot of the social media “gurus” are rehashing the same old marketing and PR strategies. They don’t get it. They were really talking to themselves. So I was looking to celebs who were really engaging their audience.”
As Dorsey began learning from artists and actors and celebrities, she began sharing her findings online. On her blog, DeepCommotion.com , Dorsey acknowledged two rappers she felt “got” Twitter and were utilizing it to its fullest potential. One of those artists was Waka Flocka Flame, a popular “trap" rapper. Waka retweeted Dorsey’s blog post, and from there, she was in the spotlight. She amassed Twitter followers faster than she could count and captured the attention of established celebrities as well as up-and-coming artists.
“Waka has always supported me and been great to me. I went to see him in concert in Ft. Lauderdale in 2012 and got a photo,” Dorsey said. “Waka was even interviewed by Bow Wow and Angela Simmons on 106 & Park about me.”
But Dianne Dorsey’s social media presence is so much more than just five-figure followers and a plethora of retweets – she’s using her huge network and her newfound exposure to help young artists in the rap and hip-hop community.
“I come from a musical family, so I started doing blog reviews of music,” she said. “Rap and hip-hop artists started sending me their music to review, so I can at least give feedback and help younger artists who can’t necessarily afford the PR.” She’s also made online introductions between artists and helped younger artists with their networking skills. “My position is: you don’t have to go to a huge PR agency to get social media help.”
From the desk of @WebDiva423
Dianne Dorsey has spent years in the marketing field and recognizes the tremendous power of social media – when implemented correctly.
“It’s a lesson for companies to take a look at celebs and see how they’re using social to engage with their audience. The celebs are doing what companies would LOVE to do. They’re building brand advocates. They’re creating relationships, they’re making you feel like you have a little part of them, and that makes you become loyal.”
This notion drives Dorsey to create the most genuine and unique social media presence for herself and recommend the same for young artists who seek her expertise. And it’s paying off.
“Here I am, 54, followed by some hip hop and rap legends, but also legends like Nancy Sinatra and Ed Begley and Jason Castro. I have at least 200 verified accounts following me on Twitter.”
Dorsey is also adamant that online users not let age or inexperience keep them away from Twitter. She says it’s not “just for kids to tweet back and forth to each other.”
“For anyone who thinks they don’t ‘get’ Twitter and don’t want to try it, give it a chance. Follow someone you are interested in: a politician, writer, public figure or agency, and see how they interact and respond on Twitter. That will help you get a feel for how Twitter works, and you’ll see how Twitter flows and learn how to join in the conversation.”
Do you know anyone in South Florida who's making a splash in the social media scene? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share news about social media movers and shakers!