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Music + Social Media Case Study: Okkervil River

Case Study: Okkervil River

(as of 2/28/11 2:56 p.m.):

Facebook fans: 14,232

MySpace friends: 36,675

Twitter followers: 5,766



I absolutely approve of Okkervil River’s use of Facebook. They have all (albeit sparse amounts) of the normal band stuff posted, like website (no links to MySpace or Twitter pages, though. Boo.), photos, events and discography.

What’s unique (and what I like) is their approach to posts. They have a smaller following – at least smaller than more mainstream artists – and are personal in their posts. They post about concerts and songs like most artists, but some of the posts are about unreleased tracks or quiet, “intimate” shows that weren’t previously advertised. It’s also cool to see posts about the band appearing on talk shows and gaining new fans!

Okkervil also uses humor in their posts, which we can all appreciate! I personally like this one:

This vocal mic I’m borrowing is roughly 1/8th the size of my whole apartment. I’m thinking of using it as a new kitchen table.

One thing I would suggest to Okkervil River is to add more shows to this page! I don’t know if they just rarely update it or if they aren’t touring – in which case, they should get on that. I want to see them live!

3/1/11 update: Okkervil River updated their page to include many more tour dates (of course, the day after I analyze their page)! Unfortunately, none in Wisconsin…



Facebook page grade: A-

Grader.com Facebook page grade: 80 percent


Okkervil River’s MySpace one-ups their Facebook page but is less personal and more “standard.” The page features everything that was on their Facebook page plus a nice little bio (which I always enjoy reading), a music player, videos, a blog (which doesn’t appear to be updated often) and a layout which reads “I Am Very Far – the new album, available May 10.”

The page is strong, but lacks the personal touch and humor that I know Okkervil has hiding under its bearded, indie exterior.


MySpace page grade: A-



If social media worlds could collide and form one giant TwiceSpace (my combination of Twitter, Facebook and MySpace), Okkervil River might just reign over that kingdom.

Okkervil’s Twitter page is great, and definitely the most personal of their three social media pages. The band tweets funny occurrences and observations, such as:

So let me get this straight, all Steely Dan songs are about drug dealers, right? #excepttheonesaboutunderagesex


I love how Lady Antebellum’s harmonies & band name evoke a magical bygone time when you could own people.

The band also uses Twitter as an informal, 140-character-or-less, tour blog. They will check in with followers about stops at airports, etc. (and usually make some silly comments).

Here’s an example:

Riding on the airport shuttle from Prescott to PHX. The driver & his friend are discussing Jesus, Costco, divorces, & “The Waffle Skillet.”

One thing on the Twitter page that really made me “feel the love” was a shout out to none other than my love, and America’s Dairyland, Wisconsin. The band tweeted this in response to the peaceful protests of the budget repair bill proposed by Scott Walker:

It’s so great to hear some police have joined the protestors in#Wisconsin. Literally the only non-horrible thing I’ve heard all day.

The band has posted other politically-charged tweets as well, which helps develop their brand as a funny, but also political, indie band.



Twitter page grade: A

Grader.com Twitter page grade: 100 percent


Okkervil River’s overall social media grade: A-

For a smaller band that likely doesn’t have the PR/marketing/media teams that an act like Lady Gaga has, Okkervil River does a surprisingly good job at establishing their brand on their social media websites. They would do well to include show updates on their Twitter page and more personal updates on their MySpace page just to make their brand on each site more well-rounded.

I’ll leave you with my favorite song by this band…enjoy!


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