Eighty3 - Creative Solutions

Smells Like Social Media. Three Things Nirvana Can Teach Us About Our Social Strategies.

Nirvana & Social media

First things first: we’re talking about Nirvana, the band. That of 90’s grunge fame, not the land of
the Buddhas. Confused? Let us enlighten you.

We love Nirvana. And everybody loves social media, agreed? Well, maybe not. Whether you’re a fan of it or not, social media is a powerful medium with which you can communicate with the world. And with the right goals and a strategy in place, the world’s your crustacean (erm, oyster…). By taking a few tips from Nirvana, we think you can make your social media feeds more effective at communicating with your audience.


Never heard of them? Nirvana was an American grunge band active between the late 1980s and the mid-1990s. Imagine long hair, smashing guitars and lyrics that brought you down to earth… with a bump. 

If you’ve never come across the band, you’re sure to have heard of lead vocalist Kurt Cobain, even if you don’t know any details. And that’s the point. Both Nirvana and Kurt Cobain made such an impact on the music scene — and beyond — that 20 years on, they have become cultural icons, and they left a legacy that’s hard to match.

So, what three things could Nirvana have in common with the way we approach social media? Ask yourself: how good were Nirvana musically? It depends who you ask, but Cobain never had formal musical training. And they certainly weren’t the first grunge band from Seattle. That said, they still made waves and lots of them.

Hey, you!

To get someone’s attention, you need to interrupt their focus or current train of thought. Whatever you want to tell them (or sell them!), you won’t succeed without their attention. Nirvana did this extremely well. They made people wake up and pay attention. The longer hair and distinctive fashion sense of Kurt Cobain, combined with Nirvana’s heavy and loud sound, catchy tunes (that still form part of our musical repertoire today), and perceived perspective on life, spoke to a particular fan base. 

Social Media Similarities

The same is true for social media. Your post, wherever it is, should interrupt your audience. If they don’t notice you, then there’s no point. Of course, how you grab their attention is up to you, though we’d suggest doing it politely. No one likes being rudely interrupted.

Here we are now, entertain us!

You’ve piqued their curiosity, and you have their attention. Now’s your chance to bring them on board: to get them to interact with you. To do this, provide them with something valuable. It doesn’t have to something of financial value – that’s up to you and your broader goals, but offer something your audience can associate —and connect — with. This could be emotional (make them laugh), digital (a download or a link), educational (information on a topic of interest or importance), an offer, or something else you know your clients would be grateful for and appreciate. There are plenty of ideas on adding value to your posts swimming around on the internet, so perhaps spend some time surfing… 

For Nirvana, fans found common ground with the band and what they stood for. The band engaged their audience through their outlook as well as their music. People could relate. Whether it was one part of the package or the whole thing, Nirvana’s followers found a home.

Come As You Are?

When the initial interaction is over, and your audience has found the value in you, they become involved, part of a group of like-minded individuals looking for the same, or similar, things. They become your followers. As a business, this is where you want them: members of your community. Here they will be more aware and exposed to what you want to say. 

When we follow a band, like Nirvana, we learn their lyrics, copy their dress sense and listen to what they have to say. We buy into them and help drive their success. Social media followers do a similar thing to you and your business.  

Lastly, (ok, we can’t count, this is item number four), people buy from people. We’re all human, and we aren’t invincible, as Kurt so sadly demonstrated. Bringing your personality and brand to your posts will build your relationship with your community further so your audience will, over time, begin to know, like, and trust you. 

Here, we’ve used Nirvana as an example, but other b(r)ands are available. You’re not going to appeal to everyone, but you know that already. Nirvana may well be cultural icons, but they weren’t to everyone’s taste. Regarding social media, focus on your audience and just think of the three ‘I’s — interrupt, interact and involve. Grab their attention, give them something and get them on board. 

For further information on getting the most out of your digital presence, why not book a free 30-minute strategy call, we’d be happy to help, and we never pass up a chance to talk about Nirvana… no, only kidding!


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