I’m continuing the Music Marketing Experts FAQs where my favorite gods and goddesses of online marketing and Social Media promotion share with me the questions they get asked the most by musicians.
What’s most important as a promotional tool: Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube?
I believe all three sites are vital and important to have and keep active with an ongoing strategy. I know what you are thinking… That will take a LOT Of work. And if your networks are not very big and robust to begin with creating and posting content on three platforms can feel totally overwhelming. But think about what each of these Social’s represents. Twitter is like a great news feed on steroids and it’s a completely open and a place where everyone can come and follow your updates. Facebook is more of a closed ecosystem where you will tend to be connected to people you actually know and recognize, and YouTube is a platform where people see your videos based on the fact that you either sent them there (using Twitter, FB or your blog) or they discovered them using a search and the keywords matched their interest. The truth is these three work in concert with one another and it is vital to use all of them. After much consideration, I can’t choose one as the most important. If you are not yet on all three and you would rather stab a pen in your eye then dedicate the time it will take to manage them all my advice is: Get really good at using the one that you like the most and make the most sense to you. Mastering one Social is better than doing all three half-way.
Oh man – this one’s a setup. There’s no right answer to this one. Different things work for different people. If video is easy and cheap to regularly create and edit for you then YouTube can be great. If you are surgically attached to a smartphone with a camera then Twitter or Facebook are good too. IMHO these three and a website are (in my opinion) the must haves for any artist. I do believe that Twitter is only half as powerful without blogging. At 140 characters Twitter is made to send people to links – these may as well be links to your content situated some place where you get the most benefit.
I’ve personally found that Twitter is the most immediate and successful promotional tool as long as you use hashtags (the “#” before a keyword), which is the key, and your content is interesting or informative. The problem with Twitter is that a tweet has a shelf-life of about an hour, so if it doesn’t grab someone right way, it’s gone and of no further use. On the other hand, YouTube has the longest shelf-life and the best possibility for a viral success under the right circumstances. Plus, it’s easy to point people to a video from any medium, and if you’re SEO savvy, can develop a new audience just from searches. Facebook can be effective too, but it takes a while to build up your friend- and like-base, but these are your hard-core fans/tribe so it’s the best medium for sales opportunities.
Marketing plans cannot successfully replicate and all three tools are different. The first step in deciding which tool is most important is figuring out what you want to achieve. If you are unable to tend to all three platforms named above, the best way to figure out which platform is more important to you is to spend some time using it - without promoting yourself. Make real friends and get acclomated. Figure out how the community works, and then you may figure out if it’s a good fit for your intentions. If you have to ask which platform is best for you, and are on a tight schedule for an album release or upcoming tour, I advise that you delay the album release and set aside a budget for some marketing strategy, advice, and, if you can afford it, marketing execution. The space is new, and the tools are new. There isn’t terrible harm from misusing the tools, but the Internet is written in indelible ink; over the long term it could be similar to leaving money on the table. If you already have a fan base, go to where your fans are, and stalk them. Know them. If they are on all three platforms, combine your efforts.
Carla Lynne Hall
If you had asked me which social media tool was more important two years ago, I would have said Twitter, hands down. But now, I’d say that YouTube is the most important promotional tool that anyone could have to promote themselves. Online video was created to be viral, so if someone likes your music or message, they can easily share it with their friends. Online video has a powerful reach, and I believe that we’re going to see a lot of musicians using more online video to promote themselves.
All three sites are extremely important. As far as which one is the most important, I truly believe this varies depending on the genre and the type of audience you have. If you have a strong video strategy, then YouTube would obviously be one of the most important pieces of your online marketing campaign. However, if you don’t have the right video content to do this, then YouTube shouldn’t be your number one focus just because it’s a huge site. You must have well thought out video production strategy to be successful. Facebook and Twitter are always the two main communication outlets for my artist’s online marketing campaigns, and which one takes priority changes from artist to artist. A lot of my developing acts view Twitter as a priority because a lot of early adopt/hardcore music fans live there. However, Facebook moves the dial more than Twitter for most of my established acts.
Music Marketers FAQ - Contributors:
Corey Denis is Vice President Digital Marketing & Social Media at TAG Strategic. Throughout her career, she’s created & executed digital strategies, built & marketed platforms for numerous distributors, startups labels and artists including What Are Records, IODA, IRIS Distribution, Michael Tilson Thomas, SoundExchange, Todd Fancey, Ning, Loudcaster & Comedian Stephen Lynch. Corey founded San Francisco’s first Musician & Promoter Workshop and has produced numerous music centric fundraisers such as Save Net Radio SF, Barack N’ Roll, Reload: SF. She writes a weekly column about digital music for SF Appeal, San Francisco’s online newspaper, has 2 cats and 8 iPods.
Rick is a music consultant by way of a ten year career at major record labels, TV & Online Projects. He’s also an avid surfer and blogger.
Carla Lynne Hall
Carla Lynne Hall is a musician and online music marketing consultant based in New York City. Her mission is to make music and share her knowledge with other musicians. She has released three CDs on her Moxie Entertainment label, and has toured the world as a singer/songwriter, and professional vocalist. In addition, she also has spent a number of years behind the scenes in the music industry, in publishing, management, publicity, and social media.
Using his music and recording experience combined with an easy to understand writing style, Bobby Owsinski has become one of the best selling authors in the music recording industry with thirteen books that are now staples in audio recording, music, and music business programs in colleges around the world. Based in Los Angeles, Bobby is also a producer of several music-oriented television shows and can frequently be seen as a moderator, panelist or giving presentations at a variety of industry conferences.
Cassie Petrey is the co-founder of Crowd Surf, which helps fans feel closer to the artists and music that they love. Cassie is one of the most devoted music fans you will ever meet, and this is why she understands the ins and outs of digital marketing and fan relationship management. Crowd Surf has successfully launched and developed digital marketing campaigns for major label, indie, and unsigned artists in a variety of genres.