Running a Facebook ad campaign is confusing. You bid for ad placement, but the price you pay bears little relation to your bid. What’s the difference between reach and social reach, connections and clicks, CPC and CPM? More importantly, is there any way to tell how many people played, downloaded, and shared your song, or signed up for your mailing list? (answer: no, there’s not)ReverbNation’s new Promote It tool addresses those shortcomings, and then some. You pick a song, photo, and budget, and it automatically generates dozens of optimized Facebook ads based on past Promote It campaigns, and continually optimizes your campaign based on the performance of those ads. New fans click through to customized landing pages that track not just clicks and likes, but plays, downloads, shares, wall posts, and mailing list signups. As I’m quoted as saying in the press release, “It’s the ultimate ‘set it and forget it’ fan-making machine!” I was invited to try it out and provide feedback during the beta period, and I’m flattered that some of my suggestions made it into the final product. So far I’ve run six campaigns. Let’s walk through the creation and performance of my latest and most successful one.
Entries in Facebook (29)
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?
This past week — completely by accident — I discovered a surprising way to use Facebook to share and sell music. I’m sure some of the more astute Music Think Tank readers already know about this, but I bet most of the musicians who browse these pages have no clue. So as an author, teacher and fellow musician, I feel a duty to pass on this valuable tip. What’s this all about? Well, if you’ve used Facebook at all, you know that the site allows users to easily upload and share photos and videos. That’s great. But there’s no built-in mechanism to easily share audio files — meaning your music!
You can’t live without it.
And you can’t live with it, either.
In the past week, if you have been trying to access the Facebook page for The 1861 Project and wonder why you keep winding up at your own homepage, I have a tale of woe for you. Bear with me here, it’s a bit of a shaggy dog story…
Two weeks ago I created a Facebook “Fan” page for The 1861 Project. Within the “page,” I added some features using a service called DamnTheRadio (DTR), which adds audio and video to a Facebook page, along with the option to lock some of the content behind the “Like” button.
When it comes to your music, people are predominantly concerned with one thing - not what your music means to you, but what your music means to them. This is one of the most important lessons any musician can learn.
The birth of social networks allowed fans an insight into the more mundane aspects of celebrity; as a result, this sparked a newfound intrigue into their normality. However, now that everyone from the drummer of the Black Keys, to the State of North Korea are all Twittered up, the days of dietary intake being shareable news are long gone.
The tides have turned.
Do you or your band have a daily online routine? You better. At the speed this world moves you can’t afford to miss even one day of what is happening. Your competition is not sitting still, so you better be out there. But as a band you have to find a balance that is not going to hinder your ability to be a band. You need to write, rehearse, record, perform… if you don’t do any of those things, being online won’t mean much.
So I thought I would take a look at my daily online routine and maybe you can apply to it your routine.
10 Things Every Musician Should Do Online Every Day
1. Quick Email Scan. – When you wakeup, you’re a band, so whatever time of the day this might be is fine. Grab your iPhone or smartphone and do a quick scan of your email for anything important or urgent. Respond to those very urgent emails right away. You will know what they are when you see them.
I love this tip so much… Marcio Teixeira made a very simple suggestion for my 2000 Things article that fit perfectly with something else I was working on, wish your fans a Happy Birthday. How many are doing this? I have to say not many.
I don’t remember getting a birthday greeting from any band recently.
We all love it when someone recognizes our birthday. I am also always impressed when every year Southwest Airlines sends me a birthday card. No other business does that. A very simple action that always makes me think just how much I like Southwest Airlines. You need to do the same with every one of your fans. I already hear the comments… how!
At the dawn of a new decade, the digital music sector remains unchanged.
Spotify didn’t launch in 2010. If it had though, would we be different now? I think so. Had it been made available in the U.S., an iPod type moment could’ve occurred. It could’ve.
And it still could. I’m not saying this out of blind evangelism either. Looking at the social features of Spotify more closely, I’m starting to believe Daniel Ek’s proclamation that music will displace photos on Facebook in popularity. Photo sharing is the lifeblood of Facebook, as are games like FarmVille and CityVille. Status updates and link sharing also play a big role. We like to see what our friends (and strangers) are doing and hear what they’ve been up to. However, a large majority of people do little with their accounts.
Everyone Is Lying To You On Facebook
In Leena Sowambur’s opinion, social networks are not used for advertising and using Facebook to push information is the wrong way to do it. An artist should not think that people are fans just because they have “liked” the artist’s page.
“Just because you push the information out doesn’t mean you have your fans’ or friends’ attention in fact it is highly likely they are blind to it.” (Read On)
The Science of Becoming a Rock Star
Eric Galen shows how great music careers can be made by relating music to science. He uses charts and physics to explain. Read on for his explanation that can help you take control and steer your music career in the right direction.
“Talk to any successful artist, producer or songwriter, and you’ll discover that each of them struggled at one level until a breakthrough happened and their career took a quantum jump ahead.” (Read On)
As with most folks who work in the tech business, I think it’s important to celebrate failures — they often teach us more than success. As such, I wanted to share a few Facebook Ads campaigns I experimented with and why they didn’t work.
The question I wanted to answer after the almost-too-easy success with the All Smiles campaign was “How easy is it to convert fans of related (but not directly tied) artists from Facebook Ads?”
Answer: Not easy.
I set out to target three groups of fans with free downloads from A B & The Sea: Jukebox The Ghost (with whom they were touring), Katy Perry (whose song they covered), and Beach Boys (to whom they sound most similar). I set up Facebook ads driving to dedicated landing pages (eg - http://abandthesea.net/jukebox/) with unique Topspin widgets on each so I could track conversion data at a granular level. Here’s how each campaign broke down:
Bands, Artists, Labels, Management Companies… it’s time to move beyond a single stand alone online store and bring your online store to where your fans are hanging out; Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Websites. Don’t just post your new CD on your Facebook Wall and link your fans back to a typical online store. Post your new CD on your Facebook Wall, MySpace Page, Blog or official website and let your fans buy it right there without even leaving. Let your fans share your new CD as a Wall post with all their friends, while including the ability to buy your CD in every single one of those Wall posts.
STOP, think about what I just said… every single Wall post by all your fans could be a store with the ability to buy your CD. What could that mean for sales?
It is time to bring your commerce to the world of social. CommerceSocial is a new tool that is extremely easy to setup and lets your CD spread virally through the social networks.
Here is how it works: Imagine that the next time you post a product on your F
Given that it’s pretty much dormant (and we never did much with it in the first place), I’m always surprised to see our MySpace page show up as one of the top three results whenever I do a vanity Google search for my band. I was curious to see the Google rank for the MySpace pages of well-known artists and conducted a quick search experiment last week. It wasn’t exhaustive — I just started with some of the bigger “indie rock” names of the past decade and threw in a handful of classic rock acts as well. Also, for band names of more than one word, I didn’t put quote marks around the full name, I just typed the band name and hit return, figuring that’s what most people would do when conducting a search.
For most of the acts, the Google Music Search player appears at the top of the results (no surprise there). And in almost every case, the band’s MySpace page was one of the top five search results. Of the 10 other artists I conducted searches for, Led Zeppelin was the only one where a MySpace page wasn’t one of the top 10 search results. Facebook only made two top-10 appearances (one of which was a search for my own band), though it was in the 11th or 12th spot for several acts. Last.fm made a surprisingly strong appearance and was a top-10 result for almost every artist.
One of the biggest challenges a music marketer faces is selecting a channel (or multiple channels) to focus their efforts on. More than anything, this means researching and understanding the ways existing and potential fans discover and consume music.
In the case of a young, hip band like A B & The Sea, it was clearly the social channels — with a product that is almost universally appealing and a fanbase that spends hours upon hours daily on social networks, it was a no-brainer. All Smiles, however, is a different case entirely.
Jim Fairchild spent most of his musical career influencing a generation as the guitarist in Grandaddy. More recently, he’s touched another generation as the touring guitarist for Modest Mouse. His work isn’t relegated to these well known bands, however — he’s also put out two LPs and a few EPs as All Smiles (with some help from fellow indie-famous friends).
The first All Smiles LP was put out by Dangerbird Records, replete with marketing budget, press tour, and all the other standard trimmings of a major indie album release. The second LP, however, came out independently with little more than an old-school (read: largely ineffective, for a variety of reasons) PR campaign behind it. As a result, it made about $1,900 (against production costs of $19,000) and Jim, somewhat disappointed, wrote it off in favor of other professional engagements.
Networking sites are great promotional tools. Everyone from the indie artist to the artist who has a massive advertising and marketing budget has one. But when is it time for house cleaning? When is it time for certain things to go away? A good deal of what is posted is unimportant, boring and, let’s face it, stupid. Now, if you’re just another face on Facebook or Twitter, it doesn’t really matter. However, if you are an artist, a band or someone who is trying to promote and market, those little stupid updates can harm you more than help you.
So what is the answer?
Simple. Do some housecleaning now and then and make sure you are providing the information, the image and the promotional materials that will reach the most people in the best way. Be smart in a world of social networking. Twittering, face booking and whatever other term you can come up with where people are putting out the dumbest information that might only apply to the fewest people and end up causing the most problems and over all disinterest possible.
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(Updated July 8, 2015)