The internet has a million ways to communicate, and a million ways to sell things, but it’s failing when it comes to creating fans. The reason for this is that there are very few fan experiences on the internet.
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The music industry today seems, to the casual observer, a veritable “Chicken Little” scenario, with all its members and participants, heads craned piously upward, scurrying about as if the sky were falling—the firmament of their reliable, decades-old business model crashing about them. From the haughtiest record company executive to the lowliest basement-dwelling ensemble, everyone in the music business is struggling to shore up their respective rungs on the industry ladder.
A few months ago, Google introduced their own social networking platform with the intention of entering the ring to contend for the social media crown against the likes of Facebook and Twitter. This platform, simply dubbed Google + (pronounced Google Plus), showcases quite a few similar features as its leading competition. So as a musician, you may be asking yourself ‘why would I even bother if Im already on Facebook and Twitter? Do I REALLY need to update yet another social account??’.
Well frankly, the answer is yes, you really do need to get yourself set up on Google + and the reasons as such are quite simple.
Lisa Sniderman from Aoede is one of my past clients and for the past few months I had wanted to interview about her experience and growth using social networking to grow her fanbase. Well we were finally able to make it happen. I felt it was important to have a artists say all of this, sometimes hearing it from a peer carries more weight. So take a couple minutes and read about how Lisa went from essentially zero to social networking wiz and grew her fanbase over the last 1o months.
Lisa set the wayback machine to December of 2010 when we first talked. You were a couple months away from releasing your most recent album Affair With The Muse and hired me to help you with your website and online marketing efforts. Your online world at that time was fairly small; less than 1000 on your email list, a handful of Facebook fans, less than 100 Twitter followers. We talked about what you would need to do to grow your fans. How you would have to spend time engaging with everyone on Facebook and Twitter. How you would have to write articles to post on your new blog. How you had to open up and talk about yourself personally more than you talk about the new album. I remember at the time you said you were not sure you could do all of this, that you didn’t know if you had the time. But, you forged ahead.
Now not even a year later and looking back what do you think about that journey?
Recently, ASCAP’s Daily Brief included an article by David F. Carr entitled, “How Warner Music Turns Social Media Fans Into Customers”. I thought there was one paragraph in there that was extremely insightful that some readers may not have caught. It needed to be expounded upon. If you’ve always wondered how a major label goes about building a fanbase for a new artist - as far as their overarching philosophy on it - there it was!
There’s an item missing from the music-marketing dictionary. What do you call the person that has decided to surrender an email address, follow you on Twitter, or Like you on Facebook? If the word ‘fan’ is short for ‘fanatic’, or as someone said last week: “a fan is someone that buys all your stuff”, then we need an intermediate descriptor that sits between a potential fan that has yet to learn about you, and a fan or fanatic that is already buying your stuff. ‘Pre-fan’ seems like it will work, but why bother?
As more and more labels and artists use advertising to bridge the gaps between social media islands, it’s essential to get the advertising return on investment (ROI) calculation correct. If a potential fan is not yet a fan, and if a pre-fan is not really a fan, then you need to apply TWO conversion rates to your ROI calculation.
In Defense of 1,000 True Fans Part XI – Marian Call Leveraged Twitter to Tour 50 States & Returned w/ Money in Her Pocket
Since Spotify’s US launch and the F8 announcements, a major sea change is underfoot. I have been following some of the most important and lively conversations about the meaning of all of this for independent musicians everywhere.
I don’t have much to say about it all (yet) but my knee jerk reaction is to revert back to the basics. As things get more and more complicated and as artists are being included on platforms that will yield them smaller fiduciary returns, it is more necessary than ever to remember and practice core marketing principals. I am strongly reminded of their necessity of the basics when I look at this from a global perspective.
I just returned from Scandinavia where most everyone still refuses to use Twitter and the people I met and spoke to mostly believe that email newsletters = SPAM.
I asked 5 of my favorite gods and goddesses of online marketing and Social Media promotion to share with me the top questions they get asked the most by musicians. Then I sent them around for all of us to answer. I’m going to kick off this installment with a question Bobby Owsinski ofte gets asked. Here’s the first one: It’s obvious and so simple! Why does social networking take so much time?
I just found a brand new website called Shoutomatic.com that lets you record audio updates to easily post to Facebook and Twitter, as well as posting a audio widget on your website.
Shoutomatic.com is extremely simple, I have already done a couple “Shouts” to test out the service. Here is a link to my profile on the site if you want to hear a couple examples of what I did. They also have good video help to show you how to use all the features.
There are three ways you can record audio:
How many times have we been inundated on Facebook with “spray and pray” wall messages from “friends” promoting their music or tagged in photos and videos that bear no relevance to us? How many times have “Tweeple” tweeted us to watch music videos that we didn’t ask for and don’t have an interest in. It’s annoying isn’t it?
This happened to me recently (again) whereby I received a charming rock video that involved all kinds of torture, sex and death imagery (evident within the first ten seconds you could see where it was going … no major label deal for this band!). They were a follower of mine on Twitter. This video however, was unsolicited and not to my taste. Consequently, I blocked them.
Theoretically, we have permission so why do we find this kind of thing so irritating? Surely, by default, we are fans of our friends’ and followers’ musical endeavours? This got me curious why we feel this way and got me back onto a marketing strategy I am working on based on trust.
Embedding your music in another product - a mobile app, for example - is going to be the way to sell music in the future. Consider this article, published just 5 months ago in the New York Times. It highlights the major labels’ mad dash to get into the mobile app market. Bjork new album will be a collection of apps rather than a list of songs. UMG is creating an app for Nirvana’s “Nevermind”. And it makes sense. Just last month news surfaced that Apple has now sold more apps than song downloads - even though iTunes had a nearly 4 year head start on the App Store.
I was recently asked to create a list of all the digital services and tools an artist can use for social media, as it’s often overwhelming to comprehend all the tools online when you’re trying to focus on making good music. So here it is.
Hello again and welcome back to Musician’s Arsenal. This week I’d like to present to you, Visibli. A good friend of ours, Jordan Walker (@jordanwalker), came by the Cyber PR® office a few weeks back for some after hours drinks, and as our conversations usually do around here, the talk quickly turned to the music industry, specifically effective technology for independent musicians. In no time Jordan was on the computer showing me all the ins and outs of this great new tool and I’ve been chomping at the bit ever since to write this post.
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(Updated July 8, 2015)