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« 18 Things I'd Love to Pay Musicians For | Main | The power of giving a damn! How much do you care? »
Thursday
Dec112008

Creating a Social Media Strategy...That Works!

Now that you have a CD done, what's my next step is always the lagging question. Most artists usually know I need to be online they make social networking sites, they start creating a website, but they aren't receiving results. Good News is your probably doing some things right..but is your Social Media Strategy efficient and effective?

I was recently able to interview Moe Arora of MakingthMogul.com and Rockstar Branded. Moe had some AWESOME words of advice for starting out your Social Media Strategy:

Most people will say they want to do it all, and that's fine, but you need to have a strategy.

One of the most useful pieces of advice I can offer anyone is to draw it out. Go get a big whiteboard and write down each of your goals on the board in a circle. Then figure out if there's a way of connecting each of those goals to one another. You're basically playing "connect the dots". If there is something on the board that cannot be connected to anything else, then you either have to find a way to make it connect, or push it to the side for the time being. What this does is it allows you to understand your overall strategy and how each of your goals interacts with one another.

Too many people try to do too much at the same time but never figure out how to take full advantage or make the most use of all their avenues. How many times do we see startup record labels that also claim to have a fashion line, a sports agency, an energy drink and 18 other products or services? These people don't have a strategy. They have a bunch of dots on the whiteboard that don't connect. Connect your dots - that's the first step in creating a real strategy; for your brand and for your career.

I've come up with 5 steps that NEED to be put into place for your Social Media Strategy to work!

1. Identify your goals.

Identify your specific goals on why your creating an online strategy Write them down! Usually physically writing something from pen to paper gives you a sense of responsibility. Post this up somewhere that you and your band can see it on a consistent basis. it always important to have a vision of what you want to achieve.  This vision is really solidified by having actual visual representations of your goals.

ex. Have 100,000 plays on You Tube
Increase online awareness
Get more downloads on Itunes
Build and grow my email list

2. Do your Research

The worst thing you want to do is jump out of the gate blindly. That's when you get overwhelmed, and frustrated. So many artists are blogging more than ever now. Sharing there war stories, explaining what worked and what didn't. More and more free information is being released online of the good, the bad, and the ugly of the internet. Doing some quick online research can give you an idea of great places to focus on online to achieve your goals, and save you some time and frustration down the road.

For example:
Making April: How to sell 1000 singles a week on Itunes
Mack Maine: How we got over 14,000 downloads in 48 hours

There are tons of case studies out there to help in creating an effective strategy.

3. Create and Implementing your Plan of Attack

For each goal you have created clearly write a plan of action to achieve this.

Example:

Goal: My reason for creating a social media strategy is to help build and grow my email list
Plan: 1.  Creating a Fanbridge page that gives me a place to create a way to capture email addresses and store them. 2. Post the email opt-in code on all of my social networking sites. 3. Send out personal emailed thank you's to everyone that opts-in to my email list with an exclusive download able mp3. 4. Send out a newsletter every month to email list.

Understand that there will be work that will need to be put into achieving this goal. I love working with artists who have taken a stab at doing their own PR and promotions, those are the one's that truly understand the work that is put in to get one CD sold or one online mention.

Once you have each plan of attack plotted out it makes it much easier for you to implement the attack seamlessly. Set up a schedule. Everyday at 5pm I will send out an email to all of our new friends on Myspace, or every 3rd Friday I will write our newsletter. Create a schedule and STICK TO IT! The effort you put in to this will speak volumes into what you will get out of it.

4. Get EVERYONE involved

Think reasonably and understand you can't do it alone. Delegate to other band members, ask your biggest fan, get an intern, or hire someone to help. There are tons of options that can be put into place that all the work is not put on yourself. Here is a great article on other outlets to find people to delegate some of the work to:  http://www.arielpublicity.com/sound_advice/delegating-heavy-lifting.html

5. Understand that this is a Marathon not a Sprint

Artists usually want INSTANT results. Depending on your specific goal you may be able to instantly see results, but most of all this will take time! The internet is about directly connecting re-connecting, and interacting with your fans. It takes massaging, it takes patience, and it takes consistent attention to get to your goal. In the end you will be more than happy when you see the results that do come from it.

With these 5 things in place i'm sure the Social Media Strategy that you create to market and promote your CD will work more efficiently, become less overwhelming, and give you the results you are looking for!

Cyber PR Urban is Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR's new urban division that handles Hip Hop and R&B as well as urban and urban crossover artists. We connect urban artists to Blogs, Podcasters, Internet Radio Stations, Vlogs, Social Networking sites, and Webzines. Cyber PR Urban's Urban Plug newsletter is a free bi-monthly e-zine for musicians & entrepreneurs who want marketing, promotion and PR tips for navigating the new music business. Sign Up here: www.cyberprurban.com. Check out past articles at: www.cyberprurban.com/blog

Christina Duren started her music career as an intern at Island Def Jam where she spent a year in the Radio and Promotions/Publicity department. At IDJ she worked with Mariah Carey, Rihanna and Ne-Yo. From there she took her first real job at Shore Fire Media working campaigns for The Roots, and Heineken Red Star Soul Tour. Christina now acts as PR Director for Cyber PR and co-founder of Cyber PR Urban.

Reader Comments (3)

Great post and something I love to see more of! I work with a lot of urban/R&B acts and think that social media is really something that works especially well with the independent acts; I particularly love #4. Thanks for this great post!

December 15 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

Great post for developing a plan of attack. I would add to this that a lot of bands contact me wanting the world and then don't contact me regularly to make sure the world is being delivered to them. In failing to connect with their promoters, they are pushing aside the people who can most help them build a solid and loyal fan base. It really makes a difference when it comes to CD and digital download sales. Also, I notice a lot of bands locking people out of their social networks by overly using CAPTCHA on their profile settings on myspace in the "add friend" area. Why on earth would you lock out your fans like that and other music industry professionals? If you don't like managing the spam, get a friend to do it for you. You wouldn't believe how many bands I skip over and don't even offer help to, simply because of something as trivial as CAPTCHA, which is a waste of my time to fill out over and over again.

December 19 | Unregistered CommenterCorey Bray

@Maggie

Thank you! I agree it can become extremely frustrating getting them to really understand the dynamics of how its really going to work.

@Corey Bray

Yes CAPTCHA can be soooo annoying. My first thought after seeing a CAPTCHA is 5 more seconds of my life gone.

Thanks for the comments!
-Christina (CyberPRUrban)

December 22 | Registered CommenterChristina Duren

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