The last Urban Plug newsletter pointed out some of the best Urban Social Networking sites for Urban artists to be on.
You can click here to go back over those:
In essence creating these profiles can be seen as Public Relations (PR), No you may not be connecting your music to newspapers, magazines, etc., but you are connecting with fans.
First let’s talk about Public Relations. I’m here to put the biggest myth to sleep - PR DOES NOT EQUAL SALES. PR equals Mine Share & Public Awareness and a piece of the puzzle to get you to sales. Out of sight out of mind is TRUE!
Your main reason to create a social networking site is to: Directly interact, connect and re-connect with your fans!
The common mistake that I see ALL the time is that there is no thought process behind who artists are friending, and are just RANDOMLY friending anyone and everyone who will click approve.
Let’s analyze this for a bit:
- Are these really your fans?
- Do you even think they are remotely interested in your music?
One way to properly find the right group of people who will interact with you on the level that you want them to (becoming an evangelist on your behalf) - Go to the pages of artists you feel you are similar to or sound like and reach out to their fans.
For Example: If you have a Kanye West rap style, reach out to the hundreds of thousands of friends that he already has and send a message quick and sweet. Which can read: “If you like music like Kanye’s then you might like mine. Take a listen and let me know what you think.” You don’t have to use those exact words, but you get the idea.
Now that you are finding the RIGHT people …
1. Build an EMAIL LIST
I recently reached out to an artist via myspace who sent me a friend request. Immediately after I accepted his friend request he sent an email saying thank you and asked me to join his mailing list to be updated with new things and receive a free mp3. I was surprised to see this. Why? Because he is leading me out of myspace to his actual website which is very SMART! I emailed him back asking how many people usually sign up to his mailing list after he reaches out to them. He said about 20% of people sign up. WOW. Now think - How many opportunities have you let pass you by because you were not doing this small gesture?
Your email list is the key to connecting with fans outside of the actual social networking page. Your email list is actually a group of potential “sales” and you should treat expanding your email list as one of the most important marketing activities, second only to actually creating your social networking page.
Always remember the more effort you put into developing your email list, the more potential sales you may have.
- GIVE THEM A GIFT
People don’t just like to give their email addresses online (and with good reason nowadays!) Give them a gift to sign up, offer them something in return, such as an exclusive FREE mp3, or they can be automatically signed up for an ongoing band contest.
- MAKE IT EASY
Don’t make them jump through hoops and hurdles to sign up. A wonderful service, Fanbridge, provides email list management as well as an html format for you to stick it right onto your social networking page. Don’t ask for too much - name, email address, and URL to their page on the site is enough to keep in contact with them.
- ASSURE THEM PRIVACY
With online scams running rampant, assure them that all email addresses will be kept private and only used for you to keep in contact with them.
2. START A NEWSLETTER!
Now that you have started creating your email list it is IMPORTANT to now begin CONSISTENTLY connecting and interacting with your fans.
Keep your fans INFORMED. Your newsletter can give updates about upcoming shows, new releases, and appearances (print, radio, Internet and TV). It’ll keep your fans engaged whether you’re in the studio or on the road.
Make it a goal to send out a newsletter keeping your fans updated on the new things that are going on with your music or any new up and coming things at least twice a month.
LAST AND FINAL STEP…. but in my opinion one of the BIGGEST Tasks:
3. Give fans a reason to COME BACK!
Once you have friends on your page, give them a reason to come back. Yes, you got that initial contact for them to friend/add you, NOW WHAT?
*Interaction is KEY*
Consistently keeping in contact with your fans will keep them coming back!
Yes SEND those birthday comments!
Yes SEND those thank you for the add comments!
As I was reading Andrew Dubber’s free e-book 20 Things You Must Know about Music Online, (which I highly suggest to all music artists),one of his posts read the words FREQUENCY IS EVERYTHING! This post was based on an artist website but the same can be applied to an artist’s social networking page.
Read more on Andrew Dubber here at http://www.newmusicstrategies.com. It’s a great way to find new media and online strategies for the music business.
Here are a few ways to consistently keep your page updated:
1. Live twitter updates http://www.twitter.com
Your fans want to know what your doing/eating/thinking. Make them feel special as if they are apart of your life.
“Twitter is an ingenious solution that will give your fans more of you and it takes less than 3 minutes a day to stay on top of without your computer!”- Ariel Hyatt, President of Ariel Publicity
Read this awesome article by Ariel Hyatt ”Musicians Twitter Roadmap”
2. Upload YouTube videos
Yes those funny videos of you and your band doing something fun will make your fans love you even more. Make them feel like they are getting something EXCLUSIVE. Have someone tape a few live shows, this can come in handy when trying to get them to come out to a show when you are playing in their town.
Connecting with your fans should be your main objective. Think of it as your job. If you don’t make yourself consistently present in the minds of your fans then you will be forgotten!
NOW GO CREATE THOSE PROFILES!!!
Agree or disagree?? Have comments, suggestions, or stories of what you’ve been doing with your social networking sites? Please leave them on the blog!
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.