Sunday, February 24, 2008

How to CORRECTLY use Social Networking Sites

I find each to be a step by step process in making your VIRAL marketing the best it can be!

Well lets get started!!!

As an indie artist the first thing thats pops into mind is to RUN to Myspace and create a profile. Yes online networking sites is a great way get your name out to the masses.

These days i've found some great social networking sites
1. Myspace
2. Facebook
3. Reverb Nation
5. Imeem

JUST TO NAME A FEW but as you will find there are TONS out there.

In essence creating these sites can be seen as public relations, NO you may not be connecting your music to newspapers, magazines, etc but you are connecting with fans.

First lets talk about Public Relations. I'm here to put the biggest myth to sleep NO PR DOES NOT EQUAL SALES. PR equals Mine Share & Public Awareness. Out of sight out of mind is TRUE!

Your main reason to create a social networking site is to:

Directly connect and re-connect with your fans

The common mistake that I see ALL the time is that artist starts creating their page by adding thousands of half naked girls just to get there friend list up. Or there is no thinking behind who they friend but just RANDOMLY friending any and everyone who will click approve. WRONG!
-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 is to go to those pages of artist you feel you are similar to or sound like and reach out to them.

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.” Those words don't have to particularly be used but you can see the jist of it.

Now that you are finding the RIGHT people....

1. Build an EMAIL LIST
Here is a way to connect with fans outside of the actual social networking page. Your email list actually a group of potential “sales” and you shout 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.

People don't just like to give their email addresses online (an 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.

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.

With online scams running rampant assure them that all email address will be kept private and only used for you to keep in contact with them.


Now that you have started creating your email list it is IMPORTANT to now begin CONSISTENTLY connecting 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 at least twice a month 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.

There is an awesome service Band Letter that can do it all for you

For just $29.97 per month, they will do the following for you:
1.Design a “Band Letter” for you, using your favorite photos and producing graphics to promote your music, MySpace page, etc.

2.Manage your email list (up to 2,000 email addresses).

3.Build your newsletter for you each month and send it out to your fans. You send us the text and photos, we’ll handle everything else!

4.The newsletter will be put together in both HTML and Text formats, so for those who can’t see HTML emails, they’ll still get a nicely formatted text version.

There’s no long-term commitment, you are free to cancel at any time!


LAST AND FINAL STEP.... but in my opinion one of thie BIGGEST Task

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 connected to an artists social networking page.

Read more on Andrew Dubber here at great way to find new media and online strategies for the music business

Here are few ways to consistently keep your page updated:

1. Live twitter updates

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 on “10 Reasons Why Every Musician Should Join Twitter NOW”

2. Upload you tube 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. Sure 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. Show them you can REALLY ROCK live!

Connecting with your fans should be your main objective. Think of it as your job. You don't make yourself aware consistently in the minds of your fans then YES you will be forgotten!


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