Web Presence and Community Building as Musicians

Ever wonder why all the famous artists are all the famous, already well known musicians on every social network worth naming? And, no the answer is not to annoy all the struggling artists by competing with you on your level… Well, not entirely. Its not only to reinforce their already prominent web presence, but also to connect and interact with fans as a community. Fans now need, almost require this type of interaction before they become a true fan. Put best by Jason Feinberg in his article on Media Shift

“In the current music industry climate, many artists are realizing that they must go further than ever before to be seen as approachable — they must run their organization with almost complete transparency. Save for major mainstream stars, the days of artists being put on an isolated pedestal are long gone; fans are far too savvy and options far too many for a musician to appear to be operating in a different universe. Fans demand access at unprecedented levels, so a band must either provide this access or be skilled at creating the illusion of it.”

But before you just jump right in and start “friend adding”, you need to integrate social media into your marketing strategy. Its important to not only have an aim or purpose, but to also create an authentic experience for your fan. Fans will see right through all those annoying bulletins and bot-generated posts that lack the ability to compel or engage them. Think about who you are as an artist, what you want people to know about you and how you want them to perceive you/ your brand. Be genuine and show your fans a personal side. Be respectful of the community by not polluting it with regular shameless self- promotion. Be less obvious, and always be creative. Offer fans something in return, or exchange one thing for another. Most importantly, join the conversation, whether you initiate it or not.

Here are several sites for you to look into. Please, be daunted not, but rather be excited. Think of it like this: If a friend told you they knew of a bunch of great places you could sell your CD, you’d jump right? Before you join, make sure you have an understanding of how to navigate these sites and use their features, tools and applications to their fullest potential. They are all very different and have different ways to interact with fans.

A list of Social Networking Sites To Join

Myspace

Facebook

Twitter

ReverbNation

Bebo

iLike

purevolume

last.fm

imeem

Vimeo

YouTube

Popcuts

the sixtyone

Amie Street

eventful

A Marketing Plan Illustrating How to Integrate Social Networking

An another addition to these sites would be to have your own blog/ website. At the very least, you can have your mini-website that allows you to sell your music on Bandcamp. Check it out.

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The Importance of Video Content and Distributing It

Music videos are one of the greatest tools a musician has to promote themselves and gain greater visibility… But how many independent musicians even have a budget for a REAL music video… My guess is very few. But don’t be discouraged. A music video these days doesn’t have to be a short film with a crew and director, etc. Its whatever you want it to be.  Bigger than that, who says you it has have music at all to help you get visibility? Your focus shouldn’t be so much on the quality of the video production itself, but rather on the content of your video and how to distribute it to maximize viewership. There are countless stories of You Tube users becoming stars because their videos have gone viral. Maybe your angle is to have a shocking or ridiculously funny video with the intention of going viral. Or, maybe you simply want to give people a glimpse into your artistry by recording yourself composing and performing an original piece. Whatever it is you do, just do it.

One key to gaining fans and keeping them is to offer a personalized experience that they can share with you. Why do you think so many musicians have followed Ozzy Osborne into the “reality” TV world? Because people want to get to know you, and once they make this connection or forge this “relationship:, you have created a fan. I wasn’t even that big of a fan of Keyshia Cole until I watched her show. I may not be her biggest fan, but having seen her as a person, has made me feel as though I’ve connected with her and in turn connected with her music. This is a process you need to harness as musicians, because you are nothing without your fans, and learning ways to convert listeners to fan is detrimental.

Now, lets take this tool a step further and think like a marketer (as you need to be). What do you do with this video now that is done? Post it? Yep… but not just on You Tube. Post it on EVERY social networking site you’re on AND You Tube! And then post it on every user-generated content video site you can think of!  If you’re smart, you’ll even try and post that same video/link to user profile pages that are of the demographic closely matching your greatest fanbase. And you know what else you’ll do? You’re also going to keep a close eye on the metrics on the viewership of that video to help you hone in on a fanbase so you can focus on listener-fan conversion. How in the hell can you do that and manage all of them and track metrics?

DIY Video Content Distribution and Analytics: TubeMogul

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