Category: Building a Fan Base

Creating and Using Your Band’s Facebook Page

Creating and Using Your Band’s Facebook Page

By NationWide Source Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

While the social media landscape is constantly shifting, Facebook has consistently dominated the scene in recent history. Using this social media platform correctly can significantly impact your band’s marketing strategy and the size of your fan base. Part of that correct usage is creating a distinct, branded Facebook page for your band.

Why Does My Band Need a Page?

Creating a distinct, branded Facebook page has several benefits. First, it gives your fans (many of whom are already on Facebook) easy access to band details, your website, uploaded videos and songs, upcoming events, your pictures, and up-to-date information. It’s also a great way to reach new fans, as interactions with existing ones often shows up in other fans’ news feeds.

Second, Facebook lets you track the usefulness of your page, which you can’t do with a standard profile.

Third, it keeps your personal profile just that: personal. As your band grows, your fans will consist of more than your family and close friends. As much as you love your fans, you might not want them to have access to every detail of your personal profile. Having an existing page gives these fans a way to keep in touch with the band while maintaining your personal privacy.

Creating Your Band’s Facebook Page

Go to Facebook’s “Create Pages” screen. Select the “Artist, Band or Public Figure” option. In the drop down menu, scroll down to “Musician/Band,” then enter the name of your group. Read and agree to the Terms and click “Get Started.”

At this point, if you were logged out of Facebook, you’ll be asked to enter your email address and password. Sign in to your account; this will set your personal profile as an admin of the group page (you can add other admin later). Note: if you don’t want to sign in to your account, you can create a profile for the band, set the entire profile to the most private settings, then fill in the public page’s info. Once you’ve signed in, fill in the blank fields. You’ll have the chance to enter a description for the band, the band’s website, verify the admin rights, upload pictures, and advertise (optional).

Now that the basic page details are set, go ahead and fill in more information. Add additional pictures and set a cover photo. “Update Page Info” will allow you to add more information about the band (genre, members, hometown, record label, influences, etc), control the security settings of the page, and set the admins (maybe each of the band members and your band’s manager, if you have one) of the page. The “More” option at the top lets you link to your music catalog. When your page is branded and ready for public viewing, write a welcome post and start sending invitations to friends.

Using Your Band’s Facebook Page

Of course, you’ll use your band’s Facebook page to keep fans informed of upcoming gigs, tours, and releases and to share press reviews, photographs, and videos of the band. But you’ll also want to track the page’s effectiveness.

When you are logged in and viewing your page, the Admin Panel at the top of the page will provide insight into your page’s activity. It shows notifications (such as likes of, comments on, or shares of your posts), recent likes of your page (by people or other pages, as well as subscribers), messages to your page, a list of friends to invite to like the page, and tips for building your audience.

The Page Insights tool (accessible through the “Insights” button at the very top of the page) is like Google Analytics but just for your Facebook page. You can see the history of your page’s likes (as well as the source of your likes), the reach of your posts, the engagement levels on your page, the number of visits to your page, external referrers (as well as the source), the traffic levels on your page throughout the day, and the demographic breakdown of your fans.

If you find yourself needing to reach more people, you can pay Facebook to increase your exposure. You can do this either by boosting a post, which promotes that individual post’s visibility, or by promoting the page itself with an ad campaign. The campaign allows you to target Facebook users by geographic area, interests, and demographic details; you can also set the budget and time frame of the campaign. If you choose to do paid advertising, you can break down your reach results on the Page Insights, comparing organic traffic to the paid (ad) traffic.

Obviously, using Facebook to promote your band is a little more complicated than simply writing a post. However, with a little practice, you can turn it into a powerful marketing tool for your band.

Does your band have a Facebook page? Has it helped increase your fan base and market your band? What advice do you have for those creating their band’s page? What have you done to maximize your page’s effectiveness? What is your favorite (or least favorite) feature?

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Streaming Your Music With Spotify

Streaming Your Music with Spotify

By NationWide Source Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Spotify is arguably the most popular streaming service. What does this mean for you as an artist? Well, it means that if your fans are streaming music, odds are good that they’re using Spotify, which means you’ve probably considered offering your music there.

For fans, Spotify offers two different plans. Both allow users to create playlists and run Spotify on their computer and mobile devices. The free version only allows shuffle mode of playlists and requires internet access. However, with the paid service, users can download playlists and play the music offline.

What Spotify Offers Artists

Spotify provides a platform for your existing fans to find and listen to your music. It also allows others to discover your music by clicking “related artists” when listening to someone on their playlists, by listening to other users’ playlists, or by another user sending them a message with your music. In that sense, Spotify has incorporated elements of social networking sites.

Signing Up For Spotify

You cannot submit your music directly to Spotify, since all their music is submitted by labels or distributors. If you don’t have a label or distributor, Spotify has a list of recommended aggregators that can help get your music on the site. These filters help ensure that the music is properly licensed before appearing on Spotify, and the filters administer your royalty payments, taking their cut along the way.


The cost for listing your music on Spotify will vary depending on the route you take. If ReverbNation is your filter, the distribution services is either included in your ReverbNation plan or available for $34.95 a year. If you use CD Baby (one of the recommended aggregators), the cost to distribute your music digitally is $49 per album or $12.95 per single, plus 9% of the streaming royalties.

Making Money with Spotify

For streamed music, Spotify claims that it sends nearly 70% of the revenue back to the rights holders (the label, publisher, distributor, or you, the artist). However, the payment actually received by artists is often negligible. For a detailed description of how Spotify calculates an artist’s pay, visit their artist page and scroll down to the Royalties sections.

Spotify also allows you to post and sell some of your merchandise without commission, letting your fans have easy access to your products and letting you keep more of your profits.

Getting Assistance

There are three main ways to get help with Spotify: a frequently asked questions section, a community forum, and a contact form.

Now that you have the basics of how Spotify works, check out our article on whether or not you should use it.

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ReverbNation and Your Music: Streaming and More

ReverbNation and Your Music: Streaming and More

By NationWide Source Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

If you’re a musician and haven’t heard of ReverbNation, then you have some research to do. Here’s a quick breakdown of what they offer:

What ReverbNation Offers

Of course, ReverbNation allows you to upload your music to be discovered, streamed, and shared by fans. It also offers:

  • newsletter templates to email fans
  • the option to create mobile app for your band
  • the option to turn your profile into a website
  • the option to sell music, either on the site or externally through digital distribution
  • the option to create press kits
  • networking with other musicians, promoters, venues, labels, and industry professionals

Profit From Your ReverbNation Account

To make money from your ReverbNation account, take advantage of their Digital Distribution opportunity. This helps you sell your music on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, ect. You also can sell your music right off of their streaming player by providing a link.


ReverbNation offers three account levels with distinct pricing options.

  • Basic (free): provides a page for fans to stream & download music; provides you with access to their gig finder*.
  • Pro ($19.95/mo): offers the same but adds music distribution options.
  • Max ($41.67/mo): offers the same but with more music distribution options.

Other services are offered a la carte. The Site Builder ($89.95/yr), which turns your profile into a website, and Digital Distribution ($34.95/yr) options are both available outside of the account packages. Adding these features to the basic account could be a great decision.

Setting Up Your Account

Begin by going to, and click the button titled “sign up for free”. Create your profile using the guided set up process; be sure to include your name, genre, city/state, and so on. After you’ve entered your details, you can upload your songs and music. When you have finished your profile, you’ll have the opportunity to upgrade your account if you wish.


ReverbNation is easy for you and your fans to navigate, and the instructions for building a profile page are very clear. Should any questions arise, turn to their help page for a solution. They also have a support team available to answer any specific questions via email.

ReverbNation is a great website with a lot to offer artists, and at a reasonable cost. Check it out!

* As we stated in another article, ReverbNation requires that you use their Press Kit Builder ($5.95 per month) to submit booking requests.

Have you or your band used ReverbNation? How did you use it? Was it a good resource?

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Cover Songs: Give Them a Chance

Cover Songs: Give Them A Chance

By NationWide Source Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

In the never-ending struggle to get more fans, you may be tempted to parrot your muse or the song that’s hot at the moment… but you’re also wondering if this is the right move for your band. If you’re struggling with the cover song dilemma, read on.

To Cover, or Not To Cover?

The debate over covering other artists’ work is one of the dilemmas many artists—new and old—face. While you likely don’t want to become a cover band or be pigeonholed, covering songs can be beneficial.

For new artists, adding a couple cover songs can help round out your set list. It also provides venues an idea of who your band is. If you’re playing gigs on the road or with strange audiences that don’t know your original work, cover songs can help you connect with that audience.

Sometimes, covering another artist’s work well can lead to a devoted following and a big break, as was the case with Michael DelGuidice, the lead signer of a Billy Joel cover band. For semi-established acts, covers can add another facet to your musical profile. Even experienced songwriters and performers, like Bruce Springsteen, are known to occasionally cover others’ songs.

Legal Issues with Cover Songs

As much as you may want to get more fans by playing music that those fans and you both like, stealing someone else’s likeness and sound is not a good idea; the same goes for using their work without going through the proper channels. There are a few legal details that you should be aware of.

If you’re performing the songs, make sure that you (or, more commonly, the venue) has obtained the proper permission from the right Performing Rights Organization. In order to record someone else’s songs, you need what is known as a “mechanical license.” This license indemnifies you from any legal recourse and allows you to profit from the sale of these recordings, so long as you adhere to the terms of the license.

While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, don’t count on that saving your band’s hide if you cover songs without the proper permissions. If your band is going to take on recording or performing other artists’ music in an attempt to get more fans, be sure you are doing everything you are supposed to in order to obtain those rights.

How does your band feel about cover songs? Are they your primary focus, or something you do occasionally, or something you avoid like the plague? Have cover songs hurt or helped your band?

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Indie Music: Musicians and the Radio

Independent Musicians and the Radio

By NationWide Source Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

It is extremely important for up and coming or local musicians to be actively involved in their own music distribution. One way to get your music to a wider audience is to pursue airtime on public and local radio stations. Below are some tips for making that happen.

Go Public

If you’re a relatively undiscovered artist, a great way to break onto the airways is through public radio. National Public Radio (NPR) is a nation-wide syndicated radio format that is carried by many local public radio stations. There are a number of music-related programs associated with NPR, the most notable of which is All Songs Considered. A feature on an NPR program could mean national recognition.

College radio stations are another option. While college radio stations are often public radio, some do not carry the NPR programming. The formats for each station will vary. For a list of stations in your area, visit this website. Airtime on these college stations would be more localized than on one with NPR programming, but any airtime is good.

Think Local

Because commercial stations are paid for by ads, listenership matters. These stations might not be as willing to play an unknown artist and risk losing listeners (and ad dollars with them). However, just because it may be a bit more difficult to get your unsigned, new music onto a commercial radio station, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you have good ties with a local venue, try getting them to support you with the station. Better yet, go in together on an ad mentioning an upcoming gig and have the station play one of your songs after the ad runs.

General Pointers

It is vital to establish relationships with the people you’re trying to get to play your music. No matter the station, know your recipient. Don’t submit your music to the DJ if it should go to the station manager or programming director.

Also, it’s important to listen to your music and pick the target stations and their programs wisely. Know the station, their different programs, and the type of music they play. Be sure that yours fits their niche. If you write AOR top 40 style pop, sending your music to a hip hop station doesn’t make much sense.

Music distribution is tough. You’re going to face a lot of rejection and you might think that you’re sending your work off to a vortex that you never hear back from again. But there is nothing more rewarding than getting that break and having your own music be played for everyone to hear.

Has your music been played on the radio? What type of station was it, and what steps did you take to make that happen? How did it help your music career?

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Collaborate: Write a Song with Another Artist

Collaborate: Write a Song with Another Artist

By NationWide Source Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Experienced songwriters will tell you that one of the most potentially rewarding yet potentially perilous ways to write a song is to collaborate. Unless you’re a solo singer/songwriter who plays the piano, guitar, or some other instrument, you will have to work with others at some point in the songwriting process. Being prepared can help smooth that process out.

The Pros And Cons Of Collaborative Songwriting

The benefits of writing a song with another musician are countless. For starters, you can learn how other artists write their music. Having these methods as options can help you get out of a writer’s block rut down the road. If the musicians are from other bands or genres, you can experiment with different styles and sounds, and the collaboration extends your music to the audience and fan base of your co-writer. The alliances forged during these songwriting sessions can prove invaluable down the road.

Of course, there are risks when trying to write a song with another artist. Going into a collaboration, you have no guarantee that your songwriting skills will gel well, even if you both appreciate the others work. Since it can be tough to hear critiques, you need to have a thick skin and speak thoughtfully. The lack of guarantees, presence of criticism, and a host of other factors means those potential alliances can easily turn into hurt feelings, damaged reputations, and bitter enemies.

Pick A Good Partner For Collaboration

Honestly, making this decision requires a combination of careful deliberation and blind faith. Some prefer to only write with musicians they don’t know, thereby not risking ruined friendships. For others, the opposite is true, as they already trust artists they know. The opportunity to write a song with someone who you know quite well can be just as valuable an experience as the opportunity to write with someone you have recently met. The same is true for known and unknown artists. Each opportunity is what you make of it.

A Matter of Money

If you’re under a contract, you should probably speak to your manager or A&R rep about how to split profits from collaborated projects before you get going on the process. If you’re both independent musicians, agree ahead of time on how the profits will break down. You might split it evenly, or you might base it on the percentage of work done. Some up-and-coming musicians might take less money simply to share the songwriting credits and have the experience under their belt.

Have you collaborated on projects with other musicians before? How did the process go? What advice do you have for those considering their first collaboration?

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Music and Social Media: Instagram

Music and Social Media: Instagram

By NationWide Source Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Unlike more-generalized social media platforms, Instagram specializes in something: sharing photographs. In fact, that was all you could use the virtual photo album for until last year, when they began allowing short video clips. Regardless of its specialization, Instagram is a wonderful way to connect with your fans on a personal level.

To get the most out of Instagram for your band, here are a few tips:

Get creative

With its various photo filters and many challenge groups, Instagram was the first major social media platform to encourage users to play with their photographs. Feel free to explore their filters (or use one of hundreds of photo-editing apps) and participate in challenges; get creative with your shots, trying new angles or styles. You can even share a short video clip of your most recent gig or slideshow of images from a trip or event. Bonus: the video or slideshow should feature your band’s music.

Act Naturally 

Save your staged photos for album cover art. Instead, post photos your fans can relate to, photos of you and your bandmates doing ordinary things. Whether it’s a snapshot of a massive burrito from an all night diner while on the road or a behind-the-scenes look at band practice, your fans will love you a whole lot more if you can show them just how “normal” you really are.

Add Captions  

They say that “a picture speaks a thousand words”, but a caption can summarize it beautifully. Make sure to add captions to your photos to help your fans know what they are seeing. 

Use hashtags  

Hashtags are key to helping random users discover your account. Just add the hashtags to the caption of your photo using the number sign (#) and a searchable keyword description of the image without spaces (#houseparty, #livemusic, or #thekickstour2014, for some example). Do follow Instagram etiquette, though; make sure your hashtags are relevant to your picture.

Get help 

Unless you’ve got your own personal photographer, chances are you won’t have time to be shooting all of your photos by yourselves. Ask your fans to take pictures of your band at gigs or take pictures of themselves hanging out, listening to, or imitating your band. Have them upload their photos on their own Instagram accounts and tag you to get more traffic your way. If their pic is phenomenal, you might consider reposting it; be sure to give them credit, though. Also, be sure to tag other users (bands you’re performing with, venues you’re at, or fans you’ve met) if they’re in your pictures.

Sync your accounts

With Instagram, posting photos directly to your other social media platforms is easy. As a word of caution: be sure to check your default settings and the active account (if you have a personal account and a band account) prior to posting to keep from sending a picture to the wrong crowd.

In the end, Instagram delivers what your fans want. Sure, they like your music, but they want to feel like they know you. Why not hand them a photo album to thumb through?

Have you used Instagram? Was it a personal account or one for your band? Did it affect the size or quality of your fan base?

See also: Music and Social Media: Promoting Your Act, Music and Social Media: Facebook, Music and Social Media: Twitter, Music and Social Media: MySpace, Music and Social Media: YouTube, Music and Social Media: Google+, and Music and Social Media: LinkedIn.

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Music and Social Media: Google+

Music and Social Media: Google+

By NationWide Source Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Google+ has been designed to follow the framework of many other social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace, but it can do so much more. Like other sites, you can create your own profile page, post comments and promotions in news feed, and add contacts. However, Google+ allows you to sort those contacts into certain groups (called circles) and then control the content that each group sees.

With the right tools, you can create a Google+ band page that will get you noticed by the right people. Follow these tips to get the most out of Google+.

Use Your Circles Wisely

On Google+, you can customize your list of connections into as many groupings as you’d like; for bands, you’ll probably want to group contacts into circles like venues, fans, other bands, and music industry connections.

Hang Out With Your Audience

Google+ doesn’t limit you to simply posting thoughts or links to videos and articles. Instead, it works to break down the challenges presented by physical proximity. Using its Hangout feature, your band can perform for or interact with fans anywhere, collaborate with other bands around the world, or meet with industry professionals across the country. To fully explore this feature, visit the Hangout tab in the top right corner of your Google+ account window.

Get The Word Out

To reap the full benefits of Hangouts, don’t count on your circles being online when you happen to need them. Promote the Hangout ahead of time, both to your Google+ contacts and to fans and contacts from other social media platforms.

Offer Something Besides Self-Promotion

If you’re a musician, your fans assume that you’re creative and have something to say. Why not write some of those brilliant thoughts down and share them with fans? Providing regular, insightful glimpses into your band member’s lives, thoughts, and feelings can be a sure way to keep fans coming back. Besides, if all you ever share is shameless self-promoting content, your fans will tire of you.

Make a Guest Appearance

Use Google+ for networking and increasing your fan base. Find other bands you respect and trade guest posts on each others’ pages. This tit-for-tat is a great way to help new fans find you.

Google+ may be the new kid on the block, but it has the potential to become one of the most popular, too. If you use these ideas to promote your Google+ band page, you’ll see why.

See also: Music and Social Media: Promoting Your Act, Music and Social Media: Facebook, Music and Social Media: Twitter, Music and Social Media: MySpace, Music and Social Media: YouTube, Music and Social Media: Instagram, and Music and Social Media: LinkedIn.

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Music and Social Media: YouTube

Music and Social Media: YouTube

By NationWide Source Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Many artists count on gigs to grow their fan base; while gigging is important, it has its limits. For example, when you’re based out of Kansas with a broken-down van, it can be hard to get gigs much farther afield than your local pub. And, while playing at the same place every Friday night might have earned you a small dedicated group of fans, it’s not the best way to expand your fan base. If that’s your situation, how do you branch out?

This is where platforms like YouTube come in. YouTube allows users to create profiles, upload and share videos, establish channels, search other users’ videos, and subscribe to others’ channels. It’s an incredibly popular site, with over four billion views on YouTube each day. YouTube also happens to be one of the most popular search engines for music on the internet today, second only to Google. 

You could think of YouTube as the ultimate gig, unencumbered by time of day or geographic location or venue capacity. This means that, without fixing up your van, you aren’t limited to small-town Kansas or the local pub. It also means that you can make music on your schedule, and fans can watch it on theirs. Unlike other social platforms, your fans aren’t limited to reading about your gig or catching a few pictures online; instead, they can watch your performance, making it almost as if they were there themselves.

If you’re ready to sign up, great! Of course, like any other social media site, there are a few tricks to getting the most out of your YouTube channel. Here are some tips to get you started:  

Customize Your Channel

Like MySpace, YouTube allows you to customize your channel to match your band’s personality and brand. Name your channel after your band, then add your own banners, color schemes, and photos. You can also make a playlist of your band’s best videos to feature on your page. 

Improve Your Odds

Remember: YouTube is a search engine, not just a social network. This is important to keep in mind when creating your profile and channels and uploading your video. One way to work with this is Search Engine Optimization, a marketing tactic that encourages search engines to find you. Use this to your advantage, stressing your band name, genres, song titles, and locations. Add searchable tags to the tag box and geo-target using the “targeting” section of your account page.

Check Your Statistics

YouTube is a wealth of information for your band. Not only can you see the number of views, likes, dislikes, comments, and shares on your videos, but you can see the demographics of your audience and other things they like. This information lets you cater to them more accurately (if you wish to do so).

Share Videos

Use YouTube as a base for your videos. Link back to your videos and your band’s YouTube page from your website or on other social media platforms to help fans find and share your music.

Monetize Your Videos

As any struggling artist knows, making music and paying bills don’t always go together. But with YouTube’s Partner Program, you can earn extra cash just by letting them post ads on your video pages. Though you can’t specifically choose the advertisements that will appear on your band page, you can influence the type of ads used by using effective tagging and descriptive terms.

YouTube provides musicians an incredible opportunity to expand their reach and connect with fans, and it provides more data on those fans than most social networks. like There really is no reason not to create a band page on YouTube. Better still, tie it in with your other social media profiles to maximize its usefulness.

Do you share your music videos on YouTube? Have you found any drawbacks to using the site, or has it only helped increase your fan base? What’s your top-viewed video, and why is that particular video so popular?

See also: Music and Social Media: Promoting Your Act, Music and Social Media: Facebook, Music and Social Media: Twitter, Music and Social Media: MySpace, Music and Social Media: Instagram, Music and Social Media: Google+, and Music and Social Media: LinkedIn.

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Music & Social Media: MySpace

Music and Social Media: MySpace

By NationWide Source Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Although it might be overlooked by many, MySpace is a wonderful social media platform for creating a compelling band page and promoting your music. It’s also a vast improvement over the MySpace from the earliest 2000s. If you haven’t considered it for your band, you might want to think again.

Of course, as with other social media platforms, you have to use MySpace correctly to benefit from its full potential. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Customize Your MySpace Page

Unlike most social media sites, MySpace allows extensive creative freedom when setting up your profile. Take advantage of this. Upload professional band photos and your album artwork, share songs and videos, and select a theme that is consistent with your band’s brand and personality. If you create a compelling and personalized MySpace profile, your page will be all the more attractive and thus gain a stronger following.

Invite People to View Your Page

Because visitors to MySpace don’t have to create profiles to view content, you can direct existing fans from sites with more-limited options and showcase what you’ve got. Also, reach out to those visiting MySpace in hopes of discovering new music. Provide the content they want, and make sure it is easy to find.

Less Is More

Sure, you could post 50 videos and 5,000 photos of your band, but doing so will slow your page down significantly, and the clutter can be confusing for fans. Reduce the headache for fans and viewers by maintaining a curated selection of your favorite photos and videos, and archive the rest elsewhere. Think of it like a portfolio, not like a filing cabinet: highlight only your best and most recent work.

Post Tour Dates

MySpace allows bands to easily post a list of upcoming tour dates (instead of creating separate events for each date). This quick access to all upcoming shows allows fans to find exactly the information they need.

Don’t Forget To Network

MySpace might not be as useful for building a fan base as other social media sites, but it is popular among those in the music industry. Don’t neglect the fan base-building aspect of MySpace, but do spend time connecting with other bands, producers, labels, and venues. If you can impress them with your page, the effort of creating and maintaining a profile was well worth it.

You’ve poured your heart and soul into creating the best band you can muster, and you’ve invested hours into practices and heart-felt lyrics. Think of MySpace for bands as an extension of this dedication. Polish your page to make it a glamorous grab-bag for musical promotion and band recognition.

Have you used MySpace before? Was it long ago or more recently? Does your band have a profile on the site? How do you use it?

See also: Music and Social Media: Promoting Your Act, Music and Social Media: Facebook, Music and Social Media: Twitter, Music and Social Media: YouTube, Music and Social Media: Instagram, Music and Social Media: Google+, and Music and Social Media: LinkedIn.

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