Category: Music Promotions

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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More Ways to Market Your Music

More Ways To Market Your Music

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

If an amazing band makes a timeless song in the middle of a forest and no one’s there to hear it, did it ever happen at all? To prevent your music from staying in the forest, marketing your music should be a top priority. Here are some ideas you might not have tried yet:

Local Air Time

Hearing your songs on the radio might be your dream, and it might be easier to achieve than you thought. Find stations near you that play local talent. College or public radio is a great place to start, but don’t be afraid of reaching out to the programming director of a Top 40 AOR station. Music marketing is as much about the songs being played as the venue they were discovered on. Commercial radio revenues are down; a shrewd programming director might take a chance on an earnest local act in the hopes that their station discovers the next big thing. 

Music Blogs

The blog world is a hotspot for discovering and sharing bands. Do some research to find bloggers that either review music or are specifically interested in your type of music (hint: if they like your muse, they might like you, too). Then, build a relationship with these bloggers; subscribe to their posts, read their work thoughtfully, share your opinions, and share their work with others in your sphere. So that they don’t feel misled down the road, let them know up front that you are a musician. Once a relationship is established, reach out and send them a strong sample of your own work for them to review.

Get Creative

We’re not talking Super Bowl commercials here. You can do some clever, low-cost advertising to spread your sound like wildfire. For example, try turning your lead single into a free ringtone that fans can download from your website. Every time their phone rings, people around them hear your music. Think about the number of new fans you could reach this way. Playing live gigs at charity events is another smart music marketing idea as it opens up your sound to people who share an ideology.

Getting people talking about your art may be one of the quintessential quandaries of the artistic community. For the best success, stay on top of marketing trends and stay in touch with your fans.

What are your go-to methods for marketing your music? Have you tried any of the above methods, or something outside the normal poster/flier/social media options?




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Music and Social Media: Twitter

Music and Social Media: Twitter

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

While Facebook is great for turning friends into fans (and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends…), finding fans outside that network can be difficult. On the other hand, Twitter and its hashtag feature allow you to find and connect with complete strangers around the world with similar interests—be it musical style, television shows, politics, or food photography.

So how do you use Twitter to find more fans and market your events? Here are a few ideas:

Follow To Be Followed

There are thousands of musicians on Twitter. Follow established bands in your genre and look at their followers; then follow them, too. You can search for specific bands that you believe you sound similar to or for venues in your area. You can also search others’ tweets for keywords (like “folk punk”) to find people most likely to become your fans. Follow only those accounts that are active and relevant to your act.

Be Active

Post your thoughts or what you’re doing, announce upcoming releases, share posters for your next gig, link to your blog posts, favorite tweets you find particularly amusing, reply to mentions, and re-tweet shout-outs from fans. Be sure to read others’ tweets, especially those of your fans and fellow musicians, and reply to some. Remember that you’re connecting with fans, not just talking to them.

Provide Incentive

Contests and free give-always are a great way to encourage your followers to interact with you or share your tweets. Offer a free piece of merchandise to anyone who can come up with the most creative way to use your band’s name in a sentence, for example. Crowdsource your followers for your new album artwork. Or, when someone shares your tweets, videos, or music with their followers, thank them with a mention and a free download code.   

Plan An After Party

Shows can be a dime a dozen, and making yours stand out can be hard. However, as many musicians on Twitter have already discovered, planning an exclusive after party during which your band will perform is a sure way to get the crowds talking. Tweet a time and place, then wait for the party to begin.  

Tweet on the Go

Because of it’s 140-character limit, Twitter is an ideal on-the-go social media platform. Tweet on the way to a gig or between sets, or snap and share a pic from the stage. Remember to mention fans and venues, too.

These steps can help you create and maintain a dedicated fan base. Remember, sometimes, the best way to a fan’s heart is not a perfect ballad—sometimes it’s a witty  tweet.

Do you use Twitter to connect with fans and market your music? How did you build and maintain your fan base?

See also: Music and Social Media: Promoting Your Act, Music and Social Media: Facebook, Music and Social Media: MySpace, 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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Music & Social Media: Facebook

Music and Social Media: Facebook

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

There are many social media platforms through which you can promote your music. By far, the most popular is Facebook. To reach that potential fan base, you need a Facebook page.

Developing a strong fan base and promoting your music is more complicated than simply adding a slew of friends and strangers to your profile. If you want to see your number of fans grow to it’s full potential, then you need to correctly use Facebook to promote your band. These tips will help get you there:

Create a Fan Page

This gives fans (friends, family, and strangers alike) a central place to go for information, and lets you keep your personal life off separate from your music career. Since it gives a unified front, it’s especially helpful when your act consists of more than one member. It also lets you track your posts’ exposure rates, share special offers, or create events. Be sure to brand it with your logos, album artwork, or band pictures, and keep it up to date.

Catch Fans’ Eyes

A picture will capture the audience’s attention much quicker than a lengthy piece of text ever could. If you have a story, promotion, or announcement, glam it up with an relevant, quality image.

Keep It Brief

Don’t post chapters of your memoir to Facebook. Fans will tire of reading lengthy posts and begin ignoring you. Try to keep posts to a few lines, or put the lengthy content on your band’s website and link to it with a brief description.

Stay Active

Don’t invest your entire day into posting on your band’s page; in fact, doing so may actually get you deleted. You should post regularly, though. Also, be sure to check in and respond to your fans’ comments. Since popular posts with high activity are more likely to show up in news feeds’ (thanks to Facebook’s algorithms), responding to comments in a timely manner ensures that your posts are showing up in fans’ news feeds. It will also show your fans how much you appreciate them. 

Pay Attention To Geography

If you’re touring, geo-targeting is a great way to get your info in front of relevant audiences. Use the names of cities or regions near your tour locations to ensure that your posts get to the right audience.

Great bands play at great venues, and in the world of social media, Facebook is one of the greatest. Don’t let your band miss out on the incredible marketing opportunity Facebook offers.

Do you use Facebook to promote your music and connect with fans? What are your favorite features? Are there any drawbacks?

See also: Music and Social Media: Promoting Your Act, Music and Social Media: YouTube, Music and Social Media: Twitter, Music and Social Media: MySpace, Music and Social Media: Google+, Music and Social Media: Instagram, and Music and Social Media: LinkedIn, Creating and Using Your Band’s Facebook Page.




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Social Media

Music and Social Media: Promoting Your Act

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Music promotion has come a long way since the days of handing out fliers and free beers to get attention. The internet has changed how to promote your music, offering a variety of tools and a potentially-global fan base, all from the computer or mobile device at hand. 

Knowing how to promote your music is important. While you could use a fan page or profile on a certain social media platform as your main page, the world of social media is constantly changing and growing. It might be best to have a dedicated site for your band, then use the social media outlets as tools to support that site.

Social sites are not one and the same, however. Each site has different strengths that the others do not have. Some of the most common sites are:

  • FacebookThis popular social media site is ideal for telling brief stories, sharing photos and videos, and creating events; lets you reach friends, family, fans and their networks.
  • TwitterTwitter is perfect for announcements, shout-outs, and networking; utilize the hashtag tool for cross-referencing.
  • Google+Google+ is great for sorting connections into arbitrary circles such as bands, venues, label and fans.
  • YouTubeGet your music heard even without a record by posting videos on YouTube.
  • MySpaceMySpace is highly customizable, allowing you to promote your music while matching your personality and style.
  • InstagramCreate a video/photo diary of your band’s progress and easily share on your other social media platforms. Again, utilize the hashtag tool.
  • LinkedInThis networking tool can be great for making industry contacts and joining groups for artists.

Now that you know some of your options, create your strategy. Some points to consider:

  • Be present – We don’t mean post every day at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., but do post often. This keeps your fans from forgetting about you. Absence does not make the fan grow fonder. That said, don’t flood your fans with too many posts.
  • Get involvedOne of the biggest differences between a great show and a terrible one is the level of interaction between the bands and the fans. The same goes for social media. If you want your fans to stick around, pull them into a conversation by ending posts with a question. Just don’t forget to respond.
  • Don’t get pushyIf all of your posts sound like sales pitches, your fans will lose interest. Keep your posts to promotions, stories, and videos.
  • Use multiple sitesDon’t rely on just one site. If you post an image on Instagram of last night’s concert or uploaded a new music video on YouTube, share it on your website, Facebook, and Twitter. Sites like HooteSuite make managing multiple accounts easier. 
  • Join forcesIf you make friends with other talented bands in your genre or have upcoming gigs with other bands, you can combine efforts to reach more people.

If you know how to use the different types of social media, then you know how to promote your music. Because you need to do more than just practice to get noticed.

Which social media tools do you use? Which have you found to be most effective?




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Free Downloads

Do Free Downloads Increase Your Exposure?

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

As a musician, when you are trying to get your product out there to the masses, every little bit helps. However, radio play, CD sales, and music videos are increasingly being eschewed in favor of music downloads. This has become today’s staple metric for how successful a music act is.

But what is the preferred method for music downloads? Some would argue that the only type of download is the free one, while others hold fast to the idea that sales is a far better metric of who takes your music seriously. There are pros and cons to both sides.

Sold Downloads

The first “pro” to sales is obviously that you make some money. This is the dream of every artist of any stripe: to have a public who says, “your product is worth enough to me to pay you for it.” Additionally, these invested fans are more likely to listen, promote, and return for more. What’s not to like?

On the negative side of things, everyone likes to get something for nothing. If you are only selling your music, you will likely have fewer downloads, even if the fans are better.

Free Downloads

Offering your music downloads for free opens up a whole other can of worms. Yes, you likely will get more downloads. But, how many of these people are actively listening to your music? How many will share your band with their friends, or come back to buy your other products? For all you know, your song gets absorbed into their vast music catalog and will only come up once a year on shuffle.

At the same time that you’re getting more downloads, you could be stigmatizing yourself as unworthy of any money from consumers later on in your career. Why should they pay in now when you used to give it away? The transition there is not an easy one.

So Which Do You Go With?

The best answer might be a mix of both. You could offer new singles for free for a limited time or to a limited audience (such as previous paying customers) then charge for the single downloads or album downloads later. This conveys that your product has value but that you appreciate the fans that keep up with and support you.

Ultimately, the choice is yours, and we’d love to hear what you choose!

Have you offered free downloads of your music? Was it for a limited time only or to a limited audience? Did those fans come back and purchase other music?

See also: Finding Music Distributors, Increase Your Exposure: Streaming MusicMake Money Selling Your Music.




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Get Reviewed

Getting Bloggers and Magazines to Review Your Music

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

As an up-and-coming musician, you may have no idea where to begin when it comes to how to market your music. Anyone who has been successful in creative endeavors can tell you it’s no longer enough to put out a quality product and wait for attention. Your audience has to hear about that product, and they have to hear about it from a trusted, established source. While this source can be someone they know and trust, it can also be professional writers and bloggers in the music industry.

Here are some tips for reaching that group:

Do your homework

Find out which outlets fit your niche, who the contact people are, and whether or not they accept submissions. Subscribe to those magazines, read those blogs, or follow those writers.

Make contact

Send out copies of your music, press packets, and so forth. Tailor each submission to the recipient, too.

Check their submission guidelines… Twice

The press or person might require certain formats or pieces of information, or they might only communicate with managers and record labels. Don’t let a procedural mistake cost you this opportunity.

Focus on quality

Be sure that what you’re sending is as polished and professional as your budget allows, both in sound and appearance. If you want to be taken seriously as an artist, make sure your product reflects that.

Be relevant

Only send your product to appropriate people. Asking a magazine that focuses on heavy metal to review your jazz flute album probably won’t be an effective use of anyone’s time or money.

Follow up

If you haven’t heard back within a couple weeks, a polite letter, email, or (perhaps most impressively) phone call or two is acceptable. However, do NOT let this turn into nagging or begging.

Be thankful

If the press does feature you, by all means, do a happy dance. Then, send a thank you note. Be sure to share the feature on your website and social media platforms. Even if you’re not featured, thank them for their time and ask if they know of anyone in the industry who may be interested.

If you’re not sure where to start, try the music blog scene. Read and interact with music blogs like Hypebot, Digital Music News, and Ditto Music. They might answer questions you didn’t know you had, or they could simply point you on to the next link.

Have you been featured? If so, where, and how did you make this happen?




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Promote your music on a budget

4 Cost-Free Ways to Promote Your Music

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

The magical world of independent musicians—where we play to feed our passion and where making money may be just a dream for the distant future—requires many of us to wear multiple hats, from scheduling our own gigs to finding the best (and budget-friendly) marketing strategies.

With that in mind, here are a few easy and free marketing techniques that you should be utilizing:

Google Alerts

Do you know that you can get free alerts from Google when new internet conversations occur about your band’s music? Google scours the interwebs to find the keyword and sends you an e-mail. If you have a unique band name, like “Punky and the Obese Flies,” sifting through the results should be quick and easy. If the name of your band is “The Frogs,” then you may have to weed through links about licking psychoactive frogs. Stay focused! It’s marketing time! Follow these free trails back to the discussion about your band and interact with these fans.

Follow up with your fans

Get in on the conversation. Use social mediaFacebook and Twitter, for starters. The way most fan bases grow is through sincere interaction between musicians and the fans. Drop the “rock star” complex and talk with your fans. Thank them for supporting you, listening to your songs, and coming to your shows. However, if you don’t post regularly, your Facebook “likes” may forget why they ever like your music in the first place.

Videos

Another great (and free) social media platform is YouTube. Post videos of your band’s performances or covers of your favorite songs on YouTube, then link them up to your other social media profiles.

QR Codes

Have you heard of these? Anyone with a smart phone can scan the code (on your gig flier or business card or disc packaging) and be directed to a webpage of your choosing without typing in the address. You can link this barcode to your ReverbNation profile, your Facebook fanpage, or your band’s website, giving potential fans immediate and easy access to the unique musical creations of your band.

Now, go out and put one or all of these to good use… then get back to playing!

Have you tried any of the above methods to promote your music? How did it work out? Are there other methods you’ve tried that market your music better?

See also: 3 Ways To Get More Fans in a WeekMusic Promoters: Use One or Do It Yourself?




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