Category: social media for musicians

Flipagram: The Music Focused Social Network

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

At Source, we want bands to build sustainable careers. The path to a long career in the music industry is a difficult one, but we’ve found two things that are key for independent musicians: great content (music, video, graphics, website, art) and great fan engagement.

We know that in the modern music industry, the intersection of these two keys elements is often social media

We get that posting to social media can be tedious and keeping up with all the new trends and sites can be like drinking water out of a fire hydrant.

That’s where Source comes in. We want to review these services, try them out for ourselves, and then let you know when we think a new social media site is on to something. And that brings us to…

You might not have heard of Flipagram yet, as it is still a growing social network. However, it’s gained traction in recent months, especially with musicians and music fans.

Flipagram’s main use is to make montages of pictures and video, and set them to music. You can also create a montage and record a voiceover. Or choose music, and film a funny video of you lip syncing.

It was designed specifically to integrate with music, so it has some benefits for musicians that other social networks don’t. If your music is available for download in iTunes, a 30 second preview of your song will probably be available for Flipagram users to sync with their “flips.” If your song is used in someone’s flip, a link is posted in the caption to purchase that song on iTunes or listen on Spotify.

Even if your music isn’t on iTunes, if it’s downloaded to your phone, you will still be able to use it in your Flipagram.

Flipagram as a Social Network

Flipagram’s first purpose is as a social network. They have millions of users and all of those users have one thing in common: they love music.

Or at least, they like adding music to their videos and pictures.

Which makes Flipagram a great social network for musicians!

Flipagram also makes it easy to share content. You can follow other users, like their content, and “reflip” their videos.

Flipagram’s demographic is very young, so if your target age group is over 30, this might not be the social network you want to invest your time in. But if teens are listening to your music, it might be worth it to see if your fans are on Flipagram.

Even if Flipagram isn’t your social media bread and butter, it can be used to create good content for your other social sites!

Flipagram as a Content Creation Tool

Flipagram’s visually appealing videos can be shared across almost all social platforms. They are a great way to show off pictures from your last photo shoot, or recap each night of your tour. You can create a flip of all your awesome studio selfies, and use it to preview your unreleased single.

You can even get silly and record an embarrassing lip sync video to make your fans laugh. Try promoting a show by adding text to a picture, and playing one of your songs in the background.

Since visual and video content gets higher engagement rates on Twitter and Facebook, feel free to share your flips to both those networks.

Flipagram will even time your videos specifically to Vine and Instagram’s limits, if that’s where you want to share your flip.

So if you’re ready to experiment with a new content creation tool/social platform, Flipagram is probably the right place for you!

Do you use Flipagram? Has it helped to promote your music? Let us know in the comments below!


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Musicians on Instagram: 5 Things You Shouldn’t Do

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Artsy photos, shameless selfies, and filters galore! Instagram has become a top social network with over 300 million users, and over 70 million photos posted per day. The scope of Instagram’s reach, especially within the younger crowd, means it’s important for your music to be represented on the social network.

But what happens when Instagram goes wrong? We’ve found five profiles that are prime examples of what never to do on Instagram.

Private Page Pete

Pete’s a really great guy. He’s a singer-songwriter who almost always performs solo. He decided that he would just combine his personal Instagram account and his music account to save time! But Pete posts a lot of pictures of his family, and he decided he didn’t want just anyone seeing those pictures, so he set his profile to private.

peteprofile

Having a private Instagram account is perfectly fine, but only if you have another–separate–music account that can be viewed by anyone. When you decide to get up on stage and make music your career, you give up a little privacy. It comes with the territory. So if you are using your Instagram account to promote your music, make sure everyone can see it.

Super Spammy Sam

Oh, Sam. Such a sweet, excitable girl. It’s hard for her to find something she doesn’t think should be posted. So, every day, she posts over 10 pictures! And sometimes, if something really exciting is happening, she will rapid-fire post tons of pictures only seconds apart.

samspam

Sam does a great job of consistently posting, but her constant flood of pictures will probably annoy most Instagram users, especially when she goes on a posting spree. A good rule of thumb for Instagram is 1-5 pictures a day, but the most important thing is to post consistently. If you always post 2 photos a day, try to keep up that schedule.

Hashtag Hoarder Henry

Henry knows that hashtags on Instagram are a great way to get a random person to click on your post. Instagram is full of awesome, searchable things! But Henry gets a little crazy sometimes, especially if he is posting about a show. Sometimes, he’ll add 20 hashtags to the caption of his picture!

henrypic

You can definitely use more hashtags on Instagram than you do on Twitter, but filling up the entire caption of your photo with tons of hashtags could make you appear desperate for likes and followers. Try keeping your hashtag count under 10, and make sure that the hashtags that you use are relevant to your music and what you are posting about. Or funny. Hashtags can be funny.

Always Absent Annie

Annie created an Instagram for her music and posted her first photo more than a year ago. Since then, she’s only posted four photos. She still mentions at all her shows that fans should follow her on Instagram, but when they get to her page, there’s nothing there to make them want to follow her.

annieprofile

If you’re going to have a social media account for your music, you need to use it. Don’t have empty (or not recently updated) accounts floating around the internet. If fans are searching for you, they need to be able to find good information and social media profiles that make it clear your band didn’t actually break up six months ago.

Mucho Mysterious Michael

Michael loves to take really awesome artsy photos. He has a knack for photography, so naturally, Instagram is his favorite social network. He posts consistently, doesn’t spam, and uses the perfect amount of hashtags.

But he’s never in any of his photos.

Michael isn’t the worst offender. You might even choose this approach as a marketing strategy if you are in an avant-garde jazz fusion collective.

mikepic

But for most musicians, never being in any of your photos is a bad idea. People want to connect with you, and that’s harder to do if all you do is post artistic pictures of leaves. So occasionally, have someone take a picture with you in it! Post a selfie or two. Post pictures of you performing, or with a landmark in the city you’re playing that night. You don’t have to be in every photo, but you should be in most of them.

So What Should You Do on Instagram?

There are three things you must do on Instagram:

  • Be Yourself
  • Be Consistent
  • Be Engaged

If you need some in-depth tips on how to utilize Instagram for your music, you can check out this article that we wrote a few months ago.

Do you have any horror stories about Instagram users, or using Instagram yourself? Do you have any tips to help musicians engage with fans on Instagram? Let us know in the comments below!


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How To Find New Fans AND Make Social Media Updates Easy

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Everyone wants to make their life a little easier. Especially independent musicians. From being the artist to the tour manager to the PR specialist, indie artists have a lot on their plates. So when we find a tool that frees up a little of your time and does its job well, we get excited.

Enter Bandsintown.

Bandsintown is a website and app that lets music fans track their favorite artists. Then it lets those fans know when the artists they tracked comes to town. 65% of all touring artists in the United States use Bandsintown, and they have over 120 million fans subscribed to their service. For the artist, it’s an easy tool to use. Bandsintown adds a “Tour Dates” tab to your Facebook page, and you can manage everything from there. It’s a simple concept that has some great features. So let’s dive into why Bandsintown might be a good tool for your band.

Social Media Updates

A few weeks ago we posted a blog about ReverbNation, and it warned against letting third parties automatically post concert updates to Facebook for you. We cautioned against using this feature on ReverbNation primarily because there was no way to control these posts, besides turning them on and off. They tended to fill up artist’s Facebook and Twitter with duplicate content that had the potential to drive fans away.

This is not the case with Bandsintown. Their automatic posting feature has tons of options that let you control exactly what is posted.

If you choose to turn these posts on in Facebook, you can also target them geographically. This a great feature. It makes sure you’re not bothering all your West Coast fans with your extensive touring in the Northeast.

Post to Reginal

It’s also notable that the “Tour Dates” tab allows you to upload a custom video header. This is great news, because it allows your fans to engage with visual content before they browse your tour schedule. It’s been shown that visual content (graphics and video) tend to create higher response rates with viewers, so having this built into the page where your shows are displayed is a great feature.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 11.55.56 AM

Fan Analytics

Fans are the lifeblood of any musician. And having data about those fans can mean the difference between a successful tour or playing to empty rooms every night. If you have over 100 trackers (fans) in Bandsintown, you can receive fan analytics.

Probably the best feature in these analytics is the fan heat map. This tool allows you to see where the fans that track you live, where fans who track similar artists live, and the locations of fans who have RSVP’d to your shows. This helps you to create a tour schedule that will have the most impact for you.

Heatmap

They also create a list of the top 100 markets for your live show based on the number of trackers in each city, and show you a graph of actual RSVPs for your shows vs. people who are interested in attending.

RSVP vs. Interested

Google Loves Bandsintown

Bandsintown has a nice looking widget that you can embed onto your official website to display your tour dates. This is handy because you only have to upload your show dates once and they will be live on your official website and social media.

Another bonus is that Bandsintown has partnered with Google to streamline the ways that events show up when you search for a band. Since Bandsintown and Google are buddies, all your show information is easy for Google to read, and shows up clearly.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 2.08.05 PM

Another benefit to Bandsintown’s relationship with Google is YouTube Cards. YouTube hopes to replace annotations in videos with small rectangular boxes called cards. These cards are small pictures with text, and will display on desktop as well as mobile browsers. You can link these cards to your official website if you’ve already affiliated your YouTube channel with your website. However, if you want to use YouTube cards to sell anything, you have to use a retailer that has already been approved by YouTube. The good news is that Bandsintown is on that list.

Hozier YouTube

But the best news about this feature?

When you use Bandsintown on your YouTube card, the card will link directly back to your website.

This is great news for artists, and is vastly different than many third party applications that will take your fans to their website instead of your own.

What Not to Do With Bandsintown

Just like any other online tool, there are some things you need to be careful of when using a third party app to help you out.

  • Don’t let Bandsintown social media posts take over your profile.  Just because the social media posting feature works well doesn’t mean it is a replacement for actual posts created by you. Even though Bandsintown gives you lots of posting customization options, if all your fans ever see are these posts, they will probably check out pretty quickly. You can read our blog for tips on managing your social media profiles here.
  • Don’t let Bandsintown gather all your fan data for you. Although they have some great analytical tools, you don’t ever want a third party to be the main way you gather information about fans. If third parties are the only way you’re collecting fan data, if they ever shut their doors, you will be left high and dry with no way to communicate with fans.
  • Don’t Let Bandsintown Emails Replace Your Regular Newsletters. It’s great that Bandsintown will automatically send your fans an update when you’re playing in their area, but a personal newsletter written by you is a better way to engage with fans. Many email newsletter services also allow you to geographically target your email audience. Using Bandsintown and your favorite e-newsletter platform in conjunction with each other can optimize your fan interaction, and help get those fans out to your shows.

Overall, Bandsintown is a well built, professional tool that can help artists manage the planning and promotion of their shows, and I would recommend it to almost any artist. But as always, do some experimenting and find out if this app is something that will work for you and your music. If you want more information, you can check out Bandsintown’s official website here.

Have you used Bandsintown? What are your favorite features? Has it helped you to plan more effective tours, and get fans out to shows? Let us know in the comments below!




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Musicians and Social Media- How to Market Your Music Like a Pro

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

It’s a struggle almost all artists face. You need social media to market your music, but it keeps eating up all your time. Or you’re so fed up with updating all your profiles that you hardly ever post. Both of these problems can be helped by one thing.

A plan.

But not just any plan. You need a plan to make your social media profiles engaging to fans, and you need to spend less time doing it.

Creating a Social Media Plan

  • Step One: Decide what you want from your social media profiles. Do you want to create more personal interaction with fans? Do you want to drive sales of your album or traffic to your website? Having an end goal gives your social media profiles purpose, and keeps them from being useless time-eaters.
  • Step Two: Determine where your audience is, and how they want you to communicate with them. Meeting your fans where they are will help you engage better. If I know the majority of my fan base is on Twitter, then I should probably put a little more effort into Twitter. This doesn’t mean you ignore your other social profiles, it just means that you spend the most time on the sites that are going to help you meet your goals. For more information on that topic, you can read this blog.
  • Step Three: Take a look at your social media profiles. Briefly analyze how you use them. You probably already know off the top of your head which ones need the most work, and which ones you are already keeping updated well. This is also a good time to make sure that on each network you have filled out your profile completely, and that the information is current.
  • Step Four: Write down your plan. Put down what you think is going great, and what could use work. Write down the social network where your target audience is spending the most time. Then write down three goals to focus on this month.

Here is an example of a simple social media plan that took me about 10 minutes to create:

socialmediaplan

Creating Good Content

Great content is the key to a solid social media presence. Musicians usually have more content than they realize. Your original songs, the stories you tell between songs, the merch you sell, and even interacting with fans after a show can all become good content. You just have to convert it to something that fans can see on the internet.

Creating good content doesn’t have to be difficult, but it can be a little time consuming. Try to set aside a few extra hours at the beginning of the month to create some of the content you will be using that month. Record a couple videos of covers you’ve been playing, or work on creating some graphics to share. You can use these things as backup content for days that you may not have anything else going on. After you’ve created your backup content, you can look for everyday things that enhance your brand and use them as content!  Pictures with fans, or a live video are great things to post, and you’re probably already doing half the work needed to turn them into great content.

Deciding What To Post

When creating content, remember the numbers 10  7  2  1.

Out of 10 posts on social media:

  • 7 posts should be content that builds your brand
  • 2 posts should be shared from other brands that are relevant to your own
  • 1 post should be self-promotional.

Brand Content

These are the things that make you who you are, and your music what it is. These posts help people see you, or your band’s, personality. This can be a funny picture, a behind the scenes video, a tour story, or a music video. Basically anything that shows off who you are. Posts promoting shows can even fall under the brand content category if they are done creatively.

Shared Posts

Building community is important. Sharing posts from other bands, or giving a shoutout to a local company can be a good way for you to make connections, and it lets your fans know that you are looking out for them by recommending things you’ll think they’ll like. If a band you’ve played with in the past is playing a big festival, give them a shout out! If your favorite local cupcake maker just gave you a fantastic cupcake, let your fans know.

Self Promotion

This is your place to shamelessly ask people to buy your stuff. If you’re already posting other things that they are interested in, your fans won’t mind when you ask them to buy your album, or get the new t-shirt you just designed.

Put Your Content into Action

Now that you know what your plan is, and you know what your content should look like, you have to get out there and actually post.  Having a posting calendar can be a great tool to keep you accountable and help take the guesswork out of posting. You can be as general or as broad with this calendar as you like. I recommend scheduling at least 10 posts every two weeks.

Here’s an example I’ve created of what a simple posting calendar can look like. This took me about 15 minutes to create.

postingscedule

Building a great social media presence takes hard work. But with a good plan, you can give your followers the content they want without spending all of your free time on social media.

Have any other great social media marketing tips? What’s worked best for your band? Let us know in the comments below!

 




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