Online Band Marketing & Social Networking Crash Course

his week we are going to take a brief look at the importance for you and your band to be an active member in today’s social networks, as well as some basic brand marketing tips for your band.

In our current society we are constantly glued to our tech devices and continuously downloading massive amounts of data through both our personal computers and mobile devices. In fact, over 488 million people use Facebook over a one month span with numbers growing everyday. With evidence like this it is no wonder that it is so important for artists to “put themselves out there”. Gone are the days of searching the Yellow Pages for a phone number, or buying a map to plot a course for vacation. These tasks and more are easily and efficiently carried out over the internet.

So what are some of these social networks, and which ones do I need?

An all-too-popular answer is: “all of them!” And though I don’t think this is necessary, it certainly doesn’t hurt. Remember, your goal when marketing your music will be to spread your band’s name and music as far as you can, and to everyone you can. The greatest benefit of social networking is the ability to reach millions of potential fans in mere moments, and at little to no cost to you.
Some of the most popular and beneficial social networks used today:

  • Facebook – Ask just about anyone these days, and its pretty likely they have a Facebook account. One of the most popular social networks with over 488+ million users monthly, and over 42 million “Pages”, literally everyone is on Facebook. Though there is a large amount of speculation on whether or not Facebook will stand the test of time, it is clear that this social network will play a large and vital role in your bands social image. Recently Facebook has also added a hashtag (#) feature similar to Twitter which is certain to increase branding for those looking to market and advertise within the network.
  • Twitter – The second most popular social networking site would definitely have to be Twitter. Intended for short bursts of information, it is a great way to reach your audience on a more personal level. Garnering attention through re-tweets is a great way to allow your fans to advertise for you by means of sharing stories with their respective followers. Offering incentives to your followers is a great way to get re-tweets flowing by encouraging fans to do the heavy lifting for you. Though not as popular as Facebook, Twitter still sees about 107 million US users, a great reason to get your band started.
  • Youtube – Though Youtube isn’t exactly a “social network”, many of the features and abilities within the website create enormous potential to reach new audiences all over the world. Apart from having a massive collection of musicians and artists alike posting their work, Youtube has the benefit to post and catalog your music videos which you wish to showcase, as well as the ability to post content related to your brand and music such as concert announcements, backstage features, or video blogs.
  • Google+ – Still fairly new to the social network game, Google started its social networking platform, Google+, in August 2007 and has been growing in users steadily since its opening. Though only about 8% of Americans older than the age of 12 have Google+ accounts, almost 48 percent of Fortune Global 100 companies are now on the new social site and growing in popularity. Fan communities are fond of the new “Circles” feature which allows users to organize groups with similar interests. Probably the most popular reason to have your band’s profile on Google+ is the ability to improve search results on Google’s parent search engine.
  • Soundcloud – Easily known as one of the most popular free websites to host and stream music, since its opening Soundcloud has improved and offered many great features to help musicans and sound artists share their music. Not only can you stream your music here to your fans, your fans will be able to favorite, share and comment on tracks you post.
  • Reverb Nation – Though decreasing popularity in recent months, Reverb Nation is still a popular place for musicians to host their music and share it with fans. Hosting a bokeh of different features and insight to help progress you and your band’s music, Reverb Nation can be a great place to host music and share tour dates with your fans. However, with Facebook’s new linking feature, artists can link their page to their Reverb Nation account quick and easily. By linking the two, artists can then easily share their new music on their page and direct fans to the rest of their catalog through the application.
  • Myspace – Easily one of the least popular social networks today, Myspace used to be the biggest name of the block. Though not used much today, some analysts are predicting a comeback for Myspace with its revamped focus on music. In fact, this past SXSW saw the reemergence of the site as a competitor, with Justin Timberlake endorsing the new site. In order to get a chance at getting into his secret show during SX, eager fans had to create a new account on the site. Though a successful marketing ploy, I am still unconvinced of a Myspace re-emergence.

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Online Brand Marketing & Social Media Crash Course