Marketing music by means of social networking has become the number one way emerging artists communicate with potential fans. This is a good thing, actually a great thing! But it can also be bad, very bad. Music Marketing through social networking is good because it’s cheap, easy, and in many cases your marketing message reaches far beyond what traditional music marketing has been able to accomplish in the past. It’s bad because there are so many artists and groups who have adopted social networking edulize as their only form of music marketing that it has become watered down and over saturated. Meaning, there are so many artists and groups using social networking to get their music in the hands of potential fans that it is hard to stand out and be heard.
Using social networking as a means of music marketing is about directly communicating with people and personally asking them to listen to your music. It is not about how many friends you can get on your myspace.com page in a day or how many “blind” twitter messages you can send out shouting for people to listen to your music. Social networking is exactly that, being social and networking among like minded individuals or groups. The following three tips will help you get the most out of music marketing through social networking.
Tip 1 – Social networking is about being social
The number one way you can stand out on a social networking site is to be social. You have to interact, leave comments, take time to learn about other people, and reach out and talk to people. Marketing music on social networks is about making friends. You will never make friends if all you are doing is sending friend requests and never visiting your “friends” until you want something from them. Think about social networking like the real world. You have to build friendships. You have to be interested, you have to contact friends from time to time and ask them how they are doing, and it has to be a give and take relationship. Meaning, you have to be willing to give your friends your time, effort, and devotion in order to get any of these things from them.
Tip 1 – Solution:
Do not send “blind” friend requests. Take the time to go on each profile page you visit and learn something about the person you are asking to become your friend. If, once you learn a little about them, you feel this is someone you would actually like to be friends with then send the friend request. When you send the request make it personal. Talk about something interesting you found on their profile. What you are trying to do is show them you took the time to learn about them before asking them for friendship. If you do this you will see a huge increase in CD sales and fans attending shows. Why? You are actually finding friends that have similar interests as you instead of trying to get anyone out there to agree to be your friend!
Once you become friends with someone cultivate the friendship over time. Make sure you comment on their page at least weekly, ask them to take a look at your page and give opinions, etc. Simply be a friend more than long enough to get them to add you as a friend!
Tip 2 – Be consistent with your branding message
Marketing music through social networking is about getting your name, music, and brand in as many social networks as you can possibly find. We all know of the three or four “big boys,” MySpace.com, YouTube.com, and Facebook.com. But there are hundreds of other social networks that are used daily to market music. One of the biggest challenges an emerging artist faces when setting up his or her user profile is what to say, what pictures to use, and what is the best way to promote music within the social network. It is very easy to think, “I want to be creative and show all my different sides so I will make each of my social networking profiles different.” This is a huge trap!
Do not confuse your potential fans with many different images, songs, and sales pitches to buy your music. You want one message, one song as a single, and one “brand” carried across all your social networking sites. Why? Momentum. Momentum builds naturally when one song or “brand” is being offered to the masses. Think of it this way – Let’s say someone hears your song on one social networking site and tells a friend how cool the song is. Then that friend goes to their favorite social networking site and looks you or your band up. When they land on your profile and search for the song their friend told them about but can not find it, they are confused. They will automatically think, “Is this the right artist or group my friend was talking about? Do I need to search again?” This is not good. Momentum can only build from one person to the next if the same “brand” is present on all marketing outlets.
Consistency in branding will help you stand out within the over saturated social networks. When your potential fans keep seeing the same message over and over on different social networks they will remember it. This will drive them to investigate who, what, where, or why they keep seeing the same thing no matter where they are online. It will make them click on your profile and listen to your music.