I have to admit: I have really been looking forward to this week. I love social media, I usually am an early adopter, and I see both the value for my personal life as well as our band’s career. That does not really mean I have my act together in this whole area – things change quickly enough that unless you intentionally keep track new developments can quickly slip by your Facebook/Twitter/YouTube persona.
I took this week to take a look at what is currently working for us on these sites, and what I should be doing better (or flat-out should be *doing*). I had a related assignment this week in a Berklee College of Music online marketing class I am taking, so it’s all starting to intertwine….. Be forewarned: this is going to be a *long* post!
- I create a Facebook event for most of our concerts – and example:
for our recently rescheduled CD release party. In my experience, 29 yes RSVPs and 119 maybes translate to between 125-200 attendees – not bad considering the coffee shop where this is held holds 150! Fans can also post comments, ask questions, and easily forward the event to THEIR Facebook friends. More than 60% of our fans get their news about our shows via these Facebook events (which can be a problem, I know…. But I am using what works right now). Another example:
– this was a virtual event: our live performance on the morning show of a local TV station last week.
- I embed links fairly often in our status updates – an example:
when our new CD became available on DigStation last week. Or
when I posted a video of a performance.
- I tag Offering frequently in my personal status updates, and encourage other band members to do the same (using the “@” symbol immediately following by Offering’s name, and it will show up as an active link in the status update. It ALSO will get posted on Offering’s wall. Another good strategy is to tag Offering and another (well-known) band or organization in the same update (it has to make sense though). This works really well when you do joint shows with other bands who also have a good Facebook following.
- I use the MyBand app from ReverbNation on my Facebook page as well as on Offering’s Facebook page. One of the great things about ReverbNation is that they have so many different apps and options and widgets available – which also makes it harder: so much gets added that it’s fairly easy to overlook something. For example, I just realized I could create a Facebook store within the MyBand app, so I set it up this morning. Right now I have six mp3 downloads for sale, but I will be adding other items over the next few days/weeks.
- We have a sign-up for Facebook on our official homepage. I need to put one on the different blogs I write.
- A few times a year I ask our Facebook fans to recommend our page to their friends – with a concentrated “push” like that, we usually add 100 or so fans in a few days.
- On our email sign-up list that we keep at the merch table (it’s actually an Excel spreadsheet on a laptop) people are encouraged to give us their Facebook and/or Twitter handles. We have not seen a ton of people connect with us on Facebook or Twitter that way, but we definitely are gaining new fans/followers this way that we likely would not get otherwise.
- Facebook for iPhone is a very good app, and allows me to update certain parts of our Facebook activity from my phone throughout the day if I am away from my laptop.
Goals – aka what to do better:
- Refer back to our official website more frequently
- Further develop the ReverbNation Facebook store
- Start incorporating iLike and Nimbit (at least, research and try both to see if it works for us)
- I need to get better at asking people I meet if they are on Facebook and how I can befriend them (because of course after that I can recommend Offering to them – not before).
I was a fairly early adopter of Twitter, but did not start using it extensively until last summer. I have two main twitter accounts:
– our band twitter – I operate it.
– my personal twitter.
Our band twitter has 1221 followers and I have tweeted 2601 times so far, my personal twitter 493 followers and I have tweeted 152 times. Ouch. As you can tell, I use our band twitter a lot more, which is good, but I need to start using my own more as well.
- Keep a good balance between personal tweets (after all, this is a person running the twitter account, not a big business), advertising tweets (promoting shows and merch) and informational tweets (useful or interesting articles, retweets).
- There is a link on our homepage to our twitter, as well as on Facebook and MySpace. Our business cards are being reprinted this week – you guessed it, with twitter and facebook accounts listed on it, instead of MySpace.
- I use bit.ly and tinyURL extensively – tweeting links (whether it’s to our homepage, a Facebook event page, an interesting article) is very helpful and most people appreciate it.
- There are a few organizations (World Vision – @WorldVision, Artistshouse Music – @artistshouse, Central VA Foodbank – @CVFBFeedmore, the ONE Campaign – @ONECampaign, Falling Whistles – @FallingWhistles) that we as a band support and I make it a point to mention them frequently and retweet interesting tweets they send out.
- I try to tweet at least daily – and my goal is several times a day.
- Keep up with well-known twitterers like Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) – he actually sends out some great tweets and I end up retweeting them occasionally.
- I regularly visit other bands’ twitter profiles, look at their followers, and follow some of them. Same with community service organizations.
- I use hashtags, but need to use them more.
- Use Twitter apps like Tweetdeck and sites like Splitweet – both allow you to post to different Twitter accounts from one location without having to log out, log in, log out, etc.
- I love my iPhone – and I particularly love the great Twitter apps available. My favorite is Tweetie, with Tweetdeck for iPhone being a close second.
Goals – aka what to do better:
- I need to tweet more regularly – my frequency is ok but still not enough.
- Connect my blogs with my twitter accounts (
- Use hashtags more frequently
- Start using lists more (this is a fairly new twitter feature)
- I would love to get the rest of the band involved on Twitter, but of course that is one more thing I am asking the band members to spend time on – and they all work day jobs J.
We have had a MySpace band page (
) since 2006, and used it extensively for about two years – but started moving our activity towards Facebook and Twitter late in 2008, and our fans are not very active on MySpace anymore (based on feedback we get from them). We have kept the page active, although I had not posted on it for almost a year. Last week I visited the page and did some housekeeping (checking messages, posting a few updates, updating our bio) but the activity-level is minimal and the level of spam as well as the still ever-present ads are very irritating. I will be posting our new music on our profile, and will be keeping the profile up better the coming year, but it won’t be my main social networking focus.
We have had a YouTube channel for more than two years –
– but, again, have started to become more active over the past year or so. We have a small handheld video camera and regularly record a song or two during a show – which we then post. We are planning a day of serious recording in April, where we work on specific arrangements and record the best version possible of us performing the song. We’re also working on a music video connected to a cause we support.
Phew. More later.