Archive for the ‘facebook’ category

3 Big Mistakes That Artists Make

November 8, 2010

The below suggestions have probably appeared on Grassrootsy in various posts, but last week I thought I’d loosely keep tabs on artist emails and FB messages and tweets  just to see what people are still doing these days.  Here are a few…

1. Falling off the map
What!?  Who are you?  Oh…I almost forgot because I haven’t heard from you in 3 months!  This might be a pet peeve of mine.  Don’t send your fans an email every 3 months and expect them to remember who you are. In the age of over-saturation, you’ll have a much greater shelf-life if you communicate too often as opposed to not enough. Falling off the map after having a successful run is like going 3 steps forward and 2 steps back. Granted, everyone needs a break at some point. But occasionally touch base with your fans to remind them you still exist. See: Setting the Record Straight: Reminding People You Still Exist for more thoughts on the matter.

2. Launch a website with nothing on it.
This is aonther personal pet peeve of mine.  If you want people to be interested in your music, don’t send them a Facebook invite to your band’s page if there’s no music on it. Duh. And don’t send people a link to your new website if it’s completely blank. What is it you want them to see when they get there?

This is also equivalent to inviting your friends to an event via Facebook. Let’s say you want your friends to come see you and “John Doe” perform at club “XYZ”.  Make sure the Facebook invite has links to both your websites.  That way, folks can actually check out your music and make an informed decision about attending the show. An informed fan is an involved one. People will eat the information you give them so make sure you give them something worth digesting. See: Perception is Reality for more on this.

2. No email address?
Yea, you probably have one but if you don’t put it on your website, no one would ever know!  Have you noticed that you can’t  send messages to the administrator of a Facebook Page. Annoying. So if you don’t have your email address in the “Info” section (or better yet, in the information box on the home page), how can anyone reach you? Some things aren’t meant for the Facebook wall.

And, believe it or not, folks still use MySpace to check out new artists.  But at this point, you should know you can’t email someone on MySpace unless you have an account…and people aren’t really creating MS accounts these days.  SO if you don’t have your email address in a very visible location, you’re potentially missing out on bookings…etc.

Even worse is having a website with no email address on the contact page. Contact forms are great, but an email address will travel further, faster.

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5 Things I Learned from “The Social Network”

October 4, 2010

Have you seen it yet? If not, you should definitely go check it out. Being a social network enthusiast, this movies wasn’t just entertainment for me. It was sort of like a lecture. I could probably write-off the ticket stub on my taxes. *chuckle* (that’s not a joke…but maybe it is)

1. There’s no point in creating something that already exists. The Social Network is the story of one (or two) very messy lawsuits. One person claimed he invented Facebook, three others claimed they had the idea first. Once Facebook was out in the public, the need for another Facebook-like network was obsolete. Completely unnecessary. You’ll hear/see/feel the anger in these guys over the anguish of losing control over their idea because someone else beat them to the punchline. If what you want to do already exists, be creative and do things differently. No one wants two of the same things if they can have two different things.

2. “It won’t be finished…the way fashion is never finished.”
I can’t remember whose line this was in the movie, but its pretty genius. Yea, in reality FB may die someday (just like Myspace has deteriorated). But the idea is to create something that is always evolving – not toward an end, but toward a new look. It’s actually the story of life. You set a goal. You reach the goal. Then you set a new goal. It’s never really finished. Make this your goal – to always be evolving, to always be growing, changing, innovating. Just like fashion.

3. “”A million dollars isnt cool. You know what’s cool? A billion dollars”
Dream Big. This movie is all about dreaming big, expanding, and doing things that have never been done. If you’ve got an idea, one-up yourself and think of the next bigger idea.

4. Choose your partners wisely.
This one’s for the bands out there. Yea…trying to make 4 people happy is hard, but if you’re not on the same page about the most practical things, you’ll fall apart. This is why the turnover rate for bands is so high. Read one of Grassrootsy’s older blogs: Starting a Band? Here Are a Few Things You Should Do

5. Be strategic
If you watch the movie, you’ll see that Facebook gets its start at Harvard and then slowly expands to the colleges in close proximity to Harvard. The reasoning behind this (according to the actor who plays Facebook’s founder) is that students visiting their friends at other schools would see them on FB and join, resulting in a major “buzz” effect in a concentrated area. Genius. A form of word-of-mouth by association. Make sure you have a game plan because it will help to guide your growth.

DID YOU SEE THE SOCIAL NETWORK?
If you saw the movie, comment below and let Grassrootsy readings know if you picked up on anything worth sharing.

Speaking of Social Networks, how about Tweeting this post…or even better…Facebooking it!

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What Do You Think About Facebook Friend Swapping?

August 30, 2010

Tiffany Thompson

THE ARTIST: Tiffany Thompson (Washington, DC)
THE QUESTION: So I had this idea the other day about a possible way to broaden my online friend/fan base. What if two artists, for example me and you, gave each other permission to go through and friend all of the other person’s friends on Facebook. I know this is kinda looked down upon in the Facebook music world…especially when you do it without telling the other person. But it seemed like it might be a good way to get our music out to new listeners.

For example, say I have a music friend named James Smith. With his permission, I could add his friends and with the friend request send a message like : “Hi! I am a friend of James Smith and we are sharing our music with each other’s Facebook friends. Thought you might like to check out my music: www.tiffanythompsonmusic.com. Thanks! ”  Something like that?

What do you think? Be honest!

THE ANSWER: Welk I personally am not so hot on the idea. I actually tried this once with someone else. I went and added a bunch of his friends with a similar brief message.  Some people responded and some did not. But I’ve noticed that those people who did respond have not kept themselves in tune with my music. They don’t respond to comments, status updates, or participate in any of my FB conversations like my other fans. Their interest was high in the beginning but died almost immediately. So the way I see it, you have two ways to earn fans….

  1. Make friends to market – this would be the route we’ve just discussed. You’re basically adding these people so you can “advertise to them”. People don’t want to be spammed and they don’t want to be used for what you can get out of them.
  2. Earn friends, earn fans – this requires doing what you do without the intention of selling something. Go to the show, play music, earn people’s ears, and tell them to find you online if they like what they’ve heard. If someone goes out of their way to find you online, you can be sure they’ll be a longtime fan.

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Mailing Lists & Social Networking

June 28, 2010

Think of Your Mailing List as a Gateway Drug. If you’ve read Grassrootsy for any amount of time, you know we stress the importance of having a mailing list at your shows. Well, given the rise of Facebook and Twitter among musicians, your mailing might not be the most important way to communicate with your fans anymore (I can’t believe i just said that)!   However a newsletter IS still the best way of opening the door to more direct communication with your fans. Here’s what you do:

  1. Pass your newsletter around the room at your show
  2. Within a day or two, email everyone who subscribed, welcoming them to the list
  3. In your “Welcome” newsletter, make sure you include prominent links to your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and any other social network
  4. Emphasize the fact that fans can best stay in touch with you and your schedule when they follow you on FB or twitter

I’ve personally noticed that while the number of people reading my newsletters has statistically gone down, I’m communicating with fans more often and more directly via Facebook and twitter.

 

To see some past thoughts on the mailing list, see:

 

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Free Things Your Fans Will Love #2

December 2, 2009

  

Joel Rakes

 If you’d like to show your fanbase a little love this year, here are some ideas.  After you try them, leave a note in the comments section and let us know how they work. And here’s the first post in this series: Free Things Your Fans Will Love.  

A Christmas Card
Think of Christmas time as a way to thank your fans for everything they’ve done for you throughout the year- their support, coming out to shows, buying your music, spreading your name. Put a pretty bow on your thank you.  Send your subscribers a digital card with a picture of yourself and friendly note.  Some people will read it. Some won’t. But those who read it will definitely appreciate it. 

A Free Christmas Tune
Nashville Artist Joel Rakes takes the cake on this one.  For three years, Rakes have been giving away a free download every week during the Christmas season.  That’s 3 years of free Christmas EPs!  This year he’s on Festive.Mood.Inducing.Music Vol.4

Think of this season as an opportunity to really build your fanbase. Free tunes are a great way to do this.  It’s much like a free concert.  You’ll earn the ear of people who might not go out of their way to discover you, otherwise.  Once you’ve earned their “trust” or their fanship, their likely to pay to see your or buy your music in the future.   

Joel Rakes also started an event invite on Facebook for his free tunes. With currently 207 people subscribed, that’s alot of people to send a free song each week.  And the number keeps rising.  What a great way to get you name out. But don’t get stressed, fans will appreciate one song a season just as much as a full EP. 

The Moral of the Story
Take a break from asking asking asking.  As artists, we’re continually asking people to give us money, vote for us in competitions, and come to our shows. Throw your fans a curve ball and do something nice for them. 

 

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RSS is Pretty Wonderful

October 19, 2009

rss1 copy

As I took some time to lightly revamp the grassrootsy site this weekend (check the sidebar), I noticed that, for a number of reasons, Grassrootsy has not been a completely functional website.  Yes, the information is useful, timely, and hopefully relevant on a weekly basis; but there were a couple things that needed to be changed and rearranged in order to make navigation easier, clearer, and quicker.  In the process, i began to delve into RSS, and its relevance to both this site and yours.

What is RSS?
You’ll notice that there is now an RSS icon at the top right of the page (that silver square thing). After running this website for nearly a year, I’ve noticed that the number of Grassrootsy visitors does not always translate into Grassrootsy subscribers.  Some people don’t want a message in their inbox telling them that a new blog has been posted. They’d rather be informed through their RSS feed reader- which lists updates for every blog an individual chooses to subscribe to. 

RSS:
RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”. It is a way to easily distribute a list of headlines, update notices, and sometimes content to a wide number of people. It is used by computer programs that organize those headlines and notices for easy reading.

So how does this apply to you?  If you have a blog, or maintain some type of site that can generate RSS feeds, your reader can subscribe to your feed by clicking on the RSS image. Why do you want them to do this? Because you’ll be gaining a consistent visitor to your website without having to send that person an email reminder that your blog has new content.  The beauty of RSS is that you dont have to do a thing. When you’ve posted your blog (or news update), a small portion of your post gets sent to your subscribers RSS feed reader.   

Make sure that RSS image is visible!  And make sure it links directly to the feed page giving readers the option to subscribe.  Test out the Grassrootsy RSS icon below to give it a try (and subscribe if you like).  You know you wanna!

Note: If you’d rather not use an image, you can opt for a hyperlink, but images tend to catch the eye more successfully.  Also, it’s definitely recommended that you still keep a newsletter signup, because not everyone has caught onto the RSS phenomenon.

Facebook and Feeds
Facebook allows your friends to subscribe to your feeds (i.e. updated wall posts, links, notes) and also allows you to consolidate all your facebook activity into a feed. In other words, instead of getting repeated emails when peope write on your wall, send you a message, or add you as a friend, your feed will have that information all in one place. Gotta love it!

Benefits of RSS
*increase traffic to your site
*keep the connection between you and your fans
*its like sending an email update except you’re not sending an email and they’re not getting spam
*appeal to a generation of extremely technically-saavy web surfers

Good Reading on RSS
Simple, short, easy-to-understand info on RSS: www.whatisrss.com
A basic tutorial on RSS: What  is RSS?
The importance of having a blog: Blogs are still BIG!
A really excellent, brief video tutorial about RSS: What is RSS?

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The Wonderful World of Widgets

September 16, 2009

 

Under Spinning Lights

Under Spinning Lights

What’s the easiest way to increase traffic to your sites?  Widgets. Don’t know what a widget is? Check out this post from back in February: Creating Content – Giving People Something to Talk About #2

I think we all often underestimate the power of little, seemingly insignificant things. Many people haven’t seen the value of incorporating widgets into thier sites or just haven’t thought too hard about it. Last week I finally got around to incorporating a Twitter widget into the homepage of my website and noticed that the number of people following me on twitter climbed faster than it ever had in the past.

Widgets Give Meaning to “The Power of Suggestion”
Incorporating widgets into your website doesn’t require html knowledge but would make things a little bit easier.  There are so many websites out there that offer widget codes for every social network.  For example, Facebook offers a widget that you can work into your website…which will ultimately direct traffic to you facebook page, help you to add fans, and keep people in the know about what you’re up to.  Many of your fans probably already have facebook pages, but aren’t connected to you- not becuase they don’t want to, but because it hasn’t crossed their mind.  And this is why using widgets is important. The power of suggestions.

Long Island pop/punk band Under Spinning Lights gets 5 stars for their saavy incorporation of the twitter widget into their myspace page. If you scroll down on the left, you’ll see how they’ve set up twitter accounts for each band member and set up each “twidget” by the band members face, thu creating an opportunity for fans to follow one or all of these guys.

Also check out how the’ve incorporated social networking icons into the green bar at the top of their page.  They either got some help or one of them is a design genius.  In any case, the page is clean and they’ve given their fans a opportunity to discover them on a various other sites including purevolume, buzznet, and Amazonmp3.

Some Help
Now if you don’t have html knowledge, here are a few sites that will help you create simple widgets for you page(s).
WidgetBox: www.widgetbox.com/widget/social-networking
YourMinis: http://www.yourminis.com/minis

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