Posted tagged ‘facebook’

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.

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: 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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Things That College Kids Like

August 11, 2010

Got anything to add to this? Put it in the comments section below!

If your event isn’t free, they’ll find something that is.  There’s no official rule saying you can’t charge for an on-campus event; but there is an unspoken unofficial rule. In fact, at the University of Pittsburgh, they won’t let you charge students if you’re holding an event at the Student Union. If you’re doing something directly on campus, aim to pull it off for free.  If you do decide to charge, come up with incentive. For example, you can charge $5 at the door, but if someone brings 2 additional friends, they can all get in for free. What a great way to boost your attendance.

Give students a free download if they sign up for your newsletter. Why not? They get a song, you get their information.

Do it up! Come up with a great idea and go with it.

Who doesnt like a good contest…especially if the incentive is great?!

It’s a no-brainer really…but if you aren’t engaging with your college demographic on facebook, you are totally missing the boat! Once the end of August comes around, students live on facebook. Step up your game and make sure you are communicating.

Facebook is a viral platform. Things spread…quick. YouTube is the same way. Create content that is worth spreading. Create comical (or intriguing) videos (or other content) that students want to pass on to their friends. I happen to think JD Eicher does a really good job with this.  Check out one of the many videos in his “Tour Story” series.

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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10 Things I Learned from my 10-day Tour

June 21, 2010

Ok, so it was an 11-day tour, but 10 sounds better.

1. Think Locally. You don’t have to put 5 hours of driving between every show. That’s lame.  Put show 1, 2, or 3 hours apart. You’ll minimize your driving and have more time to lay low in between gigs. Just because you’re on tour doesn’t mean you have to hit up every major city. Pick a region and do it up!

2. Small cities are still where it’s at. Everyone always wants to play out in the bigger cities, but i still hold to the opinion that you get more bang for your buck in smaller cities. There’s less going on and more interest. It’s easier to get media coverage, and more people will come out because news travels fast(er). More on this: Big Fish, Small Fish.

3. Do two shows in one city. Play a gig and tell attendees you’ll be back in the area in a few days. Your first show will be a great way to promote the second one. Don’t forget to split gigs with local bands or singer/songwriters.

4. Pull out that email list! An email list is more important than ever when you’re touring. You drove all that way so make sure you get people’s emails. Follow up the day after by welcoming them to your newsletter and inviting them to connect with you on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. If you don’t get emails, you’ve missed a huge opportunity to stay connected with new fans.

5. Stop in and say hi. Visiting a new city? Take some time to stop into venues that you might light to perform at next time you’re in town. Scope at the space and be in the know so you’ll know what to expect. You can also talk to the management directly to get a better idea of what they look for when booking. But don’t forget to follow-up with an email.

6. You don’t have to book a show for every single day. Its pretty ambitious, after all the goal is to make the most of your trip. BUT, take a day off. If you’re on the road for 10 days, find one day in the middle to take for yourself. All that driving and performing can wear a body out. Take a day to rest up, wander around town, and hang out with people.

7.  It’s ok to do an open mic. It’s not an official gig, but with advance notice, you can be the evening’s featured artist. Just tell them you’re in town for the day and looking to learn more about the local scene.  And it’ll be a great opportunity to meet local artists that you can split a gig when you’re next in the area.

8. Consider sticking in at least 1 good paying gig even if you’re not so excited about playing it.  At least it will help subsidize your trip and pay for gas.

9. Give them a deal they can’t refuse. Have a few items on your merch table? Sell them in bundles. 1 CD for $10. 2 for $15. 3 for $20. Yea, this is a useful tip whether you’re touring or not…but you’ll be able to cover traveling expenses alot easier if you do bundle deals. More on this: Creating a Black Friday Buzz.

10. Take vitamins and drink alot of water. It might not be a marketing tip, but, like I said, touring really wears on the body. Keep your immune system up and ward off any sickness. And be careful of what you eat too…b/c you’ll probably be eating out every day.

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Spreading the Word Through Facebook & Twitter

May 6, 2010

Tonight I learned a little trick that will hopefully help you increase traffic to your website and/or help your fans pass on your name to their friends and network.

I’d always wondered how to get people to forward a message through their twitter and facebook account. The code is actually quite simple. If you’ve got a useful information and you want people to spread it through their social networkin accounts, here’s how.

  • DISCLAIMER: So there seems to be an issue when you copy/paste the below codes in your html editor. It doesn’t seem to work. I’m really not sure why. Rest-assured that this is the code. It works on myspace and probably a few other sites. But it might be best to type it out instead of copy/pasting when in your website’s html editor.

Message for fans: “Band XYZ has a a show on Friday at Iota! Hope you can make it!  Contact us for details or isit!

code: <a href= “ Band XYZ has a a show on Friday at Iota! Hope you can make it!  Contact us for details or visit” target= “_blank”>Tweet This</a>

result: Tweet This (click and see what happens)

That’s your code. Embed it on your site and only change the text in blue after “href” and before “target”, and you’ve made it easy for your fans to help you spread the word.  It will look like this.

p.s. don’t forget to:

  1. including  your twitter account
  2. include a link to a place where peope can find more information on your post
  3. make sure the post is within 140 characters.


Facebook allows you to post links for forwarding, but not text.
So instead of posting the above message about band XYZ’s show, you can only post

code: <a href= “” target= “_blank”>Share this on Facebook</a>

result: Share this on Facebook (click and see what happen)

That’s your code. Embed this on your site and only change the text in blue after that funky looking facebook link and “=” sign, and you’ve made it easy for your fans to help you spread the word.  It will look like this. Click and see what happens:

If you want, you can use icons instead of the words “tweet this” or “share this on facebook”, check out this page to see how that looks.
Pretty cool stuff.

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What’s Wrong With this Message?

February 3, 2010

Since its start, this blog has always been about being proactive. But being proactive still requires common sense. Today I came across a Facebook message that spurred this post.

Indies are always trying to bust down doors – sometimes at the wrong time and often in the wrong way.  I believe half the battle of conquering new territory is making sure you’re talking to the right person and taking your time to properly communicate with that person. Approach your leads with respect and wisdom. Don’t go to a radio station expecting them to play your tunes.  Instead, ask for their consideration.  Don’t expect anything in return because most times you won’t get it.

Here’s a prime example. I was visiting a coffee shop’s Facebook page and saw this musician’s post on the page’s wall:

hey im tj and im part of an acoustic band called [name kept anonymous]. its just me and one other guy. i was wondering if we could get a spot in your events as a local band playing. we are from [city kept anonymous]. send a message back if you are interested.

What’s wrong with this message?

  1. It’s on the Facebook wall. The band should have sent a direct email to the coffee shop. Don’t try to book gigs through Facebook walls. Send a private message…hopefully via traditional email.  I think this is probably common sense.
  2. No punctuation. Don’t ever send an email without capitalizing anything.
  3. No real information. The coffee shop is not going to go out of their way to find out where to listen to this group’s music. Always include a link. Always include more information about yourself. Be informative but don’t be long-winded.
  4. It’s not humble. Don’t communicate as if you expect something in return.  The person you are talking with most likely has the ability to open doors for you. They don’t owe you anything and can easily delete your email. Respect.
  5. Recipient is Unknown: Who knows who will read that message? Does the store owner run the Facebook Page? Or is it the booker. Or do they even check the page regularly? Find out who you should be talking to.
  6. If you don’t care, they wont care. The request was simply too informal for the coffee shop to think that this is a serious musician.

Communication etiquette is vital. Be sure not to burn your bridges before you even build them.  Need good tips on how to pitch your music to someone? Visit: How to Score Reviews of Your CD

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