Category Archives for "Tips"

April 15, 2016

Keep Your Eye On These Next 3 Social Trends

3 Social Media TrendsSocial media is the lifeblood of so many artists, bands, musicians and record labels in terms of engaging and growing their fanbases. That means it’s important to stay current on the latest developments so you don’t get left behind.

With that in mind, there are 3 new trends in social media that are really heating up that you should keep an eye on, according to Kevan Lee of of the social posting tool Buffer in a post on thenextweb. Look out for the following:

1. Purchasing items directly from your News Feed.

We’re already seeing this on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest where your fan can make a purchase from within the app, which means she’s avoided linking to the multiple steps in an external shopping cart and possibly losing the sale. Facebook has also been testing a Buy button for more than a year, and is slowly rolling it out to a specific group of advertisers.

One of the downsides of News Feed purchasing in the current crop of social platforms is that you usually need to be involved with a third part app like Shopify, Stripe or Gumroad to use as a payment processor/gateway, but if you’re selling merch online already, chances are that you’re already connected.

2. Custom social networks at work.

Companies are beginning to see the advantage of having their own internal social networks. The thought being that if employees are going to be on social media during the workday anyway, the company might as well have some control over it. Facebook at Work is the first network to jump into this game with a customized work version, but expect others to follow.

There are still a lot of unknowns here, but the trend is worth watching since it could affect the timing of your posts. In other words, it might be better to wait until after 5PM when people are away from their work networks so you can catch them on their personal networks. On the other hand, a work network might be able to be penetrated by a certain type of post, which then gives you the inside track at engagement. We’ll know more as it rolls out.

3. How to reach people who aren’t checking their feeds.

Social media is more broadcast while messaging is more personal. Many people prefer messaging because there are no algorithms involved, nor are there ads. As messaging becomes more popular, the influence of social lessens, as does your ability to reach your fans who depend less on a social platform. But what would happen if you could broadcast to a group of fans over a messaging app? Whatsapp has already started something like this with a newsletter that is broadcast to a wide group of people, and Everlane for Facebook allows a broadcast over Messenger.

The upside of this is that it gives your fans another way to hear from you if you give them multiple options when subscribing. The downside is that it can definitely clutter up a service with unwanted messages.

Many of the social distribution companies are also trying to wrap their heads around this one, but the hope is (at least from me) that messaging stays private. Don’t be surprised if ads start to pop up in places that you never expected though.

(Photo: Sebastiaan ter Burg via Flickr)

April 12, 2016

Everything You Wanted To Know About Facebook Live

Facebook-LiveFacebook-LiveFacebook Live is about to the “next big thing” on the platform, and it seems like it will be a boon for artists and bands wanting to engage with their fans on the service.

Since it’s so new, you may not be sure of exactly what Live is and what it will do. Here are some facts about the service from the FB Live page.

  • What is Facebook Live? Live lets people, public figures and Pages share live video with their followers and friends on Facebook.
  • Live is available to all Pages and profiles on Facebook for iOS, Android, and Facebook Mentions. There will be a red icon at the top left-hand corner of the video indicating that it is a live video. The word “Live” is written next to the icon, along with the number of current viewers.
  • The video will be published to the Page or profile so that fans and friends who missed it can watch at a later time. The broadcaster can remove the video post at any time, just like any other post.
  • Videos will appear in News Feed and on the broadcaster’s Page or profile while they are live. Once a broadcast has ended, live videos are eligible to show up everywhere that other videos appear.
  • Live videos are more likely to appear higher in News Feed when those videos are actually live, compared to after they are no longer live.
  • You can apply control and customization settings to the video on the broadcast after it has ended if you’re a Page.
  • Live broadcasts can last up to 90 minutes.
  • People can discover live videos right in News Feed. To get notified when certain a broadcaster goes live, tap the “Live Subscribe” button on the top of a live video to get notified when that person or Page goes live again. People who frequently engage with or have recently interacted with a person or Page going Live may receive a notification.
  • You need a strong signal before going live. WiFi tends to work best, but if you can’t find a nearby network, you’ll want a 4G connection. To check your internet speed ahead of time, download the Speedtest app from the App Store or Google Play.

Just like natively uploaded videos, Live videos will rank higher in news feeds and more of your followers will see it, so it’s a very useful tool for engagement.

April 8, 2016

New Social Media Tools For More Efficient Posting

Social Media ToolsIf there’s one thing that we all know, it’s that the more social media platforms you’re on, the more time it will take to check and post to them. That’s why the latest social automation tools can be so valuable, as they save time and make engaging your audience so much more efficient. Take a look (many thanks to Smallbiztrends).

DrumUp allows you to curate content to multiple accounts so you always have something new to post even when you don’t have any new original content. It finds content based on your keywords, then provides content recommendations, feeds, scheduling and re-posting. It also supplies a suggested list of hashtags when you post. And it’s free.

IFTTT stands for “If This Then That” and is a social media automation tool that lets you create “recipes” that make apps work together. For instance, if you post to Facebook, you can create a recipe that also posts to over 292 other services, including music services like SoundCloud, Deezer and Spotify. Very cool.

RiteTag works across 14 major websites but is most useful as a Twitter tool in that it allows you to add images, hashtags, GIFs, emojis and customized CTAs on all your shared links. That said, one of its best features is the ability to recommend hashtags, including the most used, trending, and least popular. There’s also a free version to get you started.

Managefilter is a tool that lets you keep track of your Twitter followers, your reach, and provides some advanced analytics. Perhaps its best feature is to show you the best time to post for maximum reach, but the group Unfollow and Follow feature can be valuable, as well as the search feature to find influencers. A free starter plan is also available.

These tools are only valuable if you use them, so I recommend that you try them one at a time, spend some time with each, and see if they fit your needs. Chances are at least one of them will make your social life easier.

(Photo: Per Erik Strandberg via Wikipedia)

April 7, 2016

9 New Rules For Success In Today’s Music business

Success in the music businessWe’ve gone through a mighty change in the music business over the last 10 years, and it keeps on morphing and evolving every day. Since these changes are constant, many of the old school rules pertaining to success in the music business no longer apply.

Here’s an excerpt from the latest edition of my Music 4.0 book that outlines some of the new rules for success, as well as a few that may never change.

1. It’s all about scale. It’s not the sales, it’s the number of YouTube views (at least at the moment) you have. A hit that sells only 50,000 combined units (album and single) may have 50 million YouTube views. Once upon a time, a sales number like that would’ve been deemed a failure, today, it’s a success. Views don’t equal sales, and vice-versa.

2. There will be fewer digital distributors in the future. It’s an expensive business to get into and maintain, so in the near future there will be a shakeout that will leave far fewer digital competitors. Don’t be shocked when you wake up one day to find a few gone.

3. It’s all about what you can do for other people. Promoters, agents, and club owners are dying to book you if they know you’ll make them money. Record labels (especially the majors) are dying to sign you if you have have an audience they can sell to. Managers will want to sign you if you have a line around the block waiting to see you. If you can’t do any of the above, your chances of success decrease substantially.

4. Money often comes late. It may not seem like it, but success is slow. You grow your audience one fan at a time. The longer it takes, the more likely the longer the career you’ll have. An overnight sensation usually means you’ll also be forgotten overnight. This is one thing that hasn’t changed much through the years.

5. Major labels want radio hits. They want an easy sell, so unless you create music that can get on radio immediately, a major label won’t be interested. This is what they do and they do it well, so if that’s your goal, you must give them what they want.

6. You must create on a regular basis. Fans have a very short attention span and need to be fed with new material constantly in order to stay at the forefront of their minds. What should you create? Anything and everything, from new original tunes to cover tunes, to electric versions to acoustic versions, to remixes to outtakes, to behind the scenes videos to lyric videos, and more. You may create it all at once, but release it on a consistent basis so you always have some fresh content available.

7. YouTube is the new radio (but it may include Facebook soon). Nurture your following there and release on a consistent basis (see above). It’s where the people you want to reach are discovering new music.

8. Growing your audience organically is best. Don’t expect your friends and family to spread the word, as they don’t count. If you can’t find an audience on your own merits, there’s something wrong with your music or your presentation. Find the problem, fix it, and try it again. The trick is finding that audience.

9. First and foremost, it all starts with the song. If you can’t write a great song that appeals to even a small audience, none of the other things in this book matter much.

Finally, remember that making a living is the new successSuperstardom is more difficult to come by than ever, and the artistic middle class continues to shrink. Today, if you can make your living strictly from making music, you’ve accomplished a lot and have a lot to be proud of.