Tag Archives for " Instagram "

March 2, 2017

7 Best Practices For Building An Instagram Community

Instagram 7 best practicesInstagram can be one of the best social media marketing tools available to an artist or band, providing that your audience is there. Here are a 7 best practices to follow in order to build an Instagram community.

1. First of all, your profile picture and description are important. Make sure to include a profile picture that reflects your band or brand (a logo would be nice), and include a link to your website.

2. Shorten the Links With A URL Shortener. Instagram’s bio description has a limit of 150 characters, so it’s important to save as many characters as you can.

3. Leave Relevant Comments. Comments are much appreciated by the poster because they’re few and far between. For instance, every second on Instagram produces 575 “Likes” but only 81 comments. It’s a lot easier to just click the like button, but comments get you followed back.

4. Use the filters. Believe it or not, filters actually make a difference in engagement. For instance, a study of 6 million posts across 10,000 brands found that posts using Hefe, Lo-Fi, Nashville, Brannan, and Kelvin filters generated 4.5% to 5.6% more engagement than the average Instagram post!

5. Post at the correct times. Mondays and Thursdays tend to drive the most engagement, while between 3 and4 p.m. typically drives lower engagement during a workday.

6. Like with other social networks, the number of times you post per day on Instagram is important. It’s been found that the ideal number is only one to two times per day. You can get away with more on special occasions like an event, but be sure to space out the posts so you don’t overflow your followers feeds.

7. Use hashtags. Hashtags are an essential part of Instagram marketing and promotion, so it’s important that you’re familiar with how they work on the platform. Contrary to all other networks, on Instagram the more hashtags you use, the better. That’s because hashtags are the primary way you build a community on the platform. Believe it or not, between 7 and 11 hashtags get the most engagement, according to most studies.

Creating and maintaining a flourishing Instagram community takes some time and effort, but it can be much easier than you think by following these best practices.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 2/24/17

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of February 24th, 2017. It was a rather quiet week, but still lots to talk about. Let’s get into it.

This may be the last easy year for streaming music. It needs new innovations and pricing if it wants to grow.

Users are leaving Snapchat for Instagram. It now has the same features, and this poster tells you why.

Old fashioned TV still drives the music business. But a lot less than in the past Remember when an appearance on Saturday Night Live was worth 150,000 album sales?

Universal Music And MQA make a deal. MQA may be the future format for streaming high-resolution music, and Universal is getting in on it early.

Alex Da Kid thinks there a new resurgence of indie labels coming. And he hopes his label leads the way.

Does owning your music matter anymore? Millions of streaming users say no but this article thinks differently. I’m not so sure I agree.

The big tech companies are still coming after the music business. Good or bad thing? Time will tell, but it looks inevitable.

And maybe Apple will end up with a music monopoly. It’s a long shot, but could happen.

Ed Sheeran is the biggest artist on Spotify worldwide. This is a bit of a surprise, but he’s killing it on the platform.

Look for more personalized ads coming from Pandora. Or just buy a subscription and go ad-free.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Have a great week ahead!

February 15, 2017

Facebook Is Facing User Fatigue

Facebook user fatigueFacebook may be the largest social network by far, but it appears to be suffering from a severe case of user fatigue in the United States. A recent study found that the satisfaction level of the platform has decreased across all age groups, with ages 35 to 44 decreasing the most.

Much of this has been traced back to the recent election, when more posts became political in nature. As a result, many users began to unfriend and unfollow in an effort to avoid the resulting online social confrontations that would happen. When that didn’t work well enough, many began to visit Facebook less and less, and now many have even fled the platform to other social networks.

Who’s the major beneficiary of this user fatigue? Instagram. One of the top 2 reasons why people use Facebook is to share photos and videos, and Instagram provides a perfect alternative.

The big question going forward is, “Will the number of negative posts decrease as we get further from the election, or will they maintain with the public so divided?” It’s too early to tell, but my guess is that we’re in a new world where the political differences are greater than ever, and Facebook posts will continue to reflect that.

That said, Facebook does have a very sophisticated algorithm that decides what you will see in your newsfeed. While there are reportedly thousands of factors involved in the algorithm, one of the major ones is what you tend to read or view. If you view politically oriented posts regularly, Facebook will gladly serve up more to you, so the simple way to avoid those types of posts is to stop reading them.

Unfortunately, most people don’t understand how the algorithm works and are inclined to react when they see something negative, so this will not work in in their or Facebook’s favor in the future, as more and more people flee to other platforms.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 2/3/17

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of February 3rd, 2017. This has been a big week for social media changes, but there are still some interesting record label-related developments. Let’s get into it.

Sony earned $1.2 billion from streaming last year. It still made more from physical sales, but not by much.

Streaming is changing music consumption, but is that good? Well, the measurements are no different, and this article doesn’t think they’re as fair and equal as they should be.

Investors are putting more money in the music business. That’s because they believe it’s finally coming back, and owning music publishing is an appreciating asset (which it’s always proven to be).

Vevo has now reached 100 million users. The music video network partially owned my Universal Music was seen by 43% of all viewers who watched YouTube in December. The funny thing is, most of them aren’t even aware that they’re watching it.

Speaking of Vevo, MBW thinks Facebook should poach it from YouTube. The article says that it could make approximately $32 billion a year if it did, which sounds a bit far-fetched to me. Still a good idea though.

Soundcloud’s getting deeper into advertising. Users don’t want to hear this, but the company is trying to increase revenue to look like a better acquisition target.

Snapchat is adding augmented reality. A new lense will allow users to identify environmental elements and superimpose digital effects on top. It’s still experimental so we won’t see it for a while, but it’s cool that it’s in development.

Hulu launched its virtual reality show On Stage. You need the service’s VR app in order to get the full effect, but it’s good to see the technology getting off the ground in music.

Facebook is going to start paying for videos. Both up front and revenue sharing from ads will make video content creators happy. It’s also a shot across the bow of YouTube.

People are upset that Instagram now does groups of photos. They feel it’s trying to become all things to all people and losing its focus.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Have a great week ahead!

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 1/13/17

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of January 13th, 2017. Everyone is back from holiday vacation and the year is starting to get busy. Let’s see what’s in the news.

Pandora lays off 7% of its workforce. Things are getting tough in streaming land as the company tries to overcome a cash crunch.

Deezer’s Chief International Officer jumps ship to newspaper publisher and SoundCloud’s co-founder takes a new position as well. The big shakeup in streaming is beginning now. There will be far fewer players by mid-year.

Instagram is dropping ads into stories. Not a lot of people are happy about it. Will it kill what until now has been the golden goose? Will musicians make money?

Snapchat is trying hard to make itself important to the music business. You know what? It’s succeeding.

YouTube is running a contest to find someone to create the official music videos for some of Elton John’s biggest songs. “Bennie And The Jets,” “Rocket Man,” and “Tiny Dancer” never had videos but now they will. Don’t forget that Elton recently publicly railed against YouTube for its tiny payout, but he’s in bed with them now.

iHeart Radio officially launched it’s subscription service. $5 and $10 per month tiers, but will people actually pay a monthly fee for radio that they can get free?

Universal and Sony Music lead in streaming market share. Tunecore leads in indies, which is the only surprise here.

Ed Sheeran breaks the all time Spotify record 3 times in 2 days. 46.5 million streams from latest two releases in just 4 days. Boy, that guy is scorching hot.

Labels are rereleasing classic albums to try to skirt copyright law. In the EU, older albums can go to the public domain under the right conditions, and the major labels are exploiting it.

It looks like the era of print music critics has come to an end. The few that are left (it’s estimated there are only 10) are given multiple jobs on the paper or magazine outside the arts. There’s no sense trying to get a magazine or newspaper review anymore.

Pandora’s stock dropped like a rock after reports that Sirius XM’s acquisition was unlikely. This is a company in trouble, and it doesn’t look like any help is on the way.

Music is the fastest growing form of entertainment in the UK. Streaming is leading the way, but I’m not sure what that actually says about the health of the industry.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Have a great week ahead!

If You Want To Reach Music Fans, Go To Instagram

Instagram logoNielsen has just completed a study analyzing the habits and lifestyles of U.S. music listeners on Instagram, and the results show that if you want want to reach music lovers, that’s one of the best platforms to use for promotion.

What was determined? First of all, Instagram users are huge music fans, and show it with their wallets. They spend 42% more money on music and listen 30% more than the general population. In fact, the typical Instagram user spends a surprising $269 per year on music.

What do they listen to? 41% listen to pop/Top 40, 39% to rap and hip-hop, 33% to R&B, 30% to rock, 23% to country, and 13% to EDM.

When it comes to music consumption, a whopping 90% of Instagram users stream music, and they’re more than twice as likely to pay for it too. And where do they get it from? 49% get it from YouTube, 44% from Pandora (a surprise), and only 29% from Spotify. They are also 3 times more likely to use Soundcloud or Apple Music.

Instagram users are also frequent live events like concerts and clubs, and are especially drawn to a club with a DJ. What’s more, during live music event, Instagram is the #1 platform and is used 83% more for sharing with concertgoers, artists and fans than any other platforms. They’re also more likely to use smartphones for activities than the general population. This includes purchasing music that they hear at a concert, visiting a performer’s website or social presence, calling friends to let them hear the concert, or sharing videos of the event.

For sure, Instagram shouldn’t be the only social platform in your promotional arsenal, and you certainly can’t ignore the others even if most of your fans live here. That said, the study shows is that the platform can be very important for reaching either your current fans, or potential ones.

How Video Views On Various Platforms Are Counted

video viewsVideo views are an important measurement for not only artists and bands, but record labels, advertisers and sponsors. A high number of views can lead to not only to label and sponsor interest, but also has a snowball effect of more viewers wanting to watch as well. When it comes to monetizing video views though, the problem is that most services like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat all measure what they consider a “view” differently.

According to an article on Business Insider, there are 4 factors that determine a view:

1. Whether the video autoplays or was user initiated

2. The required amount of time spent watching the video

3. The amount of video that’s on the screen

4. Whether the video is played in the app or embedded in another site

Let’s look at what the qualifications for a view are on some popular platforms:

  • Facebook is the most liberal with what it considers a view. If a video is autoplayed for just 3 seconds, and it’s 100% on the screen for desktop or 50% for mobile, it’s considered a view.
  • For Snapchat, as soon as a video is played, even with autoplay, it’s considered a view if it’s 100% in view and played in the app.
  • With Instagram, if the video is played for 3 seconds either in the feed or upon opening a story, and it’s 100% in view in the app only, it’s considered a view.
  • For Twitter, the video can be autoplayed, and as long as it’s watched for 3 seconds and is 100% in view either on mobile or desktop, it’s considered a view. This counts across all platforms and embedded posts as well.
  • For Vine, autoplayed Vines that are watched all the way through are considered a view, but only user-initated are counted for longer videos as long as a certain % of the total video is spent watching. The videos must be 50% in view for Vine, and 100% on Twitter.
  • YouTube is much tougher than any of the above. The video has to be user initiated, and it has to be viewed an indeterminate % of the total video length. For advertisers, it has to be 50% in view, but that includes all devices, all platforms, and embedded posts.

As you can see, not all views are equal and some of the view numbers you see can be taken with a grain of salt as a result.

October 6, 2016

The Best Times To Post On Social Media

best times to postWhen it comes to social media promotion, the time of day that you post can be just as critical as the content that you’re posting. There are some generally accepted post times that apply to the various networks, but some new research has tweaked those a little. Hubspot took a look and came up with the best times to post.

Remember that we’re looking at primarily a United States audience. It’s best to combine Eastern and Central time zones, since that represents almost 80% of the U.S. population, so all the times below are Eastern. Obviously, for audiences located outside the U.S. you’d use the time zone that your audience is in. Let’s get into it.

1) The Best Times to Post on Facebook

The overall best time to post on Facebook is 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, but other good times include 12:00–1:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and 1:00–4:00 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays, and weekdays from 1:00–4:00 p.m. tend to see the highest clickthrough rates. Although the research says that Facebook use spikes by 10% on Fridays, I’ve personally not seen that happen. In fact, Friday always seems to be the worst day of the week for engagement, at least for me. The overall worst times tend to be before 8:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m.

2) The Best Times to Post on Twitter

The best times to post on Twitter are weekdays from 12:00–3:00 p.m. and at 5:00 p.m. The overall best day to post is again Wednesday and the weekends, which is also when the clickthrough rate is highest. According to the article, some businesses have also had success with 2:00–3:00 a.m., 6:00–7:00 a.m., and 9:00–10:00 p.m. post times, although I’ve personally found those times (except for 6a.m.) to be dead.

3) Best Times to Post on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is used by professionals, and they tend to use it mostly during working hours, and just before the workday starts or after it ends. That means that the best time to post is midweek from 5:00–6:00 p.m. Other optimal times include Tuesdays from 10:00–11:00 a.m., and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 7:30–8:30 a.m., at 12:00 p.m., and from 5:00–6:00 p.m.

As for the best day, Tuesdays tend to see the most clicks and shares, especially between 10:00–11:00 a.m., while Mondays and Friday’s see lower engagement rates than the rest of the workweek, which is typical of most social media. As you would expect, the worst time to post on LinkedIn is during the night, between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

4) Best Times to Post on Instagram

The best times to post on Instagram are Mondays and Thursdays at any time except between 3:00–4:00 p.m., which is a surprise. Videos tend to perform best any night of the week between 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., according to TrackMaven’s research, which is also a surprise.

These may be some times that work for others, but they may not work for you. It’s still best to use the above times as a guideline, and check other times as well to find the ones that best fit your audience.

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)

March 23, 2016

Twitter Can’t Get Young Users

Twitter not for Gen ZIf you’re an artist or in a band then you’re probably on social media to reach your existing fans and to expand your fanbase. There’s a problem though, in that it’s getting a lot harder to do that, especially with the biggest social platforms available.

This is especially evident with Twitter, which still has 320 million monthly users, but most of those seem to be business, sports and celebrity users or journalists. Gen Z and younger millennials are staying away like the plague.

It seems that, unlike Facebook (which they reluctantly use), younger users really don’t have a good reason to use Twitter when other alternatives like Snapchat, Instagram and Kik fulfill their needs in a better way.

Twitter is hard to define and even harder to describe why you need it, but any social network is in trouble if the user doesn’t have any friends on it, as is currently the case with Twitter and the Gen Z and millennial crowd.

Brands are beginning to recognize this as well and spending less on the platform, understanding that it probably won’t be growing much in the future, and that you’re buying current users, not future ones.

That’s why it’s important that you know exactly where your fans are before you invest your time in a social platform. You only have a limited amount of energy and as a result, can’t be everywhere, so go where you can get the most bang for your buck in terms of time invested. If you know that your fans are on Twitter, spend your social capital there, but if more are on Instagram (for instance), that’s where you have to be.

Also, be aware of the ebb and flow of social media platforms, because they change every year both in terms of users and features. What works this year might not work next, and vice versa.