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Friday, August 15, 2008 

What Are Your Favorite Social Networks And Why?

by Madalyn Sklar





I've been on the Social Networks bandwagon for sometime now. I can't help it, I'm a techie geek. I love new technologies. I get it. It make sense to me.

It's so cool how my two business worlds have collided by being a techie in the music business. On the flip side I find it interesting that there are plenty of music biz professionals out there who seem to think they get the techie stuff. Many don't. You can't just read about it and decide you're an expert. You have to do it, live it and teach it. And for a good while, no doubt.

So let's discuss my favorite social networks for musicians and why.

Myspace:

I have been a big fan of Myspace since early 2005. I will admit it was much easier to use up until earlier this year. Seems people have really bogged it down with their image heavy pages. Some take forever to load with their backgrounds, photos, videos, etc. I have been an internet marketer and web site developer since 1996 and I have to say download time on a homepage is critical. It can make or break a site. We live in a "hurry up and give it to me now" age. We don't have time to wait 45 seconds for a page to load. You have seconds to make a lasting impression. Sad but true.

What's so great about Myspace today? Well it's still a valuable site to gain new fans who will come to your shows and buy your music. Fans who will become your street team members, advocating your music. Like any social network, it doesn't work unless you work it. You have to spend consistent time on it.

Check out my Myspace pages:
http://www.myspace.com/gogirls
http://www.myspace.com/indiemusiccoach

Facebook:

I will admit that like most of you it took me awhile to like Facebook. We all got comfortable with Myspace so when we tried messing with Facebook it was so different. So confusing. But I soon found that I could have a really great presence on Facebook with little effort. How? They provide some great applications that shortcut things for you. I could set up Notes to automatically import my blog posts. Every time I blog it shows up on my Facebook page. Awesome I know! I also set up my Flickr photos to do the same as well as my Twitter posts. I then added ReverbNation's music application. And the mobile photo upload feature is great. I can take a picture with my iPhone (or any camera phone) and email it right to my Facebook page. Only takes seconds! I figured out so much that I recently put together a FREE "Facebook Marketing Tips for Musicians" e-Course at http://www.socialnetworksformusicians.com/. I would love for you to enroll in my free course and then let me know what you think.

Check out my Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=696545329

Twitter:

This is a techie favorite. It's taking longer for musicians to embrace Twitter but it's slowly happening. I think the biggest problem is that musicians are saying, "do I have to join ANOTHER site??" Um, no you don't... just the ones that matter is what I say. And you know what, this one matters in my opinion. Twitter is micro-blogging, plain and simple. You can only type up to 140 characters so you have to be concise. I love that! I've watched musicians use Twitter to let their friends and fans know what they are up to whether it's busy recording in the studio, being out on tour or just sharing a bit of their everyday life. What I love about Twitter is that it's a great resource for news and information. So many people are using it to share articles, blog posts, etc. And like Facebook I can email photos from my iPhone using Twitpic. Last night I was at the Melissa Etheridge concert here in Houston and Twittered photos in real-time. It's super cool and easy to do.

Check out my Twitter pages:
http://twitter.com/gogirlsmusic
http://twitter.com/madalynsklar

I recently polled our GoGirls Elite members, asking them what was their favorite social network and why. Interestingly one member said it was GoGirlsMusic.com. Funny how I started an online community for women in music 12 years ago not realizing that I had created a social network. There just wasn't a name for it then other than online community.

Here's some interesting responses to my poll:

"I thought I’d let you know about this new place I found called Reverb Nation. It seems a lot friendlier to musicians as far as downloads and such, plus it’s got this cool feature called widgets that they give to you and you can inbed in all your other pages (websites, myspace, etc) to make navigation and updating a whole lot easier. I’ve only just started using it but I can see a lot of potential for a non-geek like myself to be a little more in control of a my geek pages." -- Lojo Russo, http://www.lojorusso.com

"i am really loving facebook right now. i jumped into it a few weeks ago and every time i use it, i'm kicking myself for not joining sooner. why? lots of reasons, but for now, here's the top 3: unlimited photos; i can connect it to my blogs in the "notes" section, which saves a lot of time and work; the fans can interact with me and with each other, and that's especially cool. myspace is too massive to ignore and i'm updating there regularly but facebook feels like the next wave." -- Queen Esther, http://www.queen-esther.com

"MySpace continues to be my favorite social network because I've worked out a system that works for me. When it comes to networking with bands, industry people, venues and building relationships with potential new fans, MySpace is still #1 with me. Sean, my drummer, is our Facebook guy and he loves Facebook because it is easier to add friends and the ability to use applications that import your blog, schedule, etc. make it lower maintenance than MySpace. I'm just not sold on the rewards of Facebook in comparison to MySpace." -- Tish Meeks, http://www.3kisses.com/

Post a comment and tell me what are your favorite social networks and why.

Copyright © 2008 Madalyn Sklar, IndieMusicCoach

Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She founded IndieMusicCoach and has spent over 12 years working with a wide range of independent musicians all over the world. Her goal is to help indie artists achieve greater success in the music business by working smarter not harder. She is also the founder of GoGirlsMusic.com, the oldest and largest online community of indie women musicians, with a vision of bringing together and empowering musicians from around the world.

Madalyn is available for one-on-one consulting and coaching at affordable prices. Check out http://www.indiemusiccoach.com/ for more info.

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I love Twitter which is turning out to be an amazing tool that musicians are just starting to use to promote their music. By having to limit your "tweets" to 140 characters, you don't have to spend a lot of time to get your message out there.

I've seen musicians use Twitter to get new fans, keep in touch with their fanbase, and even send iTunes links. In my opinion, Twitter should be in every musician's Web 2.0 toolbox.

Carla Lynne Hall
RockStarLifeLessons.com

Hey, Madalyn...great piece. I do all of the above, but I'd like to call attention to local affinity sites as well. Here in Dallas, Small World Labs developed a site called NeighborsGo for the Dallas Morning News. It took a while to get started, but there are at least two great things about it. 1) It's local and lets me concentrate on my local audience, and, 2) the editors of the Dallas Morning News' local edition insert--Neighbors Magazine--pull their content from the bloggers and article contributors on NeighborsGo. Seems like every week or so, my articles, pics and news are hitting the print versions in Dallas suburb or another.

Love your blogs...

Ryan Michael Galloway
www.GigsterClinics.com

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WHO IS MADALYN SKLAR?


    Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 15 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded GoGirlsMusic.com, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

    Madalyn's Sites:
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    * Social Networks for Musicians
    contact: madalynsklar(at)gmail.com

         

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