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Tuesday, May 11, 2010 

The 7.5 Things You Need NOW for Social Network Success

by Madalyn Sklar



1. Myspace
Yes, we know many of you think Myspace is dead but it’s not. It is still the #1 music site. Most music industry professionals tell me they still go to Myspace first to check out an artist or band. At minimum you should keep your content current however I also advise artists and bands to continue using it to build and maintain relationships with fans. You can still attract people to your shows and get them to listen to your music through this site. I talk more about this topic on my blog at http://bit.ly/cxOlPy.

2. Facebook
You should have a strong Facebook presence by developing a fan page (also known as Pages). Although it was not designed as a music site like Myspace, your fans are here. Yes, with over 400 million active users I guarantee you your audience is here conversing with friends, colleagues and family. Why not you? Be advised a fan page is separate from your personal profile. It is a public page promoting your music, business, brand or whatever. If you have a fan page in place, be sure to maximize your presence with a “welcome” and “buy music” page. You can do this using Facebook’s FBML application. I have found this to be extremely underutilized. So if you’re looking to set yourself apart from many others, this is the way to do it. See examples of customized fan pages I’ve done at http://bit.ly/2uU8vN.

3. Twitter
When it comes to Twitter I find that people either really love it or just don’t get it. Again, this is simply another place where your fans gather so you do not want to dismiss it. If you find Twittering is not for you, you can have your Facebook posts automatically go to Twitter. I think it’s very important to maintain a presence here even if it’s minimal. The key is to put out good, useful content for your friends and fans. What I love about Twitter are the many third-party applications that make it easy to use. I use HootSuite on my desktop computer and Tweetie on my iPhone.

4. ReverbNation
What I like best about ReverbNation is their incredibly useful viral marketing tools (most are free) to help you generate your buzz online. They also provide a massive amount of statistics that will help you analyze your progress. Many in the industry say it’s all about the analytics. I wrote about this recently on my blog at http://bit.ly/dcJY8A. If you’re on Facebook you definitely want to use the ReverbNation “MyBand” application to promote your music. It automatically imports and updates all the content to your Facebook page.

5. FanBridge
Many musicians I talk to do not actively collect email addresses or they have them collected but do nothing with it. Sending out emails to your fans consistently is key in being a successful indie artist. I have used just about every email program out there and I have found FanBridge to be the best one. It’s very easy to use and extremely affordable. You can import your old list in and if you like, FanBridge will do it for you. It’s free to set up and try out. Pricing depends on the size of your list and frequency of your blasts. I have arranged for you can take advantage of a one month free upgrade to their “arena” plan by using this link, http://bit.ly/aoj6u7.

6. Ping.fm
This is a cool free site that allows you to quickly and easily send an update that gets dispersed to all your social networks in one shot. So if you’d like to put out an update to your Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, LinkedIn, Ning, Gtalk status, AIM status (and well the list goes on and on!), this will do it in one click. When I travel to music conferences and events all over the country I use the Pingle iPhone app so I can take a picture on-the-go, type in a caption and in one click (and literally seconds later) it shows up on my personal Facebook as well as my business Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and Flickr. This is very much in line with my motto, “working smarter not harder”.

7. foursquare
The big buzz right now is foursquare which is a location-based social network. It along with Brightkite and Whrrl have been around for awhile but foursquare really took off this year at SXSWi, which is the interactive (techie) part of South by Southwest in Austin, TX. It’s a really great way to stay extremely connected to your friends and fans by updating your location on your mobile device. I really enjoyed it during the SXSW music conference as it allowed me to easily see where my musician and industry friends were at, which then allowed me to easily find them.

7.5 The bottom line!
Social networks don’t work unless you work it. You cannot set up these sites and do nothing else. Social network success involves you and your team spending time and energy developing relationships with your fans which will lead to increasing your fan base, getting people out to your shows and generating sales.

REFERENCE

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/
Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/
FanBridge: http://www.fanbridge.com/
Ping.fm: http://www.ping.fm/
foursquare: http://foursquare.com/
HootSuite: http://hootsuite.com/
Tweetie: http://www.atebits.com/tweetie-iphone

Copyright © 2010 Madalyn Sklar

Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 14 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success in the biz. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded GoGirlsMusic.com, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

You can reach Madalyn at MadalynSklar.com or madalynsklar AT gmail.com

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I'm not clear why you would recommend spending (in my case) $19 every month to use Fanbridge - ie up to 5K messages - when I can get a comparable package called 'Fanreach' (with unlimited messages) from Reverbnation for free!

Hi Paul, with ReverbNation's Fanreach you can only have up to 500 email contacts in there to get the free version. You only have access to their one generic template. Free is good but it does not allow you to really utilize your list the way you can with Fanbridge. That is why I recommend them. Of course you can use Fanbridge FREE up to 400 emails. With that you can customize using a variety of templates or create your own HTML.

Thanks,
Madalyn

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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:
    * GoGirlsMusic.com
    * Social Networks for Musicians
    contact: madalynsklar(at)gmail.com

         

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