When it’s ok to cross the streams!
There are a billion different places to promote your music on the web these days. With Facebook, Twitter, and the many other music websites currently available to musicians, it can be quite daunting to know exactly where to put your attention, and how to make them all work for you.
I’m going to go over some basics of using cross promotion on the web in this article, so that you can use all of these networks efficiently. I’m going to focus on Facebook and Twitter, but you can apply these ideas to all of the possible social networks out there. A big thing to remember is that you want to get these fans to sign up to your email mailing list, no matter what. Social networks can shut down and change; email is always the best way to get in touch with your fans, so always keep in mind that you want to get them to sign up, if possible.
First off- you’re going to find that your fans will be more active on one channel than they might be on others (most likely). This is ok. Your goal is to bolster relationships with those fans, and work to get them to be active in your other promotion channels.
Let’s talk about how to do that.
Get the Widgets!
What is a widget? A widget is a piece of web code which displays various bits of information streamed from your social networks, or lets fan interact with you outside of that network (such as on your website). Most all of the major social networks offer a widget for you to embed on your website, blog, etc. The two most known widely-used widgets are by Facebook and Twitter, and here are the common locations for grabbing them:
To begin using either, you’ll want to be logged into the account associated with your band. Twitter will walk you through creating your widget – you’ll choose a size, color, and such, and then you’ll have some code given to you, which you can embed into your website. Click “My website” on the left hand column, and choose the widget you’d like to embed, such as a profile widget, which will show your recent tweets to the world.
Facebook will allow you to create a widget which can display your personal Facebook stream (if you want that), but we probably want to use a widget for your band page, which is separate from your Facebook profile. On the page I pointed you to, click the link, bottom right, which says “Page Badge.” You’ll then be given a list of the pages you moderate, and locations to post the badge to. Click “other” to select the code for your website.
It’s a good idea to post these widgets strategically on your website; don’t over-use them, but place them where you want visitors to see your information quickly and easily. The goal is to have these widgets take fans to your actual social networks and start interacting with you. Experiment with these, find the right size, and make them work for you!
Cross the streams!
I know our Ghostbusting friends told us – don’t cross the streams! But with social media, it’s actually a good idea to cross your data streams. You can make Facebook talk to your Twitter account by connecting your Facebook page to your Twitter account. Go to: https://www.facebook.com/twitter/ and you’ll have a list of your pages you administrate. Click “Link to twitter”, and follow the setup instructions, which are fairly straightforward. Now, when you post on your Facebook page, that status update will go to your Twitter Account.
Be careful with this, though! Remember, Twitter only allows 140 characters, so if you go above that in your Facebook page post, it’ll post to Twitter, but it will be truncated (shortened), and will provide a link to your Facebook status update. This isn’t bad, but people don’t like to click those links from Twitter all the time, so be mindful of how you’re crossing the streams, here.
Keep the updates short and pertinent. Another thing to note; Facebook doesn’t allow you to choose if an update should only go to Facebook, or if it should go to Twitter as well. As such, I usually suggest using a third party application as your primary broadcast hub. Why? This way, you can be more choosey with the data you’re presenting.
So, let’s talk about making Twitter talk to Facebook, and communicating efficiently. I like to use the free application, Tweetdeck (http://www.tweetdeck.com), to moderate my social networks. Think of it as a hub for your social communication. Another great one is Hootsuite (http://www.hootsuite.com). Either of these applications will allow you to post directly to Twitter and Facebook all at once, or you can tailor your posts for each network (you can also follow your networks thru these applications, which saves time).
This way, you can make sure that everything is formatted correctly for that specific social network. I like to publish to all my social networks at once, so that I cover all the fans I have spread out over all of them. My goal is to get them all buzzing at the same time, and cross-talking between the two.
Get the channels talking to each other!
As I said, sometimes one channel will be more active than another. So what if your Twitter profile has more engagement than your Facebook page? Try to push the followers of one social network to another with offers of giveaways, special deals, and anything else you can promote with. I like to ask my Twitter followers to Like my Facebook page and announce that I’ll do a giveaway of a CD every week on my Facebook page – but don’t leave the other social network out! Do this both ways – announce on Facebook that you’ll do the same as you are on Twitter, so they’re even, but you can get the fans from one to come to the other side as well. Why do this? Exposure! This way, more people see you in more places, more often. This means better CD sales, show attendance, video views, and everything in-between.
Most of all, work to get these channels to push traffic to your email mailing list. Offer giveaways, discounts, and special deals to fans on facebook/Twitter if they sign up on your mailing list.
Engage, or Enrage!
A final note – do not only talk about yourself on your social networks. In fact, the less you simply say things like “Buy my CD today!,” the better. People do NOT like being spammed. Do this and they will unfollow you. Rather, engage your fans. You’d be surprised how well something as simple as “How is YOUR day going?” can go over with your fans.
Talk to them. They’re your fans; they want to connect with you and your creative life. Then, when you slide a, “Hey, my CD is for sale here” plug into your Tweets and posts, it won’t seem as offensive. Again, mention your email mailing list when you can in your social streams. If you can send emails to your fans, you can engage them in many ways, and continue to build a good relationship with them.
These are all just basic ideas to get you going; remember, apply them to any and all social networks you can; the more engagement and exposure, the better! I hope you found this useful, thank you for reading, and please, stay in touch with me!