There are so many ways for live musicians to reach our audience today that there’s really no excuse not to be using some of them. Today I’m going to discuss using the social networking sites out there for marketing you, your band and your music. I’m talking about using MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn to connect with your fans as well as other musicians and bands. There are a lot of social networking sites and some that are dedicated strictly to music and musicians but I’m going to focus on Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn.
Of those three big social networking sites the one that caters the best to musicians and bands is MySpace. MySpace allows you to create a musician specific profile about you or your band and upload your own original music for playback on your profile page. You can also allow people to download your songs for free. The big advantage to MySpace is you get a unique URL that incorporates your name, or a version of it in the URL. For example, my MySpace URL is http://www.myspace.com/mattrushtonmusic . It’s fairly short and it has my name in it. MySpace will also let anyone in the world visit your page and view the content. It’s an easy and free way to set up an internet presence for your band. You can present all essential information that will help you to market your band on your MySpace page such as a band bio, demo songs, contact information, song lists and pricing information. You can also post pictures and videos of your band. If you only have one band page on the web, it should be a MySpace page.
Another advantage of MySpace is the ability to add people as friends to your Friend Space. By linking to friends on MySpace you create a contact list that will allow you to instantly send messages to all of them informing of upcoming shows or new music releases. This is marketing at it’s finest and is a huge step in making sure that your fanbase is up to date with news about your band. If you can keep people updated on your shows you’ll be able to keep a crowd coming to see you when you play.
That brings me to Facebook. Facebook is a social networking site that is really geared towards creating an intimate private community feel. Facebook will not allow you to make your profile public to all users. For people to be able to see your profile you must “Friend” them before they can view your profile. Once you’ve added a user as a friend they can see your full profile. For a band on Facebook, the main marketing goal is simply to connect with your fans. Facebook is very easy and fast to set up and the updates you put on your profile are instantly transmitted to everyone on your friends list. Your band can use Facebook to inform people of how your latest band practice went, how your recording session is going or the general band mood. It’s also perfect for announcing upcoming gigs as it will allow you to send out custom invitations to everyone on your friends list. You can even request a reply so you can get a feel for how many people will be attending your shows.
Finally there’s the LinkedIn network. LinkedInis primarily a business networking site. Professionals from all over the world list their education and work experience. They can write recommendations for other professionals and receive recommendations as well. It’s a way for companies to find new employees and for people looking to make career changes to find work. For a band, the LinkedIn network is a great way to connect with other bands and musicians. LinkedIn is also an excellent place to meet booking agents and live event promoters. If you take some time with LinkedIn, you may be able to make a business contact that can help market your band in ways you may have never even considered.
So there you have it, if you’re not using the online social networking sites you’re really behind the times. Get your band on the web and I’m sure that some opportunities will open up for you. Follow the links below to get started.