Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros


August 28, 2009

Reader Q&A: Does an Artist Really Need to Be on EVERY Networking Web Site?

A Buzz Factor ezine subscriber and indie artist named Melodie sent me the following question. She gave me permission to answer it publicly here:

Here's a question I've had for a while, and it may be one many artists have.

How many web links/web sites does an artist need? I have my own web site with a link to iTunes, and I'm on MySpace. That's it. No Twitter, no Facebook, nothing else. I wouldn't check out more than two links for an artist. I don't have the time. I do think YouTube would be good because it has such a large audience.

But other than that, does an artist need to be on EVERY networking site? Aren't we more interested in selling units and promoting ourselves than being on every site?

Thanks for the question, Melodie.

Yes, it's the most common frustration I hear from artists and practically anyone who tries to promote themselves online. "How do I find the time? Why do I need to be on all these sites?"

Here's the thing ... You don't NEED to do anything. You don't have to be on the Internet at all. But obviously you have decided it's worth at least some of your time to create your own web site, build a MySpace music profile page, and get your songs on iTunes. That's great!

But why did you do those things in the first place?

I assume it's because you realized the value of being "reachable" on the Internet. You wanted people to be able to find you online, and you wanted to have places to send people when you communicated with them - destinations where they could hear your songs, buy your music, etc.

So ... why should you consider being on other sites too?

For the same reasons. To improve the likelihood that music fans will find you.

If you really want to make an impact with your music, you must be willing to take the action necessary to connect with the people most likely to love your music. You do that by reaching out and establishing a presence in the places where those types of people hang out online.

It's All About the P-word!

To improve your odds of connecting with fans, I contend that you need more than a couple of web sites and pages. You need a Web PRESENCE! Which means you need to show up in multiple places.

I understand why you won't visit more than one or two links provided by another artist. That's not the point of having multiple profiles. Your goal isn't to have them visit every place you exist online. The point is to give people options.

There are many millions of people who primarily use Facebook as their networking site of choice. Others are mostly Twitter people, while other groups prefer MySpace or LinkedIn or iLike. Meet people where they are!

Another Reason to Jump In

Social networking online is becoming a bigger and bigger part of how people discover new things and recommend stuff to their friends. So if you want to tap into that power, you just have to bite the bullet and make time as you can.

Reality: You don't have to do it ALL today, but you can start chipping away at it a little at a time. That's how I built my own Internet-based career over the past 14 years.

Finally, you asked, "Aren't we more interested in selling units and promoting ourselves than being on every site?"

I don't recommend you jump into social networking to "sell units," but I do strongly believe that a byproduct of expanding your online presence is greater awareness of your music, closer connections with fans, and increased sales. So I think they are one in the same.

It's up to each individual artist to decide how to invest their time. If you spent the time to create and record your songs, you might as well invest the time and energy to share them with as many people as possible.

Thanks again for the question. I hope these ideas will inspire others to consider their own time and energy priorities.

-Bob

P.S. Here are some related posts on this topic:

Gatekeepers & Music Promotion Overload: The Good News

The Future of Digital Music for Indie Artists

Social Networking & the TGIF Word Play Challenge
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posted by Bob Baker @ 12:21 PM   6 comments


6 Comments:

At Aug 28, 2009, 3:28:00 PM, Anonymous David Stoddard said...

Bob, as always, you put provide much needed info to those of us who just drop by from time to time. Social networking - in part - is a necessary evil which artists and creative folks who wish to build a following need to be involved with.

I don't believe all are necessary, definitely not enough time in the day for that. But some can be done in such a way as they take care of themselves in some fashion. In other words, an occasional drop on by moment to do a thing or 2 with it and you are good to go.

Thanks again.

David

 
At Aug 28, 2009, 5:13:00 PM, Blogger Life Samadhi Avatari said...

I used to have the same question, until I found this great free guide, called social media daily. It's like a social media blueprint marketing plan, that explains why and why not to have more than one social networking site, which ones are best suited, and provides a step-by-step check list, and tons of resources and ways to automate the process. In short... a great foundation for not only a social media campaign but a solid online business. Here's the link:

http://www.socialmediadaily.com/

I wish you perfect health, abundant life, and unlimited wealth!

Gratefully,

Life Samadhi Avatari

 
At Aug 29, 2009, 2:19:00 AM, Anonymous Matt @ Kurb said...

I think a lot of artists miss out on the opportunity to use social media as a branding sandbox.

I don't pull leads from twitter, and from a business point of view it's a waste of time, but it allows an invaluable space to refine my brand which is a big area that most indie artists don't address adequately, yes yes, love your songs, what about the rest?

Derek says stuff like "James brown crossed with the beatles" these social media sites give you the opportunity to take your brand beyond these rudiments, to the next stage on constructing a strong brand.

Social media daily is a great program for practically addressing social media thoroughly for internet marketing purposes, but not so much the intrinsic brand stuff I spoke to here.

 
At Sep 10, 2009, 8:50:00 AM, Anonymous David W. King said...

Bob,
How does having an presence on social networking sites income an artist's income?

Here are the results of a study done by the blog the Music Void that supports the importance of having a prescence on several social networking sites and its affect on artist income.

They broke this study down and offer different results depending on whether an artist is established and has a big name recognition, or whether an artist is just beginning.

The report is entitled Exclusive: TMV Analyse Report Examining Impact of Social Networks on Artist Income. It proves an interesting read.

http://www.themusicvoid.com/2009/09/exclusive-tmv-analyse-report-examining-impact-of-social-networks-on-artist-income/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=exclusive-tmv-analyse-report-examining-impact-of-social-networks-on-artist-income

David W. King
Cross Harp Chronicles/
Just Roots PR

 
At Dec 14, 2009, 9:44:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Tunes said...

it's an interesting debate. with tools like Tweetdeck, you can blast a status update to all the major social networks in one go. and that's just one great program you can use. if you are focusing on two social networks heavily like facebook and twitter, i dont recommend blasting the exact same info to both places, but for something like myspace which i'm somewhat abandoning now, it wouldnt hurt to do this.

on one hand i think it's good to fully remove stale social networking profiles, but on the other i find it funny when i can find music from 8 years ago still sitting online, kind of fun to hear it!

 
At Mar 1, 2010, 11:50:00 AM, Anonymous heart rate monitor watch said...

this post sum it up brilliantly, your website is your marketing label and you must promote yourself. This is the most beautiful part of the net, if you make great music and want to share it then you dont have to wait for a large label to notice you.

You can go to all the favorite spots and add to the community and drop a link so they can go back to your site and enjoy your music, then the sky is the limit

 

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