See my new post on this subject, the band broke up in mid 2011 and we didn’t get a real opportunity to get this effort off the ground.
Getting a rock band noticed via social media is a lot more of a challenge than I thought. I am working with a newly formed group Hooked on Karma ( no longer together sadly) who needed a website done quickly so I was recommended to them by other clients. Since this seemed an interesting departure from doing mortgage brokers websites see mortgageoney.ca I decided to take on the challenge.
As it turns out setting up the website was the easy part as I use a Content Management System (CMS) from 1and1 hosting which has an intuitive and template based interface so it was very easy to set up a pre-configured website and modify it to suit the Bands needs.
Getting the band noticed and spreading the word via social media is a lot harder.The first step was an assessment of the current situation:
- Assess what channels were in place already and what type of following is there.
- Assess the Band’s name and can it be used easily across the different channels and is it taken by someone else
- Look at the website traffic patterns (if there is an existing website)
- Identify who the primary coordinator of the existing channels is.
- Review the content and normalize the information so that it is consistent and accurate across all channels
- Assess the contact information so that it is accurate and is being monitored regularly
- Is the band’s name easily registered on the different channels and who owns it if already registered
Generally if the social media presence is random and grew more by the initiative of one or more band members there is a confused and inconsistent presence on the internet. This will also lead to confused fans and they may give up on you before they find out how great your music really is. Your band is competing with not only other start up bands but with the real pros and fans will judge you by these standards so your presence has to be solid across all of these channels.
Before you start you will have to step back and do a hard look at what you want to achieve and what goals do you and the band have. This will determine the level of effort and the time lines you will need to establish. If your interests are recreational as opposed to wanting to make serious money, your approach will obviously be very different in that you may want to do everything yourself and cost effectively. Whereas you may want to spend a bit more money and get experts to help you out and let you focus on the important element of making your music rather than splitting your time on administration. Either way the following process will help you to build that ever so important fan base.
So in order to establish and grow your fan base, there are a number of key things that need to be in place:
- unique name
- Music and wher to get it (iTunes, store)
- Merch – a cd is a good start
- music videos
- show dates and events
- Photographs of the band
- social media accounts ( use only those that you will maintain regularly)
- Twitter, MySpace, You Tube, Facebook
- Social media coordinator – one person who manages the various accounts and updates the key information
- Participation and contribution by all the band members
If you are just starting out or trying to figure it out, one of the best methods is to scan your favorite groups and see how they manage their channels and copy that after all imitation is the best flattery.
Linking all of the Social Media channels and coordinating the various inputs was a lot more involved than I imagined. So here is a list of steps that needed to be taken to get started:
- Set up a website with the Band’s domain name (e.g. www.hookedonkarma.com)
If you already have a domain name secured or an existing website this is a great start
- Establish your website as your anchor for the business side of managing the band
- Contact information – who manages the band, how to book the band
- About the band origins names and bios of the band members and more detail than you have on the other channels such as MySpace and Facebook
- Links to all of your social media channels
- Calendar of events – keep this very current and updated
- RSS feeds from Facebook, Twitter, MySpace
- Acknowledgments and partner links
- Merch – how to order and purchase CD’s etc
- You Tube videos of the band in concert
- Newsletter for those die hard fans who want to be informed on a regular basis via email
- Primary Social media channels you need to establish
- Facebook – by far the most important place to be, but set up a Facebook page, not a group or individual Facebook account
- MySpace – although it’s rumor of demise is a bit premature it definitely is not to be ignored use it to showcase your music
- Twitter – this is a good way for followers to create interest and spread the word about the band
- You Tube – a must have for the visual impact but quality is paramount on this channel as it will demonstrate professionalism use a pro to make these videos as the hand held cell phones don’t always do justice for a band we use media2learn for all our band videos
- Flickr – a great place to keep your photographs and also to group them into professional ones and those more informal pics taken at band practice, lots of value here
- PPK – Power Press Kit – although this is not a free service but helps one package the band’s press kit to showcase the band to promoters and other media people who may want to sponsor the band
- Blogs – some groups use this to promote discussion and to present a specific opinion or view but generally a lot of work for a new band and populating Facebook may be a better use of time initially
- Specialty band sites – there are many of these pick the ones that your favorite bands are on or similar type music as this is the community you want to reach
- Linking all the media
- This is the potential confusing part and could get very time consuming and create potential cross impacts if the information is not consistent across the various channels
- Importing these feeds into your website is easy with all of the embed code available from each channel, using RSS feeds is also an easy way to populate your website with input from the different channels.
- The key to this is to select the channel that the band feels most comfortable using and then cross linking these to the other channels. For example posting MySpace comments and Twitter feed into your Facebook account
- Measuring Success
- For your website use Google analytics and set up a weekly automatic email of your dashboard. this is great for seeign the number of visitors and the referrals – where they came from particularly useful in measuring which social media channel is directing trafic to the website and then you can strengthen that or focus on the other channels
- Use Google alerts to scan the internet to see what is being said about your band
- Look at your followers or likes and see how many are genuine to gauge the amount of real users, there are lots of fake users so they mean nothing to your success.
- Look at the comments and respond to them if it warrants
This is just a starting point,but like any marketing campaign it takes a process, organization, goals, time and effort. There is no short cut to hard work but if you believe in your band and you know your fans do also then developing your social media presence in an organized manner will hasten your success. More importantly benefit from the many experts around you to help you achieve your success. That way you can concentrate on your music and generate more interest and fans from what you do best.