20 Top Social Media Marketing Tools for Musicians
A few weeks ago I saw a great info graphic detailing the New Marketing Trifecta: Social, Email, and Mobile. After looking it over I wondered how this could apply to musicians and what tools they could be using to help them achieve the best results in this new era. There are quite a few tools out there that have been developed over the past couple years so itâ€™s impossible for me to highlight all of them, but I did my best to include the ones that I thought would be the most helpful, easy to use, and the top social media marketing tools for musicians. First I will go over tools that are useful for these 3 areas and then in my next post I will discuss how to bring it all together.
Before you delve into any of the tools listed below, I highly recommend you get an Artist Data account. A very simple user interface to update the majority of social networks you will find yourself using as a musician.
Video Marketing Tools for Musicians
If you're not using YouTube to promote yourself as a musician at this point then obviously you don't get it. With millions of people trolling YouTube everyday, not having any videos up there of your music is a complete disregard for any online visibility you are trying to achieve. YouTube is not only a great way to showcase what you're up to, your music videos, and live performances but it is also a great discovery engine. Many people will click on your video if they find it in the related videos section of a band they already like. You can easily gauge where these people are coming from with the YouTube insights module. If you see that the Avett Brothers are sending a bunch of traffic your way, this is an easy way for you to expand your fan base by finding where their fans are online.
One of the many YouTube success stories is the Gregory Brothers, who have managed to go from viral video stars to the Billboard 100.
Although YouTube is the number one video platform and has been for sometime, there are still quite a few out there than can not only help your SEO but also provide other ways for people to accidentally find you. TubeMogul allows you to upload your video one time and it will send it out to a vast array of video networks across the web.
Broadcast your concert, have a live video chat session with your fans, or just let fans drop in on you in the studio. These are all now realistic possibilities using live web video streaming. Livestream works great across most devices. The Associated Press have done a great job integrating this into their Facebook application. With the right developer and budget, a musician could easily replicate this or setup something very similar on a site of their own.
Facebook Marketing Tools for Musicians
If you're looking for a great tab to add to your Facebook page, look no further than the RootMusic BandPage. With the Soundcloud player already incorporated, RootMusic allows you to easily showcase your music on Facebook and incorporate share functionality along with the capability to purchase the songs as well. RootMusic also allows you to add tidbits of information that your fans will find very useful while maintaining a clean user interface. Great addition to any musicians Facebook page and its free.
Damntheradio is another great music application that I stumbled upon last week when checking out a new artist. Damntheradio sets itself apart by engaging fans through their tabs. The functionality that you have to like a page to listen to a song is nothing new, but it is a great tactic to garner more fans. Damntheradio has the edge in that its platform allows you to create great campaigns instead of just a simple Facebook tab that is essentially like your Myspace page. As an added bonus, they also have integrated with Topspin to drive sales to your online store.
Twitter Marketing Tools for Musicians
Tweet For A Track
Probably one of the simplest ways to build buzz around a track that you have been dying to release. Tweet For A Track allows you to do pretty much exactly as it states. You upload your track, share a link, if people tweet it out or repost it on Facebook, then they get emailed a download link to your track. Setup takes little to no time at all and this is a really unique way to get your fans to continue to spread your track around Twitter and Facebook.
Another dead simple way to share a track on twitter is through twt.fm. The only thing different here is it doesn't require you to share in order listen to the track. Also you can find other people's music through a variety of online services and share it as well.
Social Music Marketing Tools for Musicians
I know you're probably thinking I'm crazy but if there is one thing Myspace is still good for, it is hosting your band page. Many people when they search for your band name will find your Myspace page at the top of their results. They will go there knowing two things, they will likely be able to find tour dates and hear some of your music if nothing else. Although Myspace is dying, it is still a great SEO booster for your band and a great way for people to hear a couple of your tracks and send them to your own website. If you just can't stand the Myspace layout at all, it's pretty easy to just overlay your whole page with custom content.
Above and beyond my favorite social media platform on the internet. If you don't have your profile up here, then you're missing out on many potential fans. Last.fm assembles all of the tracks that you play from wherever you wish depending on what media client you're running. Then it takes that data and compares it to your friends music along with other people that have listened to similar music and gives you recommendations based on your playlist. I have found countless bands this way and discovering your band could be just around the corner. Building a profile on here follows the wiki format so it shouldn't be too hard for you get that up and running.
I know that it's invite only right now to setup musician profiles, very young and everyone and their brother seems to be bashing it, but iTunes is the biggest music retailer in the world. It would be ignorant to ignore the opportunities that this new social platform will present to musicians. Right now its really hard to say where this platform may add value to musicians but I'm willing to bet Apple will be rolling out some very cool features in the coming months. I just hope they put the mind power of Lala's engineers to good use. Ryan and I will be discussing this more in depth in another post coming soon.
Email Marketing Tools for Musicians
All of these tools are pretty similar in stature so I will not go into too much detail here but they are all great communication platforms. It's a matter of finding the one that has unbeatable value and works the best for you.
One of Fanbridge's motto is "If it were any easier to get fans, you'd feel like you were cheating." They boast a massive communication toolset to help you not only garner new fans but keep the ones you have already made engaged and turn them into paying customers.
Although MailChimp isn't specifically catered towards musicians, they boast one of the most impressive email marketing toolsets on the internet period. One of my favorites is the geotargeting mechanism they have which can prove to be invaluable if you have a massive fanbase and care to pare it down to a specific region when you plan on visiting that area and sending out some tidbits just for those fans.
Flowtown isn't exactly an email marketing platform but a platform that allows you to take all the email addresses that you have already acquired and turn them into extra value. From their site, "Learn where your customers live on key social networks. Be empowered to go there to start the "conversation"; to focus your marketing on what your customers will LOVE to hear, learn, enjoy, and buy."
Mobile Marketing Tools for Musicians
The mobile space seems to be the greatest place to grow right now as I could not find many tools here that were worth mentioning but I did find a couple. There are quite a few text messaging platforms out there but I decided not to feature those here as they are a part of the Fanmail and Fanbridge applications already.
If you have some extra money to toss around in your budget, building an iPhone and Android app might be right up your alley. Mobile Roadie has done it for some of the best in the business at a price that is very reasonable for the value you receive.
Want a cheaper alternative to Mobile Roadie that only caters to iPhone? Look no further than MobBase to help you create and distribute your own custom iPhone app with music, Twitter integration, tour dates and more.
When I'm Mobile
When I'm Mobile allows you to redirect your fans to a mobile version of your site when they ping it on any mobile device. Although their website looks pretty awful, I can say their mobile example is user friendly. Hopefully we will see a much more powerful tool like this emerge soon.
All In One Tools
All of the above applications are useful in their own right but it just may seem like too much to keep up with. No worries, a few companies have decided to tackle it all and they do it quite well.
Reverb Nation provides almost every tool you could ever want to promote yourself as a musician. Facebook tabs, embeddable widgets for mailing lists, players, and tour dates, mailing list management, and many more. I think it's in your best interest to check these guys out first before you decide that any of the other tools might be suitable for you.
Topspin is currently responsible for transforming the direct to fan marketplace. Co-founded by former head of Digidesign (creator of Pro Tools), they are quickly taking the marketplace by storm. Although I would not recommend this service to someone just getting started, it is an incredible marketing tool for musicians with a grander budget.
So now you're probably thinking, great, I have all of this data all over the web and no central way to make sense of it all and use it to my advantage unless of course you chose to use one of the all in one tools. In my next post I will be covering how to bring it all together and what analytics platforms you could be using to help you through this process.
If you are a musician or artist, what tools have you found to work best for you?
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