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Mar 18, 2010 | Peter Tanham | 0 Comments

The Social Media Landscape For Musicians - HQ & Outposts

Here’s an image that we use to help musicians get an overview of the social media landscape.

It’s based on a post by problogger (which in turn is based was based on a presentation by Chris Brogan).

This has been inspired by two questions we regularly hear from musicians:

Why should I invest so much time and energy into social networking sites if I don’t earn money from them?

Why do I need a website if all my fans are on social networks?

As you can see, each question really answers the other, but sometimes people new to online marketing don’t fully understand why they need to both build a website and invest resources into social media sites. We use the diagram below to give people a better understanding of how the social media landscape works together and compliments your website.

HQ

This is what Chris Brogan refers to as a “homebase.” For you or your band, this is the place on the internet that you own and control. This should be the center of all your operations. For 99% of all musicians we work with, we recommend the following parts to a HQ:

  • A website at www.yourbandname.com (built using WordPress).
  • A blog with news and updates
  • A mailing list/subscription option for fans to sign up
  • A gallery for videos and pictures
  • Gig listings and tour dates
  • A store to sell your music and merchandise

Outposts

If a fan doesn’t know who you are, they’re not going to go looking for your website. For these reasons you’ll need to venture out beyond your HQ and find the places that your fans hang out. Find people that like your music and see where they spend their time online, how they discover new bands and what tools they use to share music with their friends. Invest time and energy into building a presence on these sites and connecting with fans.

In the spirit of “fishing where the fish are” we always recommend a strong presence on the three big sites - Facebook so that people can become fans, YouTube so that people can discover and share your music and Twitter so that you can chat to and interact with fans.

If you ever need to direct fans on these sites somewhere else for more information, send them back to your HQ. From here you can also send direct them to the other outposts. For example, a fan that sees your YouTube video could click through to your website to find out more information. From here they can become a fan of you on Facebook to subscribe to your updates.

The Funnel

We use the metaphor of a funnel to describe the process of connecting with a fan at an outpost and then directing them back to your HQ. The mouth of the funnel is wide, with potentially large numbers of YouTube views, visitors and hits. The task at the top of the tunnel is first to reach new audiences, then engage them (let them listen to a song, watch a video, leave a comment) and hopefully acquiring them (subscribing, friending or following).

This image from the recent Topspin presentation is a perfect illustration of what the funnel above looks like in more detail.

Of course there are many more nuances not included in our simple diagram. There are connections between outposts and flows from the HQ back outwards, there are search engines and their is offline marketing. But as a starting point we hope it can give musicians and management - especially those who are new to the world of online - a nice overview of how these various elements can work together.

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