Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category
“We know that there’s no economical value in non-scarce things. Then how do musicians expect to make money out of digital music, especially now that’s it’s becoming more and more commodified and easy to have access to? Something abundant eventually becomes free at some point…You create market value by selling scarce things. Get it right asap.” – Tommy Darker
“[Big Tech] have to keep commodifying things to keep the share price up, but in doing so they have made all content, including music and newspapers, worthless, in order to make their billions.” – Thom Yorke [Radiohead] as quoted by Music Tech Policy
- Ubiquity drives the commoditization of music and other intellectual property, lowering value and decreasing discovery
- Giving credit, or attribution, counteracts this effect and creates value
I read two posts this week which got me thinking about how these two ideas related in the worlds of both social media and independent music. One post was from Tommy Darker on Music Think Tank called ”Premiumization 101 For Musicians” (from whence came the quote above) and the other was by Bob Dunn, my favorite WordPress guru, called “Make Sure Your Shared Tweets Display Your Twitter Handle“. These seem like disparate posts, but bear with me for a minute or two.
[An interview with Kevin McCarthy, CEO of the Seattle-based Facebook analytics company, Likester]
S: Kevin, thanks for talking with me today. In addition to the fact that you’re my stepson (full disclosure), you’re a succesful serial entrepreneur. You’ve started a new company called Likester (definitely not to be confused with Friendster). You and I were talking about Likester, and I had a few questions about how it might be useful for musicians or labels. I understand a little about Likester – it’s basically a giant database of Facebook “Like” data and some software that helps you visualize correlations between Facebook brand “Likes”, is that correct? And the idea is that this information can be used by marketers, presumably to better target their Facebook advertising to those Facebook users who are more likely to “Like”, and thus buy, their products? Tell me more about Likester – what is the basic idea behind the tool?
K: That is correct. Likester has tracked and organized over a billion Facebook “Likes” from millions of people. The basic idea behind Likester Pro is that you can learn a lot about your customers, the customers of your competition, or the fans of any Facebook Page out there.
Agile Marketing is a term that takes its inspiration from Agile Development, a methodology ”defined” in 2001 by a group of programmers in order to apply a set of alternative (and hopefully more productive) values to traditional software development. Many software development projects large and small had, by this time, become unwieldy and nightmarish processes (see the concept of Edward Yourdon’s ”Death March” software project management) when Agile Development became the new trend, and eventually, the new norm in software development.
Of course, it didn’t take long before product managers and other marketing types realized that the same concepts which were helping their brethren across the cubicle pods over in developer-land could also be applied to the world of marketing. As a former software marketer, the idea of Agile Marketing fascinates me, as does the idea of applying it to the world of indie music marketing. This article outlines how Agile Marketing values can be used by indie musicians to guide and prioritize their online and social media marketing activities.
For many indie musicians, business people and marketers, the idea of the Death March resonates today. We struggle with finding time for both artistic creativity and promotion, we sift through unending and various advice on how to promote our music best on our websites and via social media, and we suffer insomnia as we attempt to master our social media content creation process – should we blog? YouTube? Vine? Pay for ads on Facebook or promoted posts?
Seeing that many musicians and music marketing industry people use Twitter to discuss and promote music, I thought it might be useful to provide an overview of one of the most commonly used tools for managing social media accounts with an eye to what features musicians might find most useful.
Hootsuite is one of several free social media dashboard applications, like Buffer or Tweetdeck, that can help you manage Twitter and other social media channels, all in one place. Hootsuite interfaces with most social media platforms, like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress, Tumblr, Instagram and many more - although not Pinterest, as of this writing.
Note: For more information on Buffer, see this blog post by my friend Chris “Seth” Jackson, at HowToRunABand, Twitter for Musicians, Day 13: Extreme Power Tools to Become a Twitter Ninja. For a Hootsuite vs. Tweetdeck throwdown, see this article by Make It In Music, Top Twitter Tips For Musicians.
I find Hootsuite to be most helpful for me in managing Twitter, and less so for managing my Facebook or LinkedIn posts. For those bands with a public Facebook fan page to track and analyze, it would probably be much more useful. I also haven’t hooked my Instagram or website Google Analytics up to Hootsuite yet, but I’m planning to. It’ll be nice to see them all in one place.
When I began to tweet ten months ago for my social media class, I didn’t have a clue how much I would learn, both technically and socially, from the experience. This is not a post about the best time to tweet, how to use Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your tweets, or how to geo-target your Twitter keyword searches. It is a post about some of the more subjective things I have observed about myself and other people on Twitter:
- Social media is very much like group therapy. It’s free, it normalizes the human experience, and it is a great mirror for your own behavior. Chances are, the things that irritate you most about someone else on Twitter are the things you could probably stand to work on yourself.
- Do your personal work, because who you are shows up in how you interact (sooner or later). After I have interacted with someone for a while on Twitter, reading their posts and seeing which of my posts they favorite and RT, I get a real sense of their values, their goals, and how they treat people. My goal is to work with people who share my values, so I try to remember that other people are also seeing who I am with every tweet I write.
- There is no such thing as anonymity. As with email, don’t say anything on Twitter or any other social media site that you wouldn’t want read out loud in a courtroom. Even when you think no one is reading your tweets, someone probably is.
- Karma: what goes around comes around. Do nice things, and eventually people notice. The same applies for tweeting mean or negative things.
- Learn the rules, but then be yourself. Learn the basic etiquette, but don’t obsess about the details or adopt someone else’s style because you admire them. Pave your own way, let your own social media style emerge. || Read more
(Originally published in March 2012 on my old website, which was hosted on the musician-focused website-building platform, Bandzoogle).
I’ve been struggling with the question of what kind of website to use to represent myself – you know, the one that you get to when you search on my name, Solveig Whittle (this one). I am currently using the service Bandzoogle, but in the past six months I have begun to really delve into the world of social media and music marketing. Along with that exercise, Stevie and I have been creating some music with primarily just the two of us, so I’m thinking it’s time to revamp my website(s) before I really launch into promoting the new music. After all, it should probably have a different brand and a different look, and this is my opportunity to “do it right” from the start.
|| Read more
The introduction of social media tools has made transparency in marketing not only important, but critical. Social media enhances the ability to listen to what customers and prospects are saying publicly for any size company and brand in almost any industry today. I would argue that listening to customers has always been one of the key tenets of good marketing, and I agree with Dave Kerpen’s precept that that it has never been cheaper or easier to do so because of social media. There is no longer any excuse for companies to be ignorant of what is going on with both their customers and, I would add, their competitors.
Highly readable, this book is just the right mix of case studies, guidelines and suggestions. I read the book in one beach sitting. It is broken into digestible chapters of 12-15 pages in length, and the style is conversational yet substantial, with suggested “Action Items” at the end of each chapter. (I do always wonder if readers actually stop to write down their answers to these exercises. I just wanted to keep reading the book!)
Apparently I have placed myself directly in the middle of a social media kerfuffle by claiming and posting pictures to a Facebook page for my community (a 500 acre, 66 family, cooperatively-owned tree farm and community association).
An (email) letter from me to my community:
“May 22, 2012
I realize some community members may be surprised by the Facebook page for Crystal Lake, Inc. As a twenty year resident (and former Board Member) of Crystal Lake, a student of social media at the University of Washington, and a corporate marketer by profession, I have more than a passing interest in this subject. I am currently involved in developing a social media plan for a Seattle non-profit organization as part of my social media class, and have been studying a variety of scholarly issues around social media, including privacy and transparency in corporate and non-profit communications.
Several months ago, I approached the Board because I discovered there was a Crystal Lake Facebook page already created, but it did not have an administrator. It had very little going on. I suggested to Chris [Board President] that it might make sense to take ownership of this page for the community before someone else did. Chris subsequently brought the issue to the Board. They gave me the green light to claim the page for our community, which I did, and I added myself and Chris as administrators. I updated the profile with some pictures and sent the link to the Board to review. I indicated in my email to the Board that the page was public (not private), so that everyone could “Like” it and enjoy posting pictures and having a dialog, even people who lived outside the community.
I was physically present (IRL, In Real Life) recently at an event where the Twitter hashtag stream was completely co-opted by twitter spambots. I’ve live-tweeted from a half-dozen tech and cultural events since the beginning of this year, when I first immersed myself in Twitter. I’m very curious about how social media interactions work – and when and why they can go very off-track. When I live-tweet, I try to observe the hashtag stream in real time, usually using Tweetchat.com or setting up a Hootsuite stream. I’ve followed a handful of events remotely via the Twitter hashtag as well, including a recent conference in Boston called Rethink Music (#rethinkmusic). In addition, I participate regularly in a weekly Twitter chat called #ggchat, one of thousands happening all the time in the Twittersphere. Following Twitter hashtag streams has become an integral part of my participation, and that of many others, in this virtual global sociological communications experiment called Twitter.
Maybe because I’m relatively new to Twitter, I’ve never seen a Twitter stream completely taken over by spambots. I found it fascinating and dismaying at the same time. This article in The Atlantic Wire by Rebecca Greenfield gives a good overview of some of the different ways in which Twitter hashtag streams can get co-opted or become annoying. The stream I was on recently was taken over by the Types 1 and 2 spammers which Rebecca mentions: Porn Bots and Jokesters. I didn’t click on any of the links; I could tell the Porn Bots by their Twitter avatars of scantily clad women and the fact they had few tweets, no followers and were following no one. The other category of spammers I saw which Rebecca doesn’t mention I’ll call Job Bots – these are the same as Porn Bots, except the links they promote are to scammy Craig’s List ads, you know: “Easy job! Earn $500 a week using your computer…”
I have never met people in bars or laundromats or hiking clubs. All my relationships since college have heavily involved online communication. You know, the first batch of communication is purely professional, and then at some point it moves to the personal… and the line is irrevocably crossed. Of course, all of my online relationships continued on fairly quickly to become in-person relationships, some of which resulted in marriage, cohabitation and kids. Sometimes I wonder if I didn’t self-select for people who were more comfortable with online communication than in-person interaction. Or, it could be me who is more comfortable with online communication, which would explain a lot.
Until fairly recently, my online communication tool of choice was email, because I’m from that generation, and because it is private. More recently it’s been texting. Social media has upped the complexities of online engagement for me. It’s seductive and addictive: richly multi-media and immediate, global and yet anonymous. I think there are some very real pitfalls with social media, however, that are not as pronounced with other forms of online communication. Unlike email or texting, social media allows stalking and lurking – and that seems inherently fraught with the dangers of a sustained, one-sided infatuation. It’s less accountable, and thus more prone to the (less than attractive) pitfalls of Jungian projection. (I hope you didn’t click on that link and get lost. This really isn’t a psychology post. Well, it is, but only sort of.) On to the real meat of the issue.