5 Ways to Activate and Engage Your Fan Base for the Holiday Season

Image Credit: http://bit.ly/17uD4jh

Image Credit: http://bit.ly/17uD4jh

This article was originally published in 2012 but has been updated for the 2013 holiday season. Happy Holidays from Team Cyber PR®!

If you can believe it, Thanksgiving is only two short weeks away!

While for many that means enough turkey, stuffing and gravy to induce the dreaded ‘food coma’, but it also signifies the beginning of the holiday season.

Ah, the holiday spirit.

This time of year, people of all ages and religions come together to bask in a feeling of unity and… well, presents.

For you, this means two things:

1. There is no better time to work on building engagement within your fan base
2. There is no better time to sell (what you sell will be up to you, more on that later)

Unfortunately, this also means one last thing; you have exactly two weeks to create a strategy for the holiday season if you hope to take full advantage of this opportunity.

But not to worry, the following are several tactics that you can use to first activate your fan base in order to build engagement or sales (or possibly even both!):
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6 Steps to Start Building Your Brand on Pinterest

Image Credit (CC): http://mkhmarketing.wordpress.com/

Image Credit (CC): http://mkhmarketing.wordpress.com/

This article was written by Corie Kellman (@coralman808), Cyber PR®’s Director of New Artist Relations.

Your goal is to be a full time musician, right? Or maybe you already quit your day job and this is all you do. Guess what– you’re not just a musician, you’re a business, so start acting like one. It’s time to convert your Pinterest account to a business account, if you haven’t already. There are perks to having a business account over a personal account, like analytics tools and coming soon, promoted pins.

Why Pinterest? Pinterest gives you an opportunity to further build your brand image, show your fans what inspires you or what you find interesting, and helps drive traffic back to your other sites, like your webstore, newsletter signup, or other socials (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blog etc.) It’s a great place to build your lifestyle branding.

Here are 6 steps to get you started:

1. Pinterest for Business

Sign up for a Pinterest for business account or convert your current account to one at http://business.pinterest.com and create a profile. Be sure to use an image or photo people will recognize you – remember you are building your brand!

2. Themed Boards

Create a few themed boards – shoot for 8-10 boards. Start with things you are most interested in (this will help keep the ‘work’ ‘fun’ so that you don’t quit using the network after the first few days.
Keep your boards’ titles easy to understand, you want to choose words that your fans will search for or understand. For example, if your lyrics are heavily influenced by Classic Rock, title one of your boards that. Or perhaps you inspired by traveling, title one of your boards ‘Travel’. One of my favorite things to search for are clothes inspired by my favorite rock stars. If you have a fan base whose wardrobe or culture is inspired by your music or your brand, make a board to share where your fans can get that shirt you wore on tour.

Ellen Degeneres has a great example: Ellen’s style is a huge part of her brand and she has created a board with over 220,000 followers.

Ellen

3. Start Pinning!

Search for posts to pin that align with your board theme. Caution: This part is addicting! You may find yourself with lost hours of your life. Aim to have at no less than 5 pins per board. And remember when you pin, to edit the caption to be search-friendly and personal.

4. Add pins that link back to your sites

You can add a content to the site by clicking the “+” icon in the upper right-hand area of the Pinterest homepage. This is a prime opportunity for you to link it back to where you want to see traffic increase (your blog, webstore or newsletter signup for example.) It will become a pin that other users can share with their followers – remember to make the content pin-teresting.

Whole Foods Market does a great job of making thier content pin-teresting and linking it back to their site. Take a look at their Thanksgiving board:

Thanksgiving

You will notice if you click through the Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake pin, it will take you to their site. On the website, you can see they have the Pin-it button for others to pin directly from their site.

5. Follow Users That Interest You

Friends, family, fans, other brands and celebrities will help fill your feed and inspire you, too.

Here are a few boards you may like:

The Rolling Stones
Paste Magazine
Ariel Hyatt
NPR Music
CMT
Fender

6. Don’t forget to engage with fans that comment on your posts!

It’s an opportunity to build a relationship.

Are you on Pinterest? What do you use it to search for? Who are your favorite pinners to follow? Share your experience below!

How Do YOU Use Pinterest to Build Your Brand?

Share your experiences and successes with Pinterest in the form of a comment below!

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Digital Media Deconstructed: Jonathan Sexton of Bandposters

bandposters

For this month’s edition of our Digital Media Deconstructed series, we’ve invited a good friend, Wes Davenport, to take the reins in an interview with Bandposters co-founder, Jonathan Sexton.

Wes Davenport is a marketer, manager, and publicist based in Nashville, TN. He writes about ways musicians can thrive at wesdavenport.com. Follow him on Twitter @wesdavenport for more music industry insights.

***

Musician and ArtistGrowth co-founder Jonathan Sexton was tired of spending too much time creating, printing, and shipping posters for gigs. So he partnered with co-founder Mike Fabio and Back Porch Group, a music business think tank, to develop a solution: Bandposters.

Jonathan, now Bandposters CEO, chats about saving musicians time, partnering with other companies, and whether putting cows on gig flyers is a good idea.

Bandposters and Back Porch Group are fairly new entities. What are you trying to accomplish?

I think the idea of both companies is to find solutions to nagging problems for artists, and for the music and entertainment business at large. Bandposters specifically isn’t built to shake the earth, rather its built to do one thing really well–Do we have a million ideas on where to take it from here? Of course we do and in time we will, but in time our first goal remains simple: solve a problem, ease some pain.

What problems does Bandposters solve? How did your team identify those problems?

The problem Bandposters solves is one we’ve both had for years as artists and managers. Sending posters is something that is almost always required by venues, and it is a time consuming headache. Generally speaking, the pre-Bandposters postering process works like this: Someone in the band gets a designer or designs a poster, then they get hundreds of copies made with a blank space on the bottom so that important gig info (date, venue, time ticket price) can be handwritten with a Sharpie on every. Single. Poster. After a trip to Office Max for some giant envelopes to mail them in (11×17 posters), the artist has to Google every address and fill out each envelope by hand, lick stamps, and THEN hop back in the car, drive down to the post office, and stand in line before paying.

Bandposters takes care of all this in about 90 seconds.

Going forward, we’re looking at tackling the street team problem. It remains difficult to get the word about your shows in towns that you don’t live in. We want to solve that problem.

What do artists need to start using Bandposters?

A gig to promote! Plus, If you have a poster design you already love and use–great! Just go to https://www.getbandposters.com, upload the image, and get to work. If you do NOT already have a design, our Facebook integration makes it really simple to import existing photos and images to make a new poster from scratch in seconds.

What other companies are you partnering with and why?

There are so many cool products and services around for artists, but one thing that continues to be a pain point is manually entering tons of tour dates across multiple sites. We wanted to address this out of the gate, which is why we have partnered up with SongKick and BandsinTown. Between these two fantastic services, we have literally hundreds of thousands of gigs covered. We’re currently in discussions with a few other services as well, but these 2 provide a great foundation.

Many bands seem to focus most of their energy on digital promotions. What’s the value in a printed gig flyer?

Digital Promotions and Printed Gig Flyers aren’t mutually exclusive. Both are important, and work together to make a great show happen. Bands should certainly have a digital strategy for promoting gigs (and soon BandPosters will help with that too), but there is still no replacement for a great looking poster on the wall at the club you’re playing.

Do you have any favorite flyers? If so, what draws you to those?

Americana songwriter Scott Miller recently used BandPosters to make some posters with a cow it. It was a cow from his farm. I loved it; it felt really honest. Really though, the best part is seeing all the different ideas and creative ways to use the service that I never would have thought of before creating it.

scottmiller

Tell me about the pricing. How did you determine it? What kind of savings are artists looking at?

$15 per show, and each show you purchase sends 5 high-quality 11X17 flyers on 100lbs gloss cover paper. It’s a reasonable price point, ESPECIALLY if you factor in the cost of design, but it’s also about time. You can literally send posters to 200 gigs in about 90 seconds. It’s adding years to your life!

Is it possible for a user to proof their poster? What can users do to make sure they have the best looking flyer possible?

Sure. Part of our process includes a poster review before checkout. So you can see what you made, how it will look, and make any changes you need. We knew this idea would NEVER make it if the print quality wasn’t high enough. So we make sure it’s great. Every time.

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Pinterest is Here to Stay! Learn How to Use It in Part 3 of Ariel’s Mini-Class Series

After introducing Ariel’s ‘FTP Sessions’ mini-class two weeks ago with Part 1 on Facebook, we rolled out Part 2 early last week on Twitter, which you can find here if you missed it…

This week we reveal part 3 of the ‘FTP Sessions’ mini-class series for you on Pinterest!

Sign up for the FTP Sessions and learn the most powerful strategies for using Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest! PLUS – We are going to give you our free report “The Top 10 Mistakes Musicians Make That Turn Off Fans & Industry.”


Sign Up Here for the FTP Sessions 3-Part Mini-Masterclass Series!

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Cyber PR’s A-Z Artist Guide to Halloween: from Apparitions to Zombies

halloween (CC)

The Halloween season is upon us, and you can start to feel it here in NYC.  The air is cooling off, and these Park Slope houses are starting to dress up for the occasion.  The well-decorated houses are looking scary, and the half-baked ones are almost scarier… 
 
We’re doing our part here at Cyber PR to get you into the spooky spirit.  Below you will find an eclectic mix of music that is inspired by the dark, the supernatural, and anything and everything haunting.  


BluRum13


Mash On? More like Monster Mash on!  Check out the monster mix of this BluRum13 track taken from his album ‘Inverted’. 


Brian Larney


For years singer-songwriter Brian Larney had been a band guy quietly amassing a solo back catalog of exquisite pop-rock. From his latest release, “At The Starting Line” Larney has penned the beautifully written roots-pop song “Whistling Past the Graveyard”. The video above is a demo recording so be sure to listen to the final studio version here.


Chaser Eight


Chaser Eight

Halloween is steeped in historical and Gaelic influence to commemorate the newly departed that have yet to reach the next world (heaven, sainthood, etc.), hence being before All Saint’s Day. In fact, this practice was to help loved ones reach their destination and to help keep bad spirits away. It’s also to commemorate the beginning of winter, or the “dark part of the year”.  In the spirit (pun intended) of this dark time (pun intended), a song like Addict is a perfect complement for the premise above… Check out Chaser Eight’s new ‘At the 426 EP’ here


Elisa Korenne


Eilsa Korenne

And then there’s Andy the Lightbulb Eater.  He’s a real person (come on, could we make that up?).  In our eyes, that is just next level scary. Why is it such a dark world that Andy lives in?  He eats all the lightbulbs… obviously. Check out Elisa Korenne’s album ‘Concrete’ here


Jody Quine


Jody Quine collaborated with Sleepthief to write ‘Tenuous’, a song about a husband who dies and then stalks his wife until she is inspired to join him… the accompanying video is beautifully shot and the song is melodically haunting.  Check out music from Jody Quine’s new EP “Seven” here.


Kelley James


kelleytop

Kelley James’s music is a fascinating collection of acoustic guitars, hip-hop beats, thoughtful lyrics and freestyle flows. Listen to more tracks from his new album “The Pattern Transcending” here.


Pete Calandra


Pete Calandra

The New York City-based composer and keyboard player has scored 40 films, written over 2000 compositions for television broadcast, including 37 theme packages, and performed as a musician in the Broadway productions of Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, The Phantom Of The Opera, The Lion King, and Little Shop Of Horrors. Pete Calandra’s composition above is the opening theme to the stop animation film ‘Halloween Pranksta’. Listen to Pete’s album ‘Ashokan Memories’ here.


R Michael Rhodes


Partnered with the National Runaway Safeline, R Michael Rhodes came up with the concept of the video for his song ‘Chasin’ Ghosts’ while at church; a father who never met his daughter is haunted by the fact that she’s runaway. Check out R Michael Rhodes album “Please Remember Me” here.


Solveig & Stevie


Who doesn’t love Zombies?  Well, maybe if you found yourself with a “walker” going to town on your precious brains, you wouldn’t be too fond I suppose… One thing’s for sure: nobody likes a Zombie Lover. Check out music from Solveig & Stevie’s ‘Zombie Lover’ here


Ted Brown


For those who get their thrills and chills from pure visuals, this video that accompanies ‘I Bet Myself’ by Ted Brown will leave you looking for that creepy carnival clown to appear around the next corner. Check out Ted Brown’s recent solo release “An Unwide Road” here.


YUCA


YUCA

YUCA’s majestic rock n’ roll evokes the uplifting and otherworldly textures of Muse, Coldplay, and U2, but injects a propulsive drive that’s purely rock n’ roll. YUCA’s track above, “Skeletal Desires” is less about scary things that go pump in the night, and more about simply celebrating being human. Listen to more from YUCA’s album Rebuilding the Fallen Empire here.


Interested in Working With Any of These Artists?


All of these artists are available for interviews, reviews and guest posting opportunities! Please email Jon or Andrew for further information.

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Find Twitter Overwhelming and Confusing? Watch Part 2 of Ariel’s Mini-Class Series

Last week we introduced part 1 of Ariel’s ‘FTP Sessions’ mini-class series. The F of course standing for Facebook, T for Twitter and P for Pinterest.

This week we reveal part 2 of the ‘FTP Sessions’ mini-class series for you!

Sign up for FTP Sessions and learn the most powerful strategies for using Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest! PLUS – We are going to give you our free report “The Top 10 Mistakes Musicians Make That Turn Off Fans & Industry.”


Sign Up Here for the FTP Sessions 3-Part Mini-Masterclass Series!

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