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Social Media Mastery: Tools & Discourse

This teleseminar is now over, but you can still sign up and receive access to the full recording and slides for free!

Presented by: Ariel Hyatt and Corey Denis

It’s 2012 and Social Media is mainstream media. We all know how to use sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, but few of us know how to use them well enough to engage friends and fans effectively and track ROI (return on investment).

This FREE teleseminar will teach you basic principles that you need to know and understand to set yourself up for online success.

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Musician’s Arsenal: Killer Apps, Tools and Sites – Thinglink


Pictures. We all know they’re worth a thousand words, but despite this immense value, we still find ourselves trying to figure out how we can use pictures to further our digital promotional efforts more effectively. Tagging photos in Facebook and using social picture applications like Instagram have brought us a long way in this regard, but the topic of this weeks post has launched us into a new world. When I first heard about and looked at Thinglink, I didn’t really get it and quickly forgot about it. But so many people kept talking about it, I figured I’d better take another look and find out what I was missing.

Turns out Thinglink is actually quite incredible. Thinglink provides an interactive experience previously unheard of with pictures. The idea behind Thinglink is to connect ‘things’ in photos to ‘links’. At first, it may not sound that exciting, but this really does open a whole world of possibilities.

Let’s say your band just got done playing a great show for your CD release party, and as your walking off the stage the photographer snaps a killer group shot. You, of course, put this picture up on your website for all your fans too see and enjoy. But Thinglink allows you to take that experience even further.

To use Thinglink with this picture, you’ll first upload the image to your Thinglink account. Once uploaded, you select particular regions of the photo you want to tag. For example, can put a tag anywhere on the photo and link that tag to a video clip from the show. You can tag the broken sticks the drummer is holding in the picture to a video clip of him actually breaking the stick during the show. The brand new CD the singer is holding can be linked to iTunes so your fans can buy the new CD. The guitar player’s guitar can be linked to the blog post where he talks about how the guitar was handed down from his father, and this show just so happened to be on his dad’s birthday. You can go on and on until this one photo becomes a whole interactive experience that shares more insight and story than the photo could ever hope to on it’s own.

Thinglink has a number of integrations that really make it exciting. Thinglink has SoundCloud integration so you build links in to your photos to specific SoundCloud tracks. TopSpin integration allows you to put E4M (email for media) widgets in a tag. You can also collect email addresses with FanBridge and Mailchimp integration. You can even link to your songs on Spotify.

What makes these integrations even better is Thinglink has a ridiculously awesome help section. They explain (with very easy to understand step-by-step instructions) exactly how to integrate with your website and how to use each of the integrations. Some of them, like TopSpin, are slightly complicated, but Thinglink takes all the trouble out of the process. Well done, Thinglink.

As I said at the beginning, Thinglink opens a whole world of possibilities. Never have we been able to do so much with photos so easily. And Thinglink has not ignored the social aspect. These newly tagged photos are embedable and shareable so your fans can spread their favorite photos with all your tags included. Thinglink also tracks the analytics for your photos so you can see what pictures and tags are most effective.

The photos I’ve attached in this post are mostly of different ways others have started using Thinglink, and they’re some pretty cool and creative ideas. But I want to know how you would (or do) use Thinglink. The true power in Thinglink lies with the creativity of the user. If you haven’t already, sign up to Thinglink (they have a free version!) and share some of your tagged photos in the comment sections. How do you think artists can best use Thinglink? Do you find it valuable? What some creative ways you are using Thinglink pictures?

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5 Critical Things To Add To Your Monthly Newsletter

Newsletter text on typewriterSo – as you know I am a newsletter evangelist!

I believe it is the NUMBER ONE thing that will help you create a career in the music industry; communicating with your fan base regularly and consistently.

If you do not already have a schedule mapped out for sending your newsletters – get your calendar out NOW and pencil in 12 dates – 1X per month (I suggest you send your newsletter 2X per month but start with once a month and grow from there).

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7 Burning Social Media Questions

Ariel Hyatt Gets The Answers From Corey Denis

Corey Denis is a woman I admire deeply. 5 years ago, and I hired her as a consultant when I took my traditional PR firm to digital and she was instrumental in helping me to get my head around how to think differently and embrace social media (Yep, even I hated it at first too)

Corey is nothing short of a genius at marketing bands and artists.

She is brilliant because she thinks about both sides of the fence from the both the artists and the fans perspective. We have shared the stage together in a co-presentation at SXSW Interactive and at the Chicago New Music Seminar and I’m thrilled that she will be my first guest in the launch of my

MUSIC SUCCESS TELESEMINAR SERIES

Social Media Mastery: Tools & Discourse

Wednesday February 15, 2012 at 8:00 PM EST

You Must Register For Dial In Details
http://arielpublicity.com/teleseminar/

CALL DESCRIPTION: It’s 2012 and Social Media is now mainstream media. We all know how to use sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, but few of us know how to use them well enough to engage friends and fans effectively and track ROI (return on investment).

On the Social Media Mastery: Tools & Discourse Call Ariel and Corey will discuss

- What Musicians Do Online vs. What Expert Marketers Do Online and How You Can Become an Expert Marketer Quickly

- Who is Currently Using Social Media and What Drives Them
– Common Mistakes Being Made By Musicians Online
– How To Get Back To Marketing Basics 101. You’ll be Surprised as What Really Works
– How to REALLY Use Facebook and Twitter to Effectively Promote Your Music and Brand

We Looking Forward to having you on the call!

In the Meantime here is a sampling of Corey’s Brilliance:

Ariel Hyatt: Why is it important that artists participate in social media?

Corey Denis: At the very least, using social media as part of an over all marketing strategy has a direct impact on Music Discovery Optimization and Search Engine Optimization, creating exposure which increases the chance of sales. In the digital environment, artists have a new chance to interact with, and sell to fans surrounded by unlimited shelf space and unique experiences online and off. Authentic participation in the “social media” space is a lot like going to the merch table after a show and selling your own merch, signing record albums or cds or shirts or USB drives…

AH: Name 5 sites you think all artists should have a social presence on?

CD:

  • Facebook
  • Tumblr
  • Foursquare
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

AH: Do you think it’s important for artists to be on as many sites as possible all over the Internet, or should they be selective and only sign up to the ones that they are actively using?

CD: It takes time to create and maintain profiles on most services, but it can’t hurt to hold your band name, as long as you take the time to point all who stumble upon your site to the place where you can authentically be found on the internet (your website). An artist can create 50 profiles and optimize search-ability online, but it’s crucial to consider the user experience for all who come across the profile.

AH: What’s the best way for an artist to get blogged about?

CD: Build a strategy around your intended publicity efforts, both traditional and digital. Do research and read the blog. Do not spam bloggers unless they indicate somewhere in their about or contact page that they are interested in mass submissions for review. Be aware of blogger tastes and use discretion in publicizing to blogs unless otherwise indicated by that particular blog. Target your music in the right direction. Do not offer music exclusives to more than one blog.

AH: Do social network profiles sell music?

CD: Creating a Facebook page or a Twitter account does not directly sell music, but it can greatly increase exposure, opportunity and attention around a new release thrust into the new music economy of unlimited shelf space. In addition to quality, the best way to increase the likelihood of attention online is authenticity. Avoid “sales speak” and connect with other artists who are also using the same tools in equal measure.

AH: Do you think artists should focus on getting played on Internet radio, and how can they get Internet radio airplay?

CD: Only focus a radio campaign budget on internet radio if you want to be heard online. Many stations include contact information on their websites. The same rules apply here: be familiar with the stations and the DJs where applicable. Build public lists of stations (with links) who play your music, however big or small, on your website. Interact with internet radio station DJs using your social network profiles.

AH: What would your recommendations be for the busy artist that only has 30 minutes a week to dedicate to social media?

CD: Thirty minutes per week is not enough time to create, respond, or engage with fans using more than one social media tool. Five hours per week (one hour per service) is the minimum needed to build viable digital strategy around unlimited shelf space.

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Musician’s Arsenal: Killer Apps, Tools & Sites – FanRx

When setting up a Facebook fanpage most artists realize they need to have songs, videos, concert dates, etc. readily available on their page (if you don’t realize this, it’s true, you need it). There are a few big players in this space that most people default to, ReverbNation, Rootmuisc and Fanbridge. CD Baby and Bandcamp also have some pretty nice players, although these two are more focused on selling the music, so they don’t have added features like video players and concert dates. But there’s one app that I feel is often over looked, despite it’s slick layout and ease of use; FanRx. Before I go any further on this post, I’d like to take a moment to say I’m not picking favorites here, we love Fanbridge, Rootmusic and ReverbNation and have used them all extensively. Here at Ariel Publicity we adamantly maintain our neutral status (at least until you catch me with a few drinks down the hatch).

On to FanRx. I’ve seen this app in passing on different fan pages, but didn’t really pay too much attention until the newest Ariel Publicity team member, Jon Ostrow, came in raving about it. Turns out, one of Jon’s favorite bands, The Black Keys (up and coming group, you may have heard of them), uses this app and so we spent half the day just playing with it.

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The Musician’s Guide To Finding, Managing and Reading Music Blogs

I believe that getting reviewed on blogs is critical for every musician because it helps create a bigger footprint for you online, builds awarness and allows for a two-way conversation around your music

Here is a section from the recently released third edition of Music Success in Nine Weeks. To understand blogs I highly suggest you watch these two wonderful videos from the amazing Commoncraft website that explain all you need to know to get started.

STEP 1: Movie Time!

RSS in Plain English – http://www.commoncraft.com/rss_plain_english

Blogs in Plain English – http://www.commoncraft.com/blogs

Now that you have an understanding it’s time to get prepared to manage your blog reading.

STEP 2: Create Your Google RSS Reader

Setting up your RSS Reader is the perfect way to get the information you want (not only from blogs but from also from other sites you frequent) to be delivered to you, instead of having to check constantly to see what blog has been most recently updated.

You can set up your own Google RSS Reader by heading over to Google.com/Reader and signing up using your existing Google account information.

STEP 3: Create Your Blog Reader Profiles

A Blog Reader Profile is wonderful because it will show the blogger and the reader community that you have visited a blog even if you do not choose to comment each and every time. This leaves a trail of breadcrumbs leading back to you, which shows others what you are interested in.

Setting this up just a few minutes:

Gravatar

http://www.gravatar.com

When you get to this site, press the ‘Get your Gravatar today’ button and set up your profile. Add your photo, short bio and links to your website, Facebook and Twitter.

STEP 4: Choose A Few Blogs To Get Started – Look, Lurk, Leap!

Before you dive in and just start commenting on blogs I suggest you spend some time reading blogs and understanding the culture of each one you like and the authors who create them. After a few posts you will begin to get a good idea of wheter or not this will be a blog you will return to over and over – add it to your RSS reader so you don’t miss new posts and voilia!

According to some statistics there are currently over 100 million active bloggers today. Blogs, as you know, can be about any topic. A few dozen people read some blogs, while some are read by millions. The vast majority of all bloggers create blogs for no financial gain whatsoever; in fact it usually costs music bloggers money to host their files and maintain their blogs. A blog is usually a private endeavor. Most bloggers create their blogs as a personal outlet where they can talk about their lives, their opinions, and the things that they like and dislike – it’s basically an online diary.

To find blogs that are right for you won’t take long – just dive in and start reading them. The ones that resonate will jump out at you.

Here is a great place to start finding music blogs:

Music Blogs

The Hype Machine

http://hypem.com/

What it is?: (From Hype Machine) To put it simply, the Hype Machine keeps track of what music bloggers write about. We handpick a set of kicka** music blogs and then present what they discuss for easy analysis, consumption and discovery. This way, your odds of stumbling into awesome music or awesome blogs are high. This site also tracks the most blogged about artists and songs on their network.

Music Business Blogs

And here are my favorite Music Thought / Music Industry / Music Technology blogs

Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR
Every week we write about marketing and PR, interview new media makers and review killer apps for musicians.

http://www.Arielpublicity.com/blog

Music Think Tank

http://www.musicthinktank.com/

A group blog bringing together key thinkers in the realm of online music business. Disclaimer – I write for this blog

Derek Sivers

http://sivers.org/blog

Daily thoughts for entrepreneurs and musicians.

Hypebot

A journal of music, technology and the new music business.

http://www.hypebot.com/

Artists House

http://www.artistshousemusic.org/

Video interviews with top music industry professionals on a broad range of topics about music and music business.

CD Baby

http://www.diymusician.cdbaby.com/

CD Baby’s DIY Musician is a daily blog that focuses on digital music promotion advice.

Bandzoogle

http://www.bandzoogle.com/blog

The Bandzoogle blog offers weekly music promotion and artist website optimization advice.

Billboard

http://www.billboard.biz

One of the largest daily news from all aspects of the music industry.

Bobby Owsinski

http://www.music3point0.blogspot.com/

Daily digital promotion, social media, and apps and tools from one of the most versatile and impressive music production writers.

Social Media

Mashable

http://www.mashable.com

Comprehensive reporting on any and all social media developments.

Brian Solis

http://www.briansolis.com/

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm. Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture. His current book, Engage, is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to build and measure success in the social web.

Seth Godin

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/

In my humble opinion, Seth Godin is the Godfather of marketing. He has written 13 books and every single one has been a bestseller. His blog posts are simple and easy to digest on a daily basis and written in plain english.

If you have a favorite blog you read please share it here!

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