Social Media Presence Required

I know, long time no blog. Well, I’m promoting the new CD, trying to maintain my health and I’m still a mom, wife and responsible dog owner…a lot of bases to cover. Plus, I’m taking some time to catch up on some reading and participate in community events. So, micro-blogging from now on. Here’s the latest:

I recently attended the Austin Music Foundation‘s panel “How to Get Booked at a Festival”. Panelists included the booking powers that be at SXSW, ACL and Lollapalooza. I just wanted to share with you something that everyone on the panel agreed with when asked if there was one thing that would cause festival booking agents to immediately dismiss a band/performer: No social media presence.

Now, there were other things they agreed upon, obvious things like bad music or music not compatible with the festival theme. Rudeness was also mentioned. But, it was very clear that if you were not making a real effort to engage with your fans through social media, none were going to take you seriously. Here this:  festival booking agents are expecting you to promote yourself and their festivals if you want them to put you in front of their crowds. They will choose someone who is doing the work to engage fans over someone who does not.

But, please don’t think you can fake it. They are on to those who buy followers. If they don’t see real/organic engagement, they’re going to pass. And, I don’t believe you have to spend 24/7 on social media to have a presence. If you want, you can help build it with legitimate ad campaigns and promoting your pages at shows. Then, take a few minutes a day to engage with those who follow you. You don’t have to overwhelm yourself with it. If your goal is to break into music festivals, it’ll be worth your time. The more you know… ūüôā

Next up:¬†This Friday I discuss¬†royalties: How to Get Paid as an¬†Indie Artist¬†– w/ @cindypluggedin at 5PM EST: WVQC. ¬†Blog to follow…

RED ALERT! Twitter Scam Targets Musicians!

If you recently received a DM message from a record label A&R person asking you to submit your tracks for sync licensing via MCMA.com, you guessed it, scam. 

 

This is the message I received on Twitter:

Thx #FF! If you’re interested in sending me your music or beats for placement consideration please send it through MCMA .com

It came from this account:

Columbia

 

So, I checked into it. Signed up on the little free account thing. It looked harmless. I even uploaded a song. (Yeah, I know…stupid. But, the song is available all over the internet so I figured I wasn’t risking a whole lot…hopefully). 

For a scam, they didn’t really make it easy. I mean, the site was a b*tch to use. Very tempermental. Alarm bells started going off when I couldn’t get a consistent response from links on the pages. Then, hunting for what it was really going to cost me made me realize I’d almost been had. First the site said, “free trial”, then it said “8/ per month paid annually” then, it said “29.99/month” so you could contact the person who supposedly contacted you. What? 

I shudder to think, had they made it easier, they would already have my money.

So, back to that. 

A simple search on Twitter brought me to the real Teresa Whites:

Therealtlw

Who, by the way, had been graciously tweeting to followers about the scam. No telling how many A&R reps they are misrepresenting. And, who knows how long it will be before this site gets shut down. Please, do a good deed and RT this blog or just let other musicians know not to fall for it. 

And, follow Teresa Whites. She’s good people. ūüôā

Tlwtweets

Laura Marie

“Making stupid mistakes so you don’t have to”

 

 

 

HILARIOUS UPDATE:

Hilarious

 

 

Bands: Social Networking No-No’s #2-5

The ridiculousness of adding a bunch of people on Myspace and then treating them like your loyal fans is what has made Myspace a joke. Of all the emails you received from bands on Myspace, how many of them are from bands or musicians that you actually know and like? Chances are, if you’re a band, you’re probably treating all of them like your loyal fans too. If I didn’t know better, I know I would. Why? Because I don’t add people on Myspace. Haven’t in a long time. After I reached so many 1000 friends, Myspace automatically removed my right to approve friend requests and just adds them to my list. The only exception, I believe, is for those who are running paid ‘add’ campaigns. I have to manually approve those and, for the most part, I don’t. Initially, I did this so that I could safely assume that people adding me were fans. But, I can’t assume that at all. They add me and, in the backasswardsness of it all, I’m considered their  fan. 

Can’t we all agree that this is stupid? This was the reason Facebook created fan pages. And, now, bands are trying to bypass that by doing several things that are proving to be HUGE turn-offs to fans and fellow-musicians:

2) Adding you as a personal friend and then bombarding you with excessive event invites and personal email invites to shows. 

That’s a sure fire way to get deleted as a friend or have your events added to the “ignored” list as in “ignore all future invites from this friend?” Um, yes. Do send out invites but, be mindful of how many you send out to the same people or people who aren’t even in your area. You can filter friends by hometown and create lists for different cities. I’ll work on a how-to for that. 

Side note: If someone replies “no” to your event, don’t send them emails telling them it’s their “Last chance…” or “Change your mind….”. Or worse,  if they haven’t replied, don’t send them an email saying “Why haven’t you replied?” . Ugh!  I repeat, people are being bombarded with this stuff. Don’t add to it with your need to have everyone acknowledge you. 

3) Posting their events on your page or tagging you in their videos, pics, wall photos of band flyers so they’ll show up on your wall. 

Oh, no you didn’t! Don’t try and figure out how to make Facebook as “useful” as Myspace was for spreading the word about yourself. That’s not the way it works in other social networks. It’s just obnoxious for bands to post their stuff all over everyone else’s “walls”. Personal pages are for making personal connections! That’s what is important on Facebook. And, don’t get me started on people who post their gigs on other bands fan pages. Unless the musician your tagging is involved in the show: tacky. I even had one person comment on an event link and say “Hey, if you can’t make it to her show, you can go to mine over here…”. Really?!

4) Becoming a fan on any social network and then saying something along the lines of “I’m your fan, now be mine” or “I follow you, now follow me” (which always reminds me of Phil Collins ‚̧ but, that’s beside the point)

The definition of “fan”: an ardent admirer or devotee. Short for “fanatic”. Call me crazy but, I think, if you want fans, you want people who really like your stuff instead of people who feel obligated to like your stuff because you liked theirs. You can’t make people like your music but, if you are nice, they might support your music even if it’s not their favorite thing in the world. It’s fine to politely invite people to check out your music but, don’t take it personally if they don’t. Let it go and remind yourself that they’ll see what you are doing in their home feeds. If they are going to get interested in your music, they’ll do it as they get to know you. Post a link here or there (not everywhere and not all the time). Suggest your page to them (don’t post it on their wall). 

5) Taking it one ginourmous step further and asking you to do the advertising for them.

I’m not talking about bands asking their fans to help spread the word, I’m talking  about bands saying. “Hello, I like your stuff. Here’s my stuff. Tell all your friends about me.”

Can you imagine this in any other business? “Hey, Wendy’s? This is Billy Bob’s Burgers. Love the  value menu you have going on. We liked you on Facebook and/or follow you on Twitter. Could you tell all your customers to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, come to our restaurant and buy our stuff.”   Huh? I have so many of these…it’s like someone wrote a blog suggesting that musicians should do this. If so, please tell me who. I really want to know. 

And, it’s not even about competition…it’s about honesty. 
I don’t mind promoting other bands and musicians at all! I love doing it. I cross promote with several musicians I work with and some I don’t work with but, just because I love them.  I think it should be this way. We should be helping each other out in ways that make sense. It makes no sense for me to promote people I don’t even know or whose music I don’t like. I don’t expect anyone who doesn’t like my music to support or promote it. That would be silly. And,if you are only promoting someone because they guilted you into it (or, even paid you to do it), you lose credibility. No thanks. 
Now, on Twitter, it’s often customary for people to “follow back” when someone follows you. Musicians, please, don’t take this as an opportunity to address everyone on Twitter as your biggest fan. Big, huge, famous people can do this. You know, those that only follow 10 people but have thousands of followers. In that case, it’s safe to say that most of the people following them are fans. Also, on that note, don’t just follow people to have them follow back and then, stop following to drive your “followed” numbers up. That’s just silly and annoying. Again, social networking is about building relationships not making yourself out to be something you aren’t. 
All that said, go on… THINK BIG!
Be EVERYWHERE.  You should be making it stupid easy for people to find you. 
You are awesome, you are amazing, you are all that and a can of confetti! That in itself will draw people to you.  So, put yourself out there in a big way, just not on top of everyone else. That’s the old way. The playing field is different now. You have to find creative ways of standing out while being part of the music community instead of just trying to step over everyone else in it.  
 – Laura Marie
Next Up: SXSW stuff, the low down on apps used

 

Facebook pages: Upgrade NOW!!! (nerd blog)

Right now, they just let it loose..you can upgrade your FB page. Features include:

 

  • linking your Facebook page to your Twitter account directly (only FB to Twitter and not Twitter to FB)
  • latest pictures you’ve tagged your fan page in at the top (only pics you’ve tagged and not ones your fans have tagged – you’re still in control here) 
  • you can use the page as YOU. Meaning, you can interact from your personal profile and GET THIS when you do, you will see all the notifications for updates, likes, comments etc. FINALLY…some feedback from the page. AND, you no longer have to compulsively check your page to see if people have posted anything or responded to your posts. You can set notificiations.  Woo-hoo!
  • When you use it as YOU, you can also set a filter on your wall for postings from fans. 

Oh, this is nice, very nice. Can’t wait to see how it develops. Do it now! Or, go to your fan page and take the tour to see how it works then do it. Notice some of the differences here (locations of pics, recommended pages, navigation):

Upgrade

 

 

 

Hootsuite – Ima like this :)

I don’t know how I missed the boat on this one. I think I was just so obsessed with Twitter apps on Facebook that would work to update Fan Pages then just stop. I was so excited when Smart Twitter came out but just couldn’t keep it working. I kept getting error messages and having to uninstall/reinstall. Meh. 

After a while, I just resorted to using PING.fm when I had to post to my fan page and other networks simultaneously. It works fine but Hootsuite is far better because you get to see the streams, comments, etc. I only wish they had better instructions for adding fan pages to the mobile app. 

Here’s the trick. To add fan pages to the mobile Hootsuite app, go to (or create) your Hootsuite profile on your computers web browser first. You can’t do it on your phone’s web browser because it takes you to the mobile site which isn’t helpful at all. Once you’ve added all the accounts that you want to add (For me, that was two twitter accounts, foursquare, my FB profile and FB fan page), THEN download and install the Hootsuite app on your phone. Once you login to your Hootsuite account on the mobile app, click import and VIOLA! Yay! There it is. 

Perhaps I’m the last person on Earth to figure this out but, I know other people have had problems adding the fan pages (Hootsuite advertises the capability but not the process) so, I hope this well help someone out. If you’re like me and you downloaded the app first, just delete it and start over because there’s no other way to get back to the import/set up page otherwise. 

 

Happy Updating ūüôā

Laura Marie