Thursday, February 4, 2010

The State Of The Internet - Part 2

A few days ago, we posted The State of The Internet numbers that looked more at Internet users than anything else. Pingdom recently posted some amazing stats about "Internet 2009 In Numbers," that are more about the Internet itself. Here are some highlights.

There are:
  • 1.73 billion Internet users worldwide as of Sept 2009; 18% increase in Internet users since previous year.
  • 81.8 million .COM domain names at the end of 2009; 12.3 million .NET and 7.8 million .ORG
  • 234 million websites as of Dec 2009; 47 million were added in 2009.
  • 90 trillion emails were sent on the Internet in 2009. There are 1.4 billion email users worldwide.
  • 26 million blogs on the Internet.
  • 27.3 million tweets on Twitter per day as of Nov 2009.
  • 350 million people on Facebook and 50% of them log in every day. There are more than 500,000 active Facebook applications.
  • 4 billion photos hosted by Flickr as of Oct 2009. 2.5 billion photos are uploaded each month to Facebook.
  • 1 billion videos served by YouTube each day, and 12.2 billion videos viewed per month. 924 million videos are viewed per month on Hulu in the US as of Nov 2009. The average Internet user in the US watches 182 online videos each month.
The Internet and its use continues to grow at breakneck speed. Let's see what the next year brings.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Social Media Management

Let's face it, social media is complicated, especially for a musician who would rather be playing or writing than dealing with something that can be so abstract. It wouldn't be so bad is there was only a single network like MySpace or Twitter to look after, but the fact of the matter is that the typical artist or band has a presence on at least the following:

  • MySpace
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Your email list

Plus you could add in Sonicbids, Reverbnation, blogs or any of the nearly 100 other social networks with over a million subscribers.

In order to use these tools efficiently so there's enough time left in the day to make some music, an artist/band needs a strategy to make social media into an effective tool of growing an audience and communicating with them. Social Media Management (SMM) is not only the overall strategy for using all of these social tools, but the way you use them as well.

Here are some of the strategic points that SMM covers:

1) How the email addresses of friends and followers are harvested to a central list
2) Which social media networks will be used and when
3) How the artist/band website integrates with the social networks
4) How social PR (public relations) will be used in conjunction with the social networks
5) How SEO (search engine optimization) will be used in all text copy
6) Crafting and controlling the message
7) Crafting and controlling any additional media
8) Measuring and analyzing the above

In upcoming posts, we'll be looking at the various aspects of social media management and how they can be employed to increase you audience and keep them happy without it taking 20 hours out of your day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The State Of The Internet offered this great graphic that tells exactly who uses the Internet, what they do with it, and how often. Unfortunately, the graphic won't go any larger than you see on the left in Blogger, so you'll have to go to Mashable to see it in full.

Here are some of the interesting points that the graphic makes:

- Internet use is as even as it gets. 74% of men use it, but so do 74% of women.

- 93% of people ages 18-29 use it, 70% of people 50 – 64 are online, but only 38% of people 65 and older.

- The higher the income level, the more someone has broadband access.

- 94% of college graduates are online (that low?), while only 39% of people with less than a high school education are.

- Just like you'd expect, Internet use is up significantly in just the past five years. In 2005, 27% of people surveyed used the Internet “several times a day.” Now it’s 38% (once again, that low?)

- 58% of users have a desktop computer while 46% have a laptop.

- Ages 25 – 44 make up the majority of people who blog. Only 7% of people under 25 do but people 55 – 64 make up 14%.

- 54% of bloggers consider themselves experts on whatever it is they’re blogging about, 15% are "confessional" and 16% are "snarky." 41% are journalistic while 44% are "humorous."

- Norway has the highest level of Internet penetration, while the United States is in fifth place.

- Japan has the fastest Internet connections on average with the average speed at a whopping 61mbps!!! The US is 15th with an average of only 4.8mbps.

- The average mobile Internet connection is only about 700 Kbps, which is no surprise if you own an iPhone and you like to surf the web.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Number of Followers Isn't Important

There's too much emphasis on the number of friends, contacts or followers that one has these days. Regardless of whether we're talking about a social network or email list, to many, it's just a game and the one with the most friends wins.

In Music 3.0, that's not how it works though. The number of friends is really irrelevant. It's the quality of those connections that are important. Big Twitter follower numbers don't matter much if most of your contacts ignore your communication. They have to truly want what you have to offer for the connection to be worth much.

In fact, your focus should be on how often you connect and collaborate with your followers, since that's far more important than the shear numbers of followers that you have. You have friends and followers for a reason, and that's because they believe that you can offer something helpful or something interesting to them, or in the case of music, something they really want to experience. You are there for them, not the other way around.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Marketing To Your "Tribe"

An artist has 2 categories of fans - casual fans that may like you or your type of music but don't love you, and really passionate fans that love everything you do. Some call these your "true fans," "superfans," or "uberfans." Marketing guru Seth Godin calls them your "tribe."

Here's a brief excerpt about marketing to your tribe from my book, Music 3.0 - A Survival Guide For Making Music In The Internet Age.
"Be extremely careful about how you market to your tribe. Chances are your tribe wants everything you have to offer, but they don’t want to be hyped on it. Make an announcement about a new release or a piece of swag, but don’t oversell it. Tribe members don’t need to know that you think your new music is the greatest thing you ever did and it’s better than the Foo Fighters last release. They’ll decide for themselves and then sell it for you in their own conversations if they like it.
The way to market to your tribe is by simply presenting your product to them. Just make them aware that it’s available, and they’ll do the rest. You can take it a bit further by offering them information about the product - the more exclusive, the better.
Instead of a sales pitch:
  • Give them a behind the scenes story about the making of the product.
  • Tell them where the idea for it came.
  • Tell them about all the people involved, especially other tribe members.
  • Provide interviews with others involved in the project.
  • Give them all the trivia involved in the project, no matter how small. True fans will eat it up. If it’s a new song, tell them where it was recorded, who the engineer and producer were, how many tracks were needed, how long the mix took, how many mixes you did, how the final mix compared to the rough mix, and all of the hundred other fine details that go into producing a song. If you just produced a new T-shirt, describe where the design came from, why you chose the manufacturer, what the shirt is made of, why you chose the color, etc. Get the idea?
Giving them insight that no ones else has makes them feel special, will keep them loyal, and will show mere fans and lurkers the benefits of tribal participation."
You can read more excerpts from the Music 3.0 Internet music survival guide and look at a table of contents on the Bobby Owsinski website.


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