Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Comparison Of Social Media Networks

Valleyarm, a digital distributor based in Australia and serving the Pacific Rim, posted an interesting comparison of social media services the other day. Here's what they think are the advantages and disadvantages of the major ones. You can see a few others when you read the article.

Facebook Artist Pages

  • Details:
    • Facebook artist pages contain a whole plethora of information about your band – your songs, your tour history, your contact details etc. You’re also provided with a wall that allows your fans to chat not only to you but to one another as well.
  • Advantages:
    • Facebook is incredibly popular. It allows direct contact with fans in a medium that they’re extremely comfortable using. People can comment and interact with you very easily allowing greater fan penetration.
    • Clean interface that provides all the information that music professionals and fans could want to know about you.
    • All of your shows can be created as Facebook events making people more likely to come.
    • Interfaces well with other social media platforms, which allows you to access your fans across many mediums easily.
    • Can augment your page with tabs – customisable ‘pages’ within your artist page – which allows you a reasonable degree of customization. Tabs are often used to allow fans to listen to your music directly from your Facebook page.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Facebook doesn’t allow you to upload music directly, you have to either embed your music (via Soundcloud or similar) or use a tab like that provided by Reverbnation.
    • You can’t directly message your fans, though you can post status updates that will show up in their newsfeed.
    • It’s nowhere near as customisable as an individual page, though it does cover most of the functions you’d require from a band website.
    • Facebook is blocked in some countries, reducing your penetration overseas.
  • How to:
    • Go to and click ‘create a page’ in the bottom right hand corner, just beneath ‘sign up’.


  • Details:
    • YouTube allows you to upload video (and audio) clips for fans to access, share and comment on.
  • Advantages:
    • YouTube is insanely popular.
    • Is a one-stop-shop for people to view all of your official videos, music and information as well as unofficial (fan) videos.
    • It is one of the best places to view video and will usually be the first result in search engines or the first port of call for people looking for footage of your band.
    • Allows you to interact with your fans directly (via replying to comments they may make on your clips) and to also reach fans of similar bands by commenting on their videos – indirectly linking them back to your music.
  • Disadvantages:
    • If you want to upload audio you’ll have to pair it with a video clip, whether that’s an actual clip or a static image. Doing so isn’t difficult but requires slightly more work than just uploading an MP3.
    • Many viewers of YouTube are passive in that they don’t have an account, which means you can’t easily interact with them. This is slowly changing as YouTube now allows you to log in with your Google account.


  • Details:
    • Myspace is the original social networking site that spurred the entire social media age. It allows bands to upload and stream media, display bios and gig information as well as interact with fans.
  • Advantages:
    • They have an active chart system and emphasis on music promotion – they review and try to expose unsigned bands.
    • Instant recognition – Myspace is still a household name even though people are leaving in droves.
    • Can customise pages pretty heavily in order to present a cohesive band image – though this can be both a blessing and a curse. Many people make horrible customisations that are either insulting to the senses or slow the entire thing to a crawl – which discourages people from going to Myspace at all.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Audio quality is poor. Myspace reduce the quality in order to make music stream faster, but given that almost everyone has broadband these days there is no point in taking the significant quality hit.
    • Rapidly decreasing user count. Few people use it anymore, especially for social networking – which means that you’ll find it hard to connect with your fans except in a passive ‘here is our music’ way. The whole reason anyone uses social media in the first place is to create stronger connections with fans – so it’s really a waste of time. 


  • Details:
    • Twitter is a service that allows you to send short 140 character messages (tweets) as broadcasts. Anybody who ‘follows’ you on Twitter sees those messages and can reply using their own tweets directed at you (and others simultaneously if they wish). You can also use your messages to send links, such as to a press release or album download.
  • Advantages:
    • Is very fast and succinct which allows you to communicate with your followers in a rapid way without overburdening them with information. Is basically like text messaging en masse.
    • Can interact with other Tweeters easily – your replies are seen by anyone looking at their Twitter page – which is a great way to get your voice heard over a large area.
    • You can also follow all your favourite bands, magazines and blogs in order to receive up to date information and links.
    • Best used as part of a larger social media effort – fulfils a specific role – of complementing and reinforcing your other social media.
    • Very good for doing personal little updates at gigs/rehearsal/studios etc. to keep your fans engaged.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Only a small volume of information can be communicated at any one time – which is the point. It is a niche medium that is best used as a strategic reinforcer to your other efforts.
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