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Thursday, June 14, 2012

4 Common Facebook Marketing Mistakes

Facebook image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
It's true that Facebook has a huge upside potential for marketing, but there can also be a downside as well if it's not done properly. Mashable recently posted a great article about the 10 biggest Facebook marketing mistakes, and here are the ones that I thought were most pertinent to musicians, artists and bands, since they could have serious consequences on your marketing effort.

1. Using An Illegal Cover Photo. The first thing is to use a picture that's pertinent to who you are right now. Don't use a baby picture, a picture of Darth Vader or a famous celebrity. Visitors may think you're trying to cover something up. Also, Facebook has a number of guidelines as for your cover photo as well, like:
  • no price or purchase information in the photo (like "50% off")
  • a call to action to like, comment or share with your friends
  • contact info like web, email or mailing address (there are better places to put this rather than in the cover photo).
2. Breaking Contest Guidelines. Facebook is very sensitive to contests and wants you to closely abide by their rules. Here's what you should know:
  • Contests asking for submissions or votes via comments or liking are prohibited.
  • All contests or giveaways must be administered within Apps On Facebook.com
  • You can't notify contest winners through Facebook on wall posts, messages, chat or the like.
Kind of puts a damper on things, right? Fear not, there are a number of 3rd party providers that can help you run a Facebook promotion, like Wildfire and Offerpop, but they'll cost you. Before you decide on any contest, read the Facebook promotion guidelines first.

3. Overposting. Yes, it's true, you can post too much. Facebook suggests that one or two posts a day get the most response, and there's some evidence that posting any more (sometimes even twice a day) begins to become counterproductive.

4. Too Much Text. Once again, it's possible to be too chatty, and that can produce negative results. Facebook suggests that somewhere between 100 and 250 characters (which equals a line or two of text) gets 60% more likes, comments and shares. Researcher Buddy Media has found that posts of 80 characters or less have 27% higher engagement rates.

You can read the rest of the mistakes in the Mashable article, but start by following these easy ones, since they can make a big difference in the outcome of your Facebook promotion.
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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Top 10 Twitter Music Law Resouces

Top 10 image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
CD Baby's DIY Musician blog is currently running a series called "The Top 100 Must-Follow Music Resources On Twitter" that I find is pretty interesting. One of the best parts to the series is their Top 10 Music Law people to follow. I personally haven't followed any of them, but I'm going to now. Here they are:

1. Christiane Kinney @musicalredhead 

Kinney writes/blogs about legal issues pertaining specifically to
DIY/indie musicians. She’s one herself, so her in-the-thick-of-it
perspectives carry a lot of weight.
2. Larry Zerner @Zernerlaw
Zerner is a lawyer in Los Angeles whose main emphasis is copyright,
trademark and entertainment law. He often blogs about music-related cases
and discusses them in his feed.
3. Cassandra Spangler @cspanmusiclaw
Spangler is a NY-based entertainment lawyer specializing in music, and is
also an independent musician herself. As she says, “I understand firsthand
the challenges facing independent artists and companies attempting to
navigate the often-present power imbalance of the music industry.”
4. Michael Scott @CopyrightLaw
This Twitter feed isn’t entirely about music, but many of the issues
discussed here can be applicable to any creative works. Great links to
current copyright news, as well as discussions on topics you might never
even have thought of.
5. Gordon Firemark @gfiremark
Firemark’s focus is on theatre, film, and TV, but he also covers music.
Plus, he provides many real-time links to stories that affect anyone in
the entertainment industry.
6. Peter Kaufman @dealfatigue
Kaufman is an entertainment lawyer who covers the ever-shifting
“deal-making culture.” He provides links to stories that are in that vein,
many about music.
7. Todd Murphy @The_Jazz_Lawyer
Murphy is a music lawyer, a producer, a musician, and a guy who just
generally knows about the business. Great insight on issues relating to
the ways in which musicians get paid.
8. Mita Carriman @nymusiclawyer
Carriman stays on top of all the legal entertainment trends, and does a
great job of sharing links to lots of articles about the rights of
musicians.
9. Tamera Bennett @TameraBennett
Bennett is a lawyer who handles copyright law and music publishing. Lots
of great links to stories about music, as well as general trademark and
copyright stuff.
10. Steve Gordon @SteveGordonLaw
Gordon is an entertainment lawyer, author of the book ‘The Future of the
Music Business,’ and the host of the podcast of the same name.

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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Top 10 Advantages Of Social Over Traditional Media


Social Media Marketing Madness image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
Here's a great post from a few years ago on the advantages of social over traditional media from Hubspot via marketing guru Simon Mainwaring.

Social media is the hub around which the Music 3.0 wheel turns, and the following provides some reason why.

As traditional and social media duke it out for the leadership role in commanding consumer attention, it’s worthwhile to highlight some of the undeniable benefits of social media. Here are ten that quickly come to mind. My comments in italics.

1. Cost: There are almost no barriers to entry in creating or distributing social media content. Or put another way, beyond your time and production costs, it’s almost free. (Still need the other nine reasons? OK.) And that single piece of content ricochets around the web indefinitely with no additional expense unlike TV, print or radio. The cost of time can be significant though, so that must always be kept in mind.

2. lntimacy: Traditional media necessitates broadcasting to thousands or millions of people at once robbing it of the specificity and dialogue that can be achieved through social media. Fans of any type want a personal interaction with the artist or brand, especially since they see it's now possible - another M30 fundamental.

3. Targeting: A key advantage of social media is that it can be far more specific in terms of isolating exactly who that brand or product wants to talk to. What’s more, consumers share the load by constantly sourcing information and products of interest and distributing them to others. Why broadcast to those who have no reason to care about you? Such a waste of time and money.

4. Nimbleness: One of the unique advantages of social media is that it allows brands to adapt to consumers buying and sharing habits almost instantly. Traditional media necessitates sizable (and often prohibitive) investments by corporations who then can’t react as quickly as market requires. While big media buys will probably never go away, they're far less necessary than ever before thanks to social media.

5. Measurement: Traditional media has to rely on long-term measurement tools to gauge the effectiveness of brand messaging. With social media that measurement can be almost instantaneous as the customers respond to brands and each other across networks, platforms and apps. When that response is negative, a brand has the chance to course-correct quickly minimizing damage to the brand. As the old advertising saying goes, "50% of advertising works, we just don't know which 50%." The age of that is now over.

6. Newness! Consumer preoccupation with whatever is new is hardly unique to social media. Yet as a function of its ability to constantly evolve in response to consumer demands, social media retains the sheen of “new” re-engaging consumer attention. With traditional media content can change but the format of distribution changes little and slowly. In marketing, "new" is more about what's current. It's far, far easier to be current ("new") using social media.

7. Exponential: As difficult as it is for a brand or product to thread the viral needle, the potential for exponential growth is almost unlimited and repeatable at a low cost. The problem here is that you never know exactly what will become viral. Still, at least the prospect of exponential viral growth is always available, while it's possible but pretty unwieldy with traditional media.

8. Participatory: As soon as the barriers to content creation approached zero, consumers quickly stepped into the vacuum and began participating in the commercial dialogue. It’s as if the longstanding presumption of traditional advertising that brands and consumers were in dialogue has finally come true thanks to real-time communication tools. Once again, true fans, super-fans, "tribe" members crave interaction, especially since they now know it's possible.

9. Proximity: Time and distance have virtually disappeared as a barrier between consumers around the globe. As such, social media has created a global, connected community like never before. That opens up enormous potential for success or failure depending on how well brands understand the new dynamics in play. We are truly in a global economy, especially if social media is used.

10. Future: Just as advertising dollars have followed consumer eyeballs online, they will shortly follow consumer adoption of mobile community (enabled by smart phones) as the new defining social media dynamic. While new rules of engagement will appear and consumers will increasingly be defined by where they are (hello, Foursquare), much can be divined about how to prepare for the future from current social media practices. Social media evolves quickly so you must stay on top of the latest evolutional trend to take advantage.

What other advantages to social media do you see?

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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Monday, June 11, 2012

When People Read Email

Boomerang For Gmail, a service that allows you to schedule your email through your Chrome browser, recently analyzed 5 million emails and discovered a number of interesting facts.
  • Most people read most of their emails from 5AM to 7AM, and read the least from 1PM to 4PM.
  • However, most people think that people read their email at 8 to 9AM. 
  • The best words to use in the title to get a response are "Apply, Opportunity, Demo, Connect, Payments, Conference, Cancellation."
  • The worst words to use in the title are "Confirm, Join, Assistance, Speaker, Press, Social, Invite."
But there's more. The average person gets a lot of email.
  • The average email user receives 147 messages every day and spends more than 2 1/2 hours on email every day.
  • On average, we delete 71 of those, which takes just under 5 minutes.
  • On average, we get 12 messages a day that require substantial work, and they take almost 90 minutes to complete.
  • The average person writes 40 email messages a day and each one takes an average of 72 seconds to write.
  • Deciding to defer an email for later takes about 10 seconds.
  • 77% of people expect a response to their email within 2 days.
If your newsletter is important to your marketing (and you know it is), remember that your fans get a lot of email and you have to stand out from the clutter. Send it at the right time and use the right title to make sure that it's read.

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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Why Fan Data Matters

Science Meter image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
It's difficult to read a tech-related story these days without a reference to user data, meta data or the latest "Big Data" (large data sets controlled by mostly large companies), but there are a number of good reasons why this has become a major concern for businesses, and artists and bands, everywhere.

Even politics. You're going to see your user data in action in the upcoming presidential election in a major fashion because, in fact, it's been in use by political campaigns since 2004 as a major way to get out the vote and add donors. And it works. In the private sector, more and more companies and non-profits are taking that data seriously and so should you. Here's why.

The future of marketing is micro-targeting.

The more you know about your fans, the easier it will be to send them only the information that they care about. Why inform a fan in St. Louis that you're doing a gig in Boston? There might be a time that you'd make that information available, but a few days before the show, you just want to concentrate locally, and micro-targeting allows you to do that. What if you have a piece of merch that's aimed at your female fans in cold weather territories? Do you think the dudes care much about it? Do you think you female fans in Florida and Texas care much about it? Micro-targeting allows you to adjust your campaign accordingly.

And it makes measurement easier too. With a more precise user sample, it's much easier to tell if and how a campaign is actually working. If you shotgun a post to 3000 fans and 15 respond, it looks like only .5% responded, but if that same campaign was more precisely aimed at only 30 of those fans and you found that 12 responded, that's a whopping 40%. In the first example with a .5% response, you'd think that your campaign had a serious flaw in it. In the more targeted second example, we can see that the same campaign worked smashingly well. It all depends on targeting the right fans in the first place.

The old advertising days of "50% of advertising works. We just don't know which 50%," may soon be over, thanks to micro-targeting and better measurement techniques. In upcoming posts I'll discuss which data is the most important, and techniques on how to collect it, so you can start micro-targeting right now.

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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

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