Viral marketing is something that isn’t achieved solely on one social networking page; and you know which one I’m talking about, kids. We’ve all suffered our posts seen by a fraction of a percentage of the people whom are on our own ‘friends’ list.
Case in point; I *never* see anything from my own family and I’m related to them.
No, it takes more effort than throwing a rapidly typed post on your wall to make people stand up and pay attention to what you’re doing. Short of hiring a blimp or a banner-plane to fly over your city, I’d say we’re all pretty much in the same boat, here. But all is not lost…
Take it from someone who’s constantly posting content on multiple sites simultaneously. As a result of this, (and a few other philanthropic back scratching), our band has seen amazing fan-growth of late. Do you want this for your band?
Good, I thought so. Here’s my advice;
1.) Get on Twitter
2.) Get a Tumblr (we’re working on that now)
3.) Get on YouTube
4.) Get a G+ account; That’s ‘Google+’ for those not in the know and believe it or not, there *are* people there, it just takes work to populate it.
5.) ***IMPORTANT*** Get a blog site – and blog often.
It doesn’t even have to *be* about band stuff either, (I’ll cover this in depth below).
6.) Do a podcast – and choose topics the likes of which you’d find people talking about in a cafe, in a park, on a bus….and sprinkle said podcast with ‘guests’.
7.) Get a SoundCloud account
8.) Get a CD Baby account
9.) Get your stuff on iTunes
10.) Get on ReverbNation – this site is SUCH a great resource and so flexible to the Indie artists out there today.
11.) More than anything, tag! tag! tag! OTHER people as you go. Pay it forward; that’s the philanthropic bit I spoke of before.
All this may seem like a lot of work and I’ll be honest, it is a lot of work; this isn’t playtime. Playtime is that hour or so we get on stage, but the audience that makes playtime so much fun won’t materialize by themselves. The only way they’ll know we’re there, (short of being signed), is if we do all the legwork ourselves. You’ve all heard it before; ‘We have to be the musician, songwriter, publicist, sound guy, roadie and tour manager all at once’. And it’s true.
So, why get so many points of interest embedded onto the interwebs? My knee-jerk response to that is ‘why not?’ Let’s take a look at Twitter for a moment. It only allows 140 characters at a time, but, we can make sure that those 140 characters work harder than any other post or reply when it’s chock-full of links and tags which point to the awesome, rich, cool, hip, and killer content you’ve worked so hard to create in the first place.
By combining the bits and pieces of everything mentioned in those eleven points, and siphoning them through the site where the bulk of your fans exist, you’ll see positive results.
I could just as easily say ‘sit back and watch the ‘likes’ and subscriptions roll in’ but that would be ill advised. Never, ever rest on your laurels or you may find yourself playing to three people in a bar on a Tuesday night wondering where your audience went.
Now listen to this bit carefully…
Sometimes bands will unknowingly disconnect with their fans when all they posts is; “Listen to my new song!” or “Hey, we’re playing here or there” or even worse “VOTE FOR ME“. In my observation, this happens waaaaay to often. The assumption is made that the only thing fans are interested in is the music and to be frank, people are genuinely interested in getting a peek behind the curtain. Imagine discovering that your rock god has *shock of shocks* …an ordinary life. Every famous person started as ordinary people just like you and me, and you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that we have a lot more in common than you think.
Looping back to using as many sites as possible, use them, not only to promote your band, but also to promote the members of the band. They are just as important as the concept art you spent hours creating for your album cover. Who they are and where they came from are as important to the fans as the music.
Make a video, blog about a childhood experience you learned from then tie it into the new song you’re promoting, share a recipe and by all means, be as personal and passionate about you as you are about your music and you can’t loose. All things in moderation, mind you, think before you type and definitely have someone you know read your material before accidentally embarrassing yourself or another member of the band.
Sometimes the best guideline to follow is the one that Vegas uses, if you catch my drift…
Before I leave, I’ll offer-up an example of how to broaden your fan base. When you share an image of you with your pet, even if it’s a terribly ugly one, the concept of you smiling while giving it a smooch, you open yourself to a whole new demographic of people you probably didn’t know existed and isn’t’ that why we’re all online in the first place?
Making a connections directly with your fan base on *their* level is so crucial. So go forth, create the kind of content you would like to see from the superstars you’re interested in. BE the first on your block to do it and never forget point number 12; listed in the title of this article.
Cantare, Saltare, Vive…
Lewis Nowosad is a stay at home husband-turned-software tester, musician, singer/songwriter paranormal investigator, board gamer, RPG-guy, very recent blogger, proponent of laughter, and a happy-go-lucky who leads a band of merry men in the band Junkyard Academy. He will autograph anything and will give you the shirt off his back…so long as it’s clean.