For independent artists, YouTube can be one of the most powerful platforms available for promotion and exposure. Of course, it is also one of the most difficult platforms to garner any significant growth and attention.
This challenge was no different for 23 year old hip-hip artist, and Brooklyn native Rob Scott.
As his manager, it was my job to figure out how to bring his dream to fruition. Without any assistance from record labels, we began to effectively use YouTube as a platform to get Rob Scott noticed.
Within the first couple of months, it was painful to notice that his long nights in the studio would only result in his songs receiving 11 views. To make matters worst, the 11 views I am speaking about came from the friends and family that was in the studio with him.
Initially, we would post his YouTube link all over people’s Facebook pages until we realized that spamming individuals was probably not the best way to gain true fans. We then decided that garnering views organically is the best possible solution. Today, he has accumulated over 235,000 channel views and has acquired more than 1, 400 YouTube subscribers.
Some may wonder how so?
Below are 6 strategies that we used to organically build Rob Scott’s Youtube channel from desolate to highly-trafficked:
At one point, Scott would upload a video at least once a week. During one week we would upload a song with a cover art and a couple weeks later we would upload a music video for that same song.
It is important to break down your material to get the most out of it. What I mean by that is, if you have a music video that you are planning to release, put out behind the scenes footage for that video, put out the song before you put out the video, or put out a snippet before you even release the song.
Now you have three pieces of content all based around that one record.
The more things you have to release, the easier it is to follow the rule of frequency. Evidently, it is almost impossible to acquire a great amount of views if you post a video once a year.
There have been several rare cases such as the Harlem Shake video going viral without the use of “frequency”, but I would not recommend depending on pure luck.
With Rob Scott, we created a schedule and began creating on a regular basis.
Another step that Rob Scott implemented to reach his amount of views was re-doing songs that were already popular.
Trey Songs released a song entitled “Can’t Be Friends” three years ago that gained a lot of commercial attention. While the song was still at its peak, Scott decided to re-do the song over with his own words and then shoot a music video for it.
Because viewers would search for the original Trey Songs version and see Scott’s rendition, it gave him a better chance of being viewed by some of the fans of that particular record. To date, Rob Scott’s rendition has over 90,000 views on YouTube and is still growing daily.
Twitter may be the best way to figure out what’s happening around the world right now. But it sure ain’t great at telling me what’s going on in my world — that is, what’s happening down the block from me.
That may change. According to multiple sources, Twitter is in the process of testing a new feature that lets you discover tweets from people within a certain distance of your location. The idea is to surface relevant activity based on where you are in the world, serving up tweets from others around you — whether you follow them or not.
The feature, as I understand it, came out of the company’s recent hack week at the beginning of this month, where a few engineers worked on projects related to local discovery. A number of employees have been testing the feature in the Twitter app ever since.
The type of tweets you’d see, ideally, are the most relevant ones nearby, especially when they follow a trend or a flurry of closely connected activity. So a football game or a concert, for instance, may be a great use case here.
Or perhaps even more importantly, it could be used in completely unplanned, spontaneous instances.
Here’s an example, and a real kicker: I’ve been told that a few employees were testing the new feature in Boston last week, around the time that the brothers Tsarnaev allegedly carried out a series of horrific bombings during the city’s annual marathon.
When reached for comment, Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner said the company had nothing to share on the matter.
It’s fascinating to me that Twitter is toeing the waters of discovery through a local lens more explicitly than ever before. Currently and historically, the company already factors in location when suggesting content inside the Discover tab and also when serving you ads. It also goes without saying that to try this stuff out during the recent Boston tragedy — which was arguably watched by much of the world through Twitter just as intensely as it was over broadcast networks — is incredibly interesting, if only to imagine what possibilities it could hold for other mass events in the future.
The big question for me: Twitter, what took you so freaking long?
For a company that prides itself on its interest graph — the pulse of what everyone in the world is talking and thinking about — something like a localized version of discovery seems like a natural extension of what it means to use Twitter in a meaningful way.
Today, I am going to talk about how to use social media to drive people to your email list.
Even though I say Facebook and Twitter in the headline, you can use this for any social media platform including YouTube or Instagram.
If you took my advice from the previous post, your website will have a clear way for everybody to sign up for your email list, including an enticing offer to do so.
All you need to do now is to create interesting content on your website, and simply link to it from your social media. This could be a blog post, a new set of pictures on your site, or even a page set up for lyrics for one of your songs.
Whatever it is, when they go to your site, they will see your enticing offer and sign up for your list. You don’t even need to tell them to sign up. They will do it on their own.
Sometimes you just need to be blunt. If you have a great offer to sign up for your email list, let people know.
Maybe once or twice a month, remind people that you have something cool on your email list. Say something along the lines of, “in case you missed it, you get our whole album for free by signing up to our email list. Click here.”
Even when you send people back to your site, you might want to give a very clear call to action at the end of your posts to sign up for your list.
If you don’t tell people what to do, they won’t do it. Never assume people will take action of their own will.
If you don’t mind the extra work and you have some money or merch to spare, contests and giveaways are great way to get people to sign up for your email list.
You could go cheap, and just do a big bundle of all your merch. For everyone who signs up to our email list this week, you will be entered to win our super bundle which includes our T-shirt, CD, stickers, and beer koozy.
The more people you want to sign up, the better the prize needs to be.Some places use iPads and iPhones as the prize. Figure out what is right for your price range and your audience.
You could also try giveaways. For the first 100 people that sign up, you get a free CD that is autographed by the band.
This might sound like a waste of time and money for you, but don’t be fooled. Your email list, when used wisely, can generate a lot of money. Each person on your email list could potentially give you hundreds to thousands of dollars in the future.
If you want to do a crowdfunding campaign kick starter, having a strong email list is one of your biggest assets.
A word of caution about contests and giveaways. I heard that there may be laws regarding contests and giveaways. I am not a lawyer and the information above is purely for entertainment purposes. Please consult with an attorney first.
And that’s it. Always have something new on your website to share on your social media. Make sure to give clear calls to action. And make something fun for your fans to get involved with.
Source: Hypebot (by Chris Jackson)
If you are anything like the majority of people, artists, authors, entrepreneurs and beyond who have built a Facebook fan page, then I’m sure you’ve noticed something…
Facebook makes it ALMOST impossible to make any sort of real growth happen.
A recent study reported by Mashable (from Napkin Labs), showed that on average only 6% of fans engage with a brand’s Facebook page:
On average, just 6% of fans engage with a brand’s Facebook Page via likes, comments, polls and other means, according to a study from Napkin Labs, a Facebook app developer that works with brands and agencies. Of those fans that did, the average engagement was the equivalent of less than one like over the course of the eight weeks the study was conducted.
There are several reasons for this. Most of these, truthfully, are human error which we will discuss below. But there is no doubt that Facebook is taking strides to make it more difficult for you to achieve growth & impressions on their platform.
The problem at hand is akin to a common proverb:
Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime…
Except in Facebook’s case, it’s more like, once you teach the man to fish, you then put a thick layer of ice over the water, making it FAR more difficult.
So let’s dive into the issues at hand below:
Tuesday Social Links
It’s been a busy Tuesday morning as far as social media tutorials and how bands can take advantage. A few raised some eyebrows, to say the least.
We’re using Twitter and Facebook the wrong way, apparently…
Social media titan Buddy Media dropped a bomb on social marketers when they shared an in-depth report about how Facebook and Twitter can be optimized better. Here’s what’s interesting:
Music Think Tank provides tips on how to make your Timeline pop, visually
Blur shares it’s new music with a real-time viral concert
Hypebot described this as the real way to unveil new music, but it’s mostly a gimmick. It’s a great model for a band like Blur, because they can guarantee a huge audience to tune in. Baby bands wouldn’t find use in this, but it’s always a good idea to push the envelope for sharing content.
Lisa Sniderman from Aoede is one of my past clients and for the past few months I had wanted to interview about her experience and growth using social networking to grow her fanbase. Well we were finally able to make it happen. I felt it was important to have artists say all of this, sometimes hearing it from a peer carries more weight. So take a couple minutes and read about how Lisa went from essentially zero to social networking wiz and grew her fanbase over the last 10 months.
Lisa set the way back machine to December of 2010 when we first talked. You were a couple months away from releasing your most recent album Affair With The Muse and hired me to help you with your website and online marketing efforts. Your online world at that time was fairly small; less than 1000 on your email list, a handful of Facebook fans, less than 100 Twitter followers. We talked about what you would need to do to grow your fans, how you would have to spend time engaging with everyone on Facebook and Twitter, how you would have to write articles to post on your new blog, and how you had to open up and talk about yourself personally more than you talk about the new album. I remember at the time you said you were not sure you could do all of this, that you didn’t know if you had the time. But, you forged ahead.
Now not even a year later and looking back - what do you think about that journey?
Wow Michael – it’s like you gave me social network “seeds” to plant in the Internet “dirt” in December 2010. I planted several of them: Facebook, Twitter, my blog, and then ReverbNation (and YouTube to some extent), “watered” and tended to them daily, and over time watched their roots take hold, and now these beautiful, virtual “social flowers” are growing and are continuing to thrive. I believe, though, it is only by tending to them regularly-in my case daily-that they will continue to thrive. I’m most amazed by the connections I have made on all of these different networks. Sometimes it starts with someone responding to one of my inane posts on Twitter, or a fan on ReverbNation who has heard my music and wants to reach out and tell me the impact the music had on him, or a simple response to a silly sign I posted on Facebook.
These kinds of interactions can create new friendships and build long-lasting and direct relationships with fans.
The people I am meeting in the online community are just as “real” as the people I actually do meet. For me, being home a lot, I love connecting with online communities. It also helps me to not feel isolated.
I never even imagined receiving the kind of feedback I’ve received online. I’ve heard from new and old friends that are connecting through the Dermatomyositis writings and sharing their stories. I’ve received countless messages and comments that the songs and video and website are amazing. I’ve been on friends FB pages and seen them sharing my videos, or most recently, my nomination for AIM Awards! Thanks to my fans, Aoede even hit #1 on Hot Pop on ReverbNation for a few days in February, then climbed the charts locally and nationally and is currently #2 for SF Pop…
Even with all those signs from the universe, it took receiving a particularly humbling and stunning FAN mail from a fellow musician to realize what an impact I was having. In it he writes, “Very few artists make me sit back and say the world is a better place with them making music in it. You Are one of those artists.” Another fan sent me a message on Twitter indicating my life, music and heart and soul gave her hope and strength to do what she needed to do… MY GOD! Talk about impact! It dawned on me that the music is secondary.
Maybe nobody really cares about the music until and unless they have a relationship with you.
Here are a few examples of how some simple Twitter and ReverbNation messages led to some amazing opportunities and directions such as radio shows, features, fan blog posts and reviews, airplay and more!
Winner of Music Contest to Pitch an Original Song to a Brand
Spark For New Song-Perfect Day
Speaking/Performance at Myositis Association Conference
How did you manage the time commitments?
In the beginning, it was a lot of energy-more than I had as I was only a few months out the hospital and recovering and still doing intensive treatments-it was part of my therapy to focus on the music-part of my healing path I believe. I just incorporated it into each day as I did my physical therapy or exercise.
It is still time intensive now-I read and respond to messages daily on RN and post daily on Twitter and Facebook, but I feel the time invested connecting with fans and building relationships is valuable time. I find that I focus on 3 main areas: humor, music and health. I like to find puns and strange signs and post them because humor is important to me-I like to laugh and make others laugh every day so the time spent is therapeutic!
Topics Focused On:
Humor, Music, Health
What tactics did you find worked best on Facebook?
On Facebook, I find being myself and showing up to the page works best-I ask Aoede’s Question-o-d-Day, I post pictures of things that I find interesting or strange, I post my Daily Muse-an inspirational quote, and post other stuff related to Aoede. I find that people seem to like to interact with each other on the page.
What tactics do you use on Twitter?
Again, just being myself. I like wordplay, useless facts, puns, phrase origins and just connecting with people-responding to messages, posts, acknowledging others -just interacting generally more than “selling.” I do post related to music, but more often through re-tweeting what someone else has said. Being genuine is important to me, as is connecting with my followers. Also, when you posted Aoede’s 7 Tips Save Your Next Video on your blog and Music Think Tank, I noticed an opportunity to engage with those people who retweeted and was able to get followers and more engagement from the blog post.
What hurdles did you encounter over the last year?
For me, I am not in the public performing or touring lately. I am focused mostly on writing, recording and licensing and placements for film and TV, so my biggest hurdle is how do I continue to keep the songwriter’s dream alive, and expand my fan base?
Social networking for me has been very effective for finding new fans and building relationships.
The hurdle is that it takes a lot of time on each of these networks, as well as my own blog, to be effective and engage with fans, respond to emails, find new fans, and continue to write or play music. The ideal would be a balance of online time vs. creative play. Most days I spend more time online than play, but do feel it is a worthy investment. Also, I shot a music video in January expecting completion and release in March, to coincide with Fairy Tale Love on Affair with the Muse. This video is still being completed so I haven’t released “product” since March 2011. My next release will be my album in 2012. Being online and accessible, engaging with fans, takes some of the burden off of me to just focus on releasing and selling “products.”
Also, sales has been a hurdle. I think it is so difficult as an indie artist to rely on digital sales income-indie artists don’t have the name recognition that Adele or Lady Gaga does. I am looking to licensing to supplement and will also consider a Kickstarter campaign to help fund/pre-sell the new album. My goal for the past year was to expand the fan base. Now that that is happening, I can start identifying ways the fan base can help support.
Have you seen your relationship with your fans change over the last year?
Absolutely! Whereas I really was only engaging with fans through my newsletter and email before, now I engage with fans through all these networks, newsletter, email and through my website as well. It means that people have access to me in many different ways than before-e.g., they can ask questions (we do an Ask The Muse segment in which we video a fan’s question and Aoede’s response to it-done with some humor), leave comments, or engage directly with me through messages or posts. I am finding more people want to engage, want to get to know me. Some artists and fans of them want to know my story, are interested in telling their stories. Others just hear my music and want to tell me how it has had an impact on them. Some want to get to know the muse behind the music and actually develop a relationship with me. I’ve even had some fans thank me for responding, as apparently some artists don’t make time to respond with even a simple thank you, or ask how they are doing every once in awhile. It’s the simple things that artists can do that seem to go a long way in the fan’s eyes. I do a weekly acknowledgment for my fans who have left comments for me on my networks, mostly on RN, through a blog post called Aoede’s Angels. It’s a gesture to publicly acknowledge the fans and artists who support me. On Facebook, I really feel like I’m developing an online community of folks who want to “play” and to actively engage with me. They really don’t want to keep hearing “buy my cd!” over and over… and that’s not the message I want to send either…
If you sat down with an artist that is new to using the social networks to meet and talk to their fans… what would you tell them? How would you help them to see the light, the importance of spending time online?
I would probably emphasize their significance by using my own story as an example. I am an artist who gigged a few times a month regularly for the past four or five years; so I was in the public and able to meet people, do a few tours to promote my albums, and grow my mailing list slowly. I did have an EP (Ear Candy) out in 2006 and an album out in 2008 (Push and Pull) and available digitally, but I wasn’t focusing on heavily promoting them or on social networking and active fan engagement except for my monthly newsletter and responding to fans through e-mail. Once my health forced me to stop gigging regularly, I still wanted to connect and engage fans and that’s why I plunged head first into the world of social networking in early 2011, coinciding with the release of my new website, a new music video for “I Lost, You Win,” and the release of Affair with the Muse. As I noted,
Social networking isn’t the kind of thing that you dabble in once or twice and then forget about and expect it to grow on its own.
It takes tending, nurturing, commitment to keep it growing. It usually doesn’t happen overnight (unless you are Charlie Sheen status and immediately find yourself with 1 million plus twitter followers ). I think I am in an unusual place because I do have the time (not always the energy!) to invest now. For an artist just beginning, I would say decide which social network you want to focus most on and spend time growing that. I would definitely recommend Facebook, ReverbNation and Twitter as great places to make connections. On Twitter, follow and engage those musicians who compel you, who you are influenced by, and whose listeners might like your music too. Engage listeners. My aha came from the realization that my music immediately compelled someone-other artists and fans alike-to reach out to me-to want to make a connection. I didn’t know there was an entire virtual world of people who might feel the same way until I reached out first and made this discovery!
Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (http://www.musicthinktank.com) and was written by Michael Brandvold.