Social media marketing is an essential aspect of promotion for musicians. Plenty of artists have been signed based on material discovered online, either through a social media site like MySpace or a blog. Most artists are aware of MySpace, Facebook, and the act of e-mailing bloggers, but there are some less obvious methods. Since most artists would rather not pay for a PR team, here are four cost-savvy options to help get quality work exposed:
This is a great source for new and veteran artists alike, whether they're doing PR work themselves or through an agency. Though the statistics are limited to Last.FM users, the user activity graphs are a useful microcosm of listening habits. If the graphs are staying the same or trending downward during a costly campaign, it might be evidence to try something different. By creating a free account, users can help update their page with new photos and information, even to the point of uploading tracks and linking to streams. Again, the level of exposure is limited to the site's users, but its use as a statistical tool is notable. And since the Last.FM page of many up-and-coming artists usually show up on the first page of Google listings thanks to the site's respectability, it certainly wouldn't hurt for musicians to make sure their Last.FM page is updated.
Like Last.FM, the exposure on Turntable.FM is generally limited to the site's users. That doesn't mean it won't extend to extra visibility though, especially since plenty of bloggers and music writers use the site routinely to find inspirations. The site is a a virtual music lounge, where users can assume one of five DJ spots and take turns with other DJs picking tracks, which can be uploaded or selected from a list. If you'd rather not deal with the hassle, you can join the majority and simply listen in on the dance floor. Users can choose whether they like or dislike the song, and the generated score will affect the DJ's score. It sounds fun, and it is. But for artists seeking promotion, it is a useful tool that can drum up interest when played in the right room. Perhaps slip your track in the middle of other favorites. Someone in the room might ask for more information, or Google the artist, and tell their friend. Their friend might be a blogger or prominent writer. Who knows? It's worth a shot regardless, and is a fairly effective and fun social of music social media marketing.
Hypetree is a fun, new service that pits rising musicians up in an arena format, where listeners vote on their favorites. Any artist can upload three songs for free, and hope to ascend the charts and rack up plenty of listens in the process. Artists can set up a profile, and link to other social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook. Their battle player ensures an artist's growth, since users seeking new music are essentially forced to listen to whatever the system provides. In several cases it will be your band, who has nothing to lose with this source of free exposure. It costs a few extra bucks after three songs, but the exposure will likely make up for it.
Music sites are already very familiar with this music web host, which allows streaming and downloading via a nifty embedded widget. Several artists are starting to reap its social media marketing benefits as well. Apart from the ability to upload 120 minutes worth of music for free, Soundcloud offers a music-knit community of sorts. Users can follow others, often inspiring collaborations and exposure via a tidy campaign reminiscent of grassroots. Commenting on other musicians of a similar vein will encourage them to check out your profile, and their fans may follow suit. Several big names have discovered opening acts for their tours via Soundcloud. If your material is good, then there's no reason an artist shouldn't consider such helpful connections a possibility. Many music blogs prefer Soundcloud links as a first priority since it's so accessible. That's another huge plus.