By GILLI MOON
This article is not for the fresh beginner to the Internet. It’s for those artists who have been dabbling with various sites on the internet to promote their wares, but just need some clarity on how to navigate, what is best, and what has changed. I was originally only going to write an article on Tumbr.com (and the demise of Posterous.com) but instead I kept writing and decided to write an entire article on Social Networks and connecting the social dots for your music. I will begin by saying that before you dabble in Social Networks, you NEED a website first and foremost. Your website is your HOME BASE where all good fans and links should start, and return. This is your hub, and your place you alone can control. Social Networks come and go. Don’t rely on them as your only source of self-promotion. I also highly recommend you read my book JUST GET OUT THERE as I have a lengthy chapter for the beginner or expert on Self-Promotion, Marketing and being the Artist Entrepreneur. Get it at www.justgetoutthere.com, or Amazon. Or just Google it.
Also my final caveat is the advice below is based on what I like, what I’ve tested, and what I use. I’m sure there are other ideas and ways. But I’m sharing with you my idea, and I want to keep it simple for you too.
Ok, let’s get started…, or at least, let’s pretend you are already dabbling online…. So let’s start in the middle: Enjoy the read.
Connect my website news page to my social networks, so I can post all at once.Goal: When posting in one place, you have it land on Twitter, Facebook, AND as a news feed on your website.
Tumblr (and you know how THAT can connect!)
And of course, Facebook
What if you have all these online social networks and you have to update your status in all these different places. Wouldn't it be nice to update one status and it spreads to all of them? How about tag on a news feed for your website? In working with artists and their self promotion, I’ve been a big advocate of Posterous.com as a blog for you to post your latest news, which in turn publishes/syndicates to your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc) all at once. It also has been great as an RSS feed on your website, (your NEWS stream). However, Posterous.com died an unfortunate death (absorbed by its new owner Twitter). By end April 2013, it’s “bye bye’.
Welcome a long tried and true blog network (but least buzzed about): Tumblr.com
Tumblr is not only going to do what Posterous has done before, but goes one step further: it is a well respected social network blog in its own right, so a lot of what you may do on the web may connect to Tumblr (like you may connect Facebook and Twitter).
Also in posting through Tumblr, you can share music, video, photos and of course, text. It’s super sexy. You can also share things you find on the internet, on tumblr.
How to get this going:
1. First, I’m going to assume you are already on Twitter and Facebook as a good start (see further into this article about the benefits of those.)
2. Go to www.tumblr.com and create an account. Once created, and while logged in, click on your new “blog” on the left. (1 account can have several blogs)
3. Create url - I recommend you use your artist name as the name you choose in the url. Eg gillimoon.tumblr.com and songsalive.tumblr.com
4. Find the Post By Email setting on Under “Account” (click on your blog from there)– they provide an email address that you can email to, from you email account, when you want to post to Tumblr. It will be really weird but it works. You can also post within your Tumblr account online. I like the email route as you can forward anything you want (your newsletter for example) to Tumblr via email. Later you can read tips on sending via email here: www.tumblr.com/docs/en/email_publishing
5. You can change the theme within your Blog. They have many to choose from. (Also in this area you can change the name of blog. It may be called Untitled”. Rename that to your preferred blog name. )
6. Importantly, connect to Facebook and Twitter . You can choose what to connect to on Facebook. Doesn’t have to be your profile (as we often keep that as personal friends area). You can share to your Facebook Fan Page. (If you have a Facebook Group, you can connect Tumblr to NetworkedBlogs (search it within Facebook). Another cool system to syndicate your blogs.)
7. LOG OUT and go to your Tumblr url to see what it looks like. Copy the RSS feed by clicking on the “Subscribe to RSS Feed” . For example the Songsalive Tumblr is songsalive.tumblr.com/rss
8. Now, go to your website. I have recommended many of you to design your website through www.weebly.com. You can drag an RSS feed box to any of your page (I prefer home, and News page) and insert the above RSS feed. Voila, your website is also showing your latest news. If your website design management doesn’t allow you to insert an RSS feed, you can use www.feedburner.com to create a digest of your Tumblr feeds, and then give you html code to insert into your website.
9. Go to www.tumblr.com/apps for more suggestions. You can even share things you find on the internet, on tumblr (which in turn spreads through your network).
10. Create buttons for your website www.tumblr.com/buttons
11. Other apps/social networks: you can share Flickr with Tumblr (go to your Flickr account). You can also surf the internet and share on Tumblr cool things you find.
IN SUMMARY: Post to the Tumblr email anytime (Your Newsletter, Your status, Your fun bits and pieces). This goes to Social Networks AND shows up on your website as latest news.
How to connect to other social networks too?
That’s easy: through TWITTER. They will then be synced to Tumblr vicariously through your Twitter/Tumblr API connection. For example, link Twitter to Facebook here www.facebook.com/twitter/ (obviously you need an account at both places); Link your Myspace to your Twitter within MySpace. Link your Reverbnation profile to Twitter through Revbernation (more on these social networks further down).
What’s another alternative to post to all my social networks at once?
Ping.fm used to be the best way to post to all your social networks at once. Then they were bought out by Seesmic. Then they were bought out by Hootsuite. So, Hootsuite.com is a nice site, however if you want to post to more than a few, you have to pay. So I found a free one: Alternion.com. Little is published about this site, but I’ve started using it and I really like it. You have to post through the website from a computer though. Doesn’t seem to have a mobile app. I just posted to my social networks all at once. They are:
Since my Facebook is connected to my Twitter, I tend to exclude that from the posting as Twitter posts on its behalf.
Of course they have a TON more social networks you can multi-post to. AND you can read all your social network statuses, posts and messages all at Alternion.com. You can even read all your email inboxes there too. Pretty neat. Still in beta, so tread lightly.
OK, tell me more about Reverbnation and why it’s important to my music promotion?
Reverbnation.com is a unique social network site that I’ve loved since they started. Similar to MySpace, you can create a profile that includes uploaded songs, photos, a bio, and some press. It’s a pretty solid place to promote to the media as your “press kit” (though I like Sonicbids.com better for that, although that one I wouldn’t call a Social Network). Reverbnation is a lovely place to gain fans (they just come and find you without too much fuss). You can rise in the music charts, and send fan mail (newsletters) to your Fans who “Fan” you. Interestingly, you can create html Widgets of your music player, Tour info/Gigs, Press quotes and your whole press kit, to insert into your Website.
OK, tell me more about Twitter and why it’s important to my music promotion?
It just happens to be the best medium to promote your music and build followers. I know you all love Facebook, but Twitter attracts fans/followers without you having to accept them as friends. It’s an OPEN space/playing field. Also, as above, you can link your Twitter to Facebook to update status simultaneously.
OK, tell me more about Facebook and why it’s important to my music promotion?
Facebook is like my online Pub. I go there to hang out virtually with my friends online (through my personal profile, that is). I can decide who I am friends with, and through my privacy settings, I can be strict about who sees what. The latest on personal profiles is the Friend requests you deny, they will be automatically “subscribed to your public posts”. So in essence, your Fans (who you really don’t call Friends) can follow you too. When you post, simply choose your audience. If you make it “Public” Friends and Subscribers will see it. I still think having a FAN PAGE (or Business PAGE) is essential. Set a Page up within your Profile and create a URL for it. I tend to only promote my fanpage ie facebook.com/gillimoonmusic, to avoid too many friend requests from people I don’t know on my personal profile. Notwithstanding, you can make it harder to find you through Facebook (Friends of Friends only). Why is Facebook important? Well, it’s your Soap Box, your ability to talk any time of day, intimately, or publicly. The fact is, many now use Facebook as their preference for communication (yes, beating emails and phone calls). That is why it is important to be on Facebook. As for Music promotion, you can link your Reverbnation, Sonicbids and similar music sites to your Facebook Fan Page, so that people can listen to your music through Facebook. Nice stuff.
Other sites I should look at for promoting my music?
Just put .com after all those listed below
I’ve mentioned some above in my paragraph about where I linked my Tumblr account to. I think it’s worthy to mention that MySpace is making a comeback and so I wouldn’t delete your account with them yet. It was recently bought by Justin Timberlake (amongst others) and is going through a revamp. You can migrate your old site to the new. There are a few kinks still, (that is that your old friends don’t transfer over unless they also migrate their accounts), and the one pet peeve is all the new music news is all about Justin right now. Go figure!
YouTube is idea to showcase your videos. You can create Channels, Playlists, find subscribers, network, AND create revenue (if you hit a certain amount of Views).
Vimeo is an alternative to Youtube. I don’t use it as much. I like it to share private videos with people and at Songsalive! we use it for our Songcraft videos as you can add a password.
Google+ didn’t get a huge rating for me. Hence I didn’t dive deep. But they are trying. Their “circles” at least helps you compartmentalize fans into different groups. Businesses seems to like it (at least that’s Google’s selling point). I’m still on the fence. To access, you need a google or gmail account. It connects within your logins for that.
Soundcloud is the perfect solution for sharing songs (whether full or edited, though you have to edit inadvance before you upload). You can find fans, and they can even post their favorite parts of your song, comment, and even remix your song with permission. Soundcloud is linked sometimes to other social networks too. They also provide a music player html code for your website.
Blogger is not a social network. It’s a blog. Write and express yourself, and then syndicate/publish the feed on your website through feedburner.com and to your social networks through Alternion.com.
Bandcamp seems to be a nice place to sell music directly from your site, and connects with other sites. But it’s not a social network. You can also sell your music on Reverbnation and Soundclick.com (the latter is also a social network and you can create a music player for your website, plus all sales go to You. Actually Soundclick is my favorite site for showcasing music. Like the old mp3.com, they also have Charts. You may see yourself in the top 10 one day.
LinkedIn.com is not a social network in the true sense, but it is an online networking community where you can upload your “resume” (Jobs, Education, Expertise) and then connect with others in the biz. I love it for doing and expanding my “business as an artist entrepreneur” and people take you way more seriously there, than any other social network that is generally seen as “fun”.
I’m no guru on Social Networks. I’m an Artist, and I run my own business. I coach other artists in their careers too. It may seem a lot to connect the dots, but if you follow my tried and true methods above, you’re thre-quarters there. The rest is actually promoting (Status updates, writing, networking) and creating GREAT music.
See ya online! Twitter: @gillimoon @artistdevcoach @songsalive Facebook.com/gillimoonmusic (my Fan page); Facebook.com/songsalive - Linkedin.com/in/gillimoon - Reverbnation.com/gillimoon – Myspace.com/gillimoon – Sonicbids.com/gillimoon – Soundcloud.com/gillimoon