The Musician’s Guide To Monitoring Your Online Brand

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This guest post was written our very own Jon Ostrow, Cyber PR®’s publicity director, who can be reached by email or on Twitter!

By now it should be more than obvious that as an artist or a band member, you need to be thinking about how you can leverage the power of blogging and social media to create a strong brand, an ever expanding online presence and a growing fan base (both in terms of loyalty and size).

While social media and blogging offer an incredible amount of opportunity to organically grow a meaningful brand through positive fan interaction and social sharing, there is also an unavoidable truth that all musicians must be aware of:

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The Musician’s Arsenal: Killer Apps, Tools & Sites


In the spirit of our recent mobile obsession, I bring you Mobile Backstage; another app development company focused on delivering customized mobile apps for artists. Mobile Backstage has a cool social media twist that sets them apart from the other app developers we’ve discussed recently. I’ve already talked about the benefits of having a mobile app here, so I’ll skip that now and jump straight into the features.

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What I Learned This Year…

This week has been a whirlwind. Monday and Tuesday I spent at the New Music Seminar,
and yesterday was my birthday (I was humbled by the Facebook posts, tweets and phone
messages I received from artists saying thank you to me).

For those of you who know me, I tend to reflect on my birthday.

This year, here is what I’m thinking about…

I’ll be honest, this year was not an easy one. A global recession, the continuing
shape-shifting of the music business and turning 40 made me think long and hard
about my career and the artists I choose to serve.

I asked a lot of people for advice and guidance this year about what to do, quite
a few “strategists” and “consultants” who have been fired from major record labels
and they say this:

“What you really need to do is ‘BREAK’ an unknown artist, or if only you had a HUGE
name on your client roster, you’d be able to parlay that into a whole new level of SUCCESS!!!”.

I guess what they don’t realize is that I am already experiencing an amazing level
of success by serving incredible artists who are mostly not household names (I did that
in a past life, and that’s another misery-filled story for another day).

Here’s what I want to tell you today:

Share yourself with authenticity
Give away as much as you can
Provide people an experience
(as the blog post says: people don’t want your download, they want an experience and that is you)

That is the foundation of a magical career.

With Love and Respect,
Ariel

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How To Make Your Facebook Timeline POP!

There is a fabulous feature that will help you highlight the things that happen throughout your life and career that you would like to post onto your Facebook Page.

This is a phenomenal tool for going back in time and recording important things in the history of your personal life, your band life, or anything else you might like to have highlighted.

For artists that have histories with other bands this is doubly amazing because you can go back and create milestones for practically anything, and really build your story.

Here are a few things you can add:

  • Past tour dates
  • Past album release dates
  • Past press placements & radio add dates
  • The day you saw an amazing concert that inspired you
  • The day you were signed to a label
  • The day you were dropped from a label
  • The day you got your publishing deal
  • The day you recorded your first song
  • The day you entered the studio
  • The day you had your first vocal lesson
  • Etc.

Anything that was important in the history of your band and your life and your music can be added as a milestone.

Here’s how to create a milestone on your timeline in 5 easy steps:

Step 1: Login to Facebook, go to the Status / Post Bar and click milestone

Step 2: A box will appear. Input all the information – Fill out the event name/ location and date.

Step 3: Tell a story about the milestone- Why was it significant?

Step 4: Add any photos that relate to the milestone

Step 5: Click Save and your milestone will be published on your timeline

TIP: Make sure when you create a milestone to add a photo, a little story or blurb, or a link to another site that helps to tell the story of that particular milestone.

Now your entire timeline will be robust and look amazing!

TIP: Note: If you are going to be adding multiple milestones at once I suggest that you check the box that says “hide from your newsfeed” so that your fans do not receive a whole bunch of notifications at once.

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8 Simple Steps to Formatting a Proper Press Release

Press release concept.Here in the Cyber PR® offices, we quite frequently have musicians about to release albums this fall for press release writing services. We no longer write press releases for bands, but wanted to at least give you the basis for how to do so properly, should you still feel the need to release one yourself:

A press release should be one page only and on letterhead (if you do not have letterhead put your logo or your record company’s logo at the top). Your press release should be formatted like this:

1. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

All Press Releases start with ‘FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE’ written in the top left hand corner, and always in CAPS.

2. The Contact Information

Contact Info should include your first and last name (or the first and last name of a specific person) a phone number and an email address. The web address is optional here or you can include it at the bottom in the additional contact information section.

It should look like this:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ariel Hyatt (212) 239-8384
[email protected]

3. Headline

Next comes the Headline of the Press Release which should be simple and centered and bold

An example:

Jen Chapin to Celebrate Release of New Album With East Coast Tour

4. Subhead

This is an expanded part of the headline which brings the reader in and accentuate the headline by adding detail

An example:

10 city tour supports Ready, her new album on Metropolitan Hybrid.
Cities will Include Philadelphia, Boston, Portland, and Hartford.

5. Opening Paragraph: Location, Date & 5 W’s

The Opening Paragraph should start with (City, State) Date — This is so the reader knows where the information is coming from and how timely the information is.

Example: (New York, NY) June 20, 2012

And it should answer the 5 W’s:

Who, What, When Where and Why

This initial paragraph should always grab the reader and answer all of the basic questions the reader might have these are factual. If the release is to promote a show or a specific event include the full date, venue name , venue address, showtime, ticket price and ages as well as a link to the venue for further directions & information.

6. Second Paragraph: USP / Unique Selling Point & Quotes

This is the “meat” of your press release so make it juicy!

This will include further information, more details, an engaging story, a quote about your music, or about the topic of the release from reviewers, fans, a producer, a venue owner or an industry tastemaker (because what other people say is always taken more seriously and is more believable than your own hype) and the USP – Unique Selling Point – a short description that captures the sound of the music (pretend that the reader may never actually hear the CD and include what makes you stand out.

7. Final Details & Additional Contact Information

Here is where you would include all tour dates, a mailing address a link to your websites, and a place where a photo can be downloaded a link where the CD or tracks can be purchased or label contact add them here.

8. The 3 # # #’s – The End!

Now type this:
# # #

This indicates that the press release is finished and there is not another page.

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The Musician’s Guide To Linking Your Facebook and Twitter Accounts

If you haven’t already linked your Twitter account to your Facebook account now is the time to do it! Twitter just confirmed that they have updated the Twitter application for Facebook and it is available for EVERYONE.

According to the Twitter spokesman, Robert Weeks, “the updated integration will include a richer media experience related to the first photo, URL, @mention, or #hashtag in the cross-posted tweet.”

What does this mean for you?

It means your tweets can now be published on Facebook properly, so that your images show properly, links appear correctly and you can now even #hashtags and @ mentions will be linked properly.

Now every time that you update your Twitter account, your Facebook status will update automatically (and properly).

Word to the wise: quite a few studies have shown that a Facebook Fan Page is most effective when only posted on once or twice a day. So, while you can now combine your Facebook and Twitter accounts effectively (a HUGE time saver for the busy, independent artist), you want to be careful not to over post to your Facebook fan page from Twitter.

If you already have your Twitter and Facebook accounts linked then you may want to unlink them and re-link them so that you get all the new features

 

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to install Twitter onto your Fanpage:

1. Go to the top bar across the top of your Twitter homepage and look for the icon of the person (it’s in between the search box and the blue “compose new tweet”). A drop down box is associated with this icon that says “Settings”

2. Scroll down and you should see a box that says Facebook – post tweets to Facebook.

3. If you do not see it – login to Facebook and search for Twitter – click on the first Twitter Icon that pops up – it will promt you to login to Twitter

It looks like this:

 

4. Click the yellow button and then look at the twitter settings again -The Facebook icon should show up

5. Click it and it should begin to install.

6. In order to see your fanpage show up click the tiny checkbox to the left of the words of my Facebook page and pull the page you want from the drop down box (if you administer more than one fanpage there will be several here)

7. Select the page you want associated with this account

8. Click on Blue “save changes” box!

Voila!  Now you have connected your personal page that admins your fanpage

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