Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Leveraging Your Online Presence

Well, I really have been sort of on this online presence and community thing as of late. It is probably due to the fact that I really don't have the time to invest in performing live all that often anymore and I am looking for different avenues to present my music. Online communities (artist or otherwise), music distribution sites and so forth have at the moment become something I have wanted to focus a little bit more attention on. It is a topic that is often talked about briefly but never really discussed deeply. There are so many numerous websites out there that the whole process can be overwhelming. I myself for instance previously went with the approach of getting my music onto as many of these websites as possible to get to as many ears as possible. I have no idea of this approach really worked or not but in the end I inevitably found that I only had the time to concentrate on a couple of websites. For me those ended up being and to some extent Myspace. I as everyone else jumped onto the Myspace bandwagon when the rush was happening and had quite a bit of traffic on the page....for a while. Now with most all of these websites I have seen traffic dip significantly over the past year. In part due to me not keeping up with the site and in part due to the just lower traffic I think. In that time since I have moved onto numerous other social sites to try to promote myself. Virb, Last.FM and many others that I honestly can't even remember.


It makes you sort of wonder though how is the best way to approach this whole online process. On the one hand you want to get in on the ground floor to any site while it is starting. I personally have the strong opinion that in some of the bigger sites it is way too easy to get lost in the crowd. If one joined Myspace today would they even get hits without having some sort of method to channel people to the site? It certainly is too big for the sort of stumbling around method that it had a couple of years ago. On the other site of the fence you are in the same boat of perhaps diluting your time and resources too thinly. Who is to say how much of a user base or traffic these pages are ultimately going to get. Virb is an excellent example of this. The site is great, the flexibility is awesome and there are a few artists on there who are getting hits. Ultimately though I find by browsing through their pages that almost everyone there who is not on the front page has less than 100 song listens and very few friends. It just doesn't have the critical mass to make it appealing in some sense. Do you hang on and hope it pops or let it go?


As I mentioned before I have always taken the shotgun approach in the past to these pages, but perhaps a more focused approach to alternative promotion sites is a better way to approach the entire thing. Lets face it. Myspace for example has a ton of problems with it. When all is said and done it is a recognizable brand like Youtube. Putting that link on your business card or flyer is a pretty much sure way to get some hits and people are familiar with it. 


Ultimately though I am curious as to what other live musicians are doing. Are there any sites that are really hitting your interest right now? Is Myspace still your staple despite its recent slow down in growth? Did you take the shotgun approach much as I have or are you focusing your listeners to a couple of sites?


I would love to hear from what people have found successful.


Anonymous said...

I've found that jumping on the bandwagon of each new music social network that appears takes too much effort and often you don't get much back from it.

The approach I've taken is to build a proper .com site for my music, making sure I can be found in all these sites and social networks, then using my profile there and all my promotional resources to redirect people to my real site. That way I have complete control on how I present myself and my music, have a centralized place from where to update all my profiles, and look far more professional sending someone to my own site than to a myspace profile that sometimes doesn't even work properly.

Also, I think your real world promotion has to go hand in hand with your internet promotion. If you don't interconnect everything you do online offline and vice versa, both lose steam pretty easily.

M.A.S. said...

That is pretty much the same approach that I did. Hit ever social site out there to put a link back to my main .com site for references. I found however I was spending so much time trying to maintain the other 10+ sites that I was spread a little too thin.