Our look into Social Networks, and what they mean for musicians…Part 1

Last week we imparted our wisdom on the top 10 mistakes that artists make on social media. Following on from that post, this week we’re focusing on the five main social media sites out there, with today’s post being about seasoned pro Facebook, and newcomer Google+. Tomorrow we’ll be giving an overview of the other social networks out there, and what they can offer up to artists.

With the addition of Google+ to the already diverse social media market –  and speculation over Facebook ‘Vibes’ –  what social networking sites offer the most to artist, by way of tools and features, in terms of promoting yourself online?

Speculation has been rife across the media that Facebook will be adding a streaming, and possibly downloading, service, potentially called ‘Vibes’. A hacker, who goes by the name of Jeff Rose, claims on his blog to have discovered an indication of this new service in  html coding for the new video calling app launched by Facebook three weeks ago. If Rose’s revelations are true, and Facebook does in fact go the route of offering a download service, it could rocket the social network into competition with iTunes and Amazon for the top downloading provider. Originally it was rumoured that Facebook’s ‘Music Dashboard’ would be a partnership with Spotify, but new reports from Giga OM suggest that it will be a collaboration with lots of different providers.

However, until Facebook actually announce this, we’ve really no idea of properly knowing what it will offer, and what it will mean, so until that time, lets focus on the aspects that Facebook offers musicians now:

  • The artist page – a feature not available on some other sites (Google+ I’m looking at you). This is a page artist’s can create as opposed to a personal page, specifically dediacted to their music – have your gigs on there, photos, and interact with fans. There are also options you can add to your artists page such as…
  • ...Embedding a player -For example the one Zimbalam offers. Adding a player enables fans to listen to your music, as well as having a bio on there, your artwork and an email grabber. There are also link icons leading to your other social media sites, and links to where listeners can buy your music.
  • Facebook Connect – this is an amazing feature that allows you to import all your details from MySpace, onto Facebook page. Easy.
  • ‘Like’ button – Facebook also gives artists the option to make their page private, with the information on their becoming accessible to someone only when they ‘like’ the page. Although this may seem like its putting a barrier up, having this in place actually gives people an incentive to ‘like’ the page, and encourages people to do so.

And so onto Google+. For those of you who may not know what Google+ is (where have you been?) its Google’s answer to Facebook. Some 20 million users have joined Google+ even though it’s still in its infancy, and still having some teething problems, for example:

  • No Band profiles – Yesterday HypeBot.com posted an article by Bob Baker (TheBuzzFactor.com) about why artists should refrain from jumping on the Google+ band wagon, at least for now. As Google+ is in its current state it is not set up to house business, brand, musician or any kind of profile which differentiates for an individual. Bands who were quick of the mark and set themselves on the site will find that their profiles will be removed, if not already. Rest assured that these capabilities will come into play in the future, but for now, it’s a no-go.

However – there are some good points, and musical success stories surrounding Google+, so don’t write it off just yet.

  • Circles and Hangouts – It has a sleek design and features including ‘Circles’ in which you can control exactly who sees what content you post out with complete ease. Google+ also offers a ‘Hangout’ feature. This feature works in pretty much the same way as Skype however you can host up to 10 people in one ‘Hangout’. Some artists have used this feature to promote their music with varying degrees of success, such as…
  • Rob Michael- Rob paved the way for musicians using Google+ (under their own name of course). Using the ‘Hangouts’ feature, he initiated a virtual impromptu jam session, demonstrating what could be in store for musicians using Google+ in the future. This act also posed questions about the impact and reach artists could have, if Google were to increase the number of people allowed in a hangout – which brings us to…
  • Daria Musk – Daria followed where Rob led, except luckily for her, one of the ten people in the hangout watching her live set from her recording studio, happened to be a Google engineering director, who ‘daisy chained’ the video, allowing more people to log on and watch her.

So, it looks like in the future, when Google+ has got to grips with itself and what people want, it could be quite a useful portal for musicians to use.

This post is by Believe Digital / Zimbalam social media intern and blogger Jess Boyer @jessroseboyer, and Zimbalam UK manager Hannah Donovan @hannahbarracuda

Stay Tuned! Tomorrow we’ll be looking at other social media sites like twitter and MySpace, and what they’ve got on offer



6 thoughts on “Our look into Social Networks, and what they mean for musicians…Part 1

  1. very useful… will definitely look into starting a hangout as that would be awesome for broadcasting a house show. thanks! 🙂

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