(The original version of this article was first published on the Mp3 Backing Trax website circa 2006 – 2012)
You’ve heard of Social Networking by now, right? If you haven’t, Social Networking sites are websites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter etc. Basically they are websites which allow you to interact with other users.
But they also have another use that that not many people know about which you can sneakily use.
If you are an entertainer and have a main website for your act, you can use these free Social Networking sites to drive more traffic (visitors) to your main website…and get more bookings.
I’ve been extolling the virtues of Social Networking for some years now, but not every singer actually understands the concept. Many singers are unaware of the benefits their act can get from Social Networking. They wrongly think that Social Networking is just about teens talking rubbish, sending “love” and “likes” to each other, and discussing what happened at school yesterday.
One singer I spoke to actually told me that he thought Social Networking was rubbish because his band have had NO bookings whatsoever from their page. Oh dear, he’s missed the point COMPLETELY.
So here’s a more detailed explanation of how you can use Social Networking to help your act.
What Social Networking can do for your act
If you use Social Networking websites correctly, they’ll drive traffic (visitors) to your main website…and your main website is where you do the actual “selling” of your act. Your main website is where you will show off your act and take the bookings. The Social Networking websites are simply tools you use to get the visitors to your main website in the first place.
It’s a bit like owning a shop. If you want your shop to do any business, you have to go to where people congregate and tell them you have a shop and encourage them to come have a look. That may mean doing things like advertising your shop in your local newspaper which has the effect of telling people where your shop is, what it sells, and encourages them to come take a look at your products.
It’s no different with online websites. Your website is your shop. Your website is where you “sell” your act.
There are millions of people out there who don’t know that you’re a great singer. They don’t even know your act exists. So you need to tell them how fantastic you are, and they need to know that they can see you, hear you, and book you.
So you need to get them to your website…and Social Networking is the perfect way to do it.
You need to go to where the people are. MySpace, Facebook, Twitter etc all have hundreds of millions of visitors every day. Get in there and post regularly, respond to posts, answer personal messages promptly, tell everyone where they can find your website.
By opening up lots of Social Networking accounts and posting links to your main website on all those Social Networking websites, you are achieving two very important things:
- You are letting hundreds of millions of people out there know that you have an act and where they can find it.
- You are creating incoming links to your main website from highly respected social Networking websites. Search engines like Google rank websites on, among other things, the number of INCOMING links from other websites, so the more Social Networking websites that link to your main website, the more important Google consider your main website to be.
Here’s my top tips on how to use Social Networking to drive traffic (visitors) to your main website. I’ve listed the main Social Networking websites below but there are many others (e.g Bebo.com, Linkedin.com, Friendster.com etc). By the time you’ve read this article you’ll be able to “replicate” the following strategies with as many Social Networking sites as you want.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time setting up a glitzy MySpace.com page. As long as it’s clean and presentable and has a link back to your main website, that’s what you really want to achieve. The real power of MySpace is in it’s blog facility. Post to your MySpace blog often and try to get backlinks to your main website in every post.
Search engines like Google love blog content so backlinks from your MySpace blog to your main website will help rank it higher in the search engines.
Facebook.com is like MySpace in many ways but don’t think it’s just another place to get more backlinks from. It’s more than that. Certainly, you should do the same things on Facebook as you do with MySpace to drive traffic to your main website but Facebook has some other useful features.
Use the Updates section on Facebook to let people know of any changes you’ve made to your website. Use add-ons to create a buzz about your act. For example you could send your Facebook friends little sound clips of you singing to encourage them to visit your website and buy your album.
Blogger.com is owned by Google and offers free blogs. Set up a Blogger blog as a way of getting more backlinks to your main website. Blogger blogs are created as sub domains on the blogspot.com domain. Basically what this means is that your Blog address will be http://YourName.blogspot.com/.
Remember what I said about Google loving blogs? Well it doesn’t get much better than a blog which is owned and operated by Google and has your name as the sub domain!
Like all blogs, the more entries (posts) you add to your blog, the more your act will be picked up by the other Blogger.com users, and the higher it will rank in the search engines because your blog is on a VERY respected domain.
WordPress.com is another place to get a free blog. Just like blogger.com, your name is set up on a sub domain of wordpress.com so you get all the same great advantages of blogger.com and yet more backlinks.
Don’t overdo it though. WordPress do get a bit shirty if you’re only using them for blatant advertising but if you act responsibly and talk about your act, where you’ve been gigging etc then it’ll all be relevant and they won’t mind you linking to your main website from your wordpress.com blog.
Squidoo.com allow you to create things called “lenses”. A Squidoo “lens” could probably be considered to be something that’s somewhere between a blog and a website. The best thing I like about Squidoo is the ability to place an RSS feed from one of your blogs on your Squidoo lens.
Your Squidoo lens gets automatically updated, you get another backlink, and all without you having to lift a finger.
HubPages.com is very similar to Squidoo. You can create a sort of mini-website on HubPages. Use HubPages for more backlinks but just be careful. Just like WordPress.com, HubPages tend to get a bit shirty if you are just blatantly advertising, but they do allow you two outgoing links to your main website including an RSS feed link.
Twitter.com is called a “micro-blogging” platform where your posts can only be a maximum of 140 characters long [edit: this has now been changed to 280 characters]. In essence, the type of entry you would post on Twitter is probably the sort of thing you’d type in to a text message on your mobile phone (in fact you can “Tweet” from your mobile phone to your Twitter account).
Twitter is designed so that you can let your friends know what you’re doing. However, my advice is when you post to twitter, find ways of mentioning your main website and this will get you yet more quality backlinks to your main website. Twitter will give you a URL which will be in the form http://Twitter.com/YourName so again, it’s a good quality backlink.
Twitter is all about following others and getting others to follow you so another tip is to find singers, entertainers or agents in the same business as you, look and see who they are following and then you follow those people as well. Just watch out for people who have thousands of followers but are not following many people back themselves.
Nobody likes a one-way street so be pro-active. Tweet about the updates you’re doing to your website, the new songs you are singing or learning to sing, where you’re gigging tonight, how last nights gig was etc. Make sure you mention your name or your acts name and your main website address regularly when you “Tweet”.
Remember that to get results out of Social Networking takes time. Don’t expect results overnight and don’t expect results unless you are prepared to put a bit of work in to it. You need to keep on top of all your Social Networking sites and post content to them often.
The more often you post, and the more involved you get, the more you’ll see your main website climb up the search engine rankings.
That means more visitors to your main website and ultimately more bookings for your act.