Get Visual in 2015: Infographic Makes Sizing Images for Social Media Easy

Music may be your main focus, but if we’re talking social media, graphics, photos and videos are grabbing fans’ attention first — whether they’re at their computer watching YouTube or checking Instagram on their phones. So, to get your 2015 social posts off to a solid start, we’re sharing this helpful infographic from SetUpABlogToday.

Check back here for more tips on maximizing fan engagement in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, get cropping!

ShellyGet Visual in 2015: Infographic Makes Sizing Images for Social Media Easy
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Musicians as Digital Storytellers: How To Seize the Power of Social Media

As an Artist, you’re probably relying on some form of social media to spread the word about your music. But today, it’s not enough to only update your fans with messages about your music.

We sat down with social media marketing expert Jim Tobin, President of Ignite Social Media, to find out where musicians often fall short in their social media strategy, and to learn how they can start making improvements today.

Watch the full interview above and read some of the highlights below:

SamMusicians as Digital Storytellers: How To Seize the Power of Social Media
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Your Facebook Fans Aren’t Seeing Your Posts: Here’s What You Can Do About It

When musician Ryan Trauley logged into Facebook to check the performance of a recent post to his band Oulipo’s page, the results shocked him.

“I have 800 fans on my page, but this post I wrote about my show was only seen by 10 people. I don’t understand how that’s possible,” said Trauley.

Ryan isn’t the only one surprised. Every day more artists are noticing that they’re reaching fewer and fewer fans on Facebook. Why is this happening?

Facebook is reducing the number of people who see your posts in their News Feed organically. They’re accomplishing this by cutting down on a number called “Organic Reach*,” which refers to how many people you can reach for free on Facebook by posting to your Page.

ReverbNation has been a longtime advocate of artists promoting themselves using social media. In 2007, we developed Band Profile, the first Facebook app for artists. Band Profile was designed to help artists take advantage of the growing platform, and to share everything with their fans, from songs to updates to merch.

Since then, ReverbNation has continued to integrate products closely with Facebook, including tying our ad offerings into Facebook through its API. In fact, we were one of the first partners invited to use their API (Application Programming Interface).

Given our front row seat to the ever-changing landscape of Facebook, I spent some time talking to those knowledgeable about the platform. I asked two key ReverbNation team members some questions and received some interesting responses.

SamYour Facebook Fans Aren’t Seeing Your Posts: Here’s What You Can Do About It
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New Twitter Features Help Take Photo Sharing to the Next Level

Twitter has been rolling out tons of new changes recently. Taking a page out of Instagram’s playbook, the folks at Twitter recently made updates that take a more photo-friendly approach to your feed. While it’s always been possible to post photos to Twitter, now you can:

  • Post multiple photos at once
  • Add filters to a photo
  • Tag your friends and followers to keep the conversation going

Show, Don’t Tell

Ever heard this old saying? It’s more relevant than ever, especially since highly-visual platforms like Instagram and Facebook have become the places we share news about our life and music. Enhanced photos options on Twitter will provide another way to share with your friends and fans. Plus, the new features can help drive more social engagement with your posts, spreading your music even further than before.

SamNew Twitter Features Help Take Photo Sharing to the Next Level
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Are Photography and Cover Art Important for Musicians?

Tina V, ReverbNation Artist Since 2010As musicians, you spend most of your time writing and performing music that you hope will set you apart from the rest. Sometimes, you spend so much time focusing on music, that other important pieces that can help you get discovered are forgotten. One of the most important – and often forgotten – elements of your band’s presence is how you present yourself visually. [Tweet this]

You might already know that at ReverbNation, we provide opportunities for artists to play festivals, get featured in magazines, get airplay on radio and more. We work directly with promoters to bring these opportunities to you, the artist, and after you submit to the opportunities, the promoters select the best fit for the winner. A few months ago, we conducted a survey of 2,000 artists to find out how they think the opportunities process works.

SamAre Photography and Cover Art Important for Musicians?
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Celebrate With Us: Music For Good Hits 100,000 Artist Milestone!

You’ve got heart, kids! Thanks to your help, we now have over 100,000 artists supporting Music For Good. An idea that started 10 months ago has turned into a movement, and one that has built some amazing relationships between charities and independent artists. We could tell you all about it, or you could watch for yourself in this video below:

100,000 artists joining in 10 months to help 13 charities. Pretty great, right? We think so, and we are excited to see how Music For Good will continue to grow.

Special thanks to all of the charities who are a part of Music For Good!

World Vision, Sweet Relief, Oxfam America, Love Hope Strength, Keep a Child Alive, Heifer International, Half the Sky Movement, Fender Music Foundation, Every Mother Counts, charity: water, CARE, Camp Southern Ground, Beat Making Lab

We want you to celebrate with us! If you watched the video above, you probably have a good idea of how we’re sharing the good news with our friends, family and fans: Through a campaign we’re calling “100,000 Hearts.” Since you’ve put so much heart into Music For Good, we want you to show us your heart! And, no, we don’t mean like this:

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We were thinking something more like this!

ReverbPictureMFG

Take a picture of you “showing your heart” in any way that you choose. Then, post your photo to Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or our Facebook timeline using the hashtag #100kHearts. We’ll retweet your tweets to our 200,000+ followers and you’ll join thousands of other artists in celebrating this fantastic accomplishment. Be on the lookout for a brand new Pinterest board with a collection of all the 100,000 Hearts submissions!

While we could talk all day about how great the program is and how great all of you are, we’ll let our artists and charity partners speak for themselves! Take a look at the quotes below to see how this program has made a difference in the lives of those involved. And if you aren’t on Music For Good, check it out and consider becoming a part of the program today!

Bob Ferguson, Creative Alliances & Music Outreach Project Manager, Oxfam AmericaBob Ferguson, Creative Alliances & Music Outreach Project Manager, Oxfam America“Oxfam America is incredibly excited at the growth of ReverbNation’s Music For Good initiative. Through MFG, Oxfam has over 8000 artists pledging their support and music to us, and that’s the kind of loud noise we love!”

Christy Turlington, Founder, Every Mother Counts

Christy Turlington, Founder, Every Mother Counts“Through ReverbNation’s Music for Good, 2000 musicians and bands are now spreading the word about Every Mother Counts, which allows us to reach wider audiences with our mission. By sharing these universal stories, we bring more global awareness to maternal health challenges and solutions. Together, we can make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all moms.”

Scott Harrison, CEO and founder, charity: waterScott Harrison, CEO and founder, charity: water“The Music for Good program through ReverbNation allows us to connect with different types of artists. Being a charity partner has allowed us to tap into a unique, new demographic we have not previously been able to reach, creating a relationship where artists can use their gift for good and bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries.”

Mike Peters, Co-Founder, Love Hope Strength & international touring musician with The Alarm and Big CountryMike Peters, Co-Founder, Love Hope Strength & international touring musician with The Alarm and Big Country: “Through ReverbNation’s life affirming Music For Good campaign we have not only raised much needed dollars, but we have also engaged thousands of artists in our mission to ‘save lives one concert at a time’ by registering marrow donors at artists’ concerts.”

Toby Lightman, ReverbNation artist and supporter of Half the Sky MovementToby Lightman, ReverbNation artist and supporter of Half the Sky Movement“Being a part of Music For Good has been an amazing experience, and has allowed me to learn about and support a charity I knew nothing about previously. It’s an indescribable feeling knowing that your music not only entertains people from around the world, but goes towards a greater good and is a part of something bigger.”

Jed Carlson, President and Co-Founder, ReverbNationJed Carlson, President and Co-Founder, ReverbNation“It’s obvious that well-known musicians, like Bono and Willie Nelson, can influence fans to connect with great causes. What’s so gratifying about Music For Good is the confirmation that independent artists in the aggregate can affect the same behavior. In fact, Music For Good really surpassed our expectations in terms of both artist participation and global significance. What started as an idea — downloads that donate — has evolved into a movement, one that establishes and nurtures philanthropic mindsets. It’s reinforced the premise that independent musicians have influence that can lead to real impact.”

To read more about artist and charity partnerships, check out our other Music For Good blog posts.

SamCelebrate With Us: Music For Good Hits 100,000 Artist Milestone!
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Ready to ROCK Your Facebook Profile?!

It’s simple: Just add the NEW ReverbNation section to your timeline! Now you can express to the world the activity you care about most on ReverbNation AND spiff up your profile in the process.

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1. Preview your custom ReverbNation section on Facebook.
2. Click “Add to Profile.”


If you’re an artist
, you can highlight your new songs and videos, showcase your upcoming shows, and let your fans know what music you’re currently listening to…all in one place!

If you’re a fan, you can show off your music taste with your recently played songs, favorite artists, and downloads. We’ll be adding new stuff, too.


 

Not seeing this on your Facebook profile?

Your ReverbNation profile must be synced with Facebook to add this custom section. If you haven’t already synced, here’s how:

  1. Go to your Social Sync settings on ReverbNation (Account > Social Sync).
  2. Select “Sync to Facebook” and log in with your Facebook account.
  3. Follow the directions above to add your custom section to your timeline.
  4. Keep doing what you do on ReverbNation. Before you know it, your section will be populated with all sorts of cool stuff.

Move your ReverbNation section to prime position!

You can easily move your ReverbNation section higher up on your timeline. Ensure that your friends see all your awesome activity by following these two quick steps:

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See you on Facebook!

SamReady to ROCK Your Facebook Profile?!
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6 great tactics to connect with fans on the road

In this guest post, blues and rock musician Josh Urban shares the social media tactics he got from his recent railroad touring experience.

The greatest advantage of being an independent artist today is ironically also its biggest challenge: Anyone can jump in the game. So while the playing field may be level, it’s crowded. Access isn’t the issue – recognition is.

Here are 6 suggested tactics I’ve had success upping my game using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to go beyond music and build a fan base:

Josh used Amtrak to tour the East Coast.

1. Create an experience

Good music and showmanship are vital — but here’s a radical idea:  What if there’s even more that we can do?

Musicians have always been the ones bringing the coolest thing to town. If the traditional live show is already saturating the market, what else can we do to create an experience?  In my case, I decided to take a tour by train, harkening back to the blues musicians of old. I invited people to virtually “tour” with me using hashtags and social media.  I believe that everyone has a story, so I invited them all to share their worldview by using the hashtag #JURT (Josh Urban Rail Tour.)

“My stage became theirs as they posted text, photos, and ideas back to the tour, creating an exciting environment of inclusion, democracy, and conversation.”

At the end of the tour, I assembled all of the photos posted into a giant collage, a collaborative view of the world as we saw it.  The question is: what can you do to create a unique experience for your fans?  Ask yourself:  Do I have interests outside of music I can draw on? Is there a cause I care deeply about?  What else moves me?  

2. Involve people

For a long time, I forgot the first word of the phrase “social media.”  Unlike traditional media, social media allows conversation.  Engagement with fans turns them into friends.  People like to be heard, and to have others hear their opinions.  Check out the comments section of a news article, and you’ll find folks debating viewpoints — and the input has little or no outcome on the story.  It never seems to stop people, though!

So, instead of talking at people, I like to invite them to talk with me.  Since they’re doing it anyway, we might was well have a conversation.  The challenge: Give ‘em something cool to talk about!  My tour turned into not just a journey, but a sharing of sights and ideas for everyone.  Plus, it made it a ton of fun!  How do I suggest involving people?  Which brings me to…

3. Make it easy

For me, I’ve never had much luck with asking people to remember things like “See this website on my CD?  Go to that later when you go home and sober up, then follow the link, and like my page.”  But  if I’m putting on a colorful show, people are probably going to snap a few Instagram shots of me.

On the rail tour, I told them that if they simply use the hashtag #JURT, they’d be part of a worldwide project.  I handed them a business card with the tour info on it and guess what – it worked great.  It was easy, and most importantly, they were doing it anyway.  I was able to throw a hashtag at them and get them to join in (and of course, follow them back on the networks!)

There are many other ways, but just remember: the simpler, the better.  I love hashtags, because you don’t have to know the person to interact, which is vital for building a fan base.

4. Their words, not mine 

People like to talk about stuff that involves them.  My new EP does not involve a stranger yet, so no matter how loudly I shout about it, they have little reason to listen to it, assuming they’ve never heard me play.  But, if they take a picture of me playing guitar and post it, now it’s in their worlds, and has something to do with them. This translates into interest, which turns into “Hey, I saw you in New York!  When’s your new EP coming out?”

“The more you get people to talk about your music in their own images and words, the better.”

5. Crossover appeal

By getting out of your comfort zone, you end up meeting people you would normally never meet. Future collabs anyone?

With the rail tour, I was able to interest not just fans of blues music, but also people who were intrigued with the idea, or who liked any aspect of it, such as traveling, trains, adventure, or stories.  It broadened my base, and made each conversation relevant to the project.

And believe me, I told everyone about it, meeting great connections accidentally! It also made it much more interesting to traditional media sources.  I was able to successfully pitch the tour to radio stations, newspapers, and even community television.  Another question to ask yourself:  Who else besides fans of your genre would enjoy knowing you?

6. Refine 

After every experiment, learn, refine and improve.  (Examples of things I learned: never try to eat a microwaved bagel, and give magazines plenty of lead time to meet their publishing deadlines.)

Remember to get busking permits ahead of time!

I’m looking forward to applying those lessons — and others — when I tour again this week, this time on my Search for Good Tour.  I’ll be touring by rail, playing children’s hospitals, street corners, cancer centers, and places that don’t have music.  I’ll be looking for the people, sights, and sounds that rock the world and I’ll be putting some good on the news for a change. (You’re invited to join me, of course!  Find some good, and post it with the #JURT hashtag!) I’ll be adding some other “cool factors,” such as bringing my home-built cigar box guitar and releasing an album on download cards in the form of a tour lanyard.

I’d like to end with six questions you can ask yourself:

  1. What can you do to create your own experience?
  2. How can you involve people?
  3. How can you make it easy for them to join in?
  4. How will they express it in their own words?
  5. Who else will this appeal to?
  6. What will you learn from the project?

I’d love to hear what you cook up!  Leave a comment below with your social media ideas and questions.

Josh Urban is currently recording an EP inspired by his first rail tour, and will be touring by rail again to support its release in May and June of 2013. He firmly believes all the world’s a stage, as shown on his Instagram feed. He can be reached via his website, Facebook, Twitter @DontJoshMe and Instagram @JoshUrban.

Sam6 great tactics to connect with fans on the road
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