In Honour of Social Media Day: Book Me Today & Save!

Mashable Social Media Day

According to Mashable (www.mashable.com – @mashable), one of the leading tech & social media experts online today, it’s Social Media Day or if you’re on Twitter – #SMDay (trending now).

http://mashable.com/2015/06/30/happy-social-media-day-2015/ – Read all about it here.

I’m enough of a social media geek to play along so in honour of it being Social Media Day, I’m offering – TODAY ONLY – last year’s rates to any new clients who need assistance with their social media management or marketing. I specialize in working with musicians, authors & artists and you can read more about my services here.

Have you simply had enough of the stress & annoyance of being forced to participate in social media marketing to get anywhere with your music careers? How many of you just don’t care or worry about it?

Here’s “19 ways social media has ruined our lives” from METRO magazine:

(*Warning: This article MIGHT make you laugh!)

http://metro.co.uk/2015/06/30/19-ways-social-media-has-ruined-our-lives-5267360/

Now, don’t you feel just a little better?

Why You Should Use ManageFlitter To Help You Manage Your Twitter Account

ManageFlitter My favourite tool for managing Twitter accounts is ManageFlitter. It helps us to figure out who we’re following on Twitter that is either inactive or not following us back and it allows us to unfollow up to 100 people per day with the free version of the service.

A commercial version of ManageFlitter was launched in February 2011 by a company called Melon Media in Sydney, Australia, whose chief executive officer is Kevin Garber.

I love this tool because it’s so easy to use and the free version is sufficient for the bulk of ManageFlitter users. You simply go to www.manageflitter.com and sign in using your Twitter account. Be sure you’re signed in to Twitter first so that you can allow ManageFlitter access by authorizing them to pull in your data. You click the red Start button and ManageFlitter pulls in all the people you’re following on Twitter. Then you go to the Manage tab if it doesn’t direct you there automatically, which it often does. From there you can see in the left column, tabs for who is Not Following Back, who has No Profile Image (I don’t follow accounts without a profile image), which accounts are Non-English and who is Inactive. Generally, I click on Inactive first and if someone hasn’t tweeted in a month, I unfollow them. Then I go to Not Following Back and unfollow those accounts held by people who aren’t following me back.

My strategy is to work regularly on searching (using keywords or #hashtags) for people or organizations on Twitter that I’m interested in or who my clients would be interested in and then put them into Lists via keywords to later help filter their feed and find those people more easily so they can talk to them. I will also follow people recommended to me through shoutouts and hashtags like #FF (Follow Friday) or #MM (Music Monday), etc.

Once a month I use ManageFlitter to see who I’ve followed who is inactive or not following back and I unfollow them because let’s face it, they won’t be of any benefit to me. You can always choose to continue to follow a certain amount of Twitter accounts held by those who won’t follow you back because they’re celebrities, news sources or leading specialists in their field because you value the content of their tweets, but I think you should keep those to a minimum in order to keep your ratio of following to followers more even and therefore more appealing to others.

ManageFlitter’s Account Search feature is also excellent for defining who you’re looking for on Twitter and it will pull in a list of people you might want to follow based on the parameters of your search. Click the Refine tab to get the whole form and fill in what’s relevant to you. It always tends to pull in those who have heaps of followers first. As you know, sometimes those people won’t be the ones to follow you back. Always look for their ratio of followers to following to make your decision before you follow someone and make sure they tweet regularly. You can follow people directly from ManageFlitter too.

ManageFlitter also has a Power Post feature under the Engagement tab that enables you to preschedule your tweets to go out at peak times throughout the day. You can use Tweroid to help you to determine what times are best for you to tweet to reach your optimum audience. You can connect your Facebook account and LinkedIn account as well so that you can preschedule posts for them.  You can program in a Recurring tweet as well. I’m not sure how many tweets you can preschedule at once with the free version but you can probably do quite a few. You can ask ManageFlitter questions using their Support form under the Dashboard tab.

There are many additional features you can get including Analytics if you pay to upgrade your account but I find that for my clients’ purposes as well as their budgets that the free version is fine.

All you really need to help manage your Twitter account is ManageFlitter. Check out their blog for more great tips.

The Day the Internet Died by Boris Glikman

Andy 7

Image by Andy Paciorek


It was widely known that Internet had been ailing for some time. Its poor health had made it rather slipshod in the execution of its duties. Some people had to endure days of frustration until an online connection was established, while for others the connection kept going on and off every second, like a flickering light globe.

For a while Internet hovered in a half-dead condition, with one foot in the grave, and mankind held its breath, fearing Internet would continue to deteriorate and then give up the ghost altogether.

And then the day came when Internet breathed its last and nobody could believe their ill fortune. It was hard to grasp that Internet no longer dwelled in the world, and that the burden of living would never again be lightened with the ever-present alternative of escaping into an online existence. No one would be privileged any more with the luxury of having two worlds to live in.

The most eminent computer technicians of the land were assigned the task of performing the autopsy. Their unanimous conclusion was that the Internet died of virtual causes. What nobody had suspected was that the Internet possessed a finite life span. Everyone had always assumed it would be around forever, yet it too carried within itself the lethal seeds of eternal offline-ness.

The next most pressing issue was the burial. Issues never considered before needed to be addressed urgently, for the sight of lifeless Internet lying prostrate on the ground was too heartbreaking for the world to take. Where should the funeral ceremony be held? In which language or computer code should the memorial service be conducted? Who should give the eulogy? Where to entomb it?

The matter of whom to invite to the service proved to be the most intractable issue of all. A certain number of tickets were reserved for those most deeply affected by Internet’s death – online pornography addicts, social misfits, ingrained introverts, Twitter-obsessed celebrities, Nigerian scammers and long-term residents in Second Life’s virtual world. Otherwise, it was nearly impossible to determine who was genuinely grief-stricken and who only wanted to attend the ceremony so as to be a part of this historic occasion.

Eventually, all of these matters were resolved, although not to everyone’s satisfaction, and the world gave Internet the sending off it deserved. Straight after the funeral, the world went into a shutdown, mourning Internet’s passing and remembering wistfully how it could answer any question; satisfy all emotional, mental and bodily needs; thrill the mind and the senses; provide instantaneous information, entertainment, relaxation and titillation; and even cure loneliness. Tragically, given the magnitude and depth of the loss, some could not bear to continue living in a world without Internet and logged out permanently from this world.

Once the unbridled, hysterical wave of grief finally subsided, people sobered up and gradually realised how the Internet had debased and disfigured their lives.

They recalled with horror and consternation the way Internet enabled people to dawdle their lives away in the endless morass of net world, leaving vital tasks undone and crucial issues unresolved; how googling had supplanted the wisdom that comes with age, experience, learning and, with instantaneous information always at one’s fingertips, the value of knowledge was lost; the way online reality became the only world and real reality was jilted and forgotten, just like the plain sister of a gorgeous girl; how Internet robbed life of its multifarious richness and beauty and reduced the world to a small, rectangular screen; the way online reality became a prison in which humanity willingly immured itself and then threw away the key.

Mankind recognised how fundamentally Internet had altered the nature of social relations and the nature of one’s relationship with oneself. Invented to facilitate communication and for bringing the world together, the Internet instead became the perfect tool for dissimulation, distorting the truth and separating oneself from the world, thus allowing people to not only misrepresent their true thoughts and feelings, but to falsify their entire lives and the very essence of their being, to themselves as well as to others.

People discovered that fingers were not just for typing and shifting mouses but had other uses too; that out of their torsos extended a pair of lower limbs which could be used for perambulating across the spatial dimension; that Evolution had equipped their bodies with tools perfect for conveying thoughts and feelings; that their faces possessed well-developed muscles which could be employed to signal emotions such as (amongst many others) surprise, annoyance, happiness, and frustration. Consequently, successful communication could be achieved without intermediary electronic devices. Most startling of all was the revelation that other people were not identical to their icons – flat and forever stuck in the same pose with the same smile on their faces – rather they were three dimensional beings, moving about and changing their facial expressions.

Having friends and partners in the physical world meant that you were free from the precariousness, uncertainty and unreliability of online friendships and relationships, and no longer subject to the capricious actions and decisions of your web pals, to whom, after all, you were just an ethereal, abstract entity that could easily be deleted permanently from their life with just a click of a mouse. Consequently, the constant threat of online friends and lovers inexplicably ceasing all contact and disappearing forever was gone for good.

“Back to Reality” tutorials proved to be very popular and helpful, covering such topics as  “Learning How to Single-Task”; “Becoming Acquainted with the Sun and the Sky”, and “How to Survive in a World that Cannot be Photoshopped”.

Life slowly regained its meaning as mankind clambered, one small step at a time, out of the online abyss it had dug for itself. Without the Internet, no one had to grapple any more with the problem of how to balance one’s life between the two worlds. Time started to flow more slowly; instant gratification was no longer craved; contemplation and patience revealed their true worth. It was now clearly seen that online reality provided only fleeting pseudo-meaning; that emotions felt in the web world were only ephemeral ersatz feelings; and that real self-esteem came not from social media popularity, but from within.

Each human being now experienced life directly, rather than through the distorting, diminishing and vicarious lens of a computer screen; facing the good and not so-good things in their lives without escaping into the net world and evading the reality of their existence; and being true to their inner selves, instead of hiding behind their icons and online identities. Only then was it realised how inextricably Internet had woven its fateful thread into every aspect of man’s existence and how much had been gained the day Internet died.

Boris Glikman

What Many Musicians Don’t Realize About Social Media Marketing

Galway Street MusicianI’ve been working as a social media manager for musicians under the business name Scully Love Promo for almost seven years and I absolutely love working with them because music has always been a great passion of mine.  I’ve worked with everyone from local musicians who create music as a hobby to Juno and Grammy winning artists.  Over the years I’ve morphed from super fan girl who listened to music constantly in my spare time into a self-employed person who doesn’t have a lot of time left at the end of the day to actually discover or listen to new music online, let alone the artists I’m already a fan of. So I suspect that most people’s computer time is also extremely limited and therefore it’s extremely important that as a musician with an online presence, you don’t take your audience for granted.

Social media has completely changed the life of working musicians and has forced them to get on board with it whether they like it or not.  Most independent touring musicians don’t have time to write new music, record, produce, market and tour it themselves without a team of individuals in place to help them.  They need a manager or booking agent, a publicist, a grant writer, a social media manager…you get the picture.  It takes a village to create a successful touring musician!

Social media has also completely demolished the barrier that used to exist between an artist and their fans.  It used to be that all they had to do was make records, give interviews to the press and perform live in concert, while their agents or labels took care of their marketing. Not anymore.  The music industry has changed drastically, and now most artists have to do everything for themselves and the most important thing that needs to be addressed is the relationship they have with their fans.  Without fans, they have nothing.

I’m sure most of us have LIKED the Facebook page of at least a few musicians, singers or bands since we’ve been on Facebook and some of us have liked hundreds if not thousands of them. If you actually want to Ann Vriend Singer-SongwriterSEE the posts from your favourite artist’s Facebook page, as soon as you LIKE it, click on Get Notifications and add that page to an Interest list. You can call the list whatever you like but it will help you to filter your News Feed so that you’ll see those pages’ posts that you’re interested in when you’re ready to look.

Most musicians that I work with are wonderful at posting their own content regularly on their Facebook page and they even know how important it is to post different kinds of content, including lots of photos, videos, text-based updates, questions, links, events, etc.  Many of them are very good at having conversations with their fans and answer their comments and emails in a timely fashion.  However, quite a few aren’t so good at it. Some don’t even really want to look at their Facebook pages, or their YouTube inboxes, nor give a damn about how Twitter really works, even though they know they’re important marketing tools and that having a lot of likes, followers and views (which translates to fans) is important.  They think having a social media manager to take care of their sites for them should be enough, but it’s not. There is no substitute that is acceptable to the fans of that artist.  They want to communicate directly with the artist!  The social media manager should be there to help them post content in a timely fashion, let them know when they have messages and comments, organize lists, run ad campaigns, delete spam, monitor analytics, etc., but they should not be the ones talking to the fans.

When it comes to social media marketing, I’ve found that many musicians that I’ve worked with who have been around for a while fail to understand the need for or importance of not only being consistent and posting regularly on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but also sharing other people’s content.  They think their social media marketing should be all about them, and that’s just not the case.  We’re all here to help each other and the more that musicians show their generosity of spirit by allowing their fans to know about who they like and support by sharing their content, the better it is for everyone.  If you’re not a household name and you don’t have a ton of cash to spend on a super professional and expensive marketing team, you need help, and that means that you need to be willing to help others as well.  That’s how it works.  That’s why we LIKE other people’s pages AS our page, so that we can use Facebook AS our page and scan through the News Feed to find other people’s content that we can share to help them.  That’s why we retweet other people’s content and comment on other people’s videos.

Musicians are special.  They are important.  What the talented ones bring to the world makes it a better place to live in.  But they’re not more important than the people who spend their surplus cash on buying their CDs or digital downloads and tickets to their concerts.  Musicians and their fans are a team and should treat each other with thoughtfulness and respect at all times, because without fans, you may be a musician, but you’ll be a lonely player performing for yourself in your bedroom.

 

Updated February 10, 2015