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About 250-300 people attended my seminar at MidemNet last Sunday on Social Media, hopefully with rapt attention..!

As with previous years, we focussed the session on a hot topic affecting the music industry – this year with an additional emphasis on the artist-fan relationship. Social Media is by no means a new phenomenon, but is becoming well proven now as an avenue for marketing music and other media to a young, tech-savvy audience.

I ran through the current structure of the Social Media sector as we define it on StrategyEye, with a whistlestop tour of the deals and emerging players that we are tracking worldwide. Shelley Taylor of AllDigDown followed up with a great overview of their late-beta service – looking forward to this coming out of beta during this year!

It was billed as an Interactive Session, so the audience had to be on their toes. As well as the usual Q&A, everyone had a voting widget for immediate, live voting on a few key questions. Here are the results in full:

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“When did you start using social networks in your marketing strategy?”
–    35% haven’t started, 30% started last year, 35% started two or more years ago

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is a later-adopting crowd than we have seen in previous, online surveys…

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… so should the late-adopters use social networks more? Yes!:

“Are social networks a cost effective tool for marketing?”
–    83% Yes, 17% No

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“Is there more value for music promotion in choosing a mainstream social network, or a music-focussed community?”
–    We asked this question a couple of times – the first time, results were pretty even: 54% mainstream, 46% music-focussed-community. Second time around, the audience had veered towards the mainstream sites: 69% mainstream, 31% music-focussed-community

Was this a true shift in opinion, or a sign that the audience wasn’t sure? My advice is – don’t put all your eggs in one basket – just as the social network audience typically spend time on multiple networks, so you should work multiple networks into your marketing strategy.

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And how best to do it?:

Which is the most effective strategy for marketing through social networks?
–    43% artist-branded channels or sites
–    34% viral marketing
–    14% direct advertising
–    7% label-branded channels or sites
–    2% direct retail

This fits well with our previous research on social networks, also with the objectives that a music fan has when they visit a social network:

They want to make friends with the artist, so artist-branded channels or sites can work very well (in an ideal world – this needs considerable input and digital marketing-savvy from the artist , but that’s a whole new topic – I vlogged about this on the Midem.com site a couple of days ago.)

They also want to link up and share with their own friends, so viral marketing campaigns, if targetted well, can deliver good results.

… but they don’t really want to make friends with a label, nor do they really want to buy while they are on the network!

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And finally …

Are you likely to use social networks more or less for marketing in 2009?
–    69% more, 19% less, 11% the same

… you know it’s cost effective,  hard data is coming in on the best tactics to use – and if you give me a shout at StrategyEye, we’re continuously tracking the networks and supporting marketing technologies so can help you to engage!


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3 Comments

  1. It’s amazing how many musicians still flock to ‘mainstream’ music hosting sites, social networking sites, labels, etc to find success.
    With all the tools and widgets out there bands can build and control their own following. From their own website, collecting emails, using Google friend connect, twitter, etc. Posting songs/profiles on sites should be seen as lead generation to bring fans to their own site.

  2. How do you feel about video marketing? I ask because I am currently using that method and it is working. I am creating short teaser videos to lead viewers to my squeeze page. Then I am posting the videos to http://www.Adwido.com not only because it’s free. They also help set up a targeted keyword campaign to boost targeted traffic.

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