Filtering by Tag: Real-time web

Myxer - Free Ringtones & More

There are many ways to get ringtones out to your fans but by far the easiest way is to hook up with Myxer.    You can upload tracks, images even your videos and use the platform to get the content distributed straight into the hands of your most ardent followers.  Check them out here:

Myxer - Download Ringtones and More

I first came across Myxer a couple of years back when I was on the Kelli gig and looking for a ringtone solution.  It was late 2007 and Twitter was just starting to kick off, nobody real got it – least of all the team I was working with, but I found it to be an incredible way to access information.

Having gone through the traditional Google search for ringtone providers I ran an early Twitter search for anybody tweeting about ringtones and came across @sass. Jeff Sass is one of the nicest guys you can meet – he’s been working in entertainment and tech for most of his life and for the last 3 years has been the VP of Business Development at Myxer.  A few swapped tweets and phone calls later Kelli was the featured Country artist of the day and we shifted several thousand ringtone downloads before the tour bus even rolled.

What I like about Myxer is that for a big company they are very focused on the Indie artist - if they can help you out they will.  Mobile still has a way to go in terms of over the air track downloads and general usability – but it’s coming.  Companies like Myxer can get you into the game for free and if you’re not there – you’re missing out.

Jeff writes an insightful blog on all things industry and tech over at sassholes – check it out - there’s plenty of good information can help you to reach your fans in better and smarter ways – and who doesn’t need that?

Is Your Band A Business?

You’d better bloody believe it, and just like any business out there – you want it to be easy for customers – call them fans – to find you and give you money.

I’ve been in bands on and off pretty much my whole life; whether as a 6 year old dressed up as Gary Glitter (which in retrospect is just wrong!) or as a “grown up” keyboard player – there’s nothing like the dream of making it in music.  There is however a big difference between playing at it and actually living it – a huge part of that difference is how you manage your online presence.

We know that there is a growing market for easy to update websites that integrate seamlessly with social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook and that don’t require a computer science degree to use.  We also recognize that having an easy to use website doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s enough time in the day for the business owner (lead singer, drummer or keyboard player – guitar players are usually too busy screwing around with their tone!) to write and respond to blog comments, Facebook friend requests or tweets.

If at this point you’re all squeamish about looking at your music – your art – as a business than you’re reading the wrong website. Remember, to do this professionally you need people to give you money and not just once, but again and again for as long as you are making music.

We work with Bands but we also work with Realtors and Telecoms Agents – the product is different but the business relationship is always the same. If you can find the time to work your website, manage your Facebook page and keep your fans – call them customers – updated by email – you dramatically increase your chances of doing this for the rest of your life.

Want to learn more? Contact us..

Twitter Followers are like Lovers

Actually they’re also like steak, haircuts and ideas – there’s no point in having a lot of them if they suck (well – maybe not the lovers…) I write this post because my brother in law to be recently asked me what I thought of one of those automated Twitter follower services; you know – the ones that promise to get you a million followers by lunchtime.  Eric runs a growing Real estate business in Los Angeles and we recently hooked him up with a Social Media integrated website - he’s been blogging and tweeting diligently for the last few months and like everyone else is concerned with the number of Twitter followers he has.

The thinking goes that if one follower is good then 2 followers are better; if you’re tweeting about your business then the more followers you have the more likely it is that someone will see your information.  And yes – to some extent this is true and from that perspective it makes sense to sign up with these services and grow your base – however…

Both Alex and I have been using Twitter since 2007, my @andrewmccluskey account started on 10/08/07 and now has 877 followers.  I have never used an automated follower service, neither has Alex and we were chatting about this the other day.  Aside from the fact that many of these services over the years have turned out to be nefarious organizations that take your login information to send out spam tweets to your user base (and you’d be amazed by how many “smart” people fall for it,) there’s something fundamentally flawed behind the mass growth strategy.

There’s a great post from Anil Dash on the impact of having hundreds of thousands of twitter followers and what that actually meant to how his information was getting distributed.  In essence his point is that there is really no point in having many followers unless those people were truly interested in you in the first place.  In terms of getting your message out and stimulating interaction – it’s the quality of followers that counts – not the number.

We’re going to have a look at some of these services over the coming months and see if any are actually worthwhile.  There is some sense to having a service that identifies tweets that reflect keywords of interest & suggests followers but both Alex and I shy away from the automatic follow.  When we looked at our behavior, if we’re considering following someone we will check out their profile, read through their most recent tweets and often check out their website before we choose to follow.  Without going through that process you dramatically increase the signal to noise ratio of your twitter stream and who needs that?

Bottom line for small businesses - if you’re producing a business relevant stream then people looking for your type of business will find you.  If you’re writing “sticky” tweets then people are going to re-tweet them anyway – it’s the quality over quantity concept all over again.

There’s a word for people who focus on the superficial and short term benefits of social media measurements such as number of Twitter followers – broke!  Focus on the quality of your output and the quantity of your followers will grow naturally – and most importantly to your business they’ll be genuinely interested in what you have to say.

Social Media Douche

[flickr size="small" float="left"]http://www.flickr.com/photos/21896484@N02/2726201320/[/flickr] When technology disrupts the traditional way of doing things, the small business owner can be at a distinct disadvantage. If like the majority of our clients you don’t have a technology team or a dedicated marketing department – all you have is you – then how do you find the time to learn all this new stuff?

By now you’ve seen the benefit of having an easy to update website and you’ve heard of Twitter and Social Media, but how do you incorporate all this into your daily operations without going crazy and throwing the computer through the screen?

Simple – you hire someone (preferably us) – and as usual you should hire the best expert you can afford. But before you start the hiring process, check out this beautiful paragraph from Wikipedia on Snake Oil Peddlers:

The snake oil peddler became a stock character in Western movies: a travelling "doctor" with dubious credentials, selling some medicine (such as snake oil) with boisterous marketing hype, often supported by pseudo-scientific evidence, typically bogus. To enhance sales, an accomplice in the crowd (a "shill") would often "attest" the value of the product in an effort to provoke buying enthusiasm. The "doctor" would prudently leave town before his customers realized that they had been cheated. This practice is also called "grifting" and its practitioners "grifters".

Now, with the above in mind and to help you in your decision making – Alex and I compiled our personal top 5 tips on what we look for in Social Media Consultants:

Alex:

1

@kilted_alex says be real when you use Twitter otherwise you will be a Social Media Douchebag

Be real – people tweeting the same banal shit as everyone else aren’t exactly adding to the conversation – you might not want to use the F word in a corporate stream but blandness is almost as bad!

2

@kilted_alex says don't be a power re-tweeter otherwise you will be a Social Media Douchebag

Sure re-tweeting adds value but if someone’s stream is nothing but re-tweets then you gotta wonder if they have anything of value to say themselves.

3

@kilted_alex and @snipeyhead say don't be a Social Media Douchebag

Come on – if it looks like a douche, tweets like a douche and reads like a douche – then it’s probably a douche. Check out @snipeyhead for an example of what a good consultant looks like!

4

@kilted_alex says don't pretend to be an expert otherwise you will be a Social Media Douchebag

Just ‘cos you know how to do something doesn’t make you an expert. Tools like Twitter are constantly developing and changing – it’s perpetual beta all the time – beware the Expert.

5

@kilted_alex says unless you can do more than talk a good game you will be a Social Media Douchebag

Sure you can talk about the importance of having a blog – but do you have one – and if you do – is the content worth reading?

Andrew:

1

@kilted_andrew says Social Media Douchebags often have little experience with social media

How can you be an expert in this if you've only be doing it a couple of years - go read what Malcolm Gladwell has to say about the whole 10,000 hours thing

2

@kilted_andrew says if all you do is Tweet, you may be a Social Media Douchebag

Working with 140 characters is one thing - actually writing something of length that has value - well that's another thing entirely.

3

@kilted_alex and @kilted_andrew say if you give yourself a title like Guru, Expert, Visionary then you might be a Social Media Douchebag

The title Guru should be reserved for those teaching Tantric Sex. Nuff said.

4

@kilted_andrew says that people are not dumb - if you insist on trying to sell shit using the same techniques that worked 10 years ago then you might be a Social Media Douchebag

I can't believe that these single page supposed sales funneling techniques are still used - even if it is "by internet marketers for internet marketers". If you see something like this - run - run away, fast.

5

@kilted_andrew says expect your consultant's site to look cool - if it isn't you might be dealing with a Social Media Douchebag

This one is common sense - if the people you are thinking of hiring have a crap website - what makes you think they'll be able to make yours look any better?

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