Guest Post: Using the Social Media Trend to Save the Music Industry

Kalen Smith is today's guest blogger that has taken the enormous issues surrounding today's music industry and has enlightened us on how social media can save it. Does it sound bold and unrealistic? Continue reading and leave your opinions in the comments below.

As the Internet has permeated every aspect of our culture, the music industry has gone through some drastic changes. For the past decade, it has seemed as if the music industry and the Internet have been at war with each other. Since the development of Napster and its clones, consumers have had no problem downloading music for free off of the Internet. Digital distribution seemed to be the end of the music industry for a while.

That was before the social media revolution. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have had a tremendous impact on the industry and may even save it in the midst of one of the worst recessions in almost 80 years. Not everyone in the industry shares this enthusiasm. Some feel that the social media has obliterated prior structures without leaving replacing them that will last.

However, social media is probably not a fad, but a new reality for the entertainment industry. Those who are used to working with the record producers in LA will just have to adapt to the reorganization of the industry. Smart producers and artists have found ways to create value for the industry.

There are a number of ways that social media can be leveraged to increase sales for record companies or independent artists:

  1. Facebook page music templates. Although Facebook has become an amazing way to engage people and promote music around the world, the layout is not consistent with that of an up-and-coming hip-hop artist. One of the ways that music companies try to change their Facebook image is using a service such as Myband. This tool not only allows you to showcase your bands photos and logo, but also gives you the opportunity to add streaming tools to distribute your music.
  2. New Twitter tools. Twitter has a number of tools that can help artists. One of them is Twiturm, which allows artists to post their music directly on the site. That way, you don’t have to worry about links to your music getting lost in the Tweetosphere. Other musicians use tools such as twt.fm or Song.ly allow you to allow their followers to listen to their music without having to download it.
  3. Foursquare. Foursquare is a newer social network that shows a lot of promise for the music industry. Regularly users of Foursquare are able to get important badges which can help them bring a lot of followers to their venues. Those who benefit from Foursquare use it frequently and know how to promote themselves appropriately.
  4. Measure the impact of your social media campaign. All the social media in the world is useless if you don’t monitor the results. Use tools like Band Metrics to see how your fans are responding to your marketing.

For several years, the music industry has wished that it could shy away from the Internet. The truth is that the social media is taking over the music industry and smart producers have found ways to use it to turn the trend to their advantage.