There are hundreds of music social networks, and if your business involves music and/or music events it may behoove you to establish a presence on one. However, the multitude of options can make it difficult to choose which music social network is right for you.
Ideally, you are on as many sites as possible, but that’s often not realistic. It’s also better to have an established presence on a small number of sites, instead of a thin presence on a lot of sites. As with anything you do in social media, it is best to have a well-informed strategy in place before proceeding.
When it comes to music social networking, consider (among other things) the following:
- Who are you trying to reach and where are they?
- What do you want your fans to DO?
- What are your resources?
We at Conversify took a look at the top 5 social music sites (Myspace Music, Reverb Nation, iLike, Last.fm, Pandora) and attempted to address each of these questions while considering them.
WHO are you trying to reach?
Where are they?
While not strictly devoted to music, Myspace is a leading social network for bands and artists. Their recent attempts at a comeback (focusing on music and other media) could be their saving grace (or the final nail in their coffin).
This snapshot of visitor traffic from the top sites (Daily Page Views and Visitors from Wolfram-Alpha, Monthly Traffic from Quantcast) shows that Myspace dominates in terms of sheer number of visitors, followed by Last.fm, Pandora, Reverb Nation, and iLike, respectively.
No one can predict the future but Compete’s predicted average number of users paints slow decline for Myspace and iLike and the rise of Pandora, Reverb Nation, and Last.fm
Men vs. Women
With a few exceptions, men and women are distributed fairly evenly among the top 5 sites.
Are you targeting a specific age group and/or is your music event only appropriate for an older crowd?
Keeping in mind the actual number of users on each of these sites, you can see that Myspace dominates among younger listeners while ReverbNation and Pandora are better suited for an older audience.
What do you want your fans to DO? How do you want to communicate with fans?
Each music social network has different features and reasons to use them. Some are fully integrated with other social networks and allow you to upload music and content freely, while others are sparse and somewhat limited in what artists and/or venues can add, remove, or connect to. When choosing a music social network it is important to consider what you want fans to do and how you would like to communicate with them. Do you want a gateway to your website or a destination unto itself?
The following is a chart covering some of the features artists/venues find useful and an ‘x’ signifies the network does, in fact, have that feature (or that it is possible to do a clever ‘work around’ in order to achieve the feature).
What are your resources?
The more features a network has, the more work it can be to set up and maintain. Myspace and Reverb Nation have almost every feature imaginable, which means they are rich and entertaining for your fans, but a challenge to maintain.
Before choosing a network, consider your time and resources: How much effort will you be able to put into maintaining this site? How much media: videos, music, and songs do you produce? How many shows/concerts will you be adding and can you realistically add them all?
It is best, when crafting your strategy, to not only consider the networks and the people on them, but also consider how you’ll measure success and what you’d like friends, fans, and followers to do. While ideally your business should be on as many networks as possible, it is best to choose a few networks you can manage effectively so as not to stretch your resources too thin.
Does your business involve music and/or music events? Have you considered joining a music social network?