In past blogs I have presented the importance of maintaining profiles on various social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, MySpace, ReverbNation, etc. However, you should not rely solely on third-party sites for your band’s on-line presence. You also need to create a website. Following are the reasons why it is imperative to have a website of your own creation—in addition to your profiles on the popular social networking sites.
- Branding. If you create a website you can buy the domain name for your band and album names. By repeating your band’s name in this manner, you will reinforce your brand identity to your fans. http://www.eclecticverve.com/ promotes much stronger brand identity than http://www.myspace.com/eclecticverve. The latter example promotes MySpace first and Eclectic Verve second. Obviously, that is not the priority we are trying to achieve.
- Big Today / Gone Tomorrow. Although MySpace continues to be a contender for important music-related social networking sites, its importance among ALL social networking sites has clearly been eclipsed by Facebook. What if it (or any of the current hot social networking sites) decline in popularity to the point that the servers for the site are shut down? What happens to your blog, videos, status updates, and the rest of the content you have dutifully uploaded to engage your fans? Poof, it’s gone. By maintaining your own website, you maintain full control of the content on your website.
- Advertising. On your own website, your fans are not inundated with advertisements that do not relate to your band.
- Formatting. By creating your own website, you become your fans’ tour guide through your website. You can format your site to guide your fans through the information you want them to focus on (e.g., buying your CD, attending your shows) vs. the information that is important to the social networking site (e.g., promoting the social networking site, advertisements, paid services, etc.)
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization). In addition to selecting a unique name for your band, how can you ensure that hits regarding your band are returned by all the search engines when your band name is entered? Fresh content. How do you create fresh content? By updating your static pages periodically and blogging on a regular basis. However, that fresh content must be easily attributable to your band for the search engine to return the results you desire. If you write a blog on http://blogspot.com or http://wordpress.com/ the search engine may not catch the fact that the blog is about your band vs. the third-party site.
That’s my perspective. What’s yours?
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