Music Marketers Sing Mixed Tune On Facebook

Apparently, the music industry is doing a mediocre job of marketing on Facebook.

Whether or not Facebook finally launched its long-rumored music dashboard at its f8 developer conference in San Francisco September 22, the music industry has already embraced the social network for marketing purposes. To what extent? Shore Fire Media set out to answer that question in a white paper, released Monday.

Shore Fire creates marketing campaigns for the music, entertainment, book publishing, fashion, and consumer-products sectors, and its music clients include TuneCore, Bon Iver, Warren Haynes, ISheetMusic App, Smithsonian Folkways, Horrible Crowes, Judy Collins, Nick Lowe, St. Vincent, and Carole King.

Senior Vice President Mark Satlof received more than 100 responses from marketing managers in the music industry to the two questions he asked:

  • On a scale of one through 10, how well do you feel that your social media is converting fans into music purchasers?
  • Can you estimate the average weekly percentage increase in your artists’ Facebook fan pages?

The average answer to the first question was 6.4, and every number was represented, with 7 taking the crown at 27 percent, followed closely by 8 at 20 percent, and 6 at 14 percent. The least popular answers, at 3 percent, were 1 and 3. Among responses from managers who felt that there was a connection between sales and social media activity:

  • We have noticed a significant increase in ticket sales and new members to our online fan club after posts on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • When Twitter and Facebook are done correctly you can really get a relationship built between artist and fan base. The engagement I believe builds long-term fan loyalty. The fans feel a part of it. The second is a more tangible monetary result. You can see after a Twitter or Facebook post direct merchandise sales, ticket sales, etc.

And from the camp who believed social media promoted fan interaction but did not affect ticket sales:

  • I don’t think it’s a matter of conversion, but of communication and awareness.

As for the second question, the average growth was some 2.5 percent, but bands that were active, such as those who released videos or embarked on tours, saw double-digit growth within one week, in cases, as opposed to those who were recording and out of the public eye. And obviously, more updates to Facebook pages led to more interaction.

Satlof concluded:

Based on the wealth of responses Shore Fire Media received, it’s evident that social media is now viewed as an effective and necessary part of an artist’s marketing strategy. It is also clear that, while it’s fairly easy to keep a fan base growing during an album release, tour, or other big event, when artist activity slows, an expert social media advisor can keep year-round momentum at high levels with a constant flow of creative strategies and initiatives. We see this as a key area of growth.

Readers, are you fans of your favorite musical artists’ Facebook pages, and how often do you interact with them? David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.