Social Media and Platforms to check out

In this blog I’m sharing my personal experiences with many of the social media and websites I’ve used for promotion and marketing.  I haven’t used all of the ones out there and I’m sure others experiences are different than my own.

Things that influence your success on specific platforms-How big is your audience, How popular you already are, How much time you have to devote to the platform, How well you market yourself, How in tune you are to the specific post boosting tactics of the platform.

*Remember-you don’t need to be everywhere, only the places that work for you*

1)Quora-I’m a HUGE fan of Quora.  In case you’ve never visited the site, it’s a place for people to ask questions about basically anything and the viewers answer the questions.  It’s an extremely well-moderated place; you don’t see many trolls or unqualified people answering questions much.  There are some highly educated people on there as well as those that are self-taught but have A LOT of experience. You will see ridiculous questions among the great questions; you just have to keep scrolling.

One great thing about quora-your posts stay visible on the site and via the google search engine a very long time.  Longer Visibility=More views.  More Views=More potential Interactions.

In one month I can easily wrack up thousands of views.  I post my website and musical experience in the heading.  I have no way of knowing how many people visit my website because of Quora; however, regardless of the number, it’s one of my favorite websites to interact.  Many times users will request my answers to a question they have; this tells me people are reading what I have to say.  There is no sense of, I posted, did anybody read or pay attention to it?  You have a built in audience and they appreciate you.  I think if someone took the idea of Quora and had it do more than just answer questions it would be a huge success.

2)Reddit-I only recently started becoming an active member here.  First off, I will say that reddit leads to many youtube views for me.  Once again, your posts stay in the search results for a long time. So, if you make a thread about banjo heads and two years from now somebody puts “Banjo heads” in the reddit search bar, your thread will come up.  My only complaint about reddit is it can draw people that lack the proper background and experience to properly answer questions, of course, that doesn’t stop them.  Given that this is the case you often see a lower quality of material. I also believe that an improvement in moderation is needed.  Sometimes reddit turns into a who is the coolest contest instead of who has the best quality of material.  In summary, you are better off making posts, presenting your ideas and steering clear of argumentative things.  At the same time, I will say it’s better than some forums I’ve been a member of.  

3)Facebook Group/Business Page=The obvious benefit of Facebook is there are so many people on there.  The comments and likes make it easy to interact with others, it has a community feel.  For my business, Facebook doesn’t work great for me, I’m convinced I’m doing something wrong 🙂

I make a post, it’s algorithm decides it doesn’t like the site I linked to and my post gets 20 views.  One day a post got SEVEN views, this was after I typed paragraphs of material.  According to stats, only about 5% of the people that follow/like your business page actually see what you write.  One of my posts has an average half-life of about 48 hours, compared to at least a week on other pages.

I can’t say that it leads to many conversions for me, I simply stay on there to interact with friends.  Another thing is I have to largely “invite” people to get likes.  On other sites, I get likes/leads/conversions without actively seeking them out.  On Facebook, my “likes” grow because I invite people from my personal page, not because people discover my page.  I believe a competitor is in Facebook’s future because someone IS going to take the idea and improve upon it.  Very easily done given the downfalls of the platform.  I think forcing people into buying ads and visibility is going to backfire.

4)Pinterest=I’m new to Pinterest so I can’t say much.  I’ve created about 30 pins on there.  I’ve had one person save a few of my pins.  I currently only have one follower and I’m not incredibly active.  At the same time, unlike Facebook, a pin has a much longer lifespan.  You can pin something and it will show up in the search for a long time.  The pins I posted two months ago are still getting views.  The posts I made two months on Facebook? Zero additional views.  If I had more time I would explore pinterest further; it has lots of potential and should be on your radar for marketing/promoting.  The demographics of your particular business will have an effect on your Pinterest success. Most pinterest users are women.  The majority of my clientele are men above the age of 35, they are not extremely active on pinterest.  At the moment I’m still tweaking my pinterest experience.  One thing you want to make sure you do is name your photos properly before you pin them.  This plays a big part on whether your pins actually show up in the search.

5)LinkedIn=I like LinkedIn although it doesn’t lead to many conversions for my business.  It feels more professional and classy to me.  I have added a lot of people in my field on the site, as a result, a few of them have checked out my music.  It adds a few monthly views to my website but not nearly as many as say Reddit or Youtube.  Particularly useful are the LinkedIn Groups, here you can connect directly with those in your niche.  I share my blogposts and youtube on Linked.

6)Youtube=It should be obvious I’m a Huge fan of youtube.  I think Youtube has done more for my business than anything else.  At the same time, I have periods of intense activity on there.  Youtube yields great returns on website views and product sales for me. I even get performance gigs off of the site.  This is why I continue to post monthly on the site.  Another great feature of youtube is all of the analytics.  You can see how many views, demographics, how long they are watching it….all of these things are useful when deciding on new material to put up.

7)Twitter=I have a twitter account but it’s been inactive for two years; therefore, I can’t have any reasonable discussion of twitter. Many people have a lot of luck with twitter. For whatever reason, the site wasn’t for me.  I do remember getting follow requests pretty regularly so visibility must be pretty good.  Given the amount of success others have with Twitter you should definitely try it and see if it works for you and if you enjoy it.

8)Google+=I post my blogs to Google+ and the youtube videos are automatically posted.  I guess I don’t get Google+, some businesses have a lot of success with it and perhaps I’m even getting views from it.  However, I don’t see any interactions or comments on my page.  I do like the nice layout.  I tried making sense out of the groups but for my niche I didn’t see it as a good investment of my time.

Final thoughts:

For me, Youtube, Quora, and Reddit all lead to noticeable web traffic, conversions, or interactions with others in need of my services.  So that is where I expend most of my energies online.  I think Pinterest is a sleeper; when I have more time I will develop it further.

I think it’s easy to get lost in the multitude of platforms to promote on; you have to balance your time and pick the ones that work best for your business.  Otherwise, very little time is left over for the music making.

My advice is to try them all out for yourself, get feedback on what is working and pick maybe three to focus on for your business.

If you enjoyed this blog, please visit my front page and sign up for my “Banjo Journey Newsletter” that I send out once a month.  I notify you of updates, send free practice routines and more.

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Jody Hughes Written by:

I am a full-time banjo and acoustic guitar teacher, performer and composer. I have performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, The Grand Ole Opry and The Ryman Auditorium. My interests include developing educational materials for the advancing banjoist and composing Original Music mixing my background in Bluegrass, Jazz, Classical and Latin Music.

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