Whenever I am approached by a potential client, I generally do an assessment of their online presence to find out what they already have in place, what needs improvement, what’s missing and what should be implemented in order to ensure maximum opportunities for marketing and social media interaction.
The most important thing for any artist or business to have in place is a really good-looking (not too busy) and functional website that obviously highlights what they have to offer. It should be carefully proofread to ensure that there are no typos or spelling mistakes and fonts should be limited to two easy-to-read styles that are no smaller than 11 pt. Colours should be limited as well to only a few and they should be complimentary. If you’re not good with colour schemes, seek the advice of someone who is. Your website should also contain clickable social media icons on the home page that will take viewers directly to their Facebook page, YouTube channel, Twitter account, Google+ or LinkedIn profiles or WordPress/Blogger blog. If you’re like me and don’t have the budget to pay a professional web designer yet, I highly recommend a WordPress site as it has a lot of functionality and is quite easy to use.
I believe that in this new age of social media marketing it is also important to have a professional photo of YOU and/or your logo on your website that is consistently branded across all of your social media networking sites. The whole point of social media marketing is to be accessible and to connect and engage with your audience. If you don’t reveal what you look like people will think you have something to hide (and don’t use a photo of yourself wearing sunglasses either!). Ultimately a person will become a fan or buy your product because of the quality of it and their own personal tastes, but putting yourself out there online is now mandatory for anyone trying to sell something on the Internet.
If you’re selling art, CDs or books/eBooks, make sure that they can be purchased right from your website or at the very least from an excellent online distributor like iTunes, CDBaby or BookBaby, Amazon, Etsy, etc. with applicable links in place.
I always recommend that my clients have a Facebook page, a YouTube channel and a Twitter account because of what you can do with these three platforms when they’re all interlinked and consistently branded and you know how to use them effectively. They work together to produce a finely tuned marketing machine.
MySpace is dead and an utter waste of time…even for musicians. No one is interacting there anymore and the only email or comments you’ll receive are from other musicians trying to market themselves. However, video and photos are worth a thousand words! Now is the time to consider starting a video blog (a.k.a. Vlog) or to create a Flickr photostream that you can integrate into your website or Facebook page.
The number one most important thing to consider when using social media marketing to sell something is to think outside the box! Think of as many creative ways as you can in which to engage and interact with people in order to keep them coming back to your sites again and again, and even more importantly, recommending them to their friends!