OK, this is kind of for my big brother. I suggested he get stuck into social media around his karaoke business. He’s easily the most knowledgable person I know when it comes to music, is a proper enthusiast and, most importantly, is a genuine people person.
So, if I need to get some stuff together to explain to him how to get himself set up then I figure that it’s worth sharing. Not just for those of my readership who are in the karaoke business (you know who you are), but it could be used as a blueprint for any number of similar business models, or even hobbys.
Where to start
Lesson number 1, don’t jump in feet first.
The temptation is to immediately sign up to Twitter and start punting out links to your favourite resources, venues, tips, videos or whatever. Try and resist. You need first of all to establish a base.
Now, this base, where it is and what it looks like, depends a lot on your goal. If you want to establish a network of karaoke DJs and give them a place to share their tips and info then you might be tempted to set out your stall on Facebook. That’s fine insofar as it does allow you the tools to manage the group but be warned that you are essentially locking out those who don’t use Facebook. Use it, but only use it as part of your arsenal.
I’m assuming that my bro’s goal is primarily to share his knowledge and experience. That’s why I’m recommending he set up a blog. This is the best and simplest way to establish a platform for getting your content online.
Setting up your blog
This blog uses WordPress but Blogger is good to. Use one of the available templates to set yourself up. Add a couple of pages, in particular one about yourself and what the site is about.
This is important: choose a good title. Don’t call it after your obscure nickname as this doesn’t mean anything to anyone outside of your own social circle. Call it something with karaoke in the title for a start and remember that’s how you’re going to be listed everywhere. It also helps people find you if they are looking for karaoke stuff on search engines.
Use the blog to talk about karaoke related things. Maybe think competitions, song databases, tips, equipment etc. There will be more but you’re the expert. Essentially, put yourself in the position of a punter looking for a good source of information for the karaoke stuff that you’re interested in. List the things that you come up with and you’ll have a handy starter list of things to blog about. Intersperse this list with occasional updates, maybe telling stories from the weekend or musings about what you’d like to see.
This blog is your home on the web, make sure it’s got everything here that you want to share. Once it gets going you can add all manner of other things here but we’ll worry about that later.
Make some noise
Now you may already have a Facebook account and you may want to use that to start inviting people to become your friend but it’ll soon get difficult to differentiate real friends from virtual ones. Instead, you want to set up a fan page. This will separate you from your karaoke persona.
*note* Facebook no longer uses the terminology of fan but it’s much the same still.
Use this page to send people to so you can interact with them. Set up links from your blog to here. Encourage people to sign up. When they do you can start to stimulate discussions around great songs or best pubs, whatever. Get enough people and the community will begin to run itself but it’s a long process.
Twitter is a bit more interactive. Sign up there and spend your first wee while using the search facility to find other people who are talking about karaoke, or about the venues you work at, or maybe competitions you know about or even websites you visit. When you find these people follow them. A few of them will follow you back and very quickly you’re going to want to start tweeting.
What you tweet about is a complicated beast. Twitter is a fast moving stream of status updates, it’s not somewhere to post something for posterity (that’s why you’ve got your blog). It’s more about asserting your personality. The WRONG way to use Twitter is to simply broadcast links to your blog or messages about where you’re next performing. People will very quickly stop following you because they didn’t come here for a sales pitch.
The RIGHT way to use Twitter is to put a bit of yourself into it. Tweet about what you’re doing that day, but make it interesting, make it funny, profound, whatever your thing is, just make it a bit less bland. Alongside this, tweet the things that you are finding online as well which you want to share. Videos from YouTube, photos from a great night on Flickr as well as links to the best websites and news stories of interest to you. Only when you have that mix right can you throw in the marketing messages, if you want to do that at all. Also, don’t forget to refer them to your Facebook group.
Don’t stop there though, the beauty of Twitter is how simple it is to engage with the people you are following. Make sure you take the time to take part in conversations that are already happening. It helps people become more aware of you and also builds a bit of trust as they will more readily believe that you are serious about what you do. If someone says something you like, retweet it so that it can be seen by other people. Share the knowledge and your network will begin to grow as followers find you and start to listen.
Put the work in
Don’t underestimate what’s involved in all of the above. In order to make it a success you will have to constantly be visible and active. Tweet as least 2 or 3 times a day. Blog at least once a week and spend time on Facebook keeping things moving.
Keep your eyes and ears open and think social. You’ll be amazed at the amount of stuff will happen to you in the course of a normal day which has relevance and which people will find interesting if you can relate it to your karaoke theme.
If you have an iPhone, great. use it to gain access to all these things while away from your computer. If you don’t then don’t despair, there are ways of bringing most phones now into the modern world. Installing some Java apps will help you out. I use Snaptu and it has good Twitter and Facebook clients. Try it out.
Other social networks
Aside from the above there are other ways to get yourself noticed. You’ll be on YouTube a lot in your profession so make sure that aside from sharing the videos you find useful, you comment on other people’s videos. If you remember to include the link to your blog and some relevant details in your profile then this is a neat little way of letting people find your base.
Find other people’s blogs. You are almost certainly not alone, find the people who are already talking about this stuff and comment on what they are saying. Again, make sure you take the time to add your link to the profile when you add the comments and, again, there’s another way for interested parties to find their way to you. Do make sure you keep it relevant though, comments along the lines of “great post” or “keep up the good work” just make you look like you’re spamming.
And there you have it
That’s all you have to do bro and before long you find yourself part of a bustling karaoke community, one that helps everyone by sharing the knowledge. You may even be able to make a few small pennies from advertising as well if you get enough traffic. But that would be another blog post.