Posted in Online Marketing

The Rise Of Facebook and The Demise of MySpace in South Africa

A picture says a 1000 words, so consider this graph an 1000-word essay on usage of Social Media in South Africa over the last two years. MySpace is part of “other” (the black dotted line) on this graph.

Graph supplied by StatCounter.com

Posted in Online Marketing

Workshop 19th May 2010: Creating a FREE Web Presence for your business

Join us for a Half Day Workshop on

Creating a FREE Web Presence for your business

TO BOOK CONTACT

sammi

limited space available

19th May 2010

10am – 2pm (refreshments and finger lunch included)

The Viper Lounge, Sea Breeze Centre, Table View

R500 per person – bring your own laptop, but not essential

Workshop Presenter:
Brian Currin, New Media Marketing Consultant
http://briancurrin.com

Embracing New Media Tools for maximum exposure.

Tips and Techniques for setting up:

  • WordPress Blog
  • Twitter Profile
  • Facebook Business Page
  • Gmail Account

Delegates will leave the workshop with the skills to start promoting themselves and their businesses online.


Posted in Latest Updates

Creating a cost effective web presence

Harry Talas
Harry Talas

I recently completed the first phase of creating a web presence for South African jazz musician, Harry Talas.

I say, “first phase”, as the building of  a web presence is an ongoing process of updating information, adding latest news, receiving and responding to feedback and comments and more.

This whole project was done using various free and freemium services. Freemium is a service or profile that is free for a basic set-up but then there are costs for the premium services.

First I registered http://www.harrytalas.com.

This domain name can be pointed or redirected to anywhere. Currently it points to http://harrytalas.wordpress.com but could just as easily point to http://myspace.com/harrytalas.

And another easier redirect, such as http://myspace.harrytalas.com can also be created, if necessary. This is great for “easy-to-say” Facebook addresses. For example http://facebook.briancurrin.com will take you to my Facebook profile. Perfect for printing on posters, business cards, letterheads, flyers, etc and for saying out loud from a stage or over the phone, or at a meeting or conference.

Email redirects can also be created, for example harry@harrytalas.com can be redirected to send mail to a Telkom, MWeb, Gmail, Ymail, Absamail, or any other already existing email account. I prefer Gmail because it is a free service and I am not bound to a specific device. My email sits on the “cloud”, that is the Gmail servers, and I can access my mail from any computer or mobile device (anywhere in the world), which has internet access and a browsing capability.

Secondly I set up a WordPress blog profile at http://harrytalas.wordpress.com.

Used SoundCloud.com for embedding streaming audio and Slide.com for the slideshow of images.

Slide.com can host the images for you, but I chose to let Slide.com access them from the photo album hosted at MySpace.com

Thirdly I created a MySpace profile at http://myspace.com/harrytalas

Uploaded MP3s for the onboard music player, added photos, and created and embedded a slideshow.

Also used colours from the WordPress theme to enhance the look of the MySpace page to give a similar look and feel.

Fourthly I set up a Twitter profile and embedded the Twitter feeds into the WordPress and MySpace profiles. Also changed colour scheme to match other profiles.

Fifthly, I create a Fanbridge account for the handling of Harry’s fan mailing list. Embedded a “join my mailing list” widget on MySpace and added a link to http://harrytalas.fanbridge.com off his WordPress profile.

Lastly, added links off MySpace and WordPress to RhythmMusicStore.com where Harry’s albums are available for the world to buy and download.

The only costs for creating this web presence and sales opportunity are the minimal fee for the domain, which needs to be renewed annually, and my time and knowledge.

And now, of course, the real work of building an online reputation can start.

Harry can post to his blog, simply by sending an email (with images attached, if he likes) to a special email address. This post will appear on his WordPress blog, the headline (subject) of the blog post will automatically be Tweeted (with a short link back to the post), and that Tweet will appear on his MySpace profile as well.

And once Harry has a Facebook profile, his blog posts and tweets can appear there automatically as well.

Letting your fans / clients / visitors Find you, Trust you and Engage you is an ongoing process that has many rewards.

Posted in Latest Updates

Using WordPress and Twitter to spread the word

Twitter is not just about people you don’t know talking about things you don’t care about … here’s how Twitter can really help you to build a brand and an online reputation …

Step one: switch on your computer …

OK, I guess you did that, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this …

When you send an email to a special address, with images attached if you like, it will appear on your WordPress Blog.

WordPress Blogs are wonderful … they are free, you can post via email, and Google loves WordPress … and did I mention it is free?

The headline of the Blog post (the subject of the email, in other words) will automatically be tweeted on your Twitter profile.

The tweet will also appear on your MySpace profile.

The tweet and an extract of the Blog will appear on the wall of your Facebook profile.

The tweet and an extract of the Blog (or the whole Blog, if you prefer) will appear on your own website … see http://findsamusic.co.za and http://musicnews.co.za and http://tourismnews.co.za for example.

Your tweet will also appear on your Reverbnation profile. (This is mainly for musicians).

Your tweet will also appear on your Yahoo profile.

So with just one email you are spreading the word to a lot of important places … all automatically, so you can get on with doing what you do best, which is probably not spending hours on the net trying to keep things up-to-date.

Yes, I know, it’s magic … and all the tools and platforms to do this are free … and you can do it all yourself.

If you need help though, please contact me and I will give you a quote to set up whatever you need and whatever you choose to spend.

http://BrianCurrin.com

A few Success Stories

Cape Tourist Guide Association

Martin Myers

7th Son

Sonsteek

Chelsea Morning Tours

Amanzi Blue Event Solutions

Computravel

Viper Lounge

Neo Muyanga

Mabu Vinyl

Mike Perry

Posted in Latest Updates

“Upload and leave” websites are no longer an option

In today’s fast-changing online world, it is no longer a viable option to build a website and just leave it, and hope that people will be searching for you and / or your product and services.

You need to be actively telling people about your business, your music, your services, whatever it is that you offer that makes you unique and special.

Blogging is a wonderful way to do this. With WordPress.com, blogging can be as easy as sending an email (yes, really), and what you blog about can automatically appear on your website, and on your Facebook profile.

And the real power of Twitter is not how many followers you can get (come on, who really reads all those tweets anyway?), but that you can embed your Tweet feed into your website, your MySpace page and your Facebook profile.

Your web presence can be dynamic and engaging without paying dynamic (i.e. expensive) web hosting fees, and no need to develop fancy Content Management Systems. And even more importantly, it doesn’t matter if you don’t understand all the technology.

Online marketing is about marketing (hence the name) and technology just provides the tools. Imagine if you had to be an mechanical engineer to drive a car. The same with the internet. Cyberspace is not a private place  for a select few. Anyone can harness the power of the many opportunities that exist. As they said at the Netprophet conference, the internet allows ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

It just takes patience and perseverance.

You can do everything yourself, but if you would prefer to spend your time doing what you do best, like showing overseas visitors the beauty of Cape Town, or being on stage playing your heart out, or walking down a ramp in the latest fashions, then let me help you embrace the future.

Further reading: http://www.currin.co.za

Posted in Latest Updates

10 Questions To Ask Yourself About Online Marketing

  1. Do you have a web standards compliant and search engine optimized website with analytics?
  2. Does your website have a “call to action”?
  3. Do you Twitter?
  4. Do you have a Blog that is separate from your website?
  5. Do your Twitter and Blog feeds automatically appear on your website?
  6. Do you use online photo galleries, like Flickr, Picasa or MySpace?
  7. Do you have a Facebook profile, which gets updated by your Tweets and Blog posts?
  8. Do you have a YouTube profile?
  9. Are you collecting email addresses from your clients?
  10. Are you embracing all of the above on a regular and consistent basis?

If you answered “no” to any one of these questions, then please visit www.currin.co.za to find out how I can help you.

Posted in Latest Updates

10 Questions to ask yourself about Online Music Marketing

1. Is your music available for sale on RhythmMusicStore.com?

2. Are your promoting your music with free downloads on SAMP3.com / Channel24?

3. Do you have a MySpace profile?

4. Do you Twitter?

5. Do you blog?

6. Are you on Facebook?

7. Do you have a website?

8. Are you collecting email addresses from your fans?

9. Do you have a YouTube profile?

10. Are you embracing all of the above on a regular and consistent basis?

If you answered “no” to any one of these questions, then please visit www.music.currin.co.za to find out how I can help you.

Posted in Latest Updates

Brian Currin’s Online Music Marketing Plan

A step-by-step plan for marketing your music online

I have listed the following steps in order of priority.

You might already be doing some (or most) of these things, but Online Music Marketing is about doing more of the right things, more often. So as many as possible of the things listed below need to be embraced and co-ordinated with your offline marketing strategies for the best effect and long-term brand building.

Product

Marketing means nothing unless you have a product to sell.

You’ve spent your time creating and recording your music. Now you want people to buy your music and come to your gigs and watch you play.

Rhythm Music Store

Make your music available online for people to buy as downloads.

I am the Content Editor of RhythmMusicStore.com and will take care of getting your music listed on this store for the whole world to buy.

Complete the very easy digital distribution agreement at http://www.rhythmrecords.co.za/store/comersus_PreArtistSignUp.asp.

Get your CD to me:

Post to:

Brian Currin
PO Box 399
Century City
7446

Or hand deliver / courier to:

Mabu Vinyl
Rheede Street
Gardens
Cape Town
021-423 7635

Clearly marked for my attention.

Email me a JPEG scan of the cover, and a biography in a text document.

If you don’t have a proper printed CD, don’t worry, a CD-R is fine and any good quality square image can be used as “cover art”.

I do require a physical audio CD or CD-R, though, for naming convention, quality control and creation of the 30 second samples.

If you supply me your music in MP3 format, it just takes that much longer for me to get around to processing it properly.

SAMP3 / Channel24

SAMP3.com has been the official supplier to Channel24.co.za (part of MWeb) of free downloads, since 2004.

I am a partner with Stephen Segerman in SAMP3.com which was started in 2002 to help promote music online. Downloads are royalty-free, but not copyright-free and all songs that are given away free are approved and authorized by the artist, the publisher and NORM.

We provide special online edits (usually about 70-75% of the song) to Channel24. The song is accompanied by an image of the artist or album cover, a short blurb about the artist and song, and a link to buy to the artists website or a link directly to the page on the RhythmMusicStore.com where the full song (and your other songs) can be purchased and downloaded.

By providing a free download, you are engaging with your potential fans, and asking them to take a listen and give your music an opportunity to impress them. If it does this, they will want to buy your music and come to your gigs.

Example: Jack Hammer

MySpace

Still a very valuable resource for musicians. And the search engines love MySpace.

MySpace photo galleries can be embedded as slideshows on your Website and Blog. Uploading and resizing of images is a snap.

Embedding slideshows, videos, Twitter feeds and streaming audio make MySpace a great place to be seen and heard.

Example: Jon Buckley, Venessa Nolan

Twitter

Twitter provides quick news headlines about what is happening.

This is great place for keeping your followers up to speed with what you are doing. Even more importantly your Twitter feed can be embedded on your website, your blog and your MySpace profile, so that one tweet updates all your profiles automatically, including your Facebook status.

Remember Twitter is not an inbox that has to be cleared every day. Dip in and read what you can, when you can.

Blogging

To be effective blogging needs to be done often with a combination of original content created by yourself, mixed with external content such as reviews and general industry press releases.

Automation allows your Blog posts to appear on your website and on Facebook and your other Social Media profiles.

Blogging can be as simple as sending an email. yes, really.

There are a number of blogging platforms available, but I use WordPress.com because it works so well, and has been endorsed by Google as being very Search Engine Friendly.

Facebook

Facebook is a great community resource but limited because you can only communicate with people who allow you to be their friends, and Google can’t see Facebook.

Website

Your central portal under your own name.

Discography, Biography, Gig Guide, Photo Gallery and more can all be included.

Twitter and Blog feeds can be embedded.

MP3 player to play sound samples which can be sourced from the RhythmMusicStore.com database.

Google analytics can be embedded in the coding to provide accurate statistics recording your website visitors. What countries they came from, how long they spend on the site, most popular pages and a whole lot more.

Example: 7th Son

Fanbridge

Keep in touch with your fans via email using Fanbridge

Embed a Fanbridge widget on your website and build up your database of email addresses. Communicate often with your fans via newsletters. Subscribing and unsubscribing is handled automatically by the Fanbridge system.

YouTube

YouTube is the place to see and be seen.

Videos posted on YouTube can be embedded on your website, your blog and your MySpace profile.

Favourited videos can also appear on your Facebook profile.

Ongoing Process

Online music marketing is an ongoing and labour intensive process. It requires passion and perserverance.

Costs

Whatever amount you choose to spend on your online marketing, I can accommodate.

Selling your music on RhythmMusicStore.com and promoting on SAMP3.com will cost you nothing except postage to get your CD to me.

All the other profiles, platforms, resources and tools can be embraced as you require.

Posted in South African Music

Luna Paige in studio and on TV this month

Posted by Luna Paige

I have just recorded 4 new songs in Sunset Studios and had the best time ever! I am so excited about the musical developments.

I was lucky enough to collaborate with 2 great artists whose work I really admire and respect. They are Gerald Clark and Chris Chameleon. I recorded a duet with Gerald (slightly out of my usual genre). It was so much fun. We really laughed a lot – while moulding and shaping the song. It’s not ready yet and still needs some work – but I am confident that fans will love this sexy song and can’t wait to hear what listeners think of it. To see a sneak preview of this song – keep your eyes out for TV program “Artcha” on SABC 2. They will be doing a feature on me and my collaboration with Gerald Clark.

The other song – (which happened very quickly) – features a guest appearance by Chris Chameleon. He brought a beautiful touch to my song “Sunday in Japan” with vocal acrobatics and improvisations which reminds of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who has worked with various artists such as Peter Gabriel and Eddie Vedder. This song is bound to take listeners on a hypnotic trip through the east. I can’t wait to release this song!

Then, further more – fans must check out TV program “The Power Within” on SABC 3 this following Saturday 20 June at 11am sharp. They will be featuring me and my collaboration with the Bellevue Choir as well as my developing non-profit organization – The New Love Foundation. Please have a look and tell your friends to check it out too. Remember that this song can be downloaded for free after registering as a fan on my website.

So as you can see – things are exciting and happening – and building up to the release of my third album in September & October 2009.

But first I will be touring again and releasing the above mentioned songs on the internet in July and August. I will be performing in Stellenbosch, Durban, at Oppikoppi, Pretoria and in Bloemfontein. Check out my website at the end of the month for the complete gig guide.

Lots of love!

Luna Paige

www.lunamusic.co.za
www.myspace.com/lunamusiek

luna

Posted in Latest Updates

Link Building

Consider link building as a process that will increase the critical mass of information about your business. The information or content you post (vs. advertise) on the Internet will have a shelf life of years. Therefore, the links to your website will also accumulate over time and also have a shelf life of years.

The more links you have pointing back to your website the more popular your website is considered by the search engines. Based on the content that is posted your website will be considered an authority on that topic.

The process of posting content on the Internet will not only generate traffic from the search engines, but also generate traffic to your website from the websites where the content is posted. Oddly enough you will get traffic from these websites before receiving traffic from the search engines.

Content you will post on the Internet will come in five primary forms: Articles, News Releases, Videos, Photos and Social Media Marketing. The process of content marketing is quite involved and is also labor intensive when done correctly. If you come across anything that may sound like a “link farm”, you will want to run because they will not give you any long term results and are not considered responsible link building.

Finally the link building process comes in three formats: direct links to your website, cross linking content on the Internet, and deep linking to specific pages within your website. Understanding this process becomes a strategy in order for your prospects to find you and have all paths lead back to your website.

Information from SmartFinds Internet Marketing agency (Smartfinds)