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This month I am continuing my quest to try and figure out the best way to go after building a following on social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter. We know how important these sites are to building your fan base and recognition , but what is the best way to do that? There are many social media promotions companies out there that promise to bring thousands of fans to your pages.... guranteed! So what is the cost for that and more importantly-- what is the return on my investment (ROI)? I have hired one of those companies partly as an experiment to try and figure this out, and also to see if throwing money at one of these PR firms gets me anything in return.

I had so many questions for the owner of the PR firm! How do you get the fans to the site? Are they true music fans? Do they buy online music? Do they like my kind of music? Will they be in my geographical area?

They have just launched the campaign, so next month we will start seeing and posting the results. I plan on building our social media following to more than 5,000 people in one month and really want to see what happens if we can get to 20,000 friends on these sites. Does it actually generate revenue or does it just lend credability to the band?

With the music business in such disarray with free downloads, video game competition, lack of new talent and so on, it is a great time for independent artists to pull away from the pack and get noticed. I am sure that social media is part - if not most - of the key to the answer, but there really is no surefire way to attack this market. I am hoping to help all of you figure out this exciting yet frightening market. I am sure that as time goes on, MySpace, Facebook and Google will figure their way into selling music on their sites as part of the solution as well, but only time will tell. 

The campaign I have started is costing me about $75 a week and I will run it for eight weeks in order to get a clear understanding of what transpires. Keep coming back for my next two columns to see how we are doing. If you have any great social media success or failure stroies, please e-mail them to me at keitht@www.jtrecords.com


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