| How to Win & Engage Fans on Facebook – SXSW Presentation

I was invited to give a presentation on Best Practices for Musicians on Facebook last week at SXSW and thought it would be helpful to share my slides from the talk and some audio excerpts that were posted online for those who couldn’t make it to the conference.

I tried to tailor this talk toward practical things that you can do today. In particular, I spent a bit of time on how to optimize your page using the new Timeline view, now that Facebook is changing all Band/Musician pages to this format on 3/31/2012. I also spoke about the three voices you can use in your status updates to keep things interesting, and some strategies you can use to grow your fanbase both in the realworld at Gigs and using Facebook advertising.

Carl Jacobson from Nimbet’s slide deck.

“Fanthropologist” Kristen Olson Studies Fans for Studios

Kristen Olson calls herself a “fanthropologist.” The title says it all: she uses the techniques of anthropologists to study fans and fandoms for the Los Angeles ad agency she works for. Olson’s job is to lay bare the inner workings of a given fandom so that studio executives can understand, and communicate with, the people who are passionate about their intellectual properties.

It’s a job made more complicated by the infinite hype chamber that the internet creates around media properties.

“The studios can’t tell the difference between the kind of hype that is economically generated by the need for bloggers to find something to hype,” Olson tells me, “and things that people are generally excited about. Which is one of the things that I do.”

Comic Con in particular has become a thorny issue for the studios over the past few years. As the event has become a giant promotional platform for studio creations, it’s become increasingly hard to tell what is going to be a real hit and what is a kind of summer fling for fans.

“Based on what we’re seeing coming out of it,” Olson says of the excitement generated by Comic Con, “it’s motivated by something more than simple love. [Fans are] looking for something to love.” Unfortunately for studio executives, that kind of enthusiasm doesn’t always translate into big mainstream audiences. The Comic Con audience fell in love with Scott Pilgrim, for example, but the film failed to live up to expectations at the box office.

Olson’s job runs in multiple directions. She likens it to being a plumber, but instead of water it’s information that she making sure flows properly.

“You’re looking at where the information is coming out and what you’re looking at is it traveling to all the places it needs to? What are people getting on the other end? Also another metaphor: telephone. Are people getting the message that you’re putting out? It’s tracing how the information travels and what factors are at play in what the end perception is.”

It’s a strange kind of mental wizardry. Analysts like Olson not only help media executives understand what the fans of their properties want, they help them speak the language of the fandom. To understand at a root level what fans get emotionally out of the property. Because a fandom is more than just a collection of information about a fictional universe, a celebrity, or a sports team. It’s a way of interacting with other people that colors the way fans see the world.

5 Ways in Which You Can Improve Your Connection With Your Fans Immediately | blog: Your music. Your way.

Remove the artist-fanbase concept from your mind. It’s 2011. The concept of artist-fanbase is so last century. The issue I have with this concepts is that it suggests a distance between the artist and the fanbase. We all live part of our lives in the digital realm now, so get rid of this mental distance. You’re the center of the party. Sure, you don’t have time to talk to everybody when the party gets crowded, but it helps if you’ve connected your visitors to each other so that you won’t have to. Create an ecosystem that both you and your fans are a part of. Grow together.

How to turn fans into CD-buying cow creatures – Dubber’s Posterous

Thanks to Twitter, I stumbled upon this article in Information Week which provides an insight into the ways in which major record labels and their subsidiaries view the world of social media.

My favourite quote:

“Over time, we’ve become really focused on figuring out what do we do with all these people we’ve sort of corralled?”

Corralled. Like, herded into a pen. Is that really what they think happens when somebody follows an artist on Twitter?

Beatles mania helps collector make a living in Argentina –

So how did an accountant from Argentina – which seems about a million miles away from Liverpool, England – amass a staggering 8,600 Beatles-related items? Hint: Being a self-confessed pack rat helps.

“My history shows there is a virtue in collecting things, and I think schools should do more to encourage kids to do it,” says Vazquez, a gregarious, heavyset guy with a ready laugh, often directed at himself and his obsession. “Collecting teaches you to be methodical, orderly and to do research. And even make a living.”

Because it’s more than a hobby for the 53-year-old Buenos Aires native. He’s turned his fixation on the Fab Four into a booming local business and tourism magnet.

The centerpiece of his Beatles domain is a new museum in downtown Buenos Aires where much of his collection is displayed. Inside, there are of course all the Beatles album covers, but also rare photos of band members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr plus autographs, Beatles playing cards, posters, musical instruments, a box of condoms that Lennon owned, and much, much more.

It all started when someone gave him, at age 10, the Beatles album “Rubber Soul,” which he says “exploded in my brain.”