Dear Record Label: Does Having a Strong Social Media Presence Mean We Don't Need a Website?
In a band? Have no idea how to go about getting a label to take you seriously? We've got the answers you're looking for.
In our new series, "Dear Record Label," we went to Roadrunner Records -- home of Slipknot, Rob Zombie, Opeth, Megadeth, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Trivium and more -- and asked them the tough questions that young bands should know the answers to. Each week, we'll be bringing you advice from members of the Roadrunner staff to try and get you on track to get noticed.
Q: Does having a strong social media presence mean we don't need a website?
A: Jon Satterley, Senior VP New Media & Global Business Development: Like any kind of brand building/marketing strategy, the answer has to be "it all depends." Most bands find it easier to quickly launch a Facebook page and update it (as well as find new fans) than to go through the (potentially daunting) task of creating a artist.com website. However, there are many compelling reasons for starting out with your own domain and band site, then utilizing social networks as recruiting tools for your own "world." Namely:
1. You own your band site. You control it. Social networks have been known to come and go (MySpace, anyone?) whilst unique URLs are pretty much permanent. What’s more, there is value in gate-keeping content; where else but your own site can you make things "exclusive" and reward the loyalist of your fans?
2. These days, artist websites can be built in tandem with a solid social-networking strategy and presence. Allowing people to log in to your website with their Facebook credentials and (for instance) comment on news stories can allow you to leverage the power and appeal of Facebook whilst still keeping your fans at your own site, enveloped by your branding and message.
3. Building a customized band website on your own artist-named domain is easier than it has ever been. Just go to tumblr.com and get rolling, or try tried-and-true content management systems such as Blogger or WordPress. Most of these services play nicely with the social networks, enabling you to do the stuff mentioned in point 2 above.
Ultimately, the equation should not be either/or. The best thing to do is to roll out a web/online presence for your band that harmoniously utilizes the social networks and your own site, with the ultimate goal of making your band site the premium place for your fans to converge and enjoy your content.
Speaking of getting noticed, be sure to check out Roadrunner's Sign Me To website, which allows unsigned bands to display their music, move up charts based on fan ratings, get reviewed by Roadrunner staff and maybe even get signed!