About a month ago, using damntheradio (DTR), Soundcloud, facebook photos and an amazing new release from the Hackney Colliery Band (HCB) we put on over 120 new facebook fans in about 36 hours – our biggest single increase since launching the page.

We’ve been using FanBridge for our mailing list management since September 2010 and were very happy so when they announced that they had acquired damntheradio – a neat little system for creating a ‘like locked’ music-based welcome tab for your band page on facebook – I wanted to take a look.

We were using RootMusic for a couple of our artists already but didn’t have the right solution built in to our label page.

The selling point for me was FanBridge customer service but also Soundcloud integration for delivering the music. We already use Soundcloud as a part of our promotion process so the majority of our releases are already on there.

Our current promo process goes a little like this:

  • Upload the complete release (for a single – partial upload for an album) to Soundcloud. Set tracks to ‘private’ but allow widgets and apps. We also set comments to ‘hidden’ so DJs can leave reactions freely.
  • Upload .zip file containing the full promo package to our own web server.
  • Go to the uploaded ‘Set’ via our Soundcloud dashboard and hit the ‘share’ button which then provides you with a secret link (which has a ‘shorten’ function too).
  • Send press release via fanbridge including secret link to Soundcloud so DJs can preview the tracks and provide the full download .zip link for those that want it. (Our .zip link goes via a re-direct so the server folder containing our promos remains unknown to downloaders.)
The soundcloud settings page
Important that your apps and widgets are still enabled.

With fanbridge we also get a really accurate idea of who is and isn’t checking out the promos, how many are downloading etc.

We’ve been doing this for a few months and it works nicely, better than our previous “filesharing site + BCC everyone via gmail” method. So we’re all happy.

Now thanks to the DTR option I’ve been able to answer a question that has been bugging me – how do we generate a feeling of exclusivity and value to our facebook fans? How do we deliver something that makes it genuinely worthwhile following us and interacting with our daily (we like it daily) posts?

With the HCB, once I uploaded the promo I took the following steps:

  • logged into our DTR account and synced the two new HCB tracks to the top of our playlist – clearly marking them as “EXCLUSIVE”.
  • Went to the ‘Content Access’ tab and ensured that the two new tracks we’re ‘like locked’.
  • Went to the ‘Share message settings’ tab and updated the message to specifically say “Listen to the new Hackney Colliery Band single exclusively on our facebook page!”
  • Went to our Facebook page and uploaded two photos of the artwork for the release.
  • Tagged every member of the band, the producer, the engineer, myself, other guys at the label and one or two people with a special interest in the band – nothing too spammy like tagging everyone I know!
  • Hit the publish button.
Damn The Radio example
Edit the text for the track to mark it "Exclusive" - put it at the front as there is limited space.

I tried a status update also but the photo had much more take. Before we knew it we have 25 comments and 50 likes on the photo post alone. As a page with (at the time) around 1500 fans this was a great feedback rate and increased the reach of the actual post from the average 1800 impressions to around 10,000.

People were also hitting the share button and independently pushing the DTR page with the exclusive listens.

When we eventually pushed the full release on Valentines day 2 weeks later, we were already over 200 fans bigger than before and the single is currently one of our best selling for a few years, in fact at the current rate it could be our biggest ever.

More importantly we’re now able to give facebook fans much more up front access to our forthcoming music. I really like that. It’s exclusive through us and a good value encouragement to hit the like button.

I hope this is helpful. Feel free to leave comments below and share this post. Also, be sure to check out the Hackney Colliery Band and their single at http://hackneycollieryband.bandcamp.com and join us on facebook at the Wah Wah 45s damntheradio page.

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