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Upviral - Viral Loop Marketing Tool 

I first came across UpViral because I read a lot about filmmaking and the associated equipment and one site, in particular, Planet 5D, runs a lot of competitions to win cameras and accessories from different companies. After entering a couple of dozen or so I started to think about how I could apply this marketing technique to the band so I looked into the platform.

How it works, in a nutshell, is that you create either a giveaway prize draw and/or a free gift in exchange for someone agreeing to sign up to your email list. That sounds pretty simple, right? That's because it is. However, that's not the best bit, this is: When they sign up they get points and the system generates a unique referral link for each person. If they then share the link on Facebook, Twitter, emails, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger or any other way then they get more points awarded. You get to decide exactly how many points they get for each action completed, sending someone to the contest, sharing the link on each platform, signing someone up to the contest etc.

And what do points mean? If you know the answer to that catchphrase then you are showing your age!

The more points you get, the more chances you have to win Think of these like a digital raffle ticket, the more you have in the box, the more likely you are to get picked. You can give away prizes when people earn so many points such as PDFs, MP3 downloads etc. You can also award points for people signing up to your social media platforms as well.

I tried a couple of small contests to win a vinyl and another to win some festival tickets to kind of dip my toes in the water. These went OK and I got a few people added to our mailing list as a result. So then I wanted to go for a big one and get a prize set that would really entice a lot of people. Now here is where you have to be smart. If I had bought an iPad or something similar that a lot of people across a lot of demographics want, sure I would have got a lot of people signing up and sharing the contest to earn points but they aren't likely to be potential customers, i.e. people who like the band and will come to a gig or buy an album in the future. I had to think up a set of prizes that would appeal to our existing and also potential crowd.

I surveyed on social media and also just used my common sense to find things and came up with the following prize package:

  • Crosley Vintage style portable record player 
  • The Jive Aces “Diggin’ The Roots” double album on vinyl 
  • The Jive Aces “Just for the Record” vinyl 
  • Complete set of The Jive Aces CDs (11 albums and 2 E.P.s) 
  • Pair of tickets to a Jive Aces show of your choice 
  • £100 Vivien of Holloway gift certificate 
  • Yellow Kala ukulele (the “Bring Me Sunshine” model!) 
  • One-year subscription to Vintage Rock Magazine 
  • One-year subscription to Vintage Life Magazine 
  • "Deliciously Decorated" by Charly White from Restoration Cake

I also decided to give away an MP3 track form the new album when people reached 6 points. To earn that number they'd only have to sign up and share the contest a couple of times.

I then created a webpage on our site where the giveaway was embedded. You can see this at http://www.jiveaces.com/contest. The form is no longer visible as the giveaway has long since ended but it gives you an idea for context.

I then took some photos before a gig on the beach in Deal in Kent when we happened to have three girls singing with us and all wearing Vivien of Holloway dresses to create promotional images for the contest featuring some of the prizes. See the main one below:

Then I had another idea to involve the companies I got the prizes from and so I told them about the giveaway and asked them if they would promote it on their social media, I would send out a "thank you" email to all the people who entered and as a consolation prize and give them a special offer on their products such as %10 off on their website store for a limited time. That way, each of the brands would get exposed to each other's customers as complementary but non-competing products (magazines, clothes etc).

To be totally honest, I didn't really set this up well in advance with them so I got a little bit of support on this idea but not a great deal. This is the thing I have to concentrate on for the next one so if you are a brand that wants to get involved with this then email me at promo@jiveaces.com!

I ran the contest for a month and here is how it went: I had 759 people sign up, some of whom were on our mailing list already so I got about 560 new people. Not bad methinks! I was hoping for a thousand but I am still learning...

To promote the draw I spent a little money on boosted Facebook posts and an ad, sent it to our email list and posted it on social media copious amounts of times, plus tagged all the companies whose products I was giving away so they could easily share it.

To make the draw really fair (instead of the computer randomly picking a winner) I actually printed out every single entrant's name times as many points as they had (the top points earner had over 500!) and chopped them up into a box. We then did a live stream on our Facebook page and made a big song and dance about it (literally!). You can see the video HERE.

So the key to this I think is finding prizes that will appeal to your target audience that are or are potentially interested in your band/brand/product and then involving as many collaborators as possible and getting the word out.

All in all the platform is pretty simple to use and the tech support was fairly quick too. The interface to set everything up is nice and clean and straightforward and easy to see what you have done and what you still need to do. It also takes you through in a fairly logical step by step order. They are also continually adding new features and quite aggressively developing the platform. In fact, the feature to award people points for signing up to your social media only started after I launched the giveaway so I added it as an option as soon as it was available.

If you are interested in using UpViral, CLICK HERE to sign up. Full disclosure, that's my affiliate link to their service so they'll give me a little slice. But if you do sign up, play hard to get! By that I mean if you go through the process of signing up and give up towards the end they'll come back to you with a discount. When I did it I got a 50% discount for an annual plan paid in advance.

I hope this has been of use to you guys, hit me up if you have any questions!

Cheers, Alex

P.S. here are a few more individual images from the shoot.

NEVER PAY FOR FACEBOOK PAGE LIKES!/I Paid For Facebook Page Likes 

OK, I know I said in a previous post that you should never pay for ads which just get “likes” for your page. And I said that because you should never pay for ads which just get people to like your page. 

Facebook are essentially selling you a dead parrot. Cue the Monty Python meme...

What does that mean exactly? For a quick recap in case you haven’t been pouring over my blog posts... or indeed any reporting on any social media at all, like those people who have been living in mine shafts for example, Facebook have been systematically throttling the organic reach of Page posts meaning that all the people who who have opted to “like” your page, presumably because they are interested in your art and want info from you, don’t. Or at least very few of them do.

I have noticed a massive drop in reach and engagement on posts over the last year. We were actually getting more interaction and reaching more people when we had about 2/5 of the following than we do now. There is obviously more competition now and there is only so much timeline space, that’s also a factor but Facebook have been restricting who sees your stuff regardless of the fact people actually asked to do so.

So, the other day I was looking at my page and was presented with this attempt to get me to spend money on something I know is and they are even telling me, is increasingly worthless:

I thought “sod it “ and chucked a tenner at it and set it to the minimum spend of £1 per day with all the relevant targeting to make sure I was reaching likely candidates and also set it to only the UK and the USA as that’s where we tour the most and let it do its thing. The least I would get is a few more fans and a blog post so you’ll know exactly what you get for your money in case you were curious.

So here are the results:

I got 40 new people liking my page so spent about 25p per person. If I share a page post I reach about 1000 people on average give or take, out of 27,000 so that 25p is worth 1/27 of a person I can now promote to on a post by post basis.

Next take a look at the next set of statistics:

This tells me that there was no other activity other than the likes, that it showed the ad to over 1300 people that that I had a mediocre “relevance” score out of 10. This is odd because when I use almost identical demographics on my other Facebook ads I usually get a much higher relevance score around the 8 or even 9 mark sometimes. 

In conclusion I won’t be doing this again but it did satisfy my curiosity. I do know one person who has spent a considerable amount of money on Facebook to build up his audience, which he has, only to not be able to reach them.  

So, if you are thinking about it, don’t and then read my other blog post on what to do instead HERE

Cheers, Alex

Social Media Tool Review - Boostfy.co 

N.B. I'm not in any way connected to this company and don't get anything for writing this, it's just a tool have found useful.

We have had an Instagram account for a few years but have only started using it in earnest for the past year or so, especially since Facebook started sucking more and more and choking our reach (yes I know they are the same company...). Although it has it's inherent restrictions I am enjoying using it more than other social media I think because it is exactly that, much more social. In comparison to Facebook now, we get an average of 80-100 likes on an IG post with only 4000 followers and are getting between 40-80 likes on a photo on Facebook with 27,000 followers. This puts the value of IG followers at 6X - 8X over FB page likes in terms of reachability.

I am completely against buying views, likes, followers etc for the purpose of making yourself look more popular than you are. Allegedly the theory is that if you look big then you will attract more real people. There may be some truth in this, however, there is one small downfall and that is that it is dishonest. In the long run, I also think it will destroy the foundation and trust that (good) social media is based upon.

I was sceptical when I first came across Boostfy. Let's face it, who hasn't had dozens of those nefarious emails promising new followers for $xx? As I saw it as an ad on Facebook I did give it the benefit of the doubt and furnished it with a click.

The way it works is that you put in your Instagram account details you then add a bunch of targetting options. Pretty simple. There is a field for hashtags, a field for locations and one more for accounts. You can use any one, two or all three of these in conjunction and you can choose one of three "modes" that just weight the likes towards one of these three things.

The system then goes through and finds posts and likes them. That's it. It just finds posts with the specified hashtags and/or followers of the input accounts and likes them. This then stimulates reciprocated attention and people check out your account and if they like it (and presuming you have targetted smartly and relevant)

You can also blacklist hashtags and accounts if there are specific ones you don't want to include.

For example, if you are a mechanic who specialises in classic cars you will want to target hashtags such as #hotrod #classiccar #classicvehicle etc. Then add accounts who's audience you want to steal... I mean target... such as events and car shows etc. You then may want to blacklist certain makes or models of car you don't service like #subaru or whatever.

You get a seven-day free trial and then it costs $200 for a lifetime plan. The tech support is pretty fast too. Using this I have grown our Instagram by over 1600 in a few months sometimes getting as many as 130 new follows a week. The average is about 70-80 though and a low week is about 40-50.

So, dues to its accurate targeting ability and the one-time fee I think it is pretty good value and seems to work. Try out the trial at boostfy.co and let me know how it goes for you.

Cheers, Alex

Facebook Tip - Maximising Event Page Effectiveness And Efficiency 

If you are like us (The Jive Aces) you will probably be playing a huge variety of shows that range from local dance nights run by enthusiasts to large festivals run by a team seasoned professionals and everything in between. This can mean that the consistency of web presence can vary greatly and you may find some missing altogether. You may also organise your own events and book other bands or be a promoter yourself. You can, however, take control of this to a degree to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of Facebook Events on your band page.

One way you can do this when creating Facebook events is to ensure that everyone involved is added as a co-promoter. For instance, for our Big Jive All-Dayer event, we had four other bands and three DJs. I added them all as co-promoters of the event. They then got a notification and all they have to do is accept and the event gets added to their Facebook Band Page or profile event calendars automatically. This also avoids them creating duplicate events and splitting the potential audience's attention where they may have missing details etc. That way, when they use the "invite friends" function all the involved parties will be inviting people to your event which creates more interest and builds momentum in one place which Facebook seems to reward. They certainly penalize you if you invite lots of people who don't respond.

The above can also work if the venue or promoter are being slow in creating events, you can do the work for them and when you add them as a co-promoter you will give them a digital kick up the bum! In the example below, I have done this to Ian (MWAHAHAHAHA).

[UPDATE] Some people tried to follow these instructions on mobile devices in the app. Don't bother, just use your laptop and save your thumbs. These instructyions are for the computer. If you are a mobile power user you may be able to do it in the browser on your phone/tablet but you'll need to force the website to show you the desktop version, not the mobile version.

As a band, you can also apply this in reverse if you are playing a venue or festival and you want to add it to your page calendar. You can actually increase awareness of your band/act by utilising the promotion that the festival is doing themselves.

Instead of creating a new event yourself and again, find the venue or festival's page and go to their events and find the correct one. Open up the event you are involved in and click on the three dots to see the drop-down menu. Choose "Add To Page". See the example below of the Trackfest event we are playing at.

You'll then see a pop-up box asking you which page to add it to. If you have more than one page then choose the correct one (you can add it to as many as you like).

If you navigate back to your Page's event calendar you will now see the event added in as your own.

Ideally, you also want to be a co-promoter as then Facebook will give you more invites so you will have to contact the venue/promoter and get them to follow the above instructions in the first part of this post so if they don't know how then refer them to this blog!

To finish, I highly advise having all your events listed on your Facebook Page calendar (yes, on top of your own website which you spend ages maintaining, I know the struggle is real!). The number of messages we get on Facebook asking "when are you playing in my town next?" or "when are you next in [BLAH]?" despite regularly publishing the website gig guide link is unreal! What can I say, people are too lazy to work out how to make a couple of clicks outside of Facebook! You can't have your event's listed in too many places. The key to event promotion is quantity first, quality second. It is and always will be a numbers game!

Hope this helps. Leave me any feedback or questions in the blog comments.

Cheers, Alex

 

Paying for "Likes" Vs Advertising "Actual Stuff" on Facebook 

As you’ve probably heard and/or experienced, Facebook Page posts are getting less reach because Facebook thinks it knows better what people are interested in than the people themselves. That's "artificial" intelligence for you. That could be a really covert way of taking away what was once free and trying to charge you for it but that could just be a healthy dose of cynicism...

Therefore paying for ads which have the sole purpose of getting "likes" to your page are becoming increasingly worthless so my advice is DO NOT PAY FOR ADS WHICH ONLY INCREASE PAGE LIKES. You will only have to pay more to reach all of them anyway. 

As an aside, you are an artist who creates something which people have an emotional impact to and has a worth. Don’t forget that but I think I will go deep on that topic in a future blog post.

Instead, if you are going to pay for FB ads, pay to advertise a specific thing; A live gig/event, an album etc. That way you are directing the person to an exchangeable product. If you target correctly and people like the product they will end up liking your page anyway. 

Wait, there’s more! Under the "Connections" section, you can also target your ads so they only show to people who don’t like your page so you are reaching new people if you want.

And more importantly, you can also target the ad to people who have not yet responded to your event page.

Then when they start liking the ad, you can then invite those people to like your page and as they have responded and shown interest in your wares, they are very likely to take up the offer.

You can also do this with any old posts. If you click on to see who has liked the post you can also invite them to the page. I recommend systematically going through every single post you have ever made from the time you started your page and doing this. I did it for the Jive Aces since we started the page in 2009 and increased our page likes by about 700 hundred. It took a few hours but was worth the effort.

Hope this helps!

Cheers, Alex

Facebook Event Invite Woes 

Facebook has been making it harder and harder to reach people through your Page and Events recently, basically because they want you to pay more.

Sometimes you get ridiculous restrictions when inviting people and even get threatened or hit with temporary banning for inviting people to your event even though Facebook has, in the very previous screen told you to invite people to your event and made a special button to do that and even despite the fact that these people have signed up to your band page presumably because they like your band and want info such as things like, when and where you are playing. I know, logic, right!?

One thing you can do to circumvent this and get the most invites possible to let people know about your gig is to "trick" Facebook into thinking you live in that town.

To do this, press the "Edit Profile" button on your profile's homepage. You'll see it on the bottom left of your big banner/header image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then scroll down to your locations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then change your "Current City" in your settings to the city of your show. Sneaky, right?!?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then go to your event and choose the "invite friends" button.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the left of the pop-up box, it has a group where it shows you people in your "home" town. Click that and then wait a few seconds and then hit "invite all".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then go through the list on the left-hand side and invite all people from any event or group that is nearby. It is best to fill your invites with the most relevant people though as Facebook seems to restrict your reach if people don't respond (e.g. don't invite friends in Timbuctoo to a gig in Brussels).

If you want to go deeper (and I recommend you utilize every invite Facebook will give you) then open up a second browser window and pull up your friend list. Then choose "current city" and you can manually search in the invite box for those friends in case any were missed (sometimes they are). This takes a bit longer though but is worth it as the auto search function above does tend to miss a few.

As you only get a limited number of invites per profile to an event, be sure to do this from all band members accounts but make sure you make them admins of the band page first. you should get 500 per person as opposed to only 50 if you are a regular punter inviting people to an event.

Hope this helps fill your gigs!

Cheers, Alex