Marketing over social networks used to be easy. You would create a MySpace page, upload a few songs and a picture or two and let millions of users do the rest by virtually spreading the word. Fast forward to now – boy, has that changed. With a seemingly ever-expanding plethora of social networking sites all trying to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, marketing yourself over these platforms has moved from hobby to chore to nearly a full time job. The typical artist must manage and keep up-to-date their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, website, and any other social media platforms they’ve chosen to market themselves over. Most artists will confess that constantly updating each and every one of their online marketing platforms takes much longer than they’d prefer. The process is arduous at best, and any artist will acknowledge their true desire to use that time creating music. Yet, in the modern age it’s an integral portion of anyone’s marketing strategy.
Enter Musedash, a new online application that lets musicians manage all their social network profiles from one main dashboard. From this dashboard, you can post content (be it status updates, links, news, or photos and videos) and choose to which networks you’d like the content to appear on. So you could simultaneously post a news article on your Facebook profile, your Facebook page, your Twitter, your MySpace, and any other applicable network – all with just one click. Musedash sets itself apart from competing services like Hootsuite and Ping.fm by catering specifically to musicians. And, recognizing that most musicians are not computer geeks in their spare time, creator Hilke Ros and the rest of the Musedash team have made user-friendliness a top priority. The result is a clean, simple and straightforward application designed to make social networking easier, not more complicated. Potentially, using Musedash to manage multiple social networks simultaneously could save valuable time and frustration, and would eliminate the possibility of mistakes or inconsistent information on different networks.
Not only does Musedash allow artists to easily keep fans up-to-date across many networks, it provides statistics letting the user know specifically which posts on which networks attracted more views, followers, fans and plays. Think Google Analytics for dummies. In turn, artists can better evaluate their marketing strategy and communicate more effectively with their fan base.
Additionally, the Musedash creators recognized that artists often play in multiple bands at once or, similarly, managers and agents facilitate the operations of more than one artist. Instead of forcing users to have a separate profile for each artist or group they are affiliated with, Musedash allows for each user to have a personal account from which they can manage any number of artists’ profiles. This facilitates collaboration from within and eases the process of distributing various management duties. All the while, those within an artist’s management team can keep track of how things are going, since an artist’s date is synced across all user accounts.
While Musedash promises to be an innovative and effective service, one cannot help but point out a few flaws. The first is perhaps one of Musedash’s biggest enemies – marketing-savvy artists who may feel it important to run different marketing strategies on different platforms. The Facebook and Twitter audience is much different than, say, the Last.fm demographic, as the former caters to the average fan while the latter is geared towards the hardcore music lover. Secondly, with the abundance and variety of social networks available today, Musedash will eventually need to expand to allow posting on many platforms. As of now, the service only supports posting to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace and Last.fm. Finally, and perhaps most obviously, Musedash needs to become financially sustainable. While it they currently offer a free service, the Musedash team plans to make available premium features for which artists will have to pay to take advantage of. This will be no problem for big-name acts, yet budding musicians (those most likely to use the service) are notoriously frugal and may choose to opt for the free model.
Musedash is a relatively new player on the music-marketing scene, but has already gained praise for its innovative approach to social networking. While it doesn’t exactly bring anything truly unique to the existing market, the Musedash service eases and simplifies a laborious process that many artists recognize as essential.