One of the most overlooked aspects of Last.fm are groups
. Many artists on Last.fm have difficulty with the concept of Last.fm artist pages and wikis, as they're user generated and not owned by the artists. Group pages, on the other hand, have a much closer relationship to the MySpace / Facebook page format you may already be familiar with.
In this short article, I'm going to attempt to highlight some of the key promotional benefits to artists and labels.What's a group and how do I make one?
As you might guess, a group is a network of last.fm users themed around a common interest. You can find them here: http://www.last.fm/community/groups
Anyone can create a group, and if you're a well known band or artist, you'll probably find that your fans have already created a last.fm fan group for you.
(over 15,500 members)
Nevertheless, I would recommend that you create your own official group.
You can do so here: www.last.fm/community/groups/create
Leading a group is like running a page on Facebook or MySpace. Users will join, and you can interact with them in a number of ways.What are the benefits for promotion?Moderators won't hunt you down
- Groups are a fine way to promote your band because users have to join, or opt in, to receive any messages you might send them. If they don't like it, they can simply leave the group. Note that it's not appropriate to then spam links to your group on the website - you shouldn't have to anyway. Likewise, groups are not an excuse to advertise non-music related products or brands either.Direct contact with your fans
- your core fans will likely join the group to show their support. You can then contact them via the shoutbox, group forums, or send out a group message (or newsletter). Connected Artists
- This will connect your group to artist pages. It's probably best pick artists that are relevant to your band (e.g. like 'influences' on MySpace). Only the most popular groups will appear on the artist's front page, so I wouldn't recommend connecting to Radiohead, Coldplay, or The Beatles unless there's a genuine connection to these bands.Word of mouth promotion
- Your group will appear on the profile page of every member that joins - like a badge. If any of their last.fm friends or neighbours visit their profile (and remember, neighbours are into the same kind of music as your fans), there's a good chance they'll see your group and possibly join as well. Word of mouth is more effective that traditional advertising because people are much more likely to accept the opinion of a friend or neutral party, than the obvious bias of an advert. Journal connections
- Last.fm allows users to write their own journals and event reviews. If your fans are writing positively about your band, you should definitely take advantage of this. At the very least, you can give them a bit of recognition by accepting any journal submissions that are made to your group. Again this will strengthen any connections between your band, your group, the user, and their personal network of friends and neighbours.Sponsored Groups
- We offer sponsored groups to certain partners and organisations. Sponsored groups have a more dynamic front page, better customisation, and branding options. To contact Last.fm about sponsored groups here
Last.fm is all about connecting people via similar taste in music, and encouraging music recommendations. Although it's tempting to abuse this, please don't spend your nights spamming Last.fm when you could be writing music or something. Let your fans do the hard work for you.
Above all, I can't stress enough that the more you positively engage with Last.fm's community, the more you will get out of it.
You might also find the following pages helpful:http://www.last.fm/forum/6666/_/357486http://www.last.fm/help/faqhttp://musicmanager.last.fm/help/faq