Social MediaPreviously in this column, we touched on the basics about Social Media. Let’s go a bit deeper into this over the next few columns.

Social Media continues to be a hot topic with lots of questions from the audience as I teach on marketing at events like the Christian Musician Summit and Christian Leadership Alliance.

I’ve been involved in social media since the very early days in 2007 when I brought one of the first Christian social media sites into our FrontGate Media group. We have served as Social Media agents for the Barnabas Group, Barbour Publishing, GMC, Kenny Luck at Every Man Ministries/Saddleback Church, the Christian Comic Arts Society and others.

I look at Social Media like establishing an embassy in a foreign country. By setting up shop inside one or more of the social media worlds, you are able to reach out to the local inhabitants, start to learn their culture, and establish relationships.

So where do you start?  The answer to that depends on how much interest and time you have available to devote to the process and the learning curve involved.  For the social media noob, you may just want to start with Facebook.

At a minimum, our FrontGate Media team generally works all of our clients in Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Facebook is far and away the single best Social Media outlet to be involved with.  LinkedIn has grown increasingly more valuable due to its focus on business connections. With great networking groups and relevant information about each member’s business or ministry ventures, I’m very excited about LinkedIn.  Twitter is still interesting to me as a microblog, basically a very short blog, but the newness of Twitter has certainly worn off for me.  However, my opinions don’t really matter. What matters is where your fan base lives and which Social Media outlets they value and participate in.  If you want to reach me, then Facebook and LinkedIn are mine, but other people love Twitter.

It is also a great idea to be posting video on YouTube and reaching out to their audience. In the Christian market, it is worth being involved with GodTube for video and probably with the Shoutlife social network.  Technically, video sharing networks not pure social networks, but common usage has lumped them into the same group as Facebook and Twitter.

ReverbNation (www.ReverbNation.com) and the Christian-owned Indieheaven (www.Indieheaven.com) are also excellent resources for musicians.

What about Myspace?  If you aren’t already there, I wouldn’t bother starting there until after you’ve mastered all the previous networks I just mentioned, which is likely to be never.  What about Google+?   It might be worthwhile when they’ve opened up to business pursuits, but as of this point, I haven’t seen anything compellingly new that will make Google+ more than a “me too” add  on to the Google services.  That could change.

As you will continue to hear me repeat, marketing is all about Fan Development: how do I create, grow and maintain relationships with my growing audience or fan base. Social Media is an AMAZING resource that serves you well in this purpose.  Social Media makes it possible for you to have constant, immediate, direct interaction between you and your fans, one fan at a time.  As artists, never before have we had such far reaching connection to our fans without standing directly in front of them at church or on tour.

Send me your Social Media questions and I’ll try to answer the most popular topics as we explore this topic together.

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Reprinted from Worship Musician magazine. Scott has led classes for us at NAMM and the Christian Musician Summit. He has been featured in Adweek and at the Christian Leadership Alliance. He is the CEO of FrontGate Media, the #1 culture-engaged media group reaching the Christian audience (//www.FrontGateMedia.com/) and is the co-founder of Creator Worship: online radio for worship leaders (//www.CreatorLeadershipNetwork.com) .