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Is the website the most important online feature for musicians?

Musicians all over the globe use the Internet and social media as an essential tool in marketing themselves, their brand and most importantly, their music. But out of all of the online devices available to independent musicians and brands, which is most important for engaging and expanding audiences? Is it social media with it’s various different channels and platforms or is it the website, the static and solid domain that hosts all content and is the central point of all music marketing strategies?

The answer is in fact that social networks work in conjunction with one another. Alone, they can be moderately successful in their own right but when linked together, with both feeding traffic to the other and links from each network sending audiences to the site, they become a force to be reckoned with. Without a carefully crafted website where users can navigate between background information, media footage and a shop to purchase a musician’s music, all other social media interaction is in vein. Without building presence on social networking sites directing new fans to their domain, a website can lie dormant with no hits, no track plays and definitely no music purchases for many months.

The two must be working together like a well-oiled machine to be able to perform successfully. The band website is the place for all things official. The official biography of band members, the official music (with bonus tracks for dedicated members), the official shop selling official merchandise should all be located here, with links back to the social media accounts of the musician, or the band and it’s members. Social networking accounts like those on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr should be infused with personality and

help to get across a better idea of who a musician is. The social nature of networking means that users don’t just want to see endless links to music and gig tickets, they want to interact with a musician, get an idea of who they are and get to know them as people so as to better understand their music.

Social networks and websites both have advantages over the other. Websites can host huge amounts of material, they help to emphasise a brand through layout and format and they make it very easy to measure the performance metrics that gauge success. But where websites often fail in their one-sided discourse, social networks pick up the slack, interacting with fans, seeking new audiences and providing a forum where a dialogue between music fan and musician can take place.