Friday, September 20, 2013

The Day the Music Died. When was that again?

Today I reserve some space to speak of personal matters instead of your latest social media primer or how to reformat a USB stick. I even chose a friendly font :-). Today I wish to speak of music and it's less than favorable condition. Lord I hope by the end of this I do not look like an outdated grumpy old man. So lets have at it, shall we?

What is happening to music I ask!

Dude, I'm old, I admit it. I was old enough to go to the show when Led Zeppelin last played Boston, just couldn't get tickets. Boo hoo hoo. Here I'll show off a bit about the music I've seen. Check this link for my Ticket Stubs Collection

I've seen lots of different, excellent and not so excellent genre's of music come and go.

I was on the backside of the era of love and Woodstock, The Beatles, The time of the legendary serious rock band, 80's, Disco, 90's grunge (wow!) and this thing called Rap. All those genre's had something good to offer. Hey I have C & C Music Factory as well as Depeche Mode, The Cure and All of Zeppelin (plus a million other Albums & CD's).

Then something happened.

Music became an electronic replacement for talent and musical skill (IMHO). Hey I like some of Eminem. The guy writes some tunes that are more than just empty BS. I'd say he's got talent. I've even heard a Kanye West song that's OK.

But there's this new crop of Kanye Beiber's and it's all the same mish mosh of corporate music for the over medicated masses who suckle from the industry teat. 

Oh hey let's not forget Mumford and Bums and their new era of "Americana", corporate music for the over medicated masses who are sick of corporate Pop for the over medicated masses.


Here's a graph from Google that shows popularity of the search term "music" since 2004. Notice anything?

Will someone send a copy of this to the music industry and let them know what they have done? There is a steady decline of interest in music. I personally believe the backseat that music has taken in early education is the starting point for this. On the flip side I know parents everywhere who expose their kids to the music they love and am thankful for that. I do have a dream that music rises high again to be an enriching part of everyone's life... But the graph does not lie.

Well it might lie. There's some considerations for interpretations on why the graph skews down:

- Perhaps it's too broad a term to make assumptions about (likely)
- Perhaps it just doesn't represent the way people find music in the world of iTunes(likely).

In the absence of understanding those maybes it's hard to be sure. In fact this post is predicated on not much more than personal feelings. This post really is a knee jerk reaction but I hope it spurs some discussion.  Also this is a conglomeration of feelings on this topic that should probably be separated into different discussions, but anywho...

Most of this post is personal feeling backed up by "The Graph" but I'll tell you this, I really see a disinterested music listening population lately. On the local level they put TV's over the bands head so people can watch sports and desperately ignore the band. I have kids ranging from middle school to collage and music is just not that big a deal and this IS A MUSIC Household!

I see glassy eyed kids who are more interested in the biggest subwoofer listening to music with no soul. Actually they are not really listening, they are making sure we are all looking at them. Minions for the devil??

Maybe I'm all wet.

I just really see a vast majority of the next generation listening to stuff I can't imagine will have the staying power of a Beatles song. 

"Blackbird singing in the dead of night" 

That phrase starts a tune in the head of most people. That's staying power.  Song released 11/22/68 BTW.

How about this:

"You see it’s leaders and it’s followers/But I’d rather be a dick than a swallower”

Yeah, I think that will have the same effect 45 years from now. I actually feel the need to point out that the last sentence qualifies as sarcasm. That is my case in point that today's music is total crap.

I have had the pleasure of getting to know some incredible local talent in the Boston area. There are musicians out there who have Hendrix level talent. Who have Aretha level vocal skills, who do justice to Clarence every time air passes the reed.

These musicians scrape and claw in a local system that, well for lack of better words is not very forgiving. I personally feel that by this time a good local music support system would include something it seems it will never have:
  • An established path to get heard and have a chance at regional or national success
  • Club managers, booking agents or whoever that hears incredible talent and say "I've got to help these folks get famous". See established path.
I'm not knocking the local level here. It seems to me that a group that goes by the name "Recording Industry" would take a vested interest in researching the local level to find great talent but they clearly do not. In this age of websites it's so easy to have a form to submit music to but who would be listening on the other end??

OK, for the sake of argument I went to the Atlantic Records website and here's what I found:  Careers at Atlantic Records. Instead of finding a contact method, I found a laughable method to use fans to be talent scouts. Not laughing at the idea, laughing at the web round robin set up they have. You can never get to the point where you ask to sign up as a scout. Hmmm....

I did find a contact page at Atlantic Records but it clearly stated they do not accept unsolicited music demos. They had a link for those who wanted to but it went back to the first link I provided which has no method to submit a demo. Again, scratching head.

Boston (and I assume other locales) have great fan base support at the local level but that unfortunately does not equal mainstream success.  So as far as "Record Companies" are concerned it's:

Give the people what they want!

Or is it tell the people what they want...  I don't really know but how do you get people who drink Kanye Bieber from the record industry corporate teat to want to check out some really good music? I just don't know.

So how does local talent get found these days?

You'd think in a society where we turn out a procedure for everything that this would be common knowledge but it's still a closely guarded state secret.

Look, Maybe I'm misinformed. Feel free to tell me. I surely don't want to be the older generation saying stuff like: "I remember when we had to walk to school, uphill, both ways!" and "you're music sucks". Again, feel free to tell me.

Article written by Adam Signore
Adam Signore is the owner of Signore Web Design. A company providing Web Design, Social Media Marketing and Custom Facebook Application Development. To learn more about Adam check him out on:

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tagging, sharing, post privacy settings for Facebook Self Promoters!

Thoughts about posting on Facebook for those looking to promote themselves. I'll speak in terms of my musical interests but really folks, this applies to anything

Those who know me know that I'm as interested in music as much as I am Web Design & Social Media. I run a couple of music based Fan Pages on facebook (shameless promotion time)

People Who Listen  & Roving Recordings

My activites there have led me to get to know and consequently help promote many local musicians. When it comes to using Facebook for that there's some things I'd like to see them all doing and here's why:

  • Set privacy settings of any promotion posts to "PUBLIC" - If you set them to "Friends" or "Friends of Friends", while great to share you hobble the ability to expand discovery of you in some subtle ways. For example, as a page owner who might share that post I am unable unless it's set to public. The idea here is to promote to the world, yes?
  • Use tagging liberally - Say you are having a special guest sit in for a gig you should definitely be tagging them in your post. You instantly pick up their social circle as an audience for that post. Remember to try to craft posts to invoke comments. If you can get a third level circle to comment. boom. good thing.
  • Tag locations also - When you tag the venue's fan page you are doing some important things. One thing is throwing a little love to the venues fan page while promoting yourself there. win-win. Another is helping the reader of your post easily click into some valuable information like the address of the joint. Music fans don't typically know venues as well as musicians. I always cringe when someone posts: Hey come see us at Sully's. Same time as always! Great now I need to find out where Sully's is and what the usual start time is. Way to offload in a negative way YOUR promotional duties! (no offense to any club named Sully's out there)
  • Post photo's to go along with your promotional text - This give me and all the other people something to share. Set Privacy to PUBLIC! ( see the first bullet ). We all love to share and one of the beauties of all this is you can get us to do the work for you. Shhh. don't tell anyone :-)
  • Post videos too! - See photo bullet.
  • Make sure all pertinent info is in your post - If you forget and add it as a comment, you've lost some momentum for the post. Assume we know nothing about you, your musical style, the venue or the start time in your post. You're not speaking to the people who know you but they'll appreciate the help too. You're always speaking to the people who know nothing about your band!
  • Create Events for your gigs - Create individual events for you gigs and post about them. I know it can be cumbersome but an event created to cover multiple gigs is useless. Winston Wolf says "Can't use'em. The thicker the better, the darker the better". The whole point of an event is it ties a single date to a fans Facebook events calendar. Got it! I also use some trickery to embed Facebook events into a Google Calendar. Winston Wolf says only individual events can be used. See my post on Event Best Practices for a little primer on that also.
Consider the event title carefully. I personally suggest you always use:

Band Name @ Venue  Other text in the title of the event is confusing and actually wreaks havoc when the event gets embedded in other systems (I.e. Google calendar)

Share your pages events easily with a simple addition to your fan pages web address. Just add /events to the end of the URL and share away Merrile, share away :-)

                 (here's a real one for a great Boston Area Musician, Lydia Warren)

                 (and another rocking band, The tony Soul Delta Blues Project)
  • Hashtags -  Hashtags are a wonderful shiny new thingy on Facebook. Before you go putting a hash mark in front of everything and thinking your the best thing since sliced bread consider a few pointers. See below:
Go ahead and hashtag what seems appropriate but with the understanding that if you don't test them out you really don't know how many folks you're going to reach. To test them out simply click on the link the hashtag creates in the post. You'll be dismayed to find that you are most likely the only one using it. 

I had a chance to use what I knew would be a widely known hashtag the other day #themostinterestingmanintheworld. Thanks to Dos Equis beer you just know multitudes of people have used it and will click through to see who else has. Boom, opportunity. On the other hand #sullyrocks will not get you anything (sorry Sully's).

Try to tie what you have to say into what will NOT be a unique hashtag, that is unless you are trying to build a following for a certain hashtag the way the Twitter-verse does. An awesome goal to achieve but sort of like playing the lottery. Don't let me discourage you on hashtags with this little rant. Use them as you want but go in with your #eyeswideopen.

That's it for now. Something to chew on before you make your next post. Lovingly from me to you.

Article written by Adam Signore
Adam Signore is the owner of Signore Web Design. A company providing Web Design, Social Media Marketing and Custom Facebook Application Development. To learn more about Adam check him out on:

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ever corrupt a USB Stick? Well fix it! (And make it a bootable USB drive too!)

Hi folks,
Today's topic is a little off the usual Social Media / Web type stuff. It's time for a little IT talk. Why you ask? Well mainly because I toasted (corrupted) a USB stick and I was too lazy to run out to Staples and buy another one. So here goes.

If you have a little glitch on the old PC and suddenly find your 16gb stick reports something like 6MB, lent it to a Mac user who formatted it or pops up an icon when installed but clicking it causes an error, here's what you do. (Process tested on Win7):

  1. Connect your USB Stick
  2. Go to start menu and in search box type: cmd
  3. In resulting DOS window type: diskpart.exe (Pops up new window)
  4. In new window at diskpart prompt type:  list disk
  5. At diskpart prompt Type: select disk n where n is the number that corresponds to the USB disk (correct size will be shown in list).
  6. Confirm that you're using the right disk by typing: detail disk In details “Type” will say USB.
  7. At diskpart prompt Type:  clean
  8. At diskpart prompt Type:  create partition primary
  9. At diskpart prompt Type:  active (makes it possible to create a bootable USB Drive)
  10. At diskpart prompt Type:  format fs=fat32 quick
  11. At diskpart prompt Type:  assign
  12. At diskpart prompt Type:  exit

Once this is done if you want to go another step you can use this program to create a bootable USB Drive (very handy if you need to troubleshoot an OS Problem):

See the second screen shot to see what the "Type" value looks like. Make sure when you do step 5 you enter the correct drive number! Much pain will ensue if you get this wrong. Make sure to check as shown in step 6. Either way no boo-hooing!

Screen shots:

Article written by Adam Signore
Adam Signore is the owner of Signore Web Design. A company providing Web Design, Social Media Marketing and Custom Facebook Application Development. To learn more about Adam check him out on:

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Facebook's New Newsfeed - Preliminary Thoughts for Page Owners

Hello Page owners!

Ready for another depressing round of "Facebook Changes"?

Just when you thought it was safe to settle into you page promotion ways Facebook has decided to roll out a change that will have great impact on how you market your business page.

You've learned a lot in the past and until the new feeds roll out it's hard to say if that experience still applies. You've learned how to craft post text to increase reach. You know which posts should get the help of a few post promotion dollars. Your use of imagery, especially honing your use of the cover photo,  custom apps, page events... A host of functionality that will need to be reassessed.

Here's a link to Facebook's feel good video about the new news feeds:

As a page owner you have to be curious if you will still want to spend promotional dollars to end up listed in a sub-menu. First inclination is to shudder a little. Let the wondering and shuddering begin.

But wait Facebook has posted some content for us page owners in a nice PDF. You really won't feel any better after reading it though. Seems post promotions will not even be included in the initial roll out. 

There's also comforting text like:

"We will assess the impact this redesign has on various performance metrics,
including performance of Page posts and paid media, before we decide to roll this out further."
Translation = If we start loosing advertising dollars we might reconsider. 

It's easy to review the changes and have a pretty pessimistic view going forward. But the truth is you always have that pessimistic view when Facebook rolls out a major change, yet you learn to adapt and survive. Same case here I'm sure.

In fact I think, after some careful contemplation that your opportunities will improve. I have always been of the thinking that it's better to have quality leads than to have more leads. Translation here is I think the people who click through to their "following Feed" will be the motivated ones and frankly those are the ones you want to reach with your posts.

Also, you may not have realized it before but unless you were paying to promote a post you attempts at getting a post in front of a fan were sort of hit and miss. Similar post ranking algorithms are reported to remain so if you've honed your posting technique in a way that excites fan's now you hopefully will rank high in the "Following Feed". Actually i'm hoping the hit or miss nature of the whle thing will be removed!

Go here if you want to get on the Facebook News Feed Waiting List

Short story: Don't fret. Facebook isn't looking to loose ad revenue so you can expect that they will make life miserable but still leave you the chance to reach fans as they do now.

The game has been changed to aggravate the innocent :-)

Article written by Adam Signore
Adam Signore is the owner of Signore Web Design. A company providing Web Design, Social Media Marketing and Custom Facebook Application Development. To learn more about Adam check him out on:

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Facebook Events Best Practices for Bands (or anyone)

Facebook Event Best Practices.

 So ya,, thought ya,, Might like to. go. to. the. show......

Thanks to my being a total music nut, supporting local music and being a facebook junkie (ok I do it for work too), I've had occasion to be involved in many facebook events. I also receive event invites by the boatload.

I personally think the facebook event  is a fantastic tool and used correctly can be very effective. Time to be more methodical in your usage as facebook events are getting really saturated. So how to stand out? short story: Tagging.

Here's my thoughts on this as of 2/28/13. Felt the need to date this as the medium changes faster than a fart in the wind.

Let's start from the top and work down of the event invite itself:

The Event Cover Photo:

Events now do timeline sized cover photos!

Clutch Grabwell Event Timeline photo

What should you include in your cover photo? Here's my thoughts:
  • The photo should be cool and inspiring, Show the band perhaps in a cool pose? (see
  • Include text listing the date of the event
  • Include imagery/text identifying the venue, location of venue (yes not everyone knows where Johnny Jacks Chicken S*** Hole Nightclub is) and the time of the event.
  • Ticket price if there is one or let'm know "No Cover"
The Description, Date, Time and Location fields:

First, always fill in the date and time info. I've seen this info wrong and incomplete. Seriously, I have.

But after that make sure to do these few things:
  • Make sure to put a short but funny and compelling description. Yeah it's so interesting to see: "The (your band here) is going to rock Johnny Jacks C.S.H. this Friday". With the event I link to above I play off the bands complete overdrive, over the top high energy.
  • List the band members
  • Maybe throw a link in to a video.
  • Ask people to share. Ooops, got to go update that event!
Don't be too wordy in the description. People are freakin busy you know!!!

The Events Comments Wall:

Comments that happen on an event page are ripe with opportunities to market the event using the built in tool that is facebook. When a person says they are going to your event, a status posts to the event wall and the persons timeline. Perfect chance to turn this into a discussion. In case you don't know your doing "Social Media Marketing". Social. Talking. Discussion. OK?

Make your own regular posts. Try to ask questions rather than make statements. Social. Talking. Discussion. OK?

Reply back to any comments to your posts or posts from other people. Social. Talking. Discussion. OK?

A note on comments as the moderator of an event. I've seen people say things like:
  • "I'm not going. That place sucks" 
  • "Hey if you're not going to (insert your event here). Come to mine!"
All I can say is I would remove the comment and contact the person off line and ask them if they would refrain from making comments that hinder MY marketing efforts. 


Yes I needed to yell that. There's one oft overlooked symbol that is your marketing powerhouse:

Facebook tagging with the @ symbol

The "@" symbol.

Please tell me you knew that you could put this symbol in a post or comment and what is typed directly after would pop up a box of relevant matches to tag a person place, page or EVENT in a comment. Tagging is a very powerful way to spread the word.

When should you use it? If you mention any of these, use the @ symbol to tag it in the post or comment:
  • A friend/fans name in your post or reply comment.
  • The venue name for the event
  • The event name itself. YES you can tag the event itself.
  • When you mention anyone by name associated with the event
  • When you mention anybody by name :-)
Tagging in comments will spread the knowledge of the comment and thereby the event and if you don't do it you're being stooopid :-)

Inviting all your little buddies:

It's important to share your event when you create it. Use that little share with friends button to get a jump on the process.

Rule One: Don't invite everyone you know. It's not appropriate, causes an already saturated medium to be more so and actually pisses people off. Especially when you invite me to your show in LA when I live in Boston...

Only invite people who you feel the event is relevant to and actually have a chance to attend.

Rule Two: See Rule One! 

Share the event link all over the web:

You should always have a network of facebook groups, fan pages and some friends who's wall you share the event to (TIP: easy share link next to the export link)

You should be posting to well known regional calendars as well. Two that I often use:
  •'s event calendar
  • Worcester's Socialweb Calendar. This is cool as they forward events to several other online calendars.
 Also consider regional music blogs and other event websites.

Encourage Sharing of your Event:

The title says it all. Grovel, demand, beg. do what ever it takes to get people to share your event.

PLEASE READ - A note about multiple event invites:

Lets face it, everyone is using events but it's getting ridiculous. I recently received notices from several different people. All were for the same event and each event invite had different names. The confusion factor was low. The annoyance factor was high. I might skip it for spite (not really, love music).

Although sending out separate events through multiple sources would seem like a good idea, like little marketing fingers reaching out to different groups. I really think it's like marketing against yourself on a couple minor scores:
  • People get excited about events that have lots of confirmed guests. Do you want ten events with ten guests or one event with 100 guests???
  • The majority of people hooked into a subject will be bombarded with multiple same events in an already saturated environment.
Stakeholders in an event should create one single event and have their ambassadors share that link. Same little marketing fingers, one cohesive event invite. Done and done. 

Happy Eventing!
I know I'm forgetting something....humph...

Article written by Adam Signore
Adam Signore is the owner of Signore Web Design. A company providing Web Design, Social Media Marketing and Custom Facebook Application Development. To learn more about Adam check him out on:

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Friday, November 2, 2012

What type of fan page do you have??

What type of fan page do you have??

Really the question is: what type of fan page do you want??

It's no secret now that businesses are flocking to fan pages in hopes of generating more revenue in these tough times. Can fan pages do it? Of course they can. Do you know of any other medium with such a captive audience?

The problem is two fold though, as with any marketing. You need to have people find you AND you need to motivate people to do something. Facebook fan pages come with built in leverage to help you achieve the first but the lions share of the latter falls on you.

Let's chat about these two issues, shall we?

In social Media there's a buzz word that gets us all excited and becomes the source of the ultimate let down. You know what it is.... come on, can you say: Viral?

Truth is going viral takes work and happens rarely. The real success comes like anything else, effort = reward. We'd all love to have something go viral and you SHOULD definitely try for that. Trust me, the word "Bacon" has a mystical like power. just don't get let down when it doesn't happen.

But this dream of putting up a post like:

"Hey come on down down tonight, we've got free stuff and a great atmosphere" 

will fly about as far as a bowling ball tied to a helium filled birthday balloon.

Now think about that fan page update. You've seen them, doesn't that just really put the suck in social???

What you need is something that will make your fans "like" (good), "comment" (better) or "share" (***Insert sound of angels singing here***) your posts.

There's a lot of things to consider when doing this: graphics, tone, relevance, humor. I could go on and on but let me suffice to say that you know when someone just shamelessly markets to you and you know how quickly that makes you turn away. So I pose the question: Why do it to your current and potential fans????

spoiler alert:  social media = fans marketing for you. duh.

Here's an example of shameless promotion in a post:

At Signore Web Design, we can give your fan page a voice and personality that keeps your fans engaged. We will help spur your fans to be ambassadors of your brand, be the first line of defense for customer service issues, can create compelling fan page apps that increase the value of your page and also provide professional level graphics that Facebook users will see as an example of the professionalism of your brand. 

We simplify the management of fan pages, provide real time response to fans all with the consummate professional manner. At a cost you will not believe.

While that is the truth of the matter, and we can be reached at 774-232-0508 to discuss how it works, I'd probably have some recommendations about putting posts like this on a fan page.

Article written by Adam Signore
Adam Signore is the owner of Signore Web Design. A company providing Web Design, Social Media Marketing and Custom Facebook Application Development. To learn more about Adam check him out on:

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

An offer you can't refuse, Facebook offers!

So I took the new Facebook "Fan Page Offers" for a spin the other day on a client fan page ( The Chicken Bone ). Facebook wants its share of the "Special Deals" space. Oh and if you're not sure of a fan pages value you should be rethinking that.

First impression:

This is such an awesome tool that the concept of sliced bread no longer exists.

All I can say is that I took the clients test offer for a spin and after two hours had to turn it off because it was doing too well. 200 offer downloads in 2 hours and I had neglected to iron out a max quantity for the offer. My Bad...  The offer had good potential anyways, it was something for free just for checking in at the establishment. Let's dissect the whole event (and the tool).

The Tool:
  • Follows a model like Groupon, Google Offers, etc. with the fantastic exception of not having to pay a third party to facilitate delivery of the offer itself.
  • Once the offer is configured and posted on the page,  a fan of your page will click the offer which creates a sharable email in their inbox. This is a little tickle giving a customer something to print out and take to the establishment (very Groupon-esque)
  • As page fans collect you offer, Facebook sends out the appropriate status update so friends of page fans see what they have done. Voila! Viral!
The Fan Page:
  • Once on the fan page the offer shows a counter letting people know how many others have taken advantage of the offer. Great psychology, the more people click the offer, the more people want to click the offer...
  • We all know that insights run a couple of days behind but what you will see is your Reach shoot way up for the page. Pre offer we averaged about a 5K reach,  post offer reach went to 13.1K
  • Page likes will spike while the offer is running also (and beyond). We went form a couple of likes a day to almost 10 a day even in the two days after the offer was pulled back. Yay!
The Offer:
  • It was getting downloaded at an extraordinary rate in very short order. This is due in small part to the offer email having a share button but mainly the model that is  Facebook doing it's thing.
  • The jury is out on how many collect on the offer. With Group-on where the customer spends money to get some value in return you know you'll have virtually a 100% collection rate. This offer system as of yet does not allow you to configure a purchase to say, have a potential customer buy $20 worth of goods for $10 dollars but I  predict they will get there sooner rather than later.

Article written by Adam Signore
Adam Signore is the owner of Signore Web Design. A company providing Web Design, Social Media Marketing and Custom Facebook Application Development. To learn more about Adam check him out on:

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