A Novel Told in Instagram Posts

Instagram Novel

I’m starting an experiment today: I’m writing a novel in Instagram posts. I’m not sure how many times a week I’m going to post new mini-chapters (Instagram’s limit is allegedly 2,2000 characters per caption), but every week following the chapters, I’m going to post the full chapter here.

Here’s why:

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Why People Can’t See Your Band’s Facebook Posts

Facebook posts are entering a black hole. Even the hypnotic ones.You may have noticed something if you have a Facebook Page to promote your band – fewer and fewer people are seeing it. It’s not that people have decided to “dislike” the Page. It’s that they honestly, truly, can’t see your band’s Facebook posts anymore.

What once used to be a ripe old 50% of your fans might now be closer to 30%. Embarrassing things like “16 People Saw This Post” show up in Facebook’s sophisticated analytics captions.

Why’s all this happening? Because Facebook wants money.

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What Musicians Can Learn from YouTube Millionaires

Musicians can learn from YouTube millionaires.A few years ago, I saw a video kicking around Facebook called “How to Trick People Into Thinking You’re Good Looking.”

It was a standard YouTube video: a webcam photoshoot of some person, doing something. This video was pretty funny, and featured a monologue by someone named Jenna Marbles.

Today, Jenna Marbles’ YouTube earnings are valued at over $4 million. “How to Trick People Into Thinking You’re Good Looking” has over 55,000,000 views. The channel for Jenna Marbles videos has over a billion views.

Where’s all this money coming from? YouTube. How? Ads.

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5 Ways Your Band Should Be Using Facebook

Bands can learn a lot from the Facebook Page of Dead Letter Circus.Facebook for bands is a Rubik’s Cube. If it works, it can really work. But if it doesn’t… it’s embarrassing.

A lot of bands use Facebook on a less-than-monthly basis, but there’s some power to steadily creating a stream of content for fans. In fact, I realized the impact of social media when I was waiting to buy a CD, “The Catalyst Fire” by Dead Letter Circus, for almost three months.

That’s kind of a miracle. The “album” as a concept is dying because singles are selling so much better. Not only that, “anticipation” for a creative product is almost a foreign feeling on the Internet, where we’re entitled to instant downloads and streaming.

But there I was, waiting impatiently for October 29 when I could finally buy an album that had been on YouTube since August and available in Australia for months.

So what happened? Social media. Specifically, Facebook. Dead Letter Circus – and what I suspect is some help from the band’s album label, UNFED – brought social media marketing to some next level craziness and it worked. The album debuted at #2 on the ARIA Album Chart.

Here’s what any band can learn about social media from Dead Letter Circus:

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3 Social Media Mistakes We Can Learn from the Concert that Never Was

Bands and businesses have a lot in common when it comes to social media strategies... and mistakes.

This post originally appeared on MarchPR.com

I recently tried to go to a concert here in Boston. I won’t name the venue or the bands, even the most popular of which is pretty much unknown. The show was on a Monday night. My mission was to see one band in particular, but I didn’t know when they, or any band, were going to start playing.

I embarked on a treasure hunt to put together whatever clues I could find. Now, if you’re in PR or know anything about PR, you’ve probably heard the term “messaging” before. Messaging is the cornerstone of any PR campaign. Companies do a lot of research and work very hard to make sure that a message is on-target before sending it out into the world. A good message is consistent on all platforms and channels.

None of these bands had good messaging. The club didn’t have good messaging, either. And, as I tried to piece things together, I couldn’t help but think about all the different ways a solid social media strategy could have helped.

Here’s what I noticed:

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Writers Stink at Social Media (And Why That’s Bad if You’re Self-Publishing)

socialmediaandwritersI’ve talked about how bad writers can be at Facebook before. It’s pretty obvious if you just take a look around.

There are exceptions to the rule, of course, but in general it seems that us writerly folks tend to not like social media that much, particularly the insta-smile networks of Facebook, Twitter, and their even more photo-oriented ilk.

The reason is simple:

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Facebook’s IPO: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Via pstracks.com

Today marks a new low in Facebook’s share value as the initial lock-up for employees ended and some key people left the company.

This has prompted a flurry of speculation about whether Facebook is doomed or not. I’m not going to add my arrow to said flurry, but I’d like to take a step back and ponder what this dive really means.

Because, believe it or not, it’s not because Facebook is bad for business. I know that, because, as a content developer for Constant Contact, I’ve interviewed dozens of small businesses and organizations that have seen some tremendous successes on Facebook.

There’s the bookbinder that made $15,000 from Facebook. The hardware store that made more than $30,000. The nonprofit that raised $10,000, the fundraiser that raised $600 from a Facebook campaign. The list goes on and on.

Businesses are getting used to Facebook. According to Facebook’s S-1 Filing in February of this year, about four million businesses have Facebook Pages.

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