One way to demystify online marketing is to reduce it down to its most essential component: it’s just sharing valuable content with your audience.
Now what exactly this valuable content is varies–and what you share will help shape your online voice. If you’re a knitter whose book is a DIY knitting book or even a novel that has knitting in it, you could share original patterns, tips, and tricks. If you’re a baker, you could share your favorite recipe for homemade apple turnovers. If you are a person with a unique way of looking at the world, then perhaps you share blog posts capturing the day-to-day adventures of your life. Getting creative about what type of content you share is vital and will help you stand out from the noise online.
One of my favorite things authors and bloggers share is original songs and podcasts. Clearly, this option is not for everyone. When I try to sing it sounds like an animal being tortured. But just look at Charity White of Rare Rocks! She and her husband are always whipping up new incredible tracks. And certainly some of you have a podcast inside of you just waiting to be recorded.
There are a variety of ways to record an original song or podcast–with options ranging from a plugging a microphone into your computer, taking a voice memo on your iPhone, or visiting a professional sound studio. I’ll leave the creation piece up to you guys. Today I want to tackle the easiest way to share that file on Facebook after you’ve recorded it.
How to share a podcast, song, or MP3 on Facebook
When I first started researching this topic, I kept bumping into robust apps and sites that helped artists set up full music tabs on their blogs and Facebook pages. (Yet another reason to get a fan page!) The best of these seemed to be BandPage and this is possibly worth doing if you’re the kind of blogger or writer who has a lot of songs or podcasts to share. (Here’s a great round-up of music apps for Facebook.)
But my goal was just share a podcast or song on Facebook in the easiest, simplest way possible. After much head scratching and researching, I discovered that SoundCloud was your best bet.
SoundCloud is a free mp3 hosting site. Basically, you just hop on, upload your track, and then it lives online. The interface is really, really easy and you can even set the mp3 to private so that it won’t pop up in search results or be available for download by the SoundCloud community. I had also wanted to find a site that when you shared the track, it played right inside the Facebook wall. I didn’t want to link people off to a separate site–and that’s exactly how the SoundCloud player works.
(As a side note, I also tried Podbean, which pops up in many search results for this topic. I found their site confusing and unprofessional. After forking over $5 to even unlock the capability to share on Facebook, it never worked. Proceed with caution if you use this site.)
To show you how to do this, I’ll use a track from the Creative Commons section of the SoundCloud site. (Creative Commons is the section on most photo/mp3/video sharing sites where royalty-free art is posted for sharing.) Thank you Derek Cornett for being our guinea pig. I’m going to use your pretty guitar quartet song “Uncle Lou” as an example.
So let’s say I’ve just posted the track “Uncle Lou” to SoundCloud. After uploading, it’ll look like this. You’ll note that when uploading, Derek did not mark the song “private” and thus many people on SoundCloud have discovered it, listened to it, and left comments. This is my recommendation! It’s a great way to meet a new audience.
After uploading, you just need to click on the “Share” button in the upper left-hand corner of the music track box.
Then a pop-up box will appear showing a variety of sharing options. I recommend using the “Get the Link” option. (Feel free to shorten it if you’d also like to Tweet the song.) Grab the link to the song and hop over to your Facebook page.
Once there, plop the link into the status update box. Below the box, Facebook will automatically generate a thumbnail and link to your song. Side note: when uploading your track, I highly recommend using your book cover as the picture and mentioning your book in the mp3′s description. For example, you can say, “Excerpt from The Great American Novel. Here’s a podcast of me reading the Prologue and first chapter of my new book, The Great American Novel.”
After the thumbnail and link are generated, remove the link from the status update box. I know what you’re thinking. But wait, I want to share this link! Why am I deleting it?! After you paste a link into a Facebook status update and a thumbnail is generated, you can delete it. Facebook now knows the link you’re trying to share and remembers it. It’s just a way for your update to look cleaner.
With the link gone, you can now write a short intro to the file you’re sharing, something like, “Want to hear a sneak peek of my new book? Below is a short podcast of me reading the prologue and first chapter. Enjoy!” After you’re done, hit Post.
Once your Facebook fans click on the track you shared, the link will convert over to a music player, right on your wall. They can even comment on the post or like it.
So with SoundCloud making it this easy to share music and podcasts with your fans, you no longer have any excuses. Get thee to the home recording studio and get creative!
PS If you have mp3s that support your blog or book, I’d love to see listen to them. Leave a link below to where they’re posted!