Posted March 3, 2011 6:55 pm by with 1 comment

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For musicians, MySpace used to be the social network of choice, but now that the stands are empty over there, it’s sort of Facebook or nothing. Enter FanTrail, a new smartphone app with some exciting ideas about marketing to fans. Even if you’re not a musician, keep reading because there’s inspiration here for all of us.

FanTrail is a free application that allows a musician to communicate and sell to his fans on a variety of levels. For the fan, the app acts as a digital newsletter providing social media updates (which can all be updated at the same time with one click), a calendar of events and links to the musician’s music on iTunes. If a user buys through the app, the musician gets a percentage of the price over and above the royalty he makes from iTunes.

For the musician, the app gives unprecedented access to the fans in that it’s designed to broadcast a message globally, based on location or even to one fan in particular. Best of all, it handles voice messages which allows the artist to connect to the fans on a much more personal level.

The most unique feature in FanTrail is their love meter which gauges the interest level of every fan who uses the app. The meter rises every time a fan reads a post or buys a tune or checks out a concert. The artist can access this information, along with geographical data, which they can use to reward top influencers. Imagine extending a meet-and-greet offer to the band’s biggest fan in each stop on a concert tour. Maybe that’s only 20 people, but those 20 people will be the best salesmen for the product and it won’t cost a dime. There is no better word-of-mouth marketer than an excited fan.

FanTrail is doing for the music biz what MySpace should have done. They’re using the best of what social media and mobile has to offer to connect with an audience that’s already predisposed to using these kinds of applications. It’s entertaining and it’s functional but best of all, it’s personal and that’s a winning combination.

Right now FanTrail is free and they’ll be making their money from advertising and presumably a percentage of the iTunes sales. You can learn more about the app at their home page. If you’re in the music biz, give it a try and let us know what you think. If music isn’t your business, take a moment to think about how you can personalize communications with your “fans” and how you can reward the most ardent for their support. You know what they say, in the end, the love you take, Is equal to the love you make. 

Thanks to the New York Times for the tip.