Guest post by Amanda Gagnon, who writes about email marketing for AWeber, a leading email service provider for small-to-medium businesses.

If you’re marketing your business online, you’re probably already building a community on Facebook and Twitter. But there are other ways to build an effective and loyal community while raising brand awareness that goes beyond the well-known social sites.

Social music discovery is the next frontier of social media. And Spotifyis the popular platform for discovering music and sharing playlists with friends. Can it hold value for your brand?

Marketing your brand on Spotify is one of those tactics that doesn’t feel very much like marketing, so your customers are more likely to engage with your brand there. Let’s look at how the platform can engage your target community and how other small businesses are using the service to market themselves.

Using Spotify

First things first: when you register for a Spotify account, register with an email address and choose a user name that reflects your company instead of signing up with a personal Facebook account (the default on the sign up page).

Spotify has two tools to help your advertising - branded playlists and apps, which a number of bigger brands have already jumped on for exposure. But the marketing potential goes beyond this built-in potential.

On Your Blog

Give your blog posts a multi-media spin by inserting playlists that fit your post’s theme. If your readers have Facebook sharing activated in their Spotify accounts, the name of the playlist they’re listening to will show in their friends’ newsfeeds. That’s free brand exposure for you!

Getting Interactive

Running contests or starting a collaborative playlist in Spotify gives you a chance to interact with your customers and let them show off their musical tastes. Bands, radio stations or concert venues can hold contests for fans to create a setlist for the tour. The winning playlist gets tickets to the show.

Your store or restaurant could start a collaborative playlist for patrons to suggest songs to add to your background music rotation. Feature a few new songs from the playlist every week. A jewelry store could have customers vote on their favorite wedding songs and put the winning songs in a playlist.

Join in with your customers’ music discovery. It’s a fun way to keep your business in the front of their minds without them really realizing it or feeling “marketed to”.

Real Businesses Using Spotify

Union Transfer and World Cafe Live are two concert venues in Philadelphia. They connect with people on Spotify by updating playlists of artists featured in upcoming concerts.

 

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Union Transfer’s playlists for upcoming concerts

 

Concert-goers can subscribe to the playlists and stay updated when their favorite artists are coming to town. They tie in their playlists with their email campaigns, giving subscribers a chance to connect with them on a different, fun level:

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Music venues aren’t the only businesses connecting with consumers on Spotify. Mashable uses Spotify for their Music Monday playlists. PR Daily reported on a local restaurant that hands out cards with links to a playlist of popular songs heard in their establishment. This continues their customers’ affinity with their brand even after they leave the restaurant.

Marketing your brand on Spotify is a less direct tactic, but one that gives your brand more exposure by creating a memorable experience for your followers.