Mr. Tunes

How Soundcloud Runs a Good Community (and what you can learn from them)

SoundCloud Lamp by Ikea :)

I am impressed with how Soundcloud is cultivating their community. It’s good that they are doing this, because I think they are poised to play a role similar to that MySpace did a few years ago. It’s a nice thing that artists see this brand in action – they call this leadership.

Anyways it’s not rocket science what they’re doing, but it takes a lot of commitment on their part.

The first thing is they are able to respond to most tweets you send them. Clearly you have to be well staffed to do this when you’re that size, but it’s worth it.

The next thing is their blog has nice roundups of different meetups and events, and they’re posted consistently. Heres the kicker though: they pick out featured users that are doing interesting things with their accounts.

Finally, to appeal to a different type of community, Soundcloud makes available an API that opens up ways for developers and to use their technology in their own apps.

To summarize, Soundcloud is building a good community by:

1. Being approachable on sites like Twitter
2. Offering consistent roundups showcasing the community in action
3. Opening up parts of their code for your needs

While other music companies just try to brag about how good they are by only retweeting favourable comments, Soundcloud is able to prove to you how good they are by showcasing everyone at work – the musicians and the developers.

How you can borrow some of these techniques

If you are a DJ or musician, you might wonder how you can adopt a similar thinking. And I know the part about featuring members of the community might seem foreign to you if you can’t really figure out who those people are.

I’d say one group you’ll want to feature is people who you’ve collaborated with or you’re currently collaborating with.

Another group is if you get to know some fans, feature them and let people know what is really cool about them.

As for responding to tweets and comments, if you are popular and can’t keep up with the workload this brings, you need to work with people to help handle this. And you can let people know that you have a team working with you. If you are touring around with a friend or someone similar, put them to work on helping grow your online community.

Next, you likely don’t have an API to share. In this case it’s the stems or your music to let people remix it at will. When they finish their remixes, feature them!

I’m not saying Soundcloud is 100% perfect with community relations, because I don’t crawl their forums anymore, but stack them against a lot of similarly-sized music companies and you will see something very respectable here.

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thanks for listening :>