Digital music and music streaming are more than just social novelties. They’re embedded in our everyday lives, from Pandora stations dominating salons and gyms, to “listening with friends” via Spotify on Facebook. There are many platforms for creating playlists, streaming artist stations, and discovering new music on the web. Last year we saw the explosion of Spotify, a Swedish-based streamer that became the first music service to fully integrate with Facebook. Even our parents are using services like Pandora to fill the air with their favorite tunes.

These music services have the ability to integrate into social media and marketing plans, giving us all an opportunity to use music for exactly what it was intended; to bring us together. Here are five reasons businesses should consider using digital music services to enhance the overall experience.

1. Give Your Customers a Takeaway

Playlists built via services like Spotify and Grooveshark have a chart-topping aspect and that is their ability to be shared. Using services like Grooveshark or Spotify’s partner,, businesses can host their compilations for patrons to reinforce the memories from an establishment. By giving a public link to the playlist or posting the URL to subscribe, what was background music then becomes a re-occurring thought in your customer’s head. It reminds them of a delicious meal, an invigorating workout, or that really sassy outfit they purchased while in your place of business. If you can harness the power of music to allow your customers to associate with you every time they hear a particular song or artist, they’re going to be much more inclined to re-visit.

2. Showcase Personality

This is a great way to let your colors fly. If you own a little coffee shop and want to keep the atmosphere filled with calm and easy vibes, you can take an evening to compile songs that you feel best fit that climate. That can help you draw your ideal crowd and also introduce new customers to your brand personality. This can really apply when it comes to ethnic-themed businesses; a playlist of South American world music not only playing for customers, but offered to them after they leave the business, can help keep their flare for your delicious Brazilian cuisine alive.  You can also let your customers know ahead of time if your place fits the mood they’re looking to sync with; if I’m choosing a new gym to join, I’d like to know if it’s a “C+C Music Factory” type of atmosphere or a “Nickleback” one.

A great example of a brand doing this is GQ. They create playlists via Spotify and post them to Tumblr based on what the folks in their office are listening to. This would also be a great way for a publication to highlight the musical artists covered in one or a group of issues.

3. Show off your local support

If you own a host to an open mic night, regular live music, or allow local musicians to sell their CDs in your establishment, making a digital playlist around one featured song of the artist can help spark interest from customers and create new fans. If I’m in a bar, hear a great song playing over the speakers, and when I ask the bartender what station it is, if they can tell me it’s a local band who’s CD they happen to have for sale behind the bar, I’m more likely to buy it. That band gets exposure much easier to gain than a radio feature and their fan base has potential to grow. If you can be the catalyst of that process, your reputation will grow and you’re bound to see positive reactions to your community support.

4. Create Shareable Content

Making these playlists, as GQ demonstrated, gives you content to share amongst multiple platforms. GQ creates a playlist for Spotify, but hosts the link and song list on their popular Tumblr.

Grooveshark playlists can be shared via Facebook and Twitter, it can be quickly Tweeted or liked, and even embedded on a number of sites such as StumbleUpon and Reddit.

Spotify playlists submitted to have direct links that can be published to all networks as well.

A local Reno, NV restaurant, CAMPO, uses their newsletter to feature music being streamed inside the restaurant. They also send the link to their 50+ song Grooveshark playlist. It’s a great way to give their fans fresh content that’s just a little different than the typical photos of pizzas and burgers.

5. Involve your employees

One way to build a personal connection between your employees and business and allow them to really feel a part of the operations is to let them organize the music played during work hours.

Similar to the ways wine shops allow employees to recommend bottles or book store employees to have a recommend section, you can do the same with music. This can help spark conversation between those working and the customer and in turn develop loyal relationships between them. People are more likely to revisit a business if they’re comfortable and familiar with the people who serve them.

The strength of internal bonding can really bring together franchises as well. Say for instance, an Ann Taylor store in Los Angeles compiles a playlist based on the employee’s tastes. That gets passed onto the New York, San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, etc stores, and soon a bond is created and all of the stores want in on the action. If you can make people feel connected to the place they work and part of the structure, they’re more likely to not only stay with the company, but truly be excited about their jobs.

So there you have it! Digital music might not seem like the most obvious tool to implement into your social media or marketing plan, but if done correctly and with pride and purpose, it can create unique content to share amongst your networks that gives your follower base an opportunity to indulge in something a little different.

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