By Jeff Strong

People are atwitter about social networking as a way to promote themselves and for musicians, their music. Actual sales that can be made using Twitter, Facebook, and the other social networking sites might be light, but you can’t deny that these sites generate a lot of activity, and activity is always a good thing.

Aside from the music hosting sites, there are some general social networking sites musicians are using. Here is a list of the most popular ones (as of mid-2011 anyway — chances are that this list will be out of date before too long):

  • Facebook: Facebook is the new MySpace. That is, it’s the largest, most active community on the Internet. With its size and reach it’s not going away anytime soon. So, if you’re not already on Facebook you really need to get to it.

    Because of its size, many of the other musician-centric sites, such as Reverbnation, have apps that allow you to connect your account to your Facebook page. This gives you the best of both worlds and makes it easier to manage your social networking.

  • Twitter: Twitter lets you share news and links in 140 characters. And for some reason this type of blogging (called micro-blogging) has become popular. You’re probably already using Twitter, regardless of how many tweets you actually create or if you just follow others. If you’re not, you should at least try it out and see if you like it.

  • Google+: Google+ allows you to connect with your social circle in a myriad of ways, most of it centered on sharing in new and unique ways. Given that this is Google’s creation, there is a good chance it will become popular, and if it becomes popular you’re probably going to want to engage in it in some way.

There have been a lot of complaints and concerns about privacy and content ownership with these social networks. If either of these are an issue to you, make sure you read and understand the user agreements that you are bound by when you sign up and use these sites.

If you’re unsure whether you have privacy or if you give up any rights to your music by posting it on these sites, you’re better off erring on the side of caution and limiting what you share.