Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Top Tips: Social Media for Musicians

Social media is a powerful tool, especially for bands.  It allows you to connect with a worldwide audience, promote and share your music, talk to fans, get feedback and have fun.  Often though, social media is something that bands know they need to embrace, but they just don't know how to effectively make use of it. Social media success is slow, but with commitment and time it can be your most lucrative ally.

So, you've got your accounts set up, you've selected good photos for your profile picture and banners, you have been plugging your accounts at all the gigs you've done and on all of your flyers, you have a couple of family members and the odd local fan already following you and your drummer (or the most social savvy member) has agreed to manage the account.  Now what?

Here are Femetalism's five key social media tips to get you on your way:

Be Social
This is without a doubt the single most important thing to remember about using social media.  Social media is all about socialising, so you should approach this on social media as you would treat it in real life. Don’t stress about it and go with the flow. Respond to fans who post on your wall, Like, Favourite or Share the things your fans are sharing with you.  Join in conversations, have fun and most of all be a real person!  If you’re having fun, then your fans will be having fun, too. 

Connect With Other Local Bands
Obviously you want to connect with your fans but connecting with other local bands allows you to share good practice, connect with their fan base and can give you a way in to gigs and events you might not have come across ordinarily.  It's also really nice to be able to talk to people in the same place as you for support and encouragement.

Post Varied and Regular Content
When I say post regularly I don't mean post the same thing over and over again promoting your band - that is called spam and people will start to ignore you.  It is important to share photos, updates and general chit chat on your accounts.  Consider also an 80/20 rule - 80% of your social media posts should be interactive updates that spark conversation or photos that encourage sharing.  20% should be promotional updates, any more than that and your fans will lose interest in your account and ignore you.  Treat social media less like a cold call and more like a nice chat with some like-minded people.

Avoid Auto Updating
Don't use auto-posting as your main technique for updating your profiles and do not cross post the same content between sites.  It's totally impersonal and fans will realise pretty soon that you don't much care about keeping in touch with them and are more interested in pushing yourself on people.  All social media platforms are different and you will find you have different fans in different locations so try to keep posts specific to each platform.

Do Competitions and Giveaways
There is nothing more exciting for a fan than to be able to win something directly from the band - especially something signed or exclusive.  Use social media to give away gig tickets or a copies of your new album/EP perhaps?  Competitions and giveaways can be fun, are an easy way to engage with your fans and give them something cool to boot.

Originally posted by Emma Sheridan on Femetalism.