Fortifying Your Social Bases: The Official Blog of Kaces Gig Bags
These days, a good social media presence can not only be the key to your popularity and success as a musician or band, but it is actually absolutely necessary if you don’t want to be playing open mics in your hometown for the entirety of your "career.”
In order to get the most out of your social media presence, follow these tips:
Have your own website.
You will use social media to drive traffic to your website. Having your own website provides you with a place to concentrate your image and your online presence in addition to making you look more professional (as long as it is well designed). Here you can compile all of the necessary information about your projects, tour dates, recordings, bios, and you can even keep a blog which can help to cultivate and define your brand. Reciprocally, your website should include links to all of your social media so that fans who find your website can follow your accounts as well.
Don’t feel pressured to use every platform.
You don’t need to be active on every platform. Pick the three platforms from the Big 6 that you feel most comfortable with. If you’re only really comfortable with one, then experiment with others and push past your comfort zone until you are regularly using three. In time, you’ll learn how to navigate each of your chosen platforms. Just make sure you have a place where people can find samples of your music, whether that is on YouTube, your website, or Soundcloud. Once you’ve got 3 major social media platforms going consistently, then look into adding more experimental ones like Patreon.
Develop a strategy.
Don’t just post whatever, whenever. Use the strategy tips below to tailor your content and engagement.
Use a consistent image and voice.
You should be working on your brand and image if you haven’t already. Keep your tone and visuals consistent to your image across all platforms. Try to use the same handle on each platform and make sure you snag your handle even on the platforms you’re not using so that no one else can use them. If your name or your band’s name is taken, try adding a word to the end, like “band” or “music” rather than altering the spelling.
Be sincere and enthusiastic.
Unless you’re trying to uphold an image that is avante garde or grumpy and rude, be sincere and enthusiastic when you post. Express gratitude and show your fans that you love what you do. And remember that even if your stage persona is an elaborate ruse, that doesn’t mean you can’t be genuine offstage and on social media. If you’re feeling at a loss for how to go about this, try observing and emulating artists you admire.
Tell your story.
Let your fans know who you are, why you’re doing what you’re doing, and let them go along with the ride. Talk to your fans as if they were your friends and keep them updated on your adventures.
Decide if you want to be political.
This is a personal and controversial choice. If you’re in a band that doesn’t include politics in its music, you might decide to keep the politics to your personal account, or you might decide not to post about it at all. Some people argue that artists should not post about politics in order to avoid alienating their fans, but art and artists can also be important political voices, so decide for yourself if this type of engagement is for you.
Tailor your content to each platform and don’t spam.
There is nothing wrong with cross-posting, but you’ll also want to post content that is tailored for each platform. As you get familiar with your chosen platforms you’ll learn which content is more appropriate for which. For example, long-form text content would obviously not be appropriate for Twitter or Instagram. So ask yourself where the best place to post your content is, and make sure you’re coming up with content to keep up with each of your platforms. You might also consider the posting frequency sweet spot for each of your platforms. You don’t want to spam your followers or become annoying, so try to get a feel for how often to post on each. Some examples are:
Facebook: 3-7 posts per week
Instagram: Several posts per week or post as interesting and photographable things are
happening! This is a great platform for posts that don’t necessarily have to do
with your music.
Twitter: 1-4 posts per day
Tumblr: 1-4 posts per week.
Alternate content types and lengths.
Across all platforms, try to alternate the types of content you’re posting. Make good use of text, pictures, and videos.
Link to your website.
Link all or your social media accounts back to your website to drive traffic and make the information available there as accessible as possible.
Come up with creative ways to get your fans to engage with your music. You can do this by hosting competitions during which fans can submit videos, remixes, or artwork that relates to your music and offering rewards and incentives to fans for their engagement. Ask them questions, give back, and get them involved.
Use signature hashtags to make your content more searchable. Have an official band hashtag and use consistent hashtags for your content so that fans who search your hashtags can find more of your content. Also, make use of popular hashtags so that potential fans who share interests with you and your music can find you as well.
Engage and collaborate with other artists.
Develop relationships with other bands and artists that you admire. Engage with them and with their fans, and even collaborate with them. This benefits both of you because you will be introducing your fan-base to their work while they do the same for you.
Don’t let worries about doing it right paralyze you.
There is definitely a lot of etiquette to consider in social media culture and there are plenty of articles out there that try to convince you to optimize, optimize, optimize, but don’t let fear of not doing social media perfectly stop you from doing it at all. At the end of the day, it’s a social environment. Just be engaged and be yourself!