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I have a song, now what? Go Social

I have a song, now what? Go Social

A recent study finds that more people are going to major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the like). It says 73% go to at least one channel and 42% go to multiple ones. And not for nothin', but it also says that women use social media more than men. Food for thought...

Let’s face it. Everyone in the industry knows that if you’re serious about your music, you shouldn’t consider going social. You HAVE TO go social. Or you get ignored.

Social media allows fans to get to know YOU. Think about your music heroes. You liked their music, you wanted to know more about them, right?

What Social Media Can Do for Your Band

The Obvious: Free Publicity. Posting info about shows, new streams and other updates put the word out about your act. It’s also about your image—who you are as people. So don’t miss the opportunity to post as individuals from your band’s Twitter account, FB page and other places so your fans get to know you as human beings. Popularity is the name of the game, so personality counts.

Fan Engagement. Social media is interactive—a two-way conversation. Therefore it’s a great way to ask fans questions, get feedback from them and involve them in your creative process.

Networking. Social media channels allow you to hook up with other bands in the business to find out what’s going on; look for opportunities to open for a band more established than you to get in front of more fans.

Boosts Popularity. Social platforms like FB, Twitter, Instagram and the like point back to your site. The more traffic you get, the higher you rank on Google for new fans to find you.

Tips For the Social Savvy Musician

Remember that social media is about relationships. It’s not a billboard or marquee. It’s an opportunity to engage with your fans—to have a conversation with them. To build a relationship with each one and then build a community of loyal fans out of those individual relationships. This takes time and effort, but is so worth the time invested. Loyal fans help spread the word and sell CDs. Resist the urge to talk AT your audience, pelting them with info about your latest album or upcoming gig. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone wants to be heard. Give your fans the opportunity to do so, and you’ve won them for life.

Prepare yourself for the long haul. Social media requires commitment. Once you start, you have to keep it going, or you’ll lose momentum with the fans you create. Social media is a hungry animal that needs to be fed with fresh content on a regular basis. Be prepared to feed it—regularly and well.

Keep the conversation going. If you aren’t posting regularly, creates the impression that don’t have any gigs or releasing any new music, which is NOT what you want industry professionals to assume. Even if you’re between dates and/or projects, keep the conversation going with industry news at large or personal updates, creative musings, etc.

Make it easy. Make sure every channel you're on has an icon on your home page that’s hooked up to the platforms. At live gigs, remind fans to visit you online both verbally and on promo materials. Encourage them to tweet live and post pics on Instagram in real time from your concerts.

Be responsive. Ignore your followers and you’ll lose them. So make sure you check your messages and acknowledge posts and direct messages quickly.

Reward/Recognize loyalty. Give shout outs to loyal fans who post regularly, attend your shows and/or buy t-shirts. Hosting a contest can’t hurt, either.

Blog. Social media real estate is limited. Posting gets the word out, blogging gets the story out. If you have more to say about what’s going on with your band, the industry and your shows, blogging is the way to go. It’s a great way to generate new buzz about you on the social media scene. Announce your new blog entry on your social media channels and everyone has more to talk about. And they’re likely to go to your website to find out more about you and your music. Plus, blogs point back to your website, growing search engine love.

Be discriminating. Social media sites are seductive. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are the basics. Beyond that, stick to additional sites that relate to your image, i.e. if you’re going for mystery, Tumblr is a good choice. If you’re about visuals, add Pinterest to your portfolio. But do your homework and be selective so you generate quality over quantity.

Don’t be Kanye. Resist the urge to use other people’s blogs, profiles and posts to promote your latest song, CD or upcoming gig. It’s like Kanye West taking the mic from Taylor Swift at the VMA’s. Simply not cool.

Great social media sites for musicians to check out:

Social media is about people, not product. So treat it as such. Engage with your fans, build your fan base, nurture it and build a community of loyal ambassadors promoting your music. And if you need help, ask.

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