Chapter 6:The importance of social networking and keeping accounts updated

Social media is important on many levels and every user has different reasons for using it. Not only is it a brilliant platform to communicate upon, it is also ideal for finding out about news and goings on around the world, as well as market yourself and connect with people on a business level. Over the last few years, social media has become an essential part of most people’s everyday lives, with many relying on it just as much as they do their phones.

When used as a networking tool, social media can reach an audience immediately, as well as allow you to contact influential figures in the industry straight away. Keeping social media accounts updated and not derelict is a very important part of social networking, as when you are talking to people via these mediums, they will more than likely check back on your profiles to see what else you have been up to and get a feel for what you are all about.

Music artists need to understand that there are clear links between what businesses use social networking for, and what they themselves should be using it for; whilst a business is promoting an entity, an artist should be promoting themselves – they are their own business.

How is social media important?

Generate feedback

Social media can quickly become a very warts and all type concept, because as quickly as you can reach people, they can reach you just as fast, meaning that they can publish both positive and negative comments about you on a public domain.

Businesses utilise social media as a way of reaching both current and potential customers; by using these platforms, they can get a true sense of how the customer feels about their service, as well as learn how they can improve; whilst nobody likes negativity, it is just as important as positive feedback as it highlights the areas that need improvement, giving you the opportunity to prosper faster.

When you are producing tracks, social media is a great way of putting them out there and asking your fans how you can improve them, allowing you to find out quickly what they think, meaning that you can go back to the track and finesse it without wasting time.

DIY Tip: As with any resource that puts you out there to the masses, you will succumb to some bad comments and it is important that you learn to take it on the chin; whilst it can be emotionally draining as you are promoting something that is very personal to you, you must remain professional at all times.

Open more doors

As a music artist, social media serves as a way of opening many doors much faster than using other traditional methods of promotion, with very little expense. Think of it as a free way of telling people who you are and what you do in a way that you are comfortable with.

Is there an agent in particular you would like to speak to? You can. Platforms such as Twitter put you in instant contact with people that you may have thought were out of reach at the touch of a button.

Seek out prolific industry figures and see if they advertise other mediums of contact via their profile; you no longer have to go onto Google in order to find out how to introduce yourself to the people that could pull your career strings.

DIY Tip: Go through friends and followers lists of people of interest; you never know who they may know that you have never heard of, but could help your career. Give them a follow and drop them a line. It’s your job to ensure that people know who you are – it is highly unlikely that you will be personally sought out.

Allow you to talk to other artists

If you are just starting out, your main objective will be to generate a following and get some shows booked in. By networking with other more established bands and artists, you are giving yourself the opportunity to be invited to play at shows on the back of them.

Artists who have gathered a bit of momentum understand that everybody has to start somewhere and most will be more than happy to bill you as a warm up act; this is a great way of generating more fans as when you are playing as a warm up for an already established band or artist, their fans will be more inclined to give you a chance as they trust the opinion of the band that they are there to see.

Keep in regular contact with other artists and tweet/send Facebook posts to them so that you can put yourself in the eye line of their fans; if they see you regularly communicating with a band that they like, you will naturally prick their interest.

DIY Tip: Keep in regular contact with other artists and tweet/send Facebook posts to them so that you can put yourself in front of their fans; if they see a band that they like regularly communicating with you, they will be more interested in finding out who you are.

Ignorance is not bliss: Converse!

If somebody takes the time to talk to you via your social networking sites, then have the courtesy to respond to their comments. If your audience sees you as approachable, you will climb up their likeability scale, meaning that they will invest more into you.

DIY Tip: Take a set amount of time each day to specifically respond to people who get in touch with you via social media; by ignoring just one or two people, you could lose yourself fans, as they will tell their friends how you ignored them, which is a big turn off.

Promote yourself

Whilst posting constantly about your latest track or gig can become tedious and SPAM like, use your social media to tell people about what you are up to and ham up your own hype. There is no need to be obnoxious or over the top, but a bit of self assurance and confidence portrays a good image to fans.

Your personality is also a core selling point when it comes to being a musician, so don’t be scared to stray away from the industry–type postings and divulge a little bit of what you are like as a person. Funny? Shy? Loud? Let your fans see what you are like away from the microphone.

DIY Tip: Make a conscious effort to make 1 or 2 posts a day that aren’t directly linked to your music career; whether it be a positive affirmation picture, a conversation about what’s going on in the world or just a joke to share, posting content that doesn’t just focus on the musical aspect of your life will make you more interesting.

Stay updated

The most important part of having a social media network is keeping it fresh, with no lags in content. If you don’t post for a couple of days, it’s not the end of the world, however, bear in mind that people may check your page regularly to see what you are up to; if they see that you have become irregular with your postings, they may get bored and move on.

Show your followers that you are in touch with current affairs and talk about the latest headlines, the latest viral video, latest song releases; anything that could generate conversation. There is literally no point to social media if you don’t generate conversation or engagement, so if you neglect your outlets for a long period of time, you are losing out on the opportunity to converse with people and generate new followers and fans.

The content you post also needs to be meaningful and posting three interesting things a day is much better

than posting ten uninteresting posts just for the sake of keeping your network updated; people will see through the transparency of this.

If you have a blog, don’t let the last post date back months, stay on top of regular postings. If your blog has a good readership and regular visitors, by failing to generate fresh content you aren’t meeting what users are expecting. Blogs don’t have to be long, insightful pieces and they can even be an embedded vlog as opposed to a long written piece in order to save time. Set a schedule and stick to it.

By not keeping your content up to date, you can also run the risk of looking like an artist or band that no longer works in this capacity; make your mark and make it permanent, don’t go on the missing list only to reappear a couple of months later, it makes you look frivolous and fickle.

DIY Tip: Use one of the various tools online, such as Tweriod, to determine when the best times are to publish new content. There are many apps that can tell you when the highest level of user engagement occurs and when you should publish your updates; by doing this you are improving your chances of people seeing what you post.