By J.P. Kaliio
I’m constantly researching how musicians use social media and other online promotion tools. You could say it is a bit of an obsession of mine. I love seeing bands and artists building their own online community. I love seeing how they make something great out of nothing, by just utilising the available online tools. I’ve been watching this for a quite long time now. As far back as in the days when Myspace was getting big and Facebook was only a new born baby. Thinking back now, the few glory years of Myspace were actually a great concentrated image of a life span of a particular social media. I learned a lot from it.
Obviously Facebook wiped Myspace out almost as fast as Myspace did it by themselves. What started as a great website for music lovers, soon turned into a network of professional spammers. Some tried to hold on to it with their dear life, some moved over to Facebook and tried to continue where they left off in Myspace, which obviously did not work… Facebook was not built just for musicians and music fans, it was heading for the world domination.
Obviously over time Facebook actually became a better way for bands and artists to connect and communicate with their fans for a quite some time. Even to the extent most up and coming bands thought Facebook page would replace website, something bands thought back in the days of Myspace as well… This is probably the biggest mistake I see bands and artist make.
I know the social media sites feels almost like instant gratification, when people like share or comment on your posts, but it is your website that should be where your content is based. But the importance of band website is something I can’t over emphasise. What I want to talk about here though is some of the common social media mistakes made by musicians that make you as an artist look unprofessional.
First of all, we know by now that your Facebook page posts will only reach a fraction of the page who like your page. That is a fact and there is no point of crying about it. If you want to reach more of your Facebook followers, you will need to pay for it. Also I like to question something here: what is the point of you building the likes on your Facebook page, if you are not going to invest money in reaching your followers? The fact is, that number of followers does not mean anything in real life. Yeah it can be an ego boost, but that’s about it.
I know we all like to reminisce about Myspace, but spending time on your profile I believe is time that you can better spend somewhere else. Which leads to my favourite social media mess up.
Twitter. Especially here in Europe so many bands and artists put all their effort in to Facebook and either just set up a Twitter account, link it to post their Facebook posts and forget about it, or completely ignore Twitter. I spent a lot of time on both and I can tell you in my experience Twitter is very powerful, if you know how to use it. I myself have found much more new music from Twitter and talked to people who are passionate about music almost every day. People still have much more control over what they see in their feed in Twitter, whereas Facebook completely dictates what you see, or don’t see.
Few other small points. Linked in was set up as a professional website, for people looking for jobs, employers looking for the most suitable staff and other professional people to connect and share content about their work interests. If this is what you want to do, go ahead and use it for it. I personally have made some interesting professional connections in Linked in. But it is not a music promotion website.
Sites like Instagram and Vine are great and I use them all the time in conjunction with my twitter and Facebook. If you don’t have a blog on your website, then I highly recommend you use Tumblr. I’m not a fan of Reverbnation, I think it is no harm having a profile there, but again I would not waste too much time on it. I like Soundcloud and it is a great tool for sharing your music.
Which ever is your preferred social media site for your band or as an artist, don’t let it turn into a numbers game. The quality of your content (what you post) is much more important for your growth than any trying to trick the system. If whatever you post (Music, blog posts, video, pictures, quotes, thoughts…) is consistently good, people will pay attention.
Also, if you do have your website, make the social media sites you use easily accessible on it and make sure those social media sites are up to date. But let me assure you, if I see a link to your Myspace on your website, but no link to Twitter, I will not take you very seriously… Sorry if this is tough news, but it is the truth.
J.P. Kallio is s singer / songwriter