We all know what social media is so i’m not here to hype it up for you. Sure there’s been a handful of bands who have risen out of the ashes of viral videos to go huge, but that is the exception.
Making a successful social campaign is not a one trick pony and takes considerable effort over quite a bit of time to see results. It’s not one of those things you can just set it in motion and let it run itself. You really have to be on top of connecting with people over social networks and constantly putting out quality info for your fans and followers.
It’s not easy, I know from experience, but I also know that it can work. If you get a few skills under your belt you can achieve lots of goals using social media channels. So let’s look at some tools you can use to promote your band online. These websites that I mention are not anything new but stick with me you may learn something useful.
That’s right I said MySpace. MySpace may be 10 years old but it can still be relevant. It’s funny how fast things change. Just a few years ago Myspace was the most visited site on the Internet. Music works well there though and if you have the rights to your songs you can upload MP3s for the public to hear. A fantastic way to give some of your samples out to fans and gain new listeners. Load it up with music, pictures, video, bios, and events.
Foursquare is cool because it gets people out of the house. Fans can check in specific venues and earn special offers like prizes, discounts or coupons. After going through all the trouble to set up live shows it’s very disappointing to have fans forget show up. When you check into the venue you can remind fans that you’re there and to come on down. Foursquare allows you to reward people for checking in. If you have a merchandise booth you can reward those who check in on foursquare with small prizes that can create lasting relationships. This is a great way to humanize your band…by meeting your fans!
It was inevitable, we have to talk about Twitter. There are a few different strategies you can use so let’s talk about a few. First of all Twitter is a network, a place where you can connect with other bands. The first thing you should do is follow all of the relevant bands that you can. Once you follow them reach out and tweet to them. Twitter is a great place to have conversations and engage not only fans but other bands. Make sure you use #HashtagsToGetYourTweetsExposedToOthersSearchingTwitter.
And make sure you start tweeting about everything you’re doing. Obviously promote any new songs or videos or shows that come up. But also use Twitter to humanize your band. Make yourself available to fans and make sure you respond when someone tweets about you. You can monitor what people are saying to get updates if you’re mentioned. If you’re not integrated Instagram they connected to your Twitter account. Upload photos to your Twitter feed very simply this way.
Alright so yeah blogging isn’t dead, it’s just hard to make work. The thing about blogging is it gives you a little bit more leeway in creating a style that’s your own. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, whatever have their own standardized look that you can’t really change. But when you create a blog you can customize it a bit more to give it a look and style that’s unique to your band. The content has to be fresh don’t go longer than a week without updating it. Reserve the high-quality photographs, video and stories for your blog and put your best face forward.
Once you post on your blog turn around and promoted on all of your social channels. Like Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media you use.
Blogging is labor-intensive. It’s not easy like shooting a quick tweet from your phone or remembering to checkin on Foursquare. You actually have to sit down and create something of value. If you don’t put effort into it the blog will fail.
If you take numbers from business, not stay with me here, companies the blog increase monthly business leads by 70% over companies that don’t. Blogging generates fresh content on the web that draws in great traffic.
Give these suggestions a try, but please remember that it takes time for anything to work. Getting excited about starting a blog or tweeting about all your daily band stuff can quickly burnout when you don’t see immediate results.
You will NOT, I repeat NOT, get instant gratification from using social media. But I promise you that as you follow a social media plan and stay consistent, constantly putting out quality stuff and connecting with fans your band will game social media attraction. You’ll be shocked at the doors that can open and fans, I mean hard-core fans, who will bark like a dog when you come into town and alert all their friends that you’re here.
The bottom line is you need to make a plan and stick to it. Give it an effort for at least 6 to 9 months before you plan on seeing real results. Fans, retweets, subscriptions, downloads, whatever you are shooting for.
Be proactive in your social media don’t just expect people to come to you. There are hundreds of music related social networks and it will avail you nothing to join if you’re not reaching out and meeting people through them.
Social media is a tool, and in the hands of driven people can make beautiful things happen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rick Delgado is a freelance writer for imesh.com and is always on the lookout for sites that allow him to legally download music for free.