If you play music either as a profession or just as a hobby, it's imperative to create and maintain an online presence. In these times, there is no easier way to get yourself out there, connect with the right people, and develop a rapport with industry folks and fans alike than by properly using social media. Below are the most important aspects of successfully accomplishing this responsibility. Follow these essential principles and you will see your numbers go up, your engagement increase, and your progress escalate exponentially.
1. The Big Four
It's easy to get overwhelmed with the many options to promote yourself and/or your music online. As far as social media is concerned, there are four sites that you need to have operating account. These are not an option. If you want to be taken seriously, these are all mandatory.
- Facebook - It's not enough to just have a personal profile. You need to have a Page dedicated to your music. A Page comes with several advantages including: unlimited fans, ability to post videos, control over other people's posts, creating your brand, and much more. It's easy and it's free.
- Twitter - Even if you don't want to regularly tweet, you want your name or your band's name out there. You can connect your Twitter account to your Facebook Page easily and post to both at the same time.
- You Tube - Videos get more engagement than regular posts, and by having your own channel, you can display your music any way you like. You can also include behind the scenes clips, instructional tutorials, live performances, studio sessions, recorded songs, and so much more. You can also monetize any video you upload and make some extra cash.
- Instagram - Even more than videos, pictures get a tremendous amount of engagement. Instagram is becoming one of the biggest, if not THE biggest platform for sharing photos. Create an account for you or your band and take pictures of anything related to your music, and watch your fan base increase in real time.
With all of the social media in which you participate, you need to include links to all of the other ones. This is the single biggest infraction that I run across online. Nothing is more frustrating than watching a video of a band and then finding no information or links to their social media in the description section. It's so easy, takes very little time, and will help you tremendously. Put links to everything on ALL of your social media accounts if you want people to easily find you.
When people comment on your video, or your post, or your photo, it's important to comment back, or at least give it a "Like." This accomplishes a couple of things. At the very least, it lets the commenter know that you read their post. People appreciate being recognized. It also bumps up your post in the algorithm. The more likes, comments and shares you get, the more it will show up on other people's news feeds. Even if someone posts a negative comment, you should still respond. It shows that you're listening to what people have to say and that you care.
Pretty much anywhere online you'll see a little red line underneath a word that is spelled incorrectly. Fix it before posting. Take the short amount of time to proofread and edit your typed words before hitting "Post." There's no excuse to be sloppy with your written statements. You'll present yourself as smart and professional if you put some thought and care into your posts and use proper spelling and grammar.
5. Keep it positive
Anything and everything you post online will be read mostly by people you don't know personally, and it will remain online forever unless you delete it yourself. It's always best to put a positive spin on everything...even on a negative comment. It's easy to be quick to take things personally, but it's essential to realize that people are just as quick to criticize and judge when they're behind the safety of a keyboard.
Be the bigger person. Figure out what you can learn from feedback and how you can take that information and use it to your advantage by improving something in yourself that you didn't recognize. If someone is just flat out mean, you'll never, ever do yourself any good by being rude back to them or arguing. Take a breath, and figure out the best way to respond to everything with a positive spin. You'll be glad you did.