Like it or not, social media has changed the world. It has touched every industry there is and the music and entertainment businesses are no exception. In fact, it is possible that nowhere has this change been felt more than in the music business.
We can’t stress strongly enough how important it is for up and coming musicians to have a social media presence. We know you are all about the music, but fans like artists with personalities. They also like to hear from their favorite artists and ideally, to be able to interact with them.
Simply put: social media gives you the chance not only to promote your work but also to show your personality. It can get you noticed.
You don’t need to be tech whiz to get the most out of social media. The big three social media sites – Facebook, Twitter and Myspace (yes, Myspace does still have 40 million users so it’s still in the conversation) – are popular because they are so easy to use.
So stop making excuses and start using social media to promote your music! Here is lesson one in our newest course at GigMasters University - Social Media 101: Basic Social Media Strategy for Musicians.
With more than 500 million users around the world, clearly Facebook has become a household name and a force to be reckoned with.
With the exception of Twitter, which has more differences to Facebook than it does similarities, the social media giant has basically destroyed all competition.
Musicians, you must be on Facebook.
Just make sure you create a Facebook Musician/Band page, not just a personal page. You should feel free to keep your personal page and to use it update your friends on what your band is up to. But a personal Facebook page has limits. For one, you are only allowed to have 5,000 friends. Yes that sounds like way more than you will need, but you never know - right? With a Band page you can also get fancy and utilize some of the cool new Facebook apps that let you upload your music to Facebook. This is slightly tricky, check out this article for more info.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say you have to join Twitter (the way you have to join Facebook) but it can certainly help – once you have learned how to use it correctly.
The biggest newbie mistake made on Twitter by musicians (and other small business owners) is to post ad nauseam about upcoming shows, releases, etc. Yes you should certainly tweet about the exciting things you are up to but that can’t be the only thing you do. No one wants to read 200 identical tweets about your next show. You will do more harm than good doing this.
Even though it only allows you 140 characters per post, one of Twitter’s strengths is that it really lets your personality come through. Be funny. Be interesting. Do some research and find key tweeters to follow. Retweet and respond to posts by your friends, celebrities, fellow musicians, music industry types, etc. If you bring something to the table you will be surprised to see how this can get the conversation going. Now you can even share music on Twitter - read more here.
This is a tough one. Myspace is coming dangerously close to being the next Friendster aka the punch line to every social media joke. It is completely plagued by spam and bugs that can make it down right annoying to visit. That said Myspace still has 40 million monthly users (by many reports, though they claim to have more).
Myspace’s saving grace might be the one thing that it has always had over Facebook: a built-in, easy to use music service. Facebook does not allow music the way Myspace does is because it slows the site down to a crawl. It’s a Catch 22.
Most of you musicians are probably already on Myspace. If you are, take a look at your page from the front-end, the way any other visitor would. Is it loaded with comments that have nothing to do with you? Comments that make noise and flash and do other stupid stuff? Does it take way too long for your music to even play? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you have two options:
1. Clean up your comments ASAP and continue to monitor them every single day.
2. Get the heck off Myspace.
If you decide on the second option we have a few other sites to recommend (like GigMasters for one!)
But that is a conversation for another day…
We want to hear from you!!! Tell us about your Facebook/Twitter/Myspace experiences in the comment section below.
UPDATE: Check out this recent article on Myspace's plummeting numbers.