How do you use social media as a musician? Recently I received questions about this from my conservatory students.
Social media is no longer new. They are now indispensable in our daily lives. Websites, apps, web apps, search engines, communities, social music, social gaming, TV, and radio programs. Social media has penetrated all other layers of communication, such as traditional media, mass media, and offline events. Incidentally, we can also do pretty well without it for a day.
Social media marketing, or SMM, also became a big opportunity for musicians to promote their music online.
WHICH SOCIAL MEDIA ARE THERE?
Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram are now considered ‘traditional’ social media.
I also consider YouTube, Spotify, and SoundCloud to be social media. For musicians, these are channels that you can no longer ignore.
WHICH SOCIAL MEDIA DO YOU CHOOSE AS A MUSICIAN?
That could be anything. Choose a medium because the people you want to reach are there.
If Facebook is the place to talk to them, then you build your audience there.
So be where your audience is. And keep in mind that it changes.
DOES SOCIAL STREAMING ALSO PLAY A ROLE IN THIS?
The development of social music (streaming) is still in the beginning. The changes are happening fast.
Social media play a very big role in this, that’s how the news is spread.
HOW DO YOU KEEP AN OVERVIEW?
With all those channels, you have to make sure you don’t drown.
The trick is to filter. That is why there are sites that do curate. They filter for you.
HOW DO YOU ATTRACT ATTENTION?
If you want to reach people, you need something they can relate to. It’s not that complicated.
Timing is also important, so responding to current events can work well. Especially on Twitter, it is very much about news.
Just try and find your way in it. This way you will find your own tone of voice.
DO YOU HAVE TO POST EVERYTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
I started Twitter myself out of interest and love for the medium.
Follow nice people and watch that a bit.
They’re all people like you.
Share what you would like to read yourself.
You don’t have to become a professional copywriter. But when you write something, try to put yourself in the reader’s shoes.
HOW DO I GET TOPICS TO POST?
Look at yourself (or your group) as a brand or a product. Then ask yourself what things are fun, interesting, entertaining, newsworthy, and distinctive to tell about.
Ask questions. How can you look at it? If you can’t figure it out, ask your biggest fans. They see, hear and say things that you would never think of yourself.
See the big picture, think of it as a big story, then divide it into pieces and then divide them over time. Then it is easy for others to understand and follow.
The more coherence there is in your stories, the stronger it comes across. For example, look at the success story of Caro Emerald. A strong concept.
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WHAT SHOULD YOU DO AND ABSOLUTELY NOT DO?
Just like texting, social media is not suitable for everything.
When it comes to emotional things, stop by or call.
The written word sometimes comes in hard.
I would also avoid too much breast-beating.
People decide for themselves what they think of something. So post whatever you would like to read yourself.
Personally, I especially enjoy posting, sharing, and starting conversations. I’m not so worried about target groups and objectives. I enjoy contact with (more or less) like-minded people.
Make sure you have something to say. And if in doubt: just start listening.
I assume that people who follow me find about the same interesting as I do. So that’s my criterion. I have nothing to do with the people who don’t follow me. That’s not what it’s for.
Being authentic is the most important thing. In the end, it’s about whether the other person recognizes himself in it. So if you tweet once that you’re looking for a room, everyone understands. But I wouldn’t do that every month.
MUSIC AS A BRAND, MUSIC AS A PRODUCT
Social media as a musician starts with: seeing yourself as a brand, and your work as products of your brand. Even if you’re a session musician.
A brand is much more than a product. Look at Queen or David Bowie. They are more than the sum of their oeuvre. The performer is also the source.
What’s going on in great artists when they make a new record?
A product is usually easy to oversee and you can put it on the market.
A musician is actually someone with different products. They give you your face.
You are not your product, although you can identify with it very strongly for a while. Nike is not one particular sneaker.
Seeing yourself as a product can work for a while, but as a brand, you have more of a long breath.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU POST SOMETHING?
Too much is of course not good. Where is your own boundary? Chances are that your audience also has a boundary.
Make sure you have something to say or don’t do it.
On Facebook, one post a day is more than enough.
On Twitter, it’s no problem to repeat things.
WHAT IS AN ONLINE REPUTATION?
Even if you determine the artistic part yourself, ultimately others determine your success.
I’m a big proponent of self-reflection. Occasionally look in the mirror.
Make sure your activities are in line with who you are and how you want to come across.