The personal nature that social media offers provides a sense of closeness to the artist for the fans and ownership for the musicians themselves. The image of a musician has become more tangible in today’s world. The more a musician contributes to their social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, the more approachable they see. In the music industry today, artists are expected to have various social media channels and take an active role within them. Anything less is doing their brand and therefore their career a disservice. Upkeeping a strong social media presence might seem like a lot of work to some, but the results speak for themselves. Audiences crave a closer connection to their favorite artists, so it’s become almost imperative that an artists deliver a tangible image as well as their music through a number of social media channels if they expect to see success in today’s day and age.
Usher Raymond discovered Justin Bieber’s vocal talent on YouTube, and Usher signed him to a major record deal at the age of 15. Without social media, we might not be experiencing “Bieber Fever.” Bieber’s music video, “Baby,” has over 700 million views on YouTube. Although this type of success in the music industry is uncommon, Justin Bieber had the wisdom to upload a video of himself singing to expose the world to his work. He could have been lost in the shuffle of all of the other great undiscovered vocalists. Bieber didn’t, however, simply market his vocal skills to his local community—he offered it to the global community, using YouTube as the medium. While little to no cost is involved in uploading a video to YouTube, there can be lucrative returns for marketing one’s music on YouTube. One can be confident in his or her belief that Justin Bieber is a fan of social media.
Here are five tips for creating and maintaining a comprehensive social media strategy according to Kathleen Paris from SonicBids Blog
- Be consistent
If your website is covered in candy and pink bubble letters, but your Twitter is dark blue and dreary, this can be pretty confusing to your audience. Keep your presence consistent across all forms of social media. From colors to fonts, having a consistent look helps assert who you are as a group and makes your presence recognizable everywhere online.
- Don’t rely solely on Facebook
While Facebook is one of the leading social networking sites and should certainly be part of your social media strategy, its restrictive new timeline means your content is only reaching a small percentage of your fans, even if you’re paying to promote your page. To promote your music to a larger audience, make sure you’re (actively) using other sites such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and SoundCloud.
- Switch up your content
Rather than text-heavy posts, alternating between shorter text posts, pictures, and videos often creates a higher engagement rate. Posts should relate to your music and band, but asking fans questions is always a good way to increase engagement.
Certain content is going to be more suitable for certain platforms. For example, Twitter only allows 140 characters, so a long text post would be best for Facebook or your website. Pictures are well-received over all forms of social media, so sharing something on Instagram would work equally as well on Twitter, Facebook, or your website.
- Post frequently
To keep an updated online presence, you can configure most sites to post the same content (i.e. a photo from Instagram also posts on Facebook and Twitter). This is an easy way to maintain an active profile while not individually updating each page if you’re pressed for time. However, be careful about this one – if all you have on every social media page is the same exact auto-posted content, you’re not giving fans a reason to follow you in more than one place. So for instance, it’s totally cool to share your new Instagram photo on Facebook and Twitter, but make sure that you adapt the caption to best fit the site you’re posting it on.
Fast Company posted an in-depth article about the frequency of posts and ideal posting times, which is quite interesting and worth the read. While it’s geared more towards companies, thinking of your band as a brand is a smart strategy, and will set you apart from others.
- Drive traffic back to your website
Social networking can provide huge benefits for your music career, but keep in mind that you ultimately don’t have a say in who you reach or how you reach them, and you have no control over your fan data (case in point: what ever happened to all of those Myspace fans you used to have?). This is where having a professional website comes in. Think of social media as a way to drive people to your website, where you actually own the data you capture. Keep it updated with your music, upcoming shows, contact info, mailing list, and links to social media. Even if you don’t currently have a website, you’ll likely need to set one up at some point, so secure a domain name while it’s still available.