In 2005 the Arctic Monkeys reached number 1 in the UK Singles Chart. Their success is mainly attributed to the popularity of their music on MySpace. It was a demonstration that the general sharing of music online could actually contribute to the mainstream success of a music artist. Since then, social platforms have come and gone (MySpace, MySpace), but social media as a main marketing tool for musicians and artists has never dwindled.
In recent years, we have seen the rise of YouTube’s role in getting unknown names out there and giving them a career in mainstream music (Justin Bieber, Psy, Rebecca Black); these are overnight successes that Simon Cowell fantasises about.
But, even though it is responsible for Justin Bieber, social media is not just a tool to make overnight successes of teeny-boppers and South Korean rappers; it has a fundamental job in helping independent music artists get their name out in a more organic and gradual way. The world’s audience is a mouse-click away, meaning you can target and talk to whomever you want; it works across all manner of platforms and media; and it’s FREE.
But which platforms are best?
Depending on who your audience is, you may want to focus more time on one platform before expanding into others. Here are the Big Three:
Facebook is the Big Daddy of the social networks. I always recommend that brands and musicians get on Facebook to secure that space – purely based on the fact that the audience is HUGE. If you have a niche you want to talk to, chances are they are on Facebook.
You do need to be careful when using Facebook however; they are sneaky chaps over in Silicon Valley and have very complicated algorithms that mean you can’t be lazy with your Facebook posting. As an admin of a community page, you will see each post tells you how many people saw its content. Different types of posts have different types of reach: here’s the ranking:
1. Videos: Facebook LOVE it when you host your own video content and will throw it all over your fans newsfeeds; especially now there is that handy autoplay feature. If you have video content, I highly recommend uploading it to your Facebook page.
2. Images: Facebook owned Instagram means that posting images from Instagram to your page will increase the reach of the post, however an image directly to Facebook will still gain some traction.
Recent news from Facebook HQ has indicated that they will be limiting the reach of images with links to try to tackle a spam issue that is occurring, instead increasing the reach of well-structured links. Through my own research, images with no links do gain the most reach.
3. Text: This is purely because Facebook likes variety in their posts. If you tag other pages (like venues or other artists) the reach of a text post will increase as well; plus if these are accounts are run well, they will share and interact with this content. You should consider sharing posts you are tagged in to maintain a good online relationship.
4. Links: Especially YouTube. Remember that Google, the Dark Lords of the Universe according to Facebook, owns YouTube so they will limit the reach on links to YouTube videos. Other external links will depend on the quality of the site and the format of the link will vary (large image, small image, call to action button). Due to Facebook’s announcement of encouraging well-structured links, this may increase the reach, but YouTube links will still be low on the list.
My recommendation with Facebook is to always vary your posts by time and format to ensure decent engagement and reach of your posts.
Twitter’s popularity is on the rise as the micro-blogging site caters for a variety of industries and audiences. The hashtag phenomenon has become an anchor for tweeters to participate in mass-conversations across a range of topics.
If Facebook is where the audience is, Twitter is where the conversation is. The format and structure means that tweets impressions are generally short-lived and the 140 character limit means tweets need to be concise and catchy.
When it comes to Twitter, musicians need to engage with their fans, venues and bloggers. Timing can be everything so always interact with accounts that are tweeting the same time as you.
Twitter‘s methods of displaying media (pictures & YouTube videos) have improved over recent months. This means that you should tweet content, not just 140 characters. Share pictures to Twitter, they get the most engagement, link to YouTube videos and you’ll see an increase in interaction.
There are two habits you must NOT get into as a musician with Twitter:
1. Share Instagram images. They don’t work as it’s a link to a separate site (because Twitter won’t embed Instagram images anymore)
2. Never, ever, EVER tweet your Facebook posts automatically. They look dreadful and the message is completely lost within Twitter.
As I said before, YouTube is the birthplace of some BIG names in music. The community of music-lovers is huge across the video-sharing platform. As video content becomes more accessible via mobile, the more important it is for musicians to share videos of their music – live or recorded.
YouTube promotes independent musicians to use the platform to grow their following. This is demonstrated through the YouTube Music Awards.
Try to be imaginative with your video content. Invest in good recording equipment. It’s one thing watching a legendary Paul McCartney gig on a fan’s shaky iPhone camera, but when it comes to a lesser-known music artist, video quality is very important. Take Midlands based blues band, .44 Pistol, for example. They invested some time into filming a video to launch a live album – it’s different, it’s got engagement and it is the most successful video they have published!
more information on the best way to brand up a social domain, visit my blog via this link: http://jessnetworking.blogspot.co.uk/
Writer: Jess Wearn