So you are a musician. So you have kick-ass music that people rock out or dance the night away to. So you want to live the rock-n-roll lifestyle. So what’s holding you back? Why aren’t you growing your exposure?
There are many ingredients needed to make music a viable career as the market becomes more saturated by the day, but one the most overlooked aspects by artists is the simplest and cheapest to control: social media engagement with your fan base. Yes, it might not be the ingredient that needs improvement, or maybe you are using it already, but are you leveraging it correctly?
I get it, you are an artist, not a promoter. You create, perform, and create some more while honing your skills and evolving your music. You let other people take care of the business endeavors like Facebook, Twitter, or Google + so that you can focus on making your sound irresistible for yearning ears. Why do you need to get involved? I’m here to tell you, whether you pull 50 or 5000 people a show, that social media engagement is one of the biggest opportunities you may not be fully taking advantage of.
So why should you care?
Social media provides the opportunity to engage with those who love your music in a highly controllable and unique way. Here are the top three reasons social media will benefit your musical career.
- Social media allows you to create and maintain conversations with the people buying your music or raging at your shows.
- It provides the ability to tap into the consciousness of your fan base and get feedback while you’re there.
- It ensures that YOUR voice is being heard.
Let’s look at number one, and why it is beneficial. People feel important when they can reach out to their favorite musician and get a response. Consider this scenario, a fan just bought your new CD, tweeted that she did so, and said she can’t wait to listen to it. You see the tweet and re-tweet it to all your followers. In just a matter of seconds, you made that fan feel like she was heard, strengthened that bond, instilled the notion into all of your follower’s minds that you are listening, and you promoted your new album, for free. That’s some pretty powerful reach for just a few swipes on your smart phone. You can bet that fan will be much more inclined to buy a ticket to your next show or tell her friends about the new music she found. Something as simple as saying “thanks for coming to the show” when you see someone post about your gig last night will ensure that your fans feel connected to you. There will always be a gap between the person you are, the performer on stage, and the musician they hear on your tracks. Yet, social media helps to narrow those gaps by making you seem reachable. Three tweets a day can do as much as 30 minutes of talking with fans after the show.
Now lets focus on number two. What better way to get a feel for what your fans are talking about than social media? Maybe they can’t shut up about the Tebow trade, why not mention it at your next gig? Perhaps they loved the cover song you played the other night, why not make it a part of the set next week? You see one of your fans is throwing a charity event, why not volunteer to play it? Social media is a phenomenal way to gather new ideas or even throw new ideas out into the atmosphere to see which stick and which don’t. Again, it’s all about making connections, and if fans feel connected, they will continue to listen and spread the word about your music. Love or hate her, look at how influential Lady Gaga has become. She is heavily engaged with her “monsters” via Twitter and does a superb job interacting and promoting herself.
Onwards to three, the most important! The more attention you attract, the more importance number three will hold. There will be plenty of people who have an opinion about what you should say, release, do, and project. While these people (marketers, labels, publishers, managers, or media) are experienced in what they are talking about and know how to help progress your career, they can never replace YOU. Fan engagement is far more successful and organic coming from your mouth. Yes, a label can post a Facebook status or tweet for you (and depending on the content they should) but they cannot fully replicate your voice and interactions with fans. You need to keep your voice alive and active so that fans can have access to it no matter how many arenas you rock.
Ok so now you see the value in what others have been telling you all along. Maybe you’re not involved currently, have been putting it off and now wish to start, or need advice on how to leverage social media in a smarter way. Where do you go from here?
Stay tuned for a few days. My next blog post will cover those questions and more.