While quality music is still the most important characteristic of a great band, social media is an increasingly important part of finding an audience. If your band doesn’t embrace social media, then it will hurt your chance of getting heard.
Read on for some basic principles for bands to successfully promote their music online. Speaking of social media, remember to follow Gibson on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/GibsonGuitar, Facebook at http://Facebook.com/Gibson and Instagram at http://Instagram.com/GibsonGuitar!
1. Find your listeners. It’s not always about numbers. Sometimes, having a smaller, more loyal following in your niche is better than simply trying to rack up the Facebook likes and Twitter followers. Often, it’s quality over quantity, so focus on finding a smaller audience that is passionate about your music, and reach out to them.
2. Network with other bands. By now, almost every band is on some form of social media. Scoping out social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ and music discovery and streaming sites such as Spotify, Reverbnation, Google Play and Last.fm is a great way to find bands in your area and introduce yourself. Connecting with local bands on social media is also a way to get on local concerts and festivals.
3. Be accessible. The old days of having a wall between bands and their fans is gone. Everybody appreciates an honest response. Whether it’s “liking” one of their comments on your Facebook wall or “favoriting” a Tweet, go out of your way to engage with your fans. It’ll make their day and help build that connection between you and your fans.
4. Avoid auto-posting. Just say no to auto-posting. It looks extremely impersonal to follow a band on several channels simply to see the same posts going up on each one. Each social media channel has its own unique appeal, so treat them differently. Besides, by making each account special, you’ll increase the chance of people following you on all channels, instead of only one.
5. Post regularly. Whether it’s a short update or something longer, don’t let your channels go dry for too long. Of course, you don’t need to post constantly during downtime, but going for months and months without any word isn’t good practice. Being engaged helps you build a larger following, too.
6. Plug your accounts on flyers and at shows. Social media can be old fashioned, too. Make sure to include your accounts on any old school flyers you’re printing, and tell fans how to follow you at shows. It’s not always about finding people online. Often times, you’ll find an enthusiastic audience at concerts or local hotspots.
7. Do giveaways. Everyone likes free stuff. Have a new CD coming out? Give away some copies via social media to help build momentum. The same goes for concert tickets to a big show. Giveaways can be fun, easy ways to engage with your audience and give them something cool.
8. Schedule out posts. Say you want to hit your audience at a time when you won’t be by the computer? No worries. Schedule out some posts in advance using social media managing tools such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. This allows you to keep a consistent social media presence all week long without having to micro-manage the posting times.
9. Delegate. Does one of your band members really shine on social media? Have that person run your accounts. Simply put, ask the band members who have the most knack and passion for social media head up your account, and let them run with it.
10. Have fun. Bottom line: Social media is about socializing, so go at it like you do in real life. Don’t stress out. If you’re having fun, then your audience will have fun, too.