Which social media networks to use as a musician
By Tiffany Daniels
Looking at which social media packages to use and when. An analysis piece.
Social media can be a minefield for musicians hoping to engage with their fanbase. Which package will sell your product, which will attract new sheep to the flock and which will help you to maintain your fanbase can be entirely different. With so many options out there, it’s important to keep in touch with new trends while remaining active on the current services of choice.
Two social networks to emerge ahead of their competitors are FaceBook and Twitter. But which do you use, and for what?
Everyone remembers the heyday of MySpace. It was an important social media development for the music world and in its prime it was arguably the most functional service for artists. FaceBook has now replaced MySpace in the public eye, but is it a decent alternative for musicians?
There’s no denying you need a FaceBook page to compete in the market. The resource primarily offers a place to showcase your basic information, but it also provides space to engage with your fanbase.
The key to success on FaceBook is to regularly update your page. This generates discussion and debate: FaceBook’s primary advantage. Fill out the information tab and periodically refresh the page so that fans and professionals have access to recent developments. However the main page interface is the most important area to focus on. This gives you an excellent chance to chat with your fans, but make sure there’s rhythm to your rhyme. Post conversational comments that will entice followers to interact with you and others. This ensures that your updates will appear on their feed – if they don’t comment, you’ll simply become another in a long line of Likes.
Attracting new followers is trickier than it seems. As a business, FaceBook really push their advertising services, but it can be a costly expense that’s not guaranteed to work for a smaller project. Instead, encourage fans and the people you collaborate with to link to your page on FaceBook. Spreading your FaceBook address across other outlets and inviting friends and music professionals to follow your page will also help. Link backs are also an easy way to increase your SEO, and are not to be underestimated.
We’ve established that FaceBook is best used to maintain relationships with your existing fanbase. What about Twitter? The 140 character driven network is an entirely different kettle of fish, and used right it can be far more beneficial.
Every single business, individual and corporation working in the music industry has a Twitter account. Follow them. Engage with their tweets. Do not spam them with samples of your music; make friends with them. Whether they’re interested in your style of music or not a conversation, engaging content and a good attitude will lead to a follow back. If you’re lucky, they’ll suggest you to their own readership in the form of a #ff. Fans are as important. They’ll retweet choice quotes and titbits of information, exposing your brand to their own followers. You can also use #hashtags and promotional offers to reach out to even more music fans.
Twitter is amazing for networking, but there’s another important string to its bow. It produces extraordinarily high results in terms of sales. If you comment with a link to a product available for purchase, chances are you’ll gather twice as many sales as you would on FaceBook. This is a fairly effortless process. The reason for this is, unlike FaceBook – which demands regular interaction in order for comments to reach followers – Twitter will always deliver your message straight to your fanbase. And unlike FaceBook, it does it free of charge.
Despite all the good it does, there’s one big downside to Twitter. Retweets and #hashtags mean your words will reach users who have no idea who you are or what you stand for. It’s important to remember that you are selling a brand on Twitter. Don’t say something untoward that you’ll later regret. Make sure your tweets are on point, and inoffensive. If people like what you say, they’ll follow you, but if they don’t, you could find yourself in a very difficult situation.
Tiffany Daniels is a freelance journalist and editor, best known for her work with music magazine and website DrunkenWerewolf but also contributing articles to The Evening Post, The Line of Best Fit and White Coffee Magazine, among others.