Tips for Musicians Using Social Media

   By Emilie L   Categories: Career Advice

The article “Could social networking save the music industry,” on www.cio-today.com (January 2007), professed that the new generation of social networking sites that emphasize music might be just what the industry needs to pull teens and young adults away from illegal file-sharing networks and back into the world of legal music consumers. These advertiser-supported sites offer what CIO Today calls “a better form of free” for consumers.

Minutes (in billions) spent on social networks by U.S. adults in May 2011

Minutes (in billions) spent on social networks by U.S. adults in May 2011 (source: Nielsen Social Media Report, 2011)

Since that was written, the use of social networks has exploded and musicians today cannot ignore the importance of active participation. Several articles offer general tips for musicians on using social media to promote their music. Alex Pham of the Los Angeles Times wrote an article on “The five social media tips for indie musicians” in 2010. These are:

  1. Be real. Don’t focus solely on selling your product—connect with people.
  2. Stick with a couple services instead of hopping around. Devote time to the few you have selected.
  3. Be unique. Stand out from the crowd with something that gives you a competitive advantage.
  4. Share things that excite you. Let the passion show.
  5. Embrace anarchy. In other words, be flexible to the demands, expectations and limitations of socializing electronically.

Using social networking is a two-way street. Fans expect an interactive experience. Instead of posting information like a newsletter, a few efforts to create interactivity can vastly improve the effect of using social networks to sell your music. In an article titled “5 social media strategies to interact with your fans,” Francis Bea has some suggestions to enhance the experience. A list based upon those five includes:

  1. Recognize and reward loyalty with a “fan of the day” feature.
  2. Music giveaways—a contest of sorts.
  3. Set up a virtual scavenger hunt. You can enhance this by having fans search for something within your content, thus encouraging fans to comb through your content.
  4. Make use of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is described as outsourcing tasks to a loosely defined group of people to accomplish the task. It becomes an informal, temporary virtual street team.
  5. Provide question and answer sessions and make every attempt to answer each inquiry.

Excerpt from Web Marketing for the Music Business, 2nd edition by Tom Hutchinson © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group. All Rights Reserved.

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