Social networking is still a huge wasteland of conflicting information, but I am starting to feel a little encouraged that the dust is finally settling and people are figuring it out. More and more I am hearing people agree that you must choose your battles wisely and that you can’t go chasing after every new social media phenomenon that comes along. That alone is a full-time job and does not leave much room for music.
So to help encourage some focus, here are my top five tips for musicians dealing with social networking.
- Your website is still king (or queen)! Despite all the hype about Facebook and Pinterest, your website should still be viewed as the center of your efforts. It’s the one place where you have the most control over look and feel. You can run ads or not, blog or not, video or not. And you can optimize it to suit your needs and feature the keywords and content that works best for you. No other online platform can offer you that. If you need some advice on optimization, call me!
- Email is still king (or queen)! Yup. That too. It is still the best way to reach your fans, and a recent survey of marketing execs indicates that some 61% find it the best way to market (meaning they make the most money from it). My emails usually get around a 30% open rate. I can’t count on that many eyeballs from anything else.
- It’s a two-way street. If you only post on your blog, or post on other people’s blogs only as a transparent attempt to get people to your site, then you are missing one of the points. Social Media is confusing and still has a lot of questions, but one thing it is proving is that it’s all about niche marketing. Find a select group of blogs where you can really contribute and post without asking anything in return. Build quality relationships…not quantity. Quantity just wastes a lot of time and ultimately backfires and then you are left with nothing but wasted time and maybe a few enemies.
- Choose your battles. I mentioned it above. I mention it every week, in everything I do. I’m sure I will mention it again. Be selective and focus on just a few platforms that work for you. Social Media is the greatest time suck the world has ever seen. We can’t afford 50 hours a week online and still expect to make music.
- Don’t forget the original social networks existed offline. Go out and meet some people please! Sure you should have a CD or card/flyer or whatever with your web address on it. But go out and talk to some people in person would ya!?! I still correspond with people I’ve met 10 years ago at a music seminar, gig, coffee shop or in a class I taught. There is no substitute for offline real world interactions. You’ve heard of work-life balance? How about digital-organic balance?
That’s it for now. Enjoy and stay focused!