Making the Best Use of Social Media

Originally published by So’lano Music Group.

Every band should have a great website. It can be a valuable tool for new fans, old fans, and even labels whose curiosity has been piqued. However, getting people to return to your site on a regular basis can be tricky. With social media, rather than asking that they come to you, you offer to go to them. Fans can get more information with less effort on their part, and you get more of what you have to say heard. There is, of course, still a line to be drawn between simply using social media and using social media effectively.

First of all, understand your tools. Twitter, for example, is a microblogging site with no aspirations of long format blogging. If your online presence is spread across multiple sites, it can a great one-stop shop for links to new songs, videos, blogs, and tour updates, but “short and sweet” are part of the premise of the site. Splitting an update over four Tweets with “(con’t)” ending each will make you seem unlearned to your web-savvy fans.

Second, spamming is not the same as going viral. Sending a link to every friend and fan you have may get their attention, but doesn’t guarantee it will be passed on any further than your immediate network. One of the great things about viral sensations is their integrity: they are passed along because individual people honestly feel they are worth sharing. A video that tries to go viral is like a high school teacher who tries to be cool: it’s the very act of trying that keeps it from happening.

Finally, diversify. More than half a billion people now use Facebook, so a band page or group can help you reach a massive audience. A lot of people still use MySpace, however, so maintaining a presence there is worthwhile. Twitter can be a great way to aggregate news across several sites. If you take a lot of on-tour or in-studio pictures, Flickr can be a great way to make them accessible. If someone in the band has a knack for eloquent updates or engrossing tour stories, a WordPress or Blogger page may be appropriate. Vimeo and YouTube offer great platforms for vlogs, music videos, and behind the scenes footage. If you only have a Facebook page, you won’t reach any of the people who closed, or never opened, accounts.

When going social, take care not to spread yourself too thin. A dozen pages that have fallen months out date will do as much for you as a single, fantastic page that no one knows about: absolutely nothing.

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