In a new age of music marketing, artist development and promotions have evolved. It’s imperative for every singer and musician – independent or signed to a label – to establish and maintain a strong, positive social media presence.
In the 2010s, many people rely on technology to consume information instantly, without having to wait for evening news broadcasts or daily newspapers. This generation of music connoisseurs expects to be “connected” to their favourite artists 24/7, awaiting album/EP announcements, photos and videos, and random musings at a time convenient to them. They may try to engage in a virtual conversation with you by commenting on a post, tweet or photo.
Here are three suggestions to creating and sustaining a viable social media identity, while attracting a multitude of followers and fans.
- Know your audience.
When reaching out to potential supporters, there’s no such thing as “the general public.” A target market or key public, a homogenous group you hope will become your fan base, must be identified and understood. Consider hiring a public relations professional to research demographics, psychographics, musical interests and favourite activities – i.e. nightclubbing, attending larger-scale concerts and music festivals.
Get a sense of the language they use while interacting with others, what fascinates, angers or amuses them, and times and days they regularly use their channels. For instance, if you notice your target market usually posts on Saturdays between 12 – 5 p.m., this is an “optimal posting time,” a recommended period in which your comments, photos, or announcements should be posted. This can be accomplished by browsing Twitter and Instagram feeds, YouTube channels, and Facebook accounts, and then incorporating these findings into your social media outlet(s).
- Select your social media channels.
Based on audience research, choose a realistic number of social media outlets. Stray away from selecting every existing outlet, as it’d become difficult to manage posts and follower engagement.
I propose two to four outlets your audience uses on a regular basis. To save time and energy, sign up for a free Hootsuite account, a service which allows seamless streaming of multiple channels, as well as content management and creation to a single, couple or all your social media outlets.
More information and tutorials are available on the official website.
- Analyze your following; make necessary changes.
Besides research and implementation, evaluation is an important process. Now that you’ve established your social media presence, review and assess your progress so far. If you decide on Hootsuite for ease-of-flow, use their tracking and analytical options (e.g. UberVU) to see which of your postings garnered likes, favourites, shares, retweets, etc. Also look at which ones didn’t fare off as well as you would have liked them to. As unpleasant as it may be, this data will help you to alter posting times, change the tone or language of your content, or maybe change social media channels altogether.
As an artist, you lead a hectic life. If you face challenges establishing a social media presence, seek out a digital-savvy person to help you along the way.