Social Media isn’t just a place to plaster your t-shirts and gig photos. It is a vital tool, and source of interaction between your brand and the public. You can earn countless fans or lose them through different interactions over different platforms, so it’s important to know how to use each platform to your best advantage. We’ll quickly sweep over social media as a whole before focusing on how each particular network can best help your brand.
We dive into all this in much greater detail in our Marketing and PR Course Modules, so consider heading over there to learn more.
Consistency and your central ‘hub’
First and foremost you have to be consistent. Every social media platform needs to be cross-linked with accurate and up-to-date links. The best idea is to Google search your brand and follow all the links to check how you look to the public. Then make sure each network links back to your central ‘hub’. This central hub needs to be either your website (if you’re serious you’ll already have one), or somewhere that will act as your main place for links, future gigs and a link to your store. Dead links and/or no email and contact details happen more often than you think. There’s no point pulling in fans or media if they can’t contact you.
Things To Consider
To focus on specific posts, there are a few things to consider before hitting ‘publish’. What is the post centered on? Has anyone else in your brand posted the same thing recently? And are you following the 20/80 guide? You don’t want to blast your fan base with full marketing all the time. So it’s important to find a balance between entertainment/things similar to your brand and actual brand marketing, thus the 80(entertainment)/20(marketing) guide. You’ll find most people will reply positively to say a video of a similar famous band (if you’re an artist) with a question like “What’s your favorite (band)’s track?” Social media is predominantly about people consistently seeing your brand so remember that each post doesn’t need to be exclusively about you. You could also consider ending each post with the poster’s name for a more personal touch.
Although it might seem like overkill, you could consider using a link shortener such as bit.ly. These give you real-time statistics on what links are being clicked from where. This is a great research tool to monitor the usefulness of individual social networks. Keep an eye on what sort of posts are getting clicks from which social networks as over time you’ll learn what people prefer and be able to use that to your advantage.
Paid VS Free Posts
Ever since Facebook moved away from its ‘most recent’ style of feed, it has become harder and harder to be seen, regardless of what settings your fans have. Depending on your like count, an easy $5 promoted post could get over 2000 ‘views’ so generally, the best tactic is to pay to promote big marketing posts, then keep in the public eye with entertaining posts aimed at interaction (behind the scenes pictures, anecdotes, etc.). ‘Interaction’ or likes and comments are how more people see your post. For those who don’t realize how new Facebook posts work – they send your post out to a small percentage of your likers and see how many people interact with it. Then by seeing what percentages of those people interact, they then send it out to more or less of your likers. Bottom line – You need interactions. Try asking questions and examine other Facebook pages to see what works well. Use the “Pages to Watch” function to compare your page’s activity with other similar pages.
All Your Information
Just to re-iterate again, make sure you have all your information with correct links, this includes any upcoming gigs. If you don’t have an updated gig guide, at least link to where they can find one (your website etc.). If someone goes to any of your social networks it should take them under 30 seconds to find your gigs, recent music, store and how to contact you (email not Facebook messaging).
The way Facebook is set up, you can very easily like your band’s post as your band’s page. This means, unless you’re sure you’re only commenting/liking as yourself, you should refrain from liking your band’s posts. This makes sure people don’t see your brand liking it’s own posts. Sounds silly, but it happens a lot.
Another way to keep your brand professional is to schedule posts. If you schedule your week’s worth of posts, you can easily keep on top of Facebook marketing and staying in your fans minds (and Facebook feeds). Another thing to note is when different companies review or mention your brand, by sharing their review or write-up; it helps your fans see your good press as well as showing appreciation to the person behind the write-up. Ultimately meaning they could be more likely to cover your brand again.
There are a number of ways to keep Twitter a fast and easy social tool for your brand. You can link it with other social accounts, for example Instagram. However we suggest NOT linking your Twitter with Facebook, as there is such a limited letter count that your Twitter would soon look like a weird mash of half completed sentences. Twitter is (obviously) for short tidbits of information so keep it simple. Use Twitter as a constant stream of things you are up to! Maybe you’re in a last minute rehearsal for your gig tomorrow or see a poster for you gig somewhere. Get creative and see what people favorite and retweet. You need to be making sure you @ mention everyone possible too. If you’re at a venue, mention the venue, if you’re playing with other bands, mention them. It’ll instantly come up on their ‘mentions’, which means they’ll definitely see it and might even retweet it.
Don’t overdo the mentions. If someone is related to the tweet, @ mention them. If they’re not, don’t. And the same goes for DM’s or @ messaging anyone. If they’re talking to you, join the conversation! If they’re not don’t spam out trying to advertise. There’s been too many bands doing that and they don’t gain fans.
In regards to scheduling, if you get a Twitter service, like Hootsuite for example, you can schedule tweets much like you can on Facebook. Use this to your advantage.
We won’t go into the specifics of creating a website with Tumblr, however know that it can be easily done for a bit over $10 a year. Quite a few bands are using it for their central hub of business because of its blog layout and easy to customize nature. But even if you don’t upgrade to a domain, Tumblr can be a great place to really interact with fans. Developing a connection with fans is vital to long-term success, and with Tumblr there’s many ways to do it. By all means, the Internet is the Internet and nothing will ever be deleted, however Tumblr (for the moment) is out of the direct public eye so you can experiment with long-winded blog posts about the backstory to your new recordings. You can upload demos or new album/merchandise art to gauge fan reaction. You can even open the ‘ask’ box to have fans ask questions. The Griswolds instantly come to mind as a band who use the ask box to really interact with fans in the most simplistic form.
Here are a few points to overall consider when looking at your marketing approach.
1. Don’t spam. It’s no fun and you’ll lose fans.
2. Try to keep a good balance between marketing and entertaining posts.
3. Link to all your networks and check how your brand looks like to fans regularly.
4. Schedule the week’s posts at the start of the week. Then they’re done and you can be consistently on people’s mind/feed/stream.
5. Experiment and always be looking at other pages and see what works for them.
For more advice on marketing your music to your fans, check out our premium content on Marketing and PR.