Social Media social media

Published on June 9th, 2011 | by Guest Post

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Social networking tactics for musicians–converting your “friends” to fans

This guest post was writ­ten by Dave Scotford. Dave is a music industry entrepreneur from the UK with experience as a promoter, manager, booking agent and more. He is the author of No Bull: The Music Industry, which will be available July 1st. You can contact Dave at dave@davescotford.co.uk.

We’ve pretty much all got social networking profiles, probably two or three different sites too. It’s rare these days for anyone with regular access to the internet not to have profiles and pages that keep the rest of the world updated on what’s going on in their day to day lives. Millions upon millions of people are all connected through the likes of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Tumblr and other sites like it. That’s why it’s so important for bands and musicians to not only have a presence online but to make sure that presence is an effective one. The rapid development of the internet has made it much easier for bands and musicians to network with the world and keep them up to date with the latest news about their music.

Engage your audience in conversation

For a start, social networking is supposed to be exactly that, social. In the ‘real world’ us humans are forced to interact with each other, we make friends, connections and people that we know can help us with certain things in life. When most of us sit behind a computer though we seem to change that approach; we often operate in a remote and cold fashion, telling the world what we’re up to and what’s on our mind without really striking up a conversation.

It’s really important to firstly recognize that by actually talking to people and building a relationship based on conversation, interaction and participation rather than just adding as many people to groups, pages and friends lists as possible is the way to go. I’m forever seeing bands tell me they have thousands of fans on a social network but when I ask how many come to shows, download music, buy t-shirts or come and have a chat online and talk about their music then the answer is more often than not “well, er, none of them.” Just because they’ve become a friend, follower or fan of your music doesn’t mean they will go on to become a fully fledged supporter of your music.

Over the past six or seven years that I’ve been involved in music in some way or another I’ve come across so many musicians who refused point blank to set up a profile or page on a particular network because “they don’t personally use that site.” It doesn’t matter what networks that you use personally, it’s all about the millions of people who DO use it. Can you really afford to ignore a website and it’s millions of members?

Don’t just setup your networks…use them!

Yes, the way MySpace is going it is pushing people away from the site from around the UK and Europe, but there’s still countless people using it every hour of every day of every week right across the rest of the world. Promoters, venues, record labels and more importantly the general public all maintain a presence on the site. You really do need to keep the faith with each network that you use. Don’t give up, no matter what. To be blunt and fair, even if there’s only one person using a network who likes your music, having a profile for them to look at means they’ll find out about your stuff. At the end of the day you’re in music to be entertainers, to enjoy what you’re doing and build a fan base of people who’re into what you do. You should never ignore a group of people, no matter how small that group is.

That, I know, all sounds like obvious advice but you really would be surprised at how many bands and musicians just don’t use their profiles and pages effectively.

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