With the global reach of the internet, bands can connect with their audience, journalists and industry partners now more easily than ever. There are a number of tools you should take advantage of to further your reach and properly using social media will help you to convey your message, build on your networks and expand your fanbase.
Use all the free tools
Many social media tools are free to its users and you should take advantage of them all. Think of it this way: your audience and potential career partners can be anywhere, use all the tools to find them. Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation, Myspace, WordPress for a basic website (free up to a certain amount of uploads), Instagram, etc. are all free and being on all of them increases your reach. Why? The first thing an interested party, be it a fan or an industry person, does when they want to find out more about a band is to Google them. These sites all turn up at the top of a search.
Consider the paid tools
SoundCloud is free up to a certain amount of uploads, so use it up to the free max and then you may want to consider its paid services if it makes sense for your band. Bandcamp accounts are free, but there’s a revenue share percentage with the site. If you’re independent, Spotify requires being signed up for specific aggregators, which all accrue some cost. Weigh out whether it’s worth it and within your budget to do so. Remember that if you’re still starting out that potential fans will want to hear your music, so if you don’t go the paid route, make sure your music is at least available to hear via one of the free sites.
The Do’s when communicating your message
DO make sure to respond to fan and industry queries in a timely manner to build your audience. If it’s on Twitter, retweet positive feedback and make sure to thank them. If it’s a comment on Facebook, respond in kind. Although it’s not an in-person interaction, it is an opportunity to have a conversation with someone who’s interested in what you do. Make it count.
DO follow those you’re interested in, those with whom you share common ideals, and your fans while you’re growing on Twitter. Make sure to “@” the folks you’ve partnered with when sharing tweets about events and projects you’re working on together so they can retweet you in kind.
DO share upcoming projects, such as greening efforts, tours, new songs, etc. Also consider promoting the process as you’re creating. Fans like to see behind the curtain, so share in-studio snippets, photos, and updates of what you’re working on. Did your greening project yield positive results? Share that.
The Don’ts when communicating your message
DON’T have your outgoing newsfeed just be a never-ending list of just what you’re doing. Try to think of social media as a two-way conversation that communicates useful information, elicits participation, and shows deeper aspects of your band’s ideals beyond your music. So make sure to share other information that your followers might appreciate, such as music that you like, news from other bands you’re friends with or admire, news or information that might spark a conversation about environmentally or socially-sound efforts, and retweet or share good information from those you follow that would be interesting to those that follow you.
DON’T be super preachy. Share your greening efforts and your ideals, but share them in a positive light to entice others to join the conversation.
Have fun, but be smart
Always feel free to speak your mind online, but do be conscious of the fact that what you share and write on social media is kind of like a permanent record. Put your best foot forward and avoid sharing anything you might later regret. Because it’s social media, what you say can also be shared by others. Share often. Share wisely.