Social Media is essential these days for both well established, and upcoming musicians. On Twitter, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga both have greater social media outreach than the President of the USA, Barack Obama. This can be directly translated into influence.
These stars have the power the reach millions of fans by simply using their phones; this interaction is particularly strong through Twitter.
So, why should you use social media applications, and which ones should you use? We’ll have a look through the main ones for musicians, and provide some great features of each.
The world’s biggest social media platform. If you want to reach the most people, it would make sense that Facebook is the place to do so.
Posts on Facebook stay on followers’ feeds for much longer than Twitter, meaning that more people will see your updates.
Customisable posts are a great point for interaction with your fans. You can upload pictures, conduct polls, tag people, upload tracks, share videos etc. If you’re looking to give something back to the fans, Facebook is great due to its versatility.
Facebook automatically stores everything, and it’s really easy to view. You can go back through years of pictures and videos through the ‘Timeline’. You can see status updates from years ago that you’d completely forgotten about!
It’s much harder to develop a fan base on Facebook than on Twitter. Hence, your Facebook fans are likely to be the ones with whom you should interact more. Facebook is the place to get some great feedback on what you’ve done up to this point.
Facebook ‘insights’ allow you to see key performance indicators for your page. How many people are you reaching on a weekly basis? How many new likes do you have?
Twitter is less formal than Facebook, so to speak. Your posts aren’t designed to be hugely interactive, although given enough followers anything you say will receive attention.
Twitter allows you to reach your fans on a more personal level. Regularly you’ll see celebrities posting pictures and news from their day-to-day life. Followers will relate to everything you say and do, so creating a buzz is the best way to gain followers. Also read our blog about 7 ways how Twitter can increase your fan base.
ReverbNation can act as a great band page, and allows you to list photos, tracks, and further contact details. Currently used by more than 2 million artists, it’s a great for putting all of your content in one place.
From the fans’ point of view, the search function is great too. It allows searches based on locality, so people can find local bands that are likely to play in their area.
From a fan interaction point of view, it’s not quite the same as Twitter or Facebook. However, from a resourcefulness perspective, I think most would agree that ReverbNation is a handy tool in your promotional arsenal.
Soundcloud is probably the best method of sending your music to someone. The music is playable on most mobile phones, and is a popular choice for A&R representatives and booking agents.
Soundcloud is a brilliant way to put all of your music in one place. If you’ve got some demos or rough live versions of songs, Soundcloud is the place to put it. It’s not a fan building mechanism, but you can use it to reward your most loyal of fans.
Social Media is Here to Stay
The platforms listed above are what I would consider the most important ones. Facebook can, in some ways, act as the main source of news for your band. Well-established bands will have a devoted fan base, committed to regularly checking the band’s website for news and updates.
Unless you’re Muse or Adele, your Facebook page will be more useful, because your news comes up automatically.
There’s also the revamped, newly released MySpace. Although the announcement was very much overshadowed by Facebook’s new Graph Search feature. The old MySpace was a pivotal stage in the evolution of social media. It will be interesting to see how the updated platform performs against its competitors.
Overall, you can never engage too much with your fans. If you think you should be on more social media pages than the suggestions above, that’s okay! In fact, it’s probably a good thing. It’s important to reach lots of fans, rather than overloading a few of them with a lot of information.
Ensure you spread your time across all of them, too. After all, you don’t want to forget to remind half of your fan base about your gig next Saturday, do you?