Social media websites can be some of the most important tools to help promote your band.
It has never been easier to get your music heard by the people that matter, but that means you have to find ways to make your music stand out from the crowd. Lets look at how Spotify and Facebook can help you do just that.
Spotify is fast becoming the industry standard for steaming music. It has over 6 million paying subscribers, over 20 million songs available globally and in excess of $500 million revenue paid to rights-holders since it’s launch. It really is a tool that all bands should utilise.
Bands should use Spotify because:
- It’s users are now shaping the charts. When users share their favourite tracks with others, they help new artists to find their audience. New features have also been introduced to make it easier for fans to share their music through social media.
- It’s monetising fans that don’t traditionally pay for music and encourages them to pay more to enjoy more.
- It’s creating a service that users will value and then passes that value on to the artists and rights holders.
In every market they have launched digital music has seen a significant improvement, as can be seen here:
- Following 10 Following years of industry decline in Sweden, total revenues for recorded music (including physical) rose 13.8% in 2012.
- Similarly, Norway saw total revenues increase by 13% in the first half of 2013.
- In the Netherlands, digital music revenue increased 66% in 2012. Piracy fell from an estimated 5 million to 3 million users between 2008 and 2013.
Spotify pays royalties each time a track is played, more plays = more royalties. According to their stats 70% of all Spotify revenue is paid to rights holders. By 2012, they had already paid out $500 million to rights holders.
Fans can discover new music through their feed based on people they follow and their listening habits. If your account is verified then your activity can reach your followers so that they can better understand you as an artist. This results in a much more engaged audience.
The main difference with Spotify is its use and implementation of playlists. These are essentially the new mix tapes. As an artist, you can share music that has directly influenced you, tracks you have sampled, songs that you play before a show, or albums that you have on repeat on the tour bus.
If you want to be successful, you have to do something to make your music stand out from the crowd. There are several ways that you can do this.
- Pre-stream your album a week or 2 before its release for viral buzz
- Include bonus tracks, remixes or B-sides exclusive to Spotify users
- Album commentaries, backstage footage etc. can convert casual listeners of a single in to heavy listeners of an album. This has been successfully implemented by Eric Clapton, Maroon 5 and Robbie Williams. Hey, if it is good enough for them…
Facebook is essentially the Holy Grail of social media. Frankly if you haven’t already got a page for your band then what have you been waiting for! I’m sure 99% of you already have a persona page so I won’t waste time talking about how to use Facebook or why.
To build a fan base when on the road, hand out free stuff with the URL of your band page printed on it. This also stops fans forgetting your name as soon as they leave the venue. Releasing new music is also a key way to gain fans. Churning out 2/3 EPs a year is likely to produce more memorable songs than one album of 12 tracks. Encourage people to get more people to like your page before releasing the next song, case in point Miley Cyrus. Love her or hate her but this is exactly what she did and her album Bangerz made it to number 1. The more fans you have you more reach you have as an artist.
Facebook is used much more than any other social media. Marketing your music to your fans is vital and should always be your first port of call. Whether your music is up on iTunes or Bandcamp, sharing that link on Facebook is a key way to reach your target audience. Also, encourage your fans to share it on your behalf to receive exclusive content once it has been shared X amount of times. If your band gets reviewed, comment on the article and direct readers to your Facebook page. The more content that is created around your music the more chances you will have to get people to like your page. Show a fan that it is worth them liking your page by offering free downloads, free gig tickets and free merchandise, don’t let them lose interest in you.
When looking to book a gig, the first place that many promoters or venue owners look is your Facebook page to see how many likes you have and therefore how many people you are likely to bring through the door. If all your fans are located in one area this may pose a problem when it comes to touring. Post your shows on Facebook and invite as many people to the event as possible to spread the word, let people know where you are playing and when. Why not post the event on local music blogs?
Personally connecting with fans is vital and there is no better tool for this than on Facebook. By giving them access to behind the scenes footage your relationship with them can resemble that of a friendship. Comment back to them and if you treat them as friends they are more likely to spread the word about you.