Bulding up your music career Part 6: Social media I

In one of the previous blogs I said that the important question is: How can people find about you and what do you want them to know about it? And I also said that we have to answer first the second part of the question first. Then we established the importance of your website as the main hub of all your marketing activity, actually the only place you have real control over it. Now it’s time to let people know about it.

Let’s hope the website is great, offering everything the visitors are interested, getting them interested in you, so they stay there some time, and, even more, they will want to come back. But you need to bring them there first!

There are still CD’s and vinyls out there, but obviously, the future of music distribution is a digital one. That happens on the same place where all the marketing activity takes place, on internet. All of a sudden, there is this huge market of hundreds of millions possible music lovers which can be turned into customers if you convince them that your music is great.  The caveat is that you need to reach them, capture their attention somehow, and transform them into fans. Easy said than done!

People spend more and more time in front of their computer/tablet/phone, and they are communicating with others, look for the info they need, learn, play, listen to music, watch videos/movies, do business… in other words, almost everything! A big part of these people (or companies) have something to sell and advertise so everybody that sells something competes for customers time and attention spam, employing every possible tool to come up with new things, all with the purpose of offering a great experience to the possible customers, and make them spend their time in an environment that is under their control! This is what you need to understand: you’re in competition with everybody else to:

1.     Attract customers

2.     Make them spend enough time on your site so you can pursue them to become your fans who buy your music.

So, you need to go out there where the people are and engage them! And that is the social media, where billions of people are every day! You need to go out there, and convince them to come to your website, and that means you definitely should be able to communicate, understand what moves people and be comfortable engaging them.

You also have to learn how social media works: there are many platforms, and you don’t have the time to go in all of them, so you have to identify which ones are right for you. You also have to have in mind that they are businesses that have to make money, and right out the bat, when you go in their platform, they actually have the control, and what they want is quite different than what you want. All these platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google+, Pinterest, Linkedin, Instagram, etc, have their strengths and weak points from your point of view, and it is your job to decide which ones are better. From their point of view, they are using you to promote what their customer wants them to promote.

In other words, you need to come up a strategy in order to be efficient. First, you need to know well your market target; you need to know who the people most likely to become your fans are, and what do they like to do in social media platforms, how do they communicate, what level and form of communication make them comfortable and captures their attention. Usually people use 2-3 social media platforms, and you need to identify them for your market target.

 As an example, YES or Led Zeppelin fans are generally older (however the new generations are discovering their music and they love it!), usually these fans have a higher IQ, their conversations are more complex, with much more logical and analytical thinking, while the club goers are more into the immediate present and action, with a certain emotional characteristic, and so on. The first type of people is more likely to communicate through Facebook, while the second one would feel comfortable with twitter. So, when you define your strategy, you have to consider your market target and analyze it properly, to understand as much as possible about it, so you can engage it through proper actions that resonate with them.

You can find tons of articles on internet about how to reach your market, and they’re all fine, you can learn a lot from them. But the people who are writing them actually want something from you, an email address, or have advertising in their pages and get paid, etc. So, they advise you as much as they need to keep you there, and then direct you either to take a course, or click some advertising, or offer an e-book, etc. I hear you saying to me: aren’t you doing the same? Well, no, I am not! Because while I want to record/mix/master/make music, I also want my customers to succeed, and come back for more work; also I want to have a healthy discussion about music, because I am worried at the pace of change for both musicians and listeners, so I would like to have everybody interested in this music thing, otherwise the big guys (read corporations) will continue to succeed at controlling the business and collect the money. I feel that somehow we need to do something so the world is not divided in 1% and 99%, and, as music is our business, we all need to do something here, where we know a thing or two.

So here is what I call the big secret of social media: understand that behind every name on internet/social media there is a human being, craving for a sincere communication, willing to be honest if he feels he is treated the same, happy to have a conversation that he can relate to. People want to talk and also want somebody to listen, and you need to do both of them (this is something ingrained in our DNA, just watch the kids asking everybody to watch what they’re doing!). Asking people to go to your website without any engagement is definitely not the way to go. And if you know this well, and are ready for it, it will take a long time, but you’ll end with a very solid customer base, that will be waiting for your next release, because you were honest and they get to know you well enough and want to hear how your life translates to music. And of course, you need to have good music, let’s not forget that!

To be continued…

Flo Fandango

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