Bulding up your music career Part 7: Social media II

Social media starts with identifying which one of them provides better opportunities to connect and communicate with people that are most likely to become your fans. There are many differences in the way the social media outlets deliver your messages, and that is important, you need to choose the ones that better suit the needs of your market target. There is a more elegant way to put it: what you need to do is “The Web of you!” if that makes any sense, using the appropriate platforms for your market.

Once you decide which ones, the next steps you should concentrate on are:

1.     How you are going to present yourself. You have to define some boundaries, a simplified yourself, because, like everybody else, you are a complex personality, and you have to choose based on the image you want to create, on the communication you want to establish and the final purpose of it. But remember: you have to be honest, authentic, yourself, and find the right way to communicate. Your image has to be focused and, as I said before, authentic, this is the key to build up connections that last. People will want to know your opinions about art, life, politics, etc, and, with the risk of having arguments, you have to be yourself. Make this an extension of your music, which I assume it completely represents you.

2.     The most successful ways of communication are through: news update (starting with announcing in advance new releases, give up some extra content to make people to want to know more), videos and photos (from your gigs, recording session, with friends, places of interest, backstage videos, interview with you or your fans, etc), engagement like soliciting feedback and polls, offer how-to info that you know is of interest (share some knowledge you have, like some instrument techniques or useful tips for playing live or recording), share inside stories from tours or interviews, retake popular themes with a twist, start lists or debates, ask question, and finally, don’t forget to share other people content, this is not only about you, it is about the connection, plus others have a lot of interesting stuff to show.

When people follow you, you have to do a couple of things: first, respond to comments! This is very important; people are taking their time to write to you, so show respect! Of course, when you do that you don’t have to be afraid to disagree or start a debate, that will keep the fans coming back and attract others, respond such manner to lead the conversation and increase the engagement, requesting more opinion, and involve as many fans as you can in the conversation. It is useful and it is fun! And, above all, be honest and thorough in your responses! Do not be afraid to show your weaknesses, this is who we are, with good and bad! Remember that this is about having a conversation, you’re not a prophet who tells people how to live their life!

There are a couple of rules you want to follow when it comes to social media: first, post every day something, even twice a day – but allow a few hours in between; check the reaction and respond to comments. Understand that this is the new way, like it or not. It is time consuming, and, when the moment comes get some help with somebody you trust. Do not neglect this, as long breaks can have disastrous results. Some platforms – like Facebook – are analyzing the interaction and, based on it, increases automatically the exposure you get (check the Edgerank on Facebook!).

Do not post the same thing in every social platform you use! That is stupid, as you will have fans that are following you on multiple platforms, and they expect a unique experience, so don’t pissed them off!

Now, let’s talk about videos and pictures! Incredible important! You got to be on youtube (you knew that already, isn’t it?)! Youtube is a social network, but it is also the second biggest search engine in the world (you knew that too, right?), so be there! Music videos, interviews, behind-the scenes clips and vblogs are your weapons; post them! Everything works, however, you may want to use the help of a friend that knows about video editing to make all these clips have a rhythm and better looking! They will speak for you, so pay attention!

You want to do the same in Vimeo, the other major video sharing platform. They are not the same, there are a couple of differences between them, and, being in both, helps expand your audience. Youtube is the most popular, with over 7 billions hours of video watched every month; it belongs to google, which means it helps you in google rankings, it’s free, and allows paid advertising solutions. The cons are that the quality of the video loaded is all over the map, which means you will be in the pool with everyone else, and youtube purpose is to keep users on the their platform to offer the advertising that makes money for them, they don’t care that you want your fans to look steady at your videos, so they will show your competition videos, making it harder to retain the fans. Also, they are running advertising during the video, which usually leads to leaving the video. Vimeo, on the other hand, does not have advertising, which is really great, however, it is not free (but doesn’t cost much, like 20 dollars for 20GB). There is no spamming with low quality videos, as Vimeo favors the higher quality videos. The downside of this service is that it has less traffic than youtube, and google in many cases removes videos from their result pages if the videos are not from youtube.

You may want to check Vine – the video app for iOS, Android and Windows, it allows you a six second movie, and it can be a clever thing to use, it requires a short attention spam, so you have to create videos centered in one idea, but it can have a high impact exactly for this reason.

Lastly, you need to post photos; there are many social platforms for that, however you want to use Instagram and Pinterest, the most popular and in fashion. Learn as much as you can, as there are some differences, and the way they are handling the posting of the photos is different. My advice would be to use a small good camera, and learn how to use it properly. Good quality pictures and good shots (angles, exposure, etc) make a difference! Whenever you go, or meet friends and fans, or you see something of interest, take a picture! Use a simple program like Aperture on Mac or Lightroom on Windows to edit the photos before posting. And don’t forget to fill the caption!

Stay tuned,

FF

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