If you didn’t catch our first article on social media, go back and check it out here. We covered the basics and where to start, which social media platforms you should be thinking about and more!
“The Musician’s Image” is a series on successful musicianship that will consist of three subjects: social media, website and PR/Advertising. This is Part 2 out of 3 Parts covering Social Media.
Developing success on social media
Now that you’ve built the farm, it’s time to plant some seeds. You need followers and subscribers. Not only that, you need relevant followers and subscribers that are genuinely interested in what you do – those are the people that will engage with your posts, buy your music and turn up at your shows.
Oftentimes, it’s best to begin by looking at other pages similar to yours. What’s working for them? What makes their hottest posts successful? Are they using particular hashtags, tagging particular people, posting in a particular way or about a certain thing? Who are some of their most active followers – those that comment or share frequently? You can even take a look through their followers list and either try to directly target people off of that list or see if their audience has something in common that you can target instead.
Next, try to interact with the people that you determine would be interested in you or your music. It can be as easy as liking and commenting on their content and even following them – that’s a great way to get people’s attention. Try going through and liking 3-6 of their posts to show your interest. If you comment, make sure you’re genuine! No one likes to get those generic “NICE!! Follow me!” comments on their posts – you sound like a robot.
Even worse is if you post comments that aren’t relevant to what you’re commenting on – oftentimes, this can come across as spam and doesn’t usually make you look very good. Try asking questions or mentioning something specific in their post. You can even go as far as to send a direct message, but this can easily be interpreted as spam as well and may go ignored, even potentially hurting your image. Just be careful with the language you use and make sure you sound like a human being!
Be sure that if you’re following those people, you continue to engage with them as well. All you have to do is go through your feed and pop off a few likes and comments – it can help retain the people that do end up following you and encourage those that didn’t at first to pull the trigger on your page. Plus, if you’re actively engaging with their content, they’ll be more encouraged to take an interest in you and your content in return. This is grassroots social media – just be active and people will notice!
There will never be a time when you should stop going through these steps. It takes time and consistency to see your numbers continue to rise – so keep at it! Needless to say, you should back up your activity with effective content of your own. So, what exactly is effective content?
What makes good social media “good” social media?
It’s very simple: entertaining content. The goal of social media is to reach lots of people and to engage them with your brand. The more entertaining your content, the more people: A. follow you, B. come back to your page or look for your updates and C. interact with you and your content by liking, commenting and sharing. This is the name of the game.
So, what makes content entertaining? “Entertainment” comes in countless forms. Maybe it’s entertaining because it’s funny, maybe it’s informative, maybe it uses interesting colors or shows interesting things that happened like a show, an interview or even just your day at the state fair. Interacting with your fans is entertaining, and so is showing behind the scenes and little tastes of your music. When you’re posting or planning your posts, you should always be thinking “If I were my followers, would I like this or just keep scrolling?”
There is no one “right” answer, and you should always seek to find what you do well and what your followers respond to. Don’t get overwhelmed – the infinite possibilities are what makes social media so useful and so rewarding!
While social media is one of the most important places you can post updates about yourself/your band, don’t be the guy that posts exclusively show flyers. Social media is just that – it’s social! Give a little personality or offer ways for you and your fans to interact with each other. In an era where some of the most popular shows on television are reality TV, everyone wants to feel like they’re friends with the people they’re listening to in the car or seeing on screen. A emphasis on “social” on your pages makes people want to engage with you and your posts! That’s what you want, isn’t it?
Well, let’s reiterate: what you really want is to develop your audience and get them to consume your products like music, concert tickets and merch. By developing your relationship with your audience, you’re encouraging them to engage with you. Someone who’s actively participating in your social media is someone who’s much more likely to go buy what you’re selling.
Always remember: every time you make a post, comment or even who you choose to follow or like, you’re adding another puzzle piece to your image. The language you use in your captions or descriptions, the type of content or the subject in the pictures and videos you post, even the colors used across your posts on Instagram all contribute to your identity as the consumer sees you.
Consistency is key. People want to feel like they know or are familiar with you and that stability will keep them coming back. There are not hard and fast rules for social media, but it helps to stick to some “personality guidelines” depending on you and your image. Here are some things to keep in mind as you post:
1. Colors: this is primarily prevalent on Instagram – many people pick a color scheme and try to stick to it much as they can. Especially if you’re intentionally creating an organized “grid” on Instagram, having a few complimentary colors that you regularly use help tie the theme together. Your colors can appear as objects or clothes in the pictures themselves, or if you’re using an editing suite like Lightroom on your computer or VSCO on your phone, you can put subtle filters or throw in dashes of that color throughout. VSCO, for example, allows you to mix in certain amount of different colors just into the highlights or just the shadows of your picture. That enables you to throw in a “hint” of your color, which can make a huge difference for the appearance of your page!
2. Subject Matter: what is your attitude? Are you only showing high-resolution photos with your best angles to your followers, or are you casually dropping off pics of you in your pajamas writing your next song? Are you showing a mosh pit from your last concert, or maybe you’re drinking some wine with your engineer as they mix your work? You don’t have to be 100% “only this or only that,” but it does help to be consistent with your personality. Above all else, just be yourself!
3. Quality: Make yourself look good as a musician, or at least interesting! Like we said, there are no rules to social media and you should find what works best for you and your image. However, there are some things that simply don’t paint the picture of a successful musician or as someone worth following on social media to begin with. You should want to be either or both of those things! Posting casual pictures from home may absolutely work for you, but most people don’t want to see close-up phone camera selfies every day all over your page.
You only have so many chances to capture and to keep the world’s attention, make it count! Take it seriously and try to offer the highest quality content that you can. High-res pictures, entertaining video content, behind-the-scenes looks at you, the band or your music, whatever it takes to keep people interested in you. If you want to be seen as a pro musician, even some simple high quality photos are enough to impress people. You should always be striving to show yourself in a good light, or to resonate with your audience in some way! Don’t be the guy posting selfies with no captions every day, that’s no way to engage your audience (unless you’re incredibly attractive, maybe)!
Need help getting high quality content for social media, your website or advertisements? Access Media is a pro video production, photography, recording studio and digital marketing house. We have the 25,000 sq. ft. facility, the equipment and the staff to get you off the ground and shown in the right light.
Check out Our Work, our studio memberships program or just reach out to us to discuss your needs and how we can make it happen!
Want to learn more about social media?
You’ll have to wait for the third and final Part of our coverage on Social Media! Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait long – the last part is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, October 30th.
We’ll be covering some other important topics within social media like the infamous algorithm, video and why it works, and even how to monetize social media. Pretty important, don’t you think?
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