The Internet is good, but the Internet is BIG.
So when you have the desire to share your message or brand on the world wide web, it is essential to identify and select the right media.
Today, social networks are expanding at a phenomenal rate, in theory resulting in even more ways for musicians, bands and artists to promote their art.
But should you really be everywhere? Should you avoid some social networks? Should you care about small online communities? To what extent?
In short, how can we choose the social media sites that give us the highest return on investment today?
The aim is indeed to reach as many people as we can, for a reduced and controlled effort.
Hence in this article, we will see how to select the right social networks in order to develop your music career online.
Where Are the Fans?
Or should I say “Where are YOUR fans?”. Because that is the question.
But first, let’s talk about your fan base a little bit. Can you clearly define who your fans are?
Using analytics tools and your own observations (from concerts and social profiles for example), try to define precisely the characteristics of your ideal average fan.
If your fan base is not highly developed today, ask yourself what kind of person is most likely to enjoy your music. Start by analyzing the fan base of bands and artists creating music that is similar to yours.
Then ask yourself a question: on which websites or apps does your average fan spend most of his/her time online?
The reason is pretty simple. The only thing that matters at first when you think about your online presence is that you appear where your fans are!
There’s no point in using an app or a website if your fans are not there. It’s just a waste of time.
If you’re audience is mostly composed of high school students addicted to Snapchat, then you will absolutely have to integrate this tool into your social strategy.
Besides, as you try to learn more about your fans, it can be very instructive to observe the type of pages and artists that your average fan is already following. This will enable you to learn:
- What kind content your fans prefer – shorts videos, long videos, photos, articles, trivia, lyrics, quotes, sarcasm, games, etc.
- How often you should talk to your fans.
- Whether your fans prefer inspiring, informative or entertaining content.
What Are Your Goals?
You will also need a strategy and some objectives.
If you do not clearly know what you want to do with your online community, it is not worth putting much effort into it.
What’s your goal at the moment?
Is it to generate album sales? To bring fans to your concerts? To increase the number of subscribers to your email list? To prepare the launch of a new album?
Think carefully to determine whether or not current status of your music project really justifies an aggressive online strategy.
Otherwise, there is no shame in focusing on other areas of your music career: composing, recording, branding, establishing your online presence, setting up your email list, and more.
How Much Are You Willing to Invest?
Even if you realize your average fan is active on 10 social media sites, you should not necessarily do the same.
Indeed, engaging your community on too many platforms can dilute your brand and become overwhelming.
It is expected that you adapt to the media and fully use its features, rather than repeat the same content on all platforms.
Therefore emphasize quality to quantity in order to stay relevant.
Which Social Network is for YOU?
Knowing that your time is limited, do not take all the opportunities that you get. Be strategic in your approach.
Now here are some suggestions for which social media sites you should be on.
1. Mandatory: Facebook and YouTube
If you are not there yet, do not wait a second. Create your account and start uploading.
Of course, the audiences of these two platforms are very broad, but they enable anyone to promote their music and their brand, and have the potential to quickly scale up.
2. Highly Recommended: Twitter and Instagram
If you have a little more time available, I urge you to use Twitter and Instagram to further develop the interactions you have with your fans and your network.
The point here is to exchange more easily promotional messages, video content and pictures in order to reach more fans and more pros.
However, be careful, because these platforms typically require a much higher rate of posting.
3. Optional: Periscope, Vine, Snapchat, Pinterest, SoundCloud, etc.
If you make a full-time living from your music or you’re aiming for a specific niche you can also focus on other established social networks, especially those on the rise, like SoundCloud, Periscope or Snapchat.
Try to identify well in advance the nature of your audience, because these social networks are usually more targeted than others: Vine and Snapchat are for young people, Pinterest is more for women, SoundCloud is for music lovers, etc.
It is thus necessary to assess them on a case-by-case basis and see whether these can be a useful addition to your online presence.
I advise you to at least be present on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Others social media sites? It really depends on your audience, goals and means.
But remember that regardless of the medium you use, you should create your own email list and artist’s website, as these are always more profitable for your music career.