Posted: Jun 30, 2015
Category: Social Media
**Guest post written by Frederic Sahyouni of SplashFlood, a mobile app that rewards musicians for their talent.
"So you started a new band or a new solo music project and, as you absolutely must, you want to set up your online presence on all the typical social media platforms available. This may be a daunting task considering that you see other acts with a comparable musical caliber as you that happen to be thousands of tweets and followers ahead of you. But do not be discouraged because whether you like it or not, this is a task that you will have to undertake because if no one knows you’re out there, no one will listen to your music. Here is a list of things you should and should not do in order to kickstart your social media presence on Twitter.
Wrong: You spent little time or effort setting up the graphics.
You think you can get by with an egg on a blue background for a profile picture, with a matching blue header. You think that people won’t care for the graphics because your tweets will be so amazingly funny that they will compensate for it.
Right: You take the time to create a proper visual experience.
Your Twitter profile, similarly to your Facebook Page, is much like your business card. People will look at it quickly, and if it looks appealing to them, they might then (and only then) take the time to visit your website or SoundCloud page, which will then lead to them listening to your music. Not taking the time to set up your page is a sign that you don’t care about your current and future followers. Luckily (and unlike the MySpace era of fiddling with HTML codes) setting up your Twitter profile is easy and free. Tools like Canvas facilitate the task by taking care of all the annoying ratios for all your social media profiles. Use a profile picture that’s either taken by a professional, in the form of a photograph, or created by a professional, in the form of a logo. This might cost a bit of money. For a lower budget option you should look out for friends who are into photography or graphic design. Choose a header photo that represents your brand and use it to promote yourself, by announcing a new song or album release on it, for example. And finally, write a relevant and compelling bio. If you don’t take yourself seriously and professionally, no one else will.
Wrong: You don’t follow other artists.
You think that your band is the best, and think that other bands will flock to you and follow you because you are the best.
Right: You follow musicians that you like.
There are many reasons to follow other musicians, producers, and bands. First, you might want to follow and interact with artists that are your musical influencers or that you otherwise respect. You may also follow bands that are successful in social media so that you can see what they are doing right and try to implement it in your promotion campaign as well. Finally, you can follow bands or solo artists that are like you. This means that they are from the same city, are at the same stage of their music careers, are from the same genre, or all of the above. This could potentially help create connections with other musicians and will also allow you to see the struggles and successes they’re going through as they will certainly apply to your music project as well at some point or another.
Wrong: You only follow friends and movie celebrities.
You think that your music is so great that other players of the music industry will miraculously find you and follow you.
Right: You follow relevant people and businesses.
This ties in with the previous recommendation but for different reasons. If you’re creating music in the hopes of making money out of it, whether as a passive hobby or an aspiring professional career, then you are a part of the music industry. This means that you are part of the music business world and as such, it is in your best interest to keep up with the latest trends of the industry. That’s why it’s important to follow the journalists and bloggers as well as their respective platforms, in order to be up to date with the recent movements and developments in the industry.
Wrong: You buy a bunch of followers to look really popular.
You purchase a batch of 10,000 or so followers so that people think you’re much bigger than you actually are, so more (real) people will follow you.
Right: You build up your followers organically.
This applies as much to the twitterverse as to SoundCloud plays and other such quantifiable followings. Although it may seem appealing to take this shortcut it won’t work for a number of reasons. First, it’ll be apparent. If you’ve only tweeted 200 times but you have 8,000 followers, it’ll be obvious that your followers aren’t real and it will make you look desperate. Second, it’s in your best interest to have 300 real followers than 10,000 fake ones. Fake accounts cannot attend your concerts or buy your music. Yes, it is much slower to rack up a virtual audience to your tweets this way, but it will be much more sustainable for you in the long run.
Wrong: You never tweet, except for every few days when you’ll tweet a thousand times.
You think the quality of your tweets are so great that you won’t need to tweet on a regular basis. But every now and then, when you have free time, you’ll send out a burst of tweets to complain about someone that cut in line ahead of you at Starbucks.
Right: Tweet consistently and regularly about interesting things.
The best (and proven) way to gain followers is by tweeting, and tweeting often. You also need to be mindful that once you have new followers, you must keep them so that all your previous efforts aren’t in vain. There doesn’t seem to be a magic number of tweets to guarantee an increase in follows and avoid unfollows, but according to a Korean study, people will unfollow you if you go on such aforementioned bursts of tweets, and also if you tweet about boring things, whether about your personal life or otherwise.
One helpful way to keep yourself in check is by automating. You won’t always feel like tweeting and you won’t always have time for tweeting. But being consistently active on Twitter will help ensure that you’ll gain followers but more importantly, that you will keep followers. Automation is a great way of doing that and really simple to setup with tools like Buffer. Sync your different accounts such that when you post a photo on Instagram for instance, you’ll get a tweet out of it. Also, schedule your tweets at opportune times. If you only tweet during the morning and you’re located in one timezone, all your followers located a few time zones later than you will miss your tweets because they’ll be sleeping. Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself (which, again, is simplified with automation tools) with different wording when announcing important news such as a new song or tour dates.
Wrong: You tweet anything that comes to mind just to be active.
You don’t care to come up with interesting tweets but in order to keep staying active on Twitter, you tweet everything and anything that comes to mind.
Right: You create engaging content
We covered presentation, following, and frequency, and that leaves us with the last important piece of the puzzle: content. We outlined in the previous point how to use tools to automate tweets in regards to your band’s news, but your followers won’t only want to read about your upcoming tour dates or new song releases. So for the rest of your posts also talk about things that are informative, for instance, by sharing articles that you find interesting. Personalize your tweets by confessing your struggles (without sounding whiny), and what you’re doing to overcome them. Read and reply to tweets. And finally, ask questions in order to engage your followers. Make it a conversation.
Now go out there and tweet, and make sure to follow us at twitter.com/splashflood"
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