Social Media For Your Music Career

BreakOut West is not only an awesome event for seeing live music, but also a great opportunity for networking with the music world, and learning about the state of today’s ever-changing industry.

This year’s BreakOut West schedule includes a conference line-up of interesting and timely topics. I personally love attending conferences, because I believe there is always something new to be learned. So I took in a couple of sessions yesterday.

Going Viral:  How Social Marketing Can Help Or Hurt Your Music was presented by Chris Brandt and Brian Thompson, online experts who spoke candidly about social media interaction. Here are the “Top 10 Tips” taken away from their session. Some are obvious, some not so obvious. But all useful:

10. Use social media to be ‘social’ – make people laugh, share areas of interest, talk about successes and failures, and engage people. Share funny cat photos and talk about your dog. Find things you have in common, and be part of a community. Etc.

9. Don’t make social media just about selling. Always saying things like “buy this” or “come to my show” comes off as seeming desperate.

8. Apply the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time, don’t talk about yourself… 20% of the time, talk about what you really want people to know (ie: what you are selling).

7. Don’t talk about any one topic too much, or you risk becoming known as the “dog guy” or the “cat photo girl.” Let your flow of information very naturally change from topic to topic.

6. Rephrase flat statements into questions, and generate conversation. For example, you can say “I had a great breakfast today” or you can say “I had a great breakfast today. What do you prefer – bacon or sausage?” Then you can walk away and let people comment, debate, and have fun.

5. A band’s blog should be your website’s landing page, so it will always different. That way, if the same person comes back to your site a few times, they will always have a different experience, which will make them more likely to keep coming back.

4. Youtube is now the #1 music player in the world, and bands need to be on there. Make interesting videos that show the personal side of you – in your bedroom with posters on the wall in the background, in your backyard on your patio, etc. Selectively share a little bit of your private self with the public.

3. People are becoming more and more visual, and like having something to look at when listening to a song. So instead of sharing audio links, nowadays, share links to Youtube that include audio and video, or audio and still images. Always make your music an audio/visual experience.

2. Put your music everywhere, but only ‘promote’ your website. Don’t send people to iTunes or Reverbnation, because people will find you on other sites if they want to look for you there. You should always be promoting your own domain and sending people to your website, where you also sell your music directly.

1. Give your music away. Let people download it and share it, and help you grow that audience. The people who really dig what you are doing will buy your entire CD, go to your show, and purchase your merchandise. You can also add a ‘tip jar’ or ‘donation’ button for those who want to support you with money. Make it easy for them to do so!

The moral of the story… the downside is that if you want to be successful at social marketing, you have a lot of work to do. But the upside is that you can do it.

Today, all the tools are there, and are available to you either free, or very inexpensively. So be willing to invest a lot of time and a little bit of money into using social media to promote yourself, because the social media world is yours for the taking.

Written by RoseAnna Schick
Artist Manager for Don Amero


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