Etiquette, according to Merriam-Webster, is the conduct or procedure prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life. In plain language, this means behaving well and simply being more socially aware. In my last article, I introduced email etiquette tips that can improve your response rate, build your fanbase, and even lead to more record sales. Now, let's focus on social media. Here are five simple reminders of how to keep it cool, professional, and non-spammy:
1. Use tags wisely
Don’t tag people in pictures or statuses they have nothing to do with. Unless the person is a rabid fan of yours, and they’ll love you no matter what, doing this tends to piss people off.
2. Get personal
Address industry folks by their names when sending a message or link to one of your songs, and make sure to include how you know them. Tell them how clicking your link and listening to your song will benefit them. Sending a link with the line, "Yo, check out my song" is unacceptable and will likely get deleted immediately.
3. Avoid public conflict
Don’t let yourself get dragged into an argument by those angry people online who hide behind anonymous usernames. If you notice someone criticizing your posts or using profane language, and these actions have no real benefit to your readers, simply send the person a message with some posting guidelines, set him or her straight in a factual post backed by real data, or delete the post and block that person for good. See ya.
4. Be yourself – literally
Don’t hire people to handle your social media and pretend to be you. Fans are not as stupid as you may think. Be honest instead, and do your own work. If there are five people in a band, each person can be in charge of a different social network and post once a day.
5. Upload a profile photo
Unless you attend parties regularly with a bag over your head, don’t send friend requests if you don’t have a profile picture. That blank, default head on Facebook is totally impersonal. At the very least, use your band logo, for God's sake.
Bobby Borg is the author of Music Marketing For The DIY Musician: Creating and Executing a Plan of Attack On A Limited Budget (September 2014). Find the book on Hal Leonard's website under "Trade Books" or on Amazon. Signed copies with a special offer are also available at bobbyborg.com.