If you've been keeping up with the Sonicbids blog lately, you already know that a strong online presence as a musician is crucial for gaining fans and exposure. Utilizing a smart social media strategy will help your band stand out, especially if you’re updating your pages regularly and connecting with your fans. With the various social networking sites out there, it can be overwhelming to find a plan and stick to it across all platforms. Here are five tips for creating and maintaining a comprehensive social media strategy.
1. Be consistent
If your website is covered in candy and pink bubble letters, but your Twitter is dark blue and dreary, this can be pretty confusing to your audience. Keep your presence consistent across all forms of social media. From colors to fonts, having a consistent look helps assert who you are as a group and makes your presence recognizable everywhere online.
2. Don't rely solely on Facebook
While Facebook is one of the leading social networking sites and should certainly be part of your social media strategy, its restrictive new timeline means your content is only reaching a small percentage of your fans, even if you're paying to promote your page. To promote your music to a larger audience, make sure you’re (actively) using other sites such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and SoundCloud.
3. Switch up your content
Rather than text-heavy posts, alternating between shorter text posts, pictures, and videos often creates a higher engagement rate. Posts should relate to your music and band, but asking fans questions is always a good way to increase engagement.
Certain content is going to be more suitable for certain platforms. For example, Twitter only allows 140 characters, so a long text post would be best for Facebook or your website. Pictures are well-received over all forms of social media, so sharing something on Instagram would work equally as well on Twitter, Facebook, or your website.
4. Post frequently
To keep an updated online presence, you can configure most sites to post the same content (i.e. a photo from Instagram also posts on Facebook and Twitter). This is an easy way to maintain an active profile while not individually updating each page if you’re pressed for time. However, be careful about this one – if all you have on every social media page is the same exact auto-posted content, you're not giving fans a reason to follow you in more than one place. So for instance, it's totally cool to share your new Instagram photo on Facebook and Twitter, but make sure that you adapt the caption to best fit the site you're posting it on.
Fast Company posted an in-depth article about the frequency of posts and ideal posting times, which is quite interesting and worth the read. While it’s geared more towards companies, thinking of your band as a brand is a smart strategy, and will set you apart from others.
5. Drive traffic back to your website
Social networking can provide huge benefits for your music career, but keep in mind that you ultimately don't have a say in who you reach or how you reach them, and you have no control over your fan data (case in point: what ever happened to all of those Myspace fans you used to have?). This is where having a professional website comes in. Think of social media as a way to drive people to your website, where you actually own the data you capture. Keep it updated with your music, upcoming shows, contact info, mailing list, and links to social media. Even if you don't currently have a website, you’ll likely need to set one up at some point, so secure a domain name while it’s still available.
What social media strategies work best for your band? Let us know in the comments below!
Kathleen Parrish is a singer and songwriter from Seattle, WA. While she specializes in lyrics, she enjoys writing short stories, poetry, and journalism. For more information, please visit www.kathleenparrish.com.