In the latest of our guest posts Ronan Hunt Murphy (Music Blogger Extradinaire) shares some of his handy tips on what bands and musicians can do online and through social media in particular to improve their presence. This is a follow up post to one that we published last week with examples of bands using social media well.
1. Sign up for everything
You may think your MySpace account is enough, or you have enough going on updating that and your facebook, but not everyone is a member of those particular sites. Some people still use Bebo regularly, and others are on twitter only. You obviously want your music to reach as many people as possible, so sign up to everything you can. But remember...
2. Update, update, update
If you have signed up to something, remember to update it now and then. Nothing is worse than looking at a band's MySpace that hasn't been accessed since February 2007. Even a small update now and then will do. Copy and paste it from somewhere else, if you're feeling really lazy. Tour dates are always a popular one.
3. If you can, blog about it
MySpace has a simple blog option, where you can update your many fans on your goings on. It's easy to use, and you can insert pictures, videos, and all sorts of stuff. Even better though, would be to have your own blog Ã¢â‚¬" maybe on your official website. Stories from the road or from the studio are always interesting. You don't have to say what you had for breakfast, but saying that a particular song is sounding great in the studio and will appear on the next album, is always a lovely teaser for the fans.
4. Use twitterfeed
Setting up a twitter account for your band takes seconds. If you're already blogging about your exploits, then it's a must-have. Sign up to twitterfeed, and you can have your twitter automatically updated every time you post something on your blog. Twitterfeed also posts an automatic update on your facebook too.
Social media is called Ã¢â‚¬Å“socialÃ¢â‚¬ for a reason. It's a two way street. Your fans can now contact you much easier, but in turn, you can respond to them better too. Make sure you do. You don't have to respond to everyone (unless you're starting out Ã¢â‚¬" try to win everyone over early), but do respond to a few people a day. Some of them are actually interesting, and they may help you or give you advice.
6. Retweet/Share articles about you
As a music blogger, I always love it when a band passes on something I've written about them. Usually, the most retweets of mine are from PR companies or record labels, so it feels nice when the person responsible for the music has noticed. This works in another way too Ã¢â‚¬" it also shows off your band Ã¢â‚¬" you'd hardly be passing on a review if it was bad, would you?
7. Talk about other bands
Like #6, this is an important one. If you go to see another band live or listen to their album, you should talk about it. You're not the only artist your followers listen to. You might point them in the direction of someone else they'll enjoy, or better still, the act in question will see your post and reply in kind. Be sincere though. And tweeting about a new Coldplay album will never be noticed by Chris Martin either.
8. Discuss other things than music
You may feel like an ordinary person in an ordinary job, but
that's not how everyone will see you. Every once in a while, you have to remind your followers you're just like them Ã¢â‚¬" you eat Honey Nut Loops for breakfast too. Since you're updating twitter and facebook regularly now, why not talk about a good book you've read or film you've seen. It's always a good conversation starter. Who knows, you might even get a recommendation for something else you'll like.
9. Post your own music
I may have said to talk about other things, but the primary reason you have so many followers is because of your music Ã¢â‚¬" it's not because you post funny links to videos of pandas breaking wind. The two main things fans want to hear are (a) their favourite songs, and (b) something new. So if you've played something new on stage, make sure someone has recorded it, and put it up on youtube. If the fans then think it's awful, it may be a good idea to leave it off the record.
10. Be Yourself
This one is the most important. A lot of bigger acts have someone else update their twitter and facebook for them. Yes, that's actually a job for some people. But it's also your job as well as being an awesome guitarist. Most of the time, people know whether it's actually you updating your accounts. Be personal, be friendly, be kind, and most importantly, be yourself. Oh, and don't forget to update often too.
Who Are We?
Simply Zesty are a Social Media Agency located in Dublin, Ireland who offer a range of Social Media Marketing Services.