Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Power Up Your Band's Social Media Presence and Do Real World Promotion Part 1

Being an artist nowadays really is better than it ever.  With an unlimited amount of social networking resources bands can create an online presence fairly quickly.  Within about .05% of the time it took you to create your brand new record you can communicate and deliver your new material to your fans in a manner that seems "instant"

What Band's must not forget is the fickle nature of communication delivery on social networks.  In a big way, it is very easy to be "too late" in using these tools to connect with current and prospective fans.

In short, half of what makes a record contract so valuable is your access to professional promotional minds.  Timely and effective communications about a big show or new album can be critical in the success of creating a buzz about your band.  Record labels and management deals can make this happen.  Whether it is always a success is up in the air, but it is almost always planned and attempted no matter how big or small the artist and or label.  You, the small unsigned artist should be doing the same on your own.  Without a plan to effectively promote yourself, your events and releases it can be very difficult to conjure up support or buzz.  Realize that this doesn't just "happen."  YOU have to create it. 

Since you are "small" in essence, you do not have the luxury of doing an interview with Billboard, a spot on the Jay Leno show and a tour of the country.  So you need to rely on digital and social media tools to market yourself, your record, your show and whatever else.  Here is where it gets sticky.  Most bands make themselves aware of these tools and use them which is great, after all, their livelihood in many ways depends on the support of their fans with whom they must communicate with.  Whether you are aware of the tools and whether you are using them effectively are two different things.

To start, let's be sure your band's social media presence is up to date and following a short list of Do's and Don'ts for social media activity.  We will start with Twitter since this seems to be the most elusive and misused by artists.


  • Do use and promote a Twitter account
  • Do use your tweets as a business connection vehicle with record labels, other artists, radio stations, etc. 
  • Do tweet multiple times daily. 2-10 is both an acceptable amount. Remember Twitter feeds are constantly rolling. If you are 1 of 2,000 people that an individual is following they may never see your tweets as they might get lost in the shuffle.
  • Do tweet relevant and useful information
  • Do re-tweet other bands or business connections to show you are paying attention to them.
  • Do use Twitpic and other third party sites to offer dynamics in your tweets. Twitter is going through recent changes which will make it even easier to see pictures and video exchanged through Twitter.
  • Do utilize Hootsuite or another third party application to quickly and effectively mange your Twitter account and other social media sites.


  • Don't expect your fans to be avid users of Twitter. (Although many are aware of Twitter, they are however unlikely to use it often and or are unsure of how to use even it's most basic features)
  • Don't be promotional over Twitter. As a guesstimate percentage, you should use Twitter promotionally only about 5% of the time.
  • Don't use automatic feed sites like ArtistData to update your twitter status about shows or any other band activity. This almost always indicates laziness among many other negative perceived notions.
  • Don't follow people "just to follow them." If you are in Twitter for the numbers the URL you were actually looking for was You will be welcomed with open arms there. Tell em' 2005 sent ya.


  • Have all of your shows posted/updated and clearly visible by a tab on your page
  • Do have a music player available and visible on your FB page, no music on a musician page suggests something to hide or reliance on your beautiful face in a photograph.  Doesn't cut it.
  • Do be sure to have the "My band name + Others" tab selected as default so your fans don't only see communications from you but also that of your fans.  Content only from you suggests non engagement.
  • Do have current content, including but not limited to an event, photos, status etc.  Non-current content suggests a non-cutting edge band.
  • Use Static FBML to create custom tabs to add a differentiating factor to your page.
  • Do follow up after shows (especially those you have made event invites for) with a thank you to fans or related show content including photos and videos. 
  • Do be personal in your posts periodically.  A band without personality is one dimensional and will lose fan interest quickly. 
  • Do respond to those who specifically address you on your page.

  • Don't make an event for every one of your shows (unless your fan base is vast.)  This is a sure fire way to lose fans.  Be selective, and organize your fans into geographic groupings so that someone 500 miles away doesn't get your invites.  They might love you, but they might love not getting hassled more.
  • Don't have repeated content on your page (statuses)
  • Don't write or add negative content.
  • Don't use FB solely as a promotional vehicle.

Although there are many other social media avenues, these two are used most often.  In using these do's and dont's I will discuss in further detail how to construct a proper promotional social media campaign and timeline using these and more avenues for a show or record release in "Part 2"