For today’s article, I just wanted to emphasize some of the points that I’ve made in my previous entries about the “do’s and don’ts” of promoting yourself as an artist through social media. The Twitter gang bang is one that I have mentioned in one of my previous blogs “A better way to promote yourself as an artist.” This guy’s blog is actually how I wanted to do mine but my marketing mentor recommended that I should keep mine free of vulgarity and have more of business type etiquette. If you already know me or get to know me, you’ll be surprised by the way I actually converse versus the way I write in text.
So let’s start with the breakdown:
The status/post hi-jacking is a common trait of most artists on Facebook. I never understood the logic about it either. Every time an artist did that to one of my posts, I always wondered what the strategy behind it was. For one, the artist gave me no reason to consider checking out their material nor was it relevant to my post. The only thing I got out of it was that the artist didn’t care about converting me into a fan and obviously didn’t care about what I had to say in my post. Their intention was just to spam me and hope that I click. I consider that terrible branding because I couldn’t see a guy like Hopsin or Dizzy Wright doing that; or any other underground or established artist for that matter. The only time I want people to post links in my status updates is when I’m requesting them to do so. It’s ok to do that type of spamming in Facebook promoting type groups, but when it comes to people’s profiles outside the group, don’t even think about it. You do not want to be labeled as the desperate artist who comes off as unprofessional. Remember that you are a brand and you want your brand to appear to have authority by giving people a good reason to check you out.
Instagram is a whole other ball park. The key to promoting there is much different from Twitter and Facebook. Think of Instagram as an instrument for people to know you personally through pictures and bits of info you post with text pictures. Don’t get me wrong, there are certain techniques to market yourself on Instagram but the mindset there should not be to acquire a sale. Because of its low information overture, you are limited in what you can present. You can always include a link in the caption but how will you get people to click it? Just like it mentions in the Music Clout blog, you will need to show fans your profession. Pictures of you in the studio, on stage during shows, backstage coverage, and anything behind the scenes are a good start. If you have that, then a few selfies and foodie pics won’t hurt. Remember that most of your followers here are your fans from other sites so you’ll have to offer them different types of information to keep versatility in your marketing.
Now let’s talk about Youtube. This is a place where most marketers utilize their sales pitching skills because people today are more into visual stimulation more than ever. Since internet speeds have become lightning fast and accessible on mobile devices, reading information is becoming a bit less prevalent. Now the key here is the call-to-action. A call to action is a marketing term in which you’ve brought someone to the designated site in an attempt to convert them for a sale. In your case as an artist, it can be anything from a like to your Facebook artist page or a link to your itunes. Basically, a call-to-action is what you tell your fan what to do whether it’s a purchase or anything else. That means that you must include somewhere in the video a part to where you direct them to your link. You’ve spent all kinds of effort getting them to watch you on Youtube, now you should get something out of it besides one view. If you direct them to your website or like page, be sure that you have some sort of application to where they can opt in their email and join your mailing list.
In my past blogs, I always emphasize not spamming people; especially on Twitter. Now that sounds kind of ironic because Twitter is basically a spamming site. Well put it this way, there is good spam and bad spam. Having your post planner Tweet your link every 30-45 minutes would be good spam as it doesn’t really bother anyone. Going through your following list and copy/pasting “Check out my song on so and so” or when producers hit you with “check out my hip hop instrumentals for $1.99 each” is bad spam. I can’t begin to tell you how irritated I get whenever unsolicited artists spam me with their music. For one, I don’t’ know them and they did not give me any reason to check them out. In fact, I feel disrespected in a way because they assume I will check out their music and not expect something in return. Sometimes I even reply sarcastically or tell them to not to spam me with their music. They usually reply me with a “Fuck you then” as if I’m the one who’s in the wrong. There is really no point in spamming random people on Twitter. That is what online marketers as well as the Music Clout blog calls a “Twitter gang bang.”
The last part is about your email game. Never put too many links in your emails. It’s confusing and all of them don’t get clicked. It’s a total waste of effort. The most links you should include are two. One should be your website or music link, and the other should be a social media link. It’s important to have a social media link because if your fan is on a laptop or desktop, they can easily add or follow you. One tip is to keep your emails relatively short and clean looking. Signatures are always a good look and they make you appear very professional. So be sure to get those logos, which will be one of your best investments. The last thing about emails is not to abuse your list and never ever add someone without their consent. It’s different when it comes to producers because most artists are always accepting beats so they are already conditioned to know what to expect. For artists, the email game is a bit trickier. You will have to acquire emails by either asking for it from fans via opt-in or social interaction. You can even kill two birds with one stone by using Reverbnation to have artists opt in emails in order to download songs. Once fans have subscribed to your mailing list, be sure not to spam them with the same thing over and over. Instead, have something to offer like a blog or video entry. A free song works well and good content is king. Be sure to remain consistent on a once a week basis or else your fans will lose interest by your erratic schedules. It is only ok to send more than one email a week if you have some crucial content that cannot wait until the following week to be shared. The last thing to know about email marketing is to respect when a fan wants to be removed from the list. It’s hard not to take it personal but it’s just something you must have to understand as a branded artist. Becoming angry will only make you look weak and not seasoned. Don’t worry, as a producer I’ve been asked a few times to remove certain people from my list. I try not to take it personal but of course it hurts my ego in one way or another.
I suppose my breakdown of Music clout’s blog was more of an expansion rather than an analysis. The point I wanted to make is that I wasn’t making up the things I’ve mentioned in my past articles. Other sites, bloggers, editors, and regular people feel the same way. Music clout is one of the biggest music and film placement sites in the world so don’t just take my word for it. You can check out their blog about the deadly sins artist commit here on their site and compare notes. Believe me, it’s also a good read.