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BUB Social: Top Seven Reasons Why Artists should use Social Media

by Christina Sheer W.

As an independent artist advocate I am always searching for resources and tips to share with artists thriving in today’s music landscape! The primary question I get asked by indie artists during our consultation meetings is “How can I use Social Media to benefit my career?” Before answering their question I always make time to clarify the definition of social media. Social media is web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue. In short, having a consistent and relevant conversation with your fans. The most popular social networks to date include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Linked In and MySpace to name a few.

When considering creating a social media strategy for your career I highly encourage you to consider the ROI (Return On Influence). How are you expecting your fans to respond to your social media strategy and more importantly what are you influencing them to do? i.e. Buy your music, visit your website, attend a show.

Here are the Top 7 Reasons Why Artists Should Use Social Media to Reach Their Goals.

1. Inexpensive Resource.
Independent artists are constantly challenged with growing their careers despite a restricted budget. The days of million dollar marketing budgets are long gone and artists have been left with the responsibility of spearheading their own marketing campaigns. The most cost-effective way to market your upcoming CD, show or new merchandise is through social media sites.

2. Industry Access.
Ever wanted to send your music to a radio program direction, newspaper editor or famous producer? Well, thanks to social media a majority of celebrities, entertainment industry professionals and media writers are now accessible to you at the click of the button! For example, let’s say you wanted to send your new single to Billboard Magazine for review - in the past you would have had to send a physical copy to their office and pray that someone would take the time to listen to your music. These days, you can send a direct message to a Billboard Magazine Writer featuring a direct link of music. Here is a List of 140 Music Business Tastemakers you can reach out to instantly through Twitter.

3. Traffic Driver.
Let’s say you already have fans on your Facebook Fan Page and on your Twitter account. What are you doing to further engage with your fans? By using social media you can drive traffic to your website or any other relevant content that appeals to your fans. Ultimately, the goal is to use social media as a tool to create awareness about your music career and get them to visit your website and support your career.

4. Niche Marketing.
Whether you’re a Irish punk rock band or an aspiring singer / songwriter through the use of social media you have the ability to target a specific market of people. For example, if you are an Irish punk rock band you have the ability to promote your music to fans that have already “liked” Irish music on various Facebook Fan Pages and groups. With this approach to marketing you can focus on targeting potential fans and building relationships instead of what I like to call the “throw the peanut butter and jelly sandwich against the wall” approach to artist promotions and marketing. In the past major labels would spend millions of dollars mass marketing to everyone to see “what would stick.” These days, the more you know about your fans the more targeting your marketing and promotion efforts will be in turn creating better results.

5.Fanbase Development.
Who wants more fans? I bet you do! Well, by using social media sites you can do exactly that. One out of every six minutes is spent engaging on social networks daily so be sure to get in on the action by sharing your thoughts, music and personal revelations on your social media site now. Oh, and remember … once you’ve made a new fan be sure to get their contact information to stay in touch with them. I strongly suggest you use a e-mail database system such as Constant Contact or Emma. Both sites offer 60 day free trials so no excuses!

6 Networking.
Social networks are a vital tool for networking as an independent artist! Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linked in provide you with opportunities to develop meaningful business relationships. These social networks open up the lines of communication with your audience, industry professionals, or even help you find a replacement drummer for your show this weekend. BUB ARTIST TIP: Be sure to include your social networking links on your website as well as on your promotional materials.

7. Measurable.
One of top reasons why you should be using social media is because of the ability to track statistics and measure the progress you are making in your career. The best part is that most social media sites provide statistic tools FREE OF CHARGE. My favorite analytics tool is Insights on Facebook Fan Pages. Read more here.

The key to using social network to benefit your artist career is to be sure to post relevant and engaging content on a consistent basis. I strongly encourage you to create an editorial calendar and use a Social Media Manager such as Hoot Suite to organize and schedule the content you plan to post on a monthly basis. Always remember with the power to influence your fans comes great responsibility!
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