Why Social Media Is Important For The Everyday Musician And What To Do With It

images-1Social media has become the most popular form of communication all over the world. Me, being a savvy 17 year old, I have been around it from my early teenage years and have used it to keep in touch with friends and family that I rarely see. It really is a great invention.

However, social sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are becoming ever more popular to use as a business tool, especially in the Music Industry. Gone are the days where bands would send their demos off to a label in an envelope, now they can just email the mp3’s over after having a brief conversation over Twitter.

With all that in mind, this article is going to take you through several ways in which you as a musician can utilise social networks to further your career.

1. Sign up NOW!

This one does kind of go without saying. If you’re a musician/producer/manager ANYTHING that is related to the music industry and you are NOT on social media, you’ve already lost out on an astonishing amount of gigs and clients!

The majority of my work over the past year has been given to me through social media. I’ve been on Twitter and Facebook for a long time but it’s only been recently that I’ve started to use it properly for networking and trust me, it’s the best move I’ve made so far! Obviously, nothing beats a good old fashioned face to face meeting, but social media has become so important in todays society, that some businesses literally cant’ survive without it!

If you’re of the (I’ll be careful how I word this)slightly more mature generation and haven’t had much experience with the internet, I’m sure there’s going to be a younger friend or family member that will happily show you the basics.

2. Make sure you’re on as many social media sites as possible!!

So, you’re on Facebook and.. nothing else? Just Facebook? Wrong move my friend. There are a hell of a lot more sites to utilise than Facebook! The best one’s, other than Facebook, in my opinion are: Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Soundcloud.

Those four along with Facebook are KEY to making connections all over the world! The beauty of Social Networking is the fact that it’s FREE and to have a conversation with someone about your music, you don’t even have to leave your house! That’s a killer combination right there!

ILL WRITE INDIVIDUAL ARTICLES ABOUT HOW TO UTILISE ALL FIVE SOCIAL SITES IN DETAIL.

3. Make sure your profile on all of these sites is complete to the maximum level!

This is another extremely important thing to ensure. You MUST MUST MUST have every social media profile of yours completely detailed to the best of levels, if not, you may as well not bother being on there in the first place.

A complete social profile includes:

Your full name (Obviously) e.g. Gary Cunningham

A PROFESSIONAL profile picture

An example of a professional profile picture would be a good quality picture of you at a gig or in the studio. No pictures of you in your swimwear at the beach!

A fully detailed Bio

Make sure that you include what you do, where you’re based, a website link and instructions on how to contact you or your management for bookings. HOWEVER, keep it short and to the point, save the story of how you got started for your website!

My Twitter bio for example, looks like this:

Musician | Composer | 45’s + N.N.J member | S.E.C Student | Boombox family

As you can see: you immediately know that I’m a musician and composer, you can see two acts that I’m associated with, you can see that I’m a student (this is important for people in my age bracket) and you can also see I am part of an influential musical circle with the “Boombox family” section.

Along with what you can see, on my twitter profile, there is also a location and a website address for people to go to for more information. I’ve kept it sweet and to the point, any potential client will know straight away who I am, where I’m based and what I do.

All of my social media accounts are either a carbon copy of the above example, or something very similar. My Linkedin bio is a lot more detailed but the reasons behind that are for another post.

4. Keep all social media posts relevant

Relevance is one of the unwritten yet UNBREAKABLE rules when it comes to using social media for work. If you want to post statuses about your noisy neighbour, or post “Shower selfies” (yes, these are a thing, don’t ask) just make separate social accounts for personal endeavours and keep those things on those accounts.

I’m not saying you can’t post pictures of you having a good time, you don’t want to come across as boring, but there is a fine line between that and complete nonsense posts. One thing you have to remember is that in this day and age, you are not just an artist, you are a BRAND.

I recently had a massive Instagram clear-out and overhaul to keep things professional and relevant. I deleted pictures of food, cringy quotes and bad quality pictures, and this was going WAY back into my account, to the very start in fact. This is because you never know how far a potential client is going to go when they find your accounts. I feel much better about my Instagram now, knowing that anyone can go on there and not see anything inappropriate.

5. PROMOTE, SHARE, PUBLICISE!!

You’ve followed all of the steps in this post, you’ve got a stunning profile picture that even Vogue would pay to use, you’ve completed your bio to the fullest but kept it to the point and you’ve made sure your tweets, posts and pictures are relevant to you and your work.

Now what? I hear you ask. Share your pages to the world! Embed them onto your website(s), put them onto your business cards, put links to them in your email signature. Do whatever you can think of to get your social media followers growing! There’s no point in doing all of this great work if nobody is aware of it!

The more people that know about your pages, the more followers you are going to get and the more chance you have of getting work!

And last but not least:

6. Keep your followers up to date!

Make sure you’re posting, tweeting, instagramming as much as you possibly can! If people follow you on social media, they’re interested in you and what you do, so show them! Be friendly too! interact with the people! You’re a human NOT robot!

The more you post, the more attention you’ll get from industry specialists. As long as you keep it, yep! RELEVANT.

That’s all for today folks, I’ll be posting individual articles about how to utilise all of the social media sites respectively over the coming weeks, each one is slightly different you see!

Here are my social media accounts if you’d like to follow them too!

Twitter: @Garyrcunningham

Facebook : www.facebook.com/garycunninghammusic

Instagram : @garyrcunningham

Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/garyrcunningham

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