With roughly one billion monthly active users, Instagram belongs to the most popular social networks worldwide. The United States alone, has 180 million users online you can connect with right now. Anyone can connect with a few hundred people, forge great relationships, and then market music to those fans who want it and like it. Simple.
What is NOT simple is getting your judgments about yourself and other artists out of the way and just diving in.
So here we are to debunk a few of your (ahem) resistances, and the aforementioned one is #1 on the list.
Top Seven Reasons Why Artists Strongly Resist Social Media
Reason #1: I don’t want to be pushy or over-hype, like all those other artists that I hate (or: “I hate the way he markets and I don’t want to market like him!”).
OK – so talking about yourself is hard. But having people love your music is wonderful. So, our advice is: when you use Social Media, take the spotlight off of YOURSELF and shine it on OTHERS (the people in your community/ fans/friends).
Share things that feel mundane. Don’t even think of marketing yourself or your music for a few months until you get the hang of it; and then after you do, use it to gently lead people to your newsletter sign-up, your website, and to help yourself with Google rankings, to up your Spotify streams, etc.
Keep this in mind: 78% of people trust peer recommendations for products and services that they BUY. Only 14% trust TV/radio/print advertising. You need to be one of the artists that peers are recommending.
Reason #2: Promoting my music on Social Media won’t put any money in my pocket.
Here is what is true: Social media most probably won’t directly put money in your pocket in the short term. But when used with traditional marketing and as part of a plan, it can be integral in reinforcing relationships between you and your fans, which will down the line lead them to a point of purchase (whether it’s a song, a merch item, anything).
Once in a Top Spin training class, Ariel learned that being Googlicious (your Google rankings) and your email newsletter list are two vital components to putting money in your pocket, and without social media you will never grow either.
Reason #3: Social Media and Marketing takes too much time.
OK, we never said that this was fair, easy, or quick. Being successful does and will take hard work, and it always has. These are personal questions: What is your definition of success? How much time are you willing to commit to learning new skills and mastering new tools?
If the answer is “none – I just want to play,” then that is OK.
Derek Sivers wrote a moving piece about this and the comments are very telling (maybe making music for profit isn’t for you).
“Stop expecting it to be valuable to others. Accept it as personal and precious to only you. Get your money elsewhere.”
Wanna Keep Going? Good!
Ariel once attended a seminar called the “World’s Greatest Marketing Seminar,” which was designed to help entrepreneurs market their companies. One of the most successful ones stood up on stage and delivered some horrible news:
To be successful, 70% of your time should be spent on your marketing and sales and 30% working on your business…
There was a collective gasp in the audience.
(Yes this means that, as artists, you still must balance the creation of music BUT you better spend a lot more time on the marketing side)
Reason #4: “Social” Media isn’t “real” media.
It’s nearly 2022. It’s clear that this myth has debunked itself… Bloggers, podcasters, playlisters and people with large followings on Social Media sites are considered influencers. Possibly the biggest influencers in the game at this point. Brands, companies and and record labels alike turn to the largest followed online creators for advice and direction because they have a massive understanding of media and what consumers want to listen/read.
Take a good long look at traditional media these days: approx once every minute, TV news broadcasts tell you to go to their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages, or even ask you to follow them on SnapChat. Many of them have a permanent graphic on the screen with Facebook and Twitter feeds. The “real” media is constantly telling viewers to go to social media and contribute. And note: There are over 200 Million blogs online. One or two of them may just want to write about you. “Real media” is exactly what we make it.
Reason #5: I’m Too “old” to understand social media
Think Again: The average age of a Twitter user is 39. The fastest growing demo on Facebook is 55 to 65-year-old women. In fact, they have become some of the most active Facebook users. Why? Because grandma is signing up to look at photos of little Johnny and then realizing that all of her friends and family are actively engaged and… that’s FUN! No matter the age of your fanbase, their is a social platform that will best service your community and their preferential way tc communicate.
Reason #6: Status Updates on Facebook and constant posts on Instagram are stupid. Why does everyone always need to know what I’m doing?
Many artists only feel that social networking sites are made for promotional use.
And when we all came to the party with the first ever social network – MySpace – that was indeed the case. In fact, the GOAL was: Hype, hype, hype. Promote. And add, add, add as many friends as possible. Rack up the plays by any means necessary. Or you wouldn’t get that club to pay attention to you or that record label to sign you!
There were no personal thoughts or “status updates” in the mix whatsoever.
Therefore, a lot of artists become deathly afraid of Facebook, Instagram, or even SnapChat because they don’t feel that people want to know their random or personal thoughts.
Since services like SnapChat and Instagram Stories are more community-building tools than promotional, it confuses them on what they are supposed to be doing or saying on it.
But let’s face it, a performing artist is a PUBLIC FIGURE! This means that whether you like it or not fans are going to want to know about you and even feel like they know you in a more personal way.
Get everyone in your group involved! Maybe one person flourishes on Instagram but doesn’t understand Facebook. Then let them put 100% of their energy into that social networking site alone. You will see when someone is actually doing something, they understand you will get the best return on your investment from your work on that platform.
Reason #7: I’m not an overly open person / I don’t want my fans to see my personal life.
If you really are not a social person, Social Media is ideal for you because you’re at a computer screen, not in front of a live human!
With social media you have the ability to control your narrative; only showing what you want to show, as not EVERYTHING is personal – this means you have created a solid brand. Movies you like, books you read… how about talking about other artists you love and respect? There’s a few to start with.
You can decide when and how to respond to someone, have time to think about what to say, who to say it to, without the pressure of someone sitting in front of you expecting a response at the moment.
Want to learn more about Music Marketing? Check out Ariel’s latest book release Ultimate Guide to Music Publicity!