By Dexter "Tefman" Patterson
When I first jumped onto social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, the only thing I was worried about were the numbers. I would add people to my social networks regularly, but I had no idea if they even had a genuine interest in my brand. I just wanted to build my online resume, and I thought that authority came merely from having lots of friends and followers. Boy, was I wrong!
Over time, I started to realize that I rarely engaged with any of these new people I was adding to my friend's list. I also noticed that my own user experience took a sudden turn for the worse. Their tweets were annoying and don't get me started with the daily soap opera that began to take place on Facebook. I was so worried about building up the numbers that I forgot to be what I would call, a “choosy social media marketer.” As a result, I was diluting the quality of my audience, and as a result, I wasn't getting much accomplished online. It was time to revisit my strategy.
8 Ways to be a Better Social Media Marketer
- I don't recommend musicians pay for fake fans or followers. No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to escape the work it takes to be successful in the music industry. It may stroke your ego and look cool to uninformed people on the outside, but ultimately, they aren't buying your records, attending your shows or purchasing your merchandise. Those fake fans will never be of any real value to your brand.
- Make sure that the people you let into your network make you or your brand better. You could effortlessly add 1,000 random people on your various social media accounts, but you will have much more success if you strategically target just a 100. You don't have to sacrifice the quality of your fanbase for quantity.
- Let your unique perspective on life shine brightly on your social networks. Remember authenticity will always attract more quality fans to your music. It's the quality fans that matter because they are the ones you can turn into Super Fans and brand advocates.
- Never be too good to learn from others. Pay attention to how other successful musicians are using social media to market their music. Pay attention to how they interact with their fans. What's working for them? What would you change? How could you do things better? Apply your own creativity to existing methods of success.
- Pay attention to the people that are already showing your music some love and empower them. These are the people you want to be adding to your email list or street team. Follow up with them once and awhile with an exclusive offer. Take advantage of their support but also show them that you appreciate it. Never be too big to say thank you.
- Keep your fans in the loop. If you're working on a new project take your fans behind the scenes of your creative process. Document your progress and invite your fans to take the journey with you. In the end, we are all human beings behind these computer screens and smartphones so never be afraid to make a human connection. Making personal connections with your fans is a great way to increase the quality and quantity of people that support your music.
- Spend time observing and lurking in the spaces your fans occupy online. Pay attention to the discussions that are taking place and seek logical opportunities to enter the conversation.
- Remember social media is alive so you must always remain active, and that doesn't mean telling people what you ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. All successful brands post to their social networks with a purpose. Start telling your story online. It's your story that matters. It's your story that sells.
By Dexter "Tefman" Patterson
Recently I posted a question on my Facebook page that captured my attention. I asked my friends; “When you hear the word “Rapper” what’s the first thing you think about?” The post sparked quite the debate, and the comments ranged from; “Tupac,” “Eazy E,” “Biggie,” “Chief Keef Bang Bang LOL,” “Artist,” “cellophane” and my favorite “here we go with this shit again.” However, not a single person mentioned the word business throughout the entire thread.
I mean why aren’t more rappers and musicians viewed as good business people? Why can’t the majority of independent musicians survive off their talents? The simple answer is most artists haven’t learned the business side of the music industry.
At Warm Glow Studios, we are determined to help the average artist become more efficient with the marketing of their music. We want to help turn more musicians into savvy business owners. Can we keep it real for a minute? If you truly love your music, then you should treat your music with as much respect as possible. Learn how to survive as a businessperson first, and you will be able to turn your passion for music into a viable and potentially lucrative career.
Tef's Tips for Marketing Success
- Make things as easy as possible for your supporters. Do not tell them to check out your new song, and you haven’t even attached a proper link. No one should have to work harder just to help you.
- Remember always to try to collect as many emails as possible from your fans. Be creative, offer exclusive downloads and new band merchandise. Hold weekly contests via email to encourage active participation. An email service provider like MailChimp is an excellent tool for artists attempting to create a professional email exchange with their fans. The MONEY is in the LIST!
- Stop trying to sell something to people all the time. First, you have to try to build their trust. Engage with your audience as much as possible. Engagement will create a connection, and then you will have more than enough opportunities to sell them something in the future.
- Don’t expect overnight success with your online marketing efforts. The most important thing for you to do is to remain patient, consistent and make the best music possible. Don't fall into the trap of instant gratification.
- It takes time to build a genuine relationship with fans online. So when you engage with your fans remember to keep it real with them at all times. There are way too many fake and robotic marketers in the music industry. They do everything with auto-responder robots and think they are doing something innovative. I'll admit automation can help save you some time, but eventually, you will start to lose touch with your audience.
- I know a lot of marketing experts use the word target audience; however, most musicians have no idea what this phrase means. They just add as many people they can on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram without any rhyme or reason. The worst thing you can do is market your music without a strategy or waste your time and resources on people who could care less about you or your music.
- It is essential that you work with industry professionals on all your marketing materials. Everything should be top quality including your EPK, One Sheet, photographs, graphics, and videos. If you can’t do these things in-house, then outsource the work to a designer within your budget. Sites like Fiverr, Canva, and Pixabay provide industry quality services for minimal fees. I have said this before, but I want to remind you again, how your brand looks online will impact your reputation in the real world.
- When you start marketing your project, don’t ever stop thinking about your audience. It’s easy for musicians to get so caught up in what we want that we forget who matters the most, the FANS. Remember crowdsourced ideas are useful ideas. Listen to the masses.
- Always keep your promises. If you offer something to a fan, you must deliver. That is a breach of trust and an easy way to lose supporters.
- Always remind your supporters that you appreciate them. Take your fans behind the scenes more often and strengthen the connection they have with you as an artist by sharing your story. Show your fans the real you.