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Ever feel like you're being asked to do too much? As a musician or artist, you may hate social media for taking up time that could be spent creating. It may seem like a necessary evil, but social media doesn't have to take up a huge portion of your free time in order to be effective. The idea is to work smarter, not harder. In this article, I'll share with you 3 easy steps for effectively growing your online presence, without wasting your time. Let's get started!
Step 1: Choose Wisely
You don't need to run 5 social media platforms to have an effective online presence. In fact, you can stick to just one or two. Focusing your energy on Facebook is a great place to start; whichever platform you choose, the key is to make sure it's used really well. If you're sticking with Facebook, check out my 3 Facebook Tips for Bands article, which will help you think about how to effectively craft a post that creates engagement.
Another important tip for Facebook is to make sure you are inviting your friends to like your Page. Don't be shy--spread awareness for your creative project! Your target audience more than likely overlaps with your friend group, and it just may be that they aren't seeing what you post on your Page. Facebook's algorithms can be tricky to beat, so I always make sure to invite my friends to like my Facebook Page so that they know it exists. Facebook won't let you invite someone more than once, so you don't have to worry about spamming them; a gentle nudge in the direction of your Page might be all they need to click that Like button. The easiest way to invite your friends to like your page is to click on the "Invite Your Friends to Like This Page" link on the right-hand sidebar of your Facebook Page.
Step 2: Remember Your Purpose
It may sound like an existential piece of advice, but what I mean by "Remember Your Purpose" is to realize that your social media account has a point, and it's not just to post about what you're up to. Your social media posts should always lead your audience to your product. In other words, social media isn't just for sharing stories and information; it's for sharing stories and information that hopefully lead to sales of your music/art, or to devoted fans who will attend your shows or share your creative project with their friends.
Is your post worth a re-share? If not, there's no point in posting it. Your social media posts should always invoke participation either through liking, commenting, or sharing, and they should always promote your work. What does that mean? It's the difference between these two posts:
In the first example, I just updated a status that was neither informative nor interesting. Letting people know I am working on recording something is like telling them I own a business. Yes. We all know. WHY is this particular project one you'd want to hear about?
The second example is embedded from my Facebook Page, and it includes a photo and several tags. I called out the group I am working with, and I tagged the products I used. You know what happened? The post reached 328 people, and Behringer even responded with a thank you! And that's without me sharing it on my own personal profile -- this was just a natural response from the heypoletti! Page.
Step 3: Curate and Create
Your social media pages don't need to just be 100% Created-By-You content. That is a lot to ask of anyone! In order to maintain your presence online, you probably need to share some content created by other people. And there's a bonus to that! In Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick's book The Art of Social Media, content curation is summarized as:
..."finding other people's good stuff, summarizing it, and sharing it. Curation is a win-win-win: you need content to share; blogs and websites need more traffic; and people need filters to reduce the flow of information."
Basically, if you're a local band -- then find some other local bands to support! Music isn't a competition. Everyone needs to hold each other up. By sharing content from other musicians or artists in town, you're becoming a resource to your fans on how to support local creators in general, and because of that they will visit your page more often. And if you share articles or posts that are interesting to your target audience, such as "10 Easy Ways to Optimize Your Music Practice" from NPR, you also become a go-to resource for related topics. Sharing content on the regular will keep you in the front of your followers' minds, so the next time they're looking for new music, they think of you first!
By the way, no matter what your platform is, The Art of Social Media is a very helpful resource! It's a book full of tips for using social media to its highest capacity. The tips are easy to follow, and you don't have to jump in to the deep end right away to start improving your work. You don't even have to read the whole book for it to be useful.
Social media doesn't have to be time consuming, difficult, and impossible to track. With a little planning, and with keeping your engagement goals in mind, you can grow your online presence to a community of devoted fans!
What is the most difficult aspect of managing your creative project's social media account?