If you're an artist or band who's even somewhat serious about your career, then you likely have a brand/image that you're working to cultivate. In this piece we look at how to effectively extend that brand into your social media presence.
Guest post from Sunny Stuart Winter
Follow Sunny on Twitter @sunnysjwinter. Originally posted on The Unsigned Guide: http://members.theunsignedguide.com/blog/775
If you’re taking your music-making seriously, then chances are, you have an idea of the type of band or artist you want to be, both in sound and vision. That, is your brand, whether you like that word or not.
Social media expresses identity as an extension of an artist’s brand. That means the communication of the music you play, the kind of people you are, the humour you have and what you stand for.
With thousands of bands and artists all vying for the attention of a potential audience, it would be easy to feel apathetic, but the abundance of choice for social media users also means there is now an audience for everyone (including your band) and it’s now easier than ever to find them. Aren’t you lucky!
Why social media is important
As well as being an award-nominated music industry writer, I have also undertaken bachelor’s research into social media influence. If you have time, you can read it here.
I spend a great deal of my time advising musicians about their brand; their current position and their future goals. It always amazes me how creatively indifferent artists are when it comes to social media, despite their obvious penchant for expressing creativity through music.
Why wouldn’t you love the idea of creating short videos, pieces of art, interpretations of songs, sharing lyrics or discussing the very industry you’re trying to succeed in? And equally, why should an audience care about you or your music, if you fail to express the personalities of the people behind it?
In 2018, it is not enough to just write good music because the way the Industry has evolved with music streaming and social media going hand-in-hand, means fans demand a deeper connection to the artist. They need regularly reminding of your existence and for a fan base to grow, potential fans will look to similar others (existing fans) for approval. No engagement on social media means no growth.
The moment you look at social media less like a chore and instead, another opportunity to be creative, is the moment you can start enjoying it and its potential. The more social media users engage with you, the more dedicated they will be to your brand and your music. So create, communicate and engage!
We are emotional animals, so for anyone to connect with you, you must first give them something to emotionally connect to. Sure, you want them to come to that gig you’re playing in a few weeks but without emotion it’s just a hollow advert. Give them a reason to want to see you. Give them a reason to be curious about what it is you have to offer them and then back it up with personalised conversation and be real; be you.
We belong in communities. If you’re passionate about football for example, there is a football community ready to engage with you. If you’re a film fan, search social media for other users who are discussing that new movie you love. Don’t be afraid to humanise your bands brand – there are personalities behind the music after all.
What content to share (Click play below and don't forget to subscribe)
One of my favourite marketing lessons from my time at University sticks with me to this day. “When everyone zigs, you should zag”. Catchy, ain’t it? It’s so easy for bands and artists to look at what similar bands are doing and follow suit but therein lies the problem. How are you meant to stand out from other acts, when you copy from them?
Too many artists are doing exactly the same kind of content (in music videos, photoshoots, posts) and wondering why they aren’t seeing results so how about you start looking at similar bands, look at what they’re doing and if anything, do the complete opposite.
The online world is flooded with endless blink-and-you’ll-miss-it content. Attention spans are dwindling, meaning you now have less time than ever to make your impression on the bloodshot eyes of social media users. So what are you going to create outside of your music to connect with them?
Watch my video above for ideas of content to share and don’t be so precious about only sharing gigs, releases or band news, as it’s a surefire way for users to disconnect. And let’s face it, if they can’t see value in following you on social media, why would they take a gamble to listen to your music or see you live?
There is endless possibility and if you are as creative as your music dictates, then you’ll have no problem coming up with new ways to grow your audience. Don’t be afraid to push the boat out. The best art is daring, it goes against the grain.
I love discussing content and I’m always keen to help the independent music community so connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Let’s start a conversation because things can only move forward when we talk to one another. Don’t be a stranger.
About The Unsigned Guide
The Unsigned Guide is a UK music industry directory aimed at emerging, independent & DIY bands, artists & musicians who are keen to progress their music careers. Search contacts covering 50 areas of the music business; from record labels, radio stations, booking agents, festivals to gig venues & promoters, new music blogs, studios, producers & more.