I’ve posted this before but now seems a good time to bring it up again. Social media marketing is the lifeblood of artists and bands everywhere since, except for live performances, that’s where your audience is. The problem is that it’s easy to fall for a number of misconceptions about what it can do for you, but that soon becomes very apparent after you’ve spent some time actually doing the work involved. If that’s where you’re at, you know that it can be a big job, and you may feel a bit overwhelmed as a result. Here are 7 social media marketing secrets that you probably won’t see anywhere else that hopefully will put your mind at ease when those doubts creep in.
1. Social media has a cost. It’s easy to think that it’s free, and there are thousands of articles online that will tell you that, but the fact is that you’re paying for it with your time. In order to do this well, you need a strategy to carry it out, and that doesn’t just fall out of the trees – it takes some real effort to create. Plus, if you really want to supercharge your marketing, you’ll find that actually paying to promote it gets much better results, which requires yet another level of strategy and effort.
2. There’s more than one way to do it. If you want some help with your social media marketing, there’s plenty of it online, both for free and paid. That said, be aware that there’s no single one way that works for everyone. In fact, you’ll find that what actually works for you is a blend of different strategies that have worked elsewhere in the past. This is especially true when it comes to the music business, which usually isn’t addressed by the many online marketing gurus out there (this is one of them).
3. Your success depends upon the number of followers you have. When it comes to social marketing, volume is everything. It’s pretty difficult to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign, for instance, unless you already have a pretty decent following to market to. Same goes for Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, email lists and just about any other platform of your choosing. Success comes from having followers, and building that list takes time.
4. Social platforms aren’t as effective as your personal platforms. One of the problems with relying on a social platform is that you’re restricted by the terms and conditions of that platform, as well as its layout, format and features. These are things that you can’t change, but can be changed at any time by the platform. Plus, social followings can be deceiving. Facebook, for example, doesn’t even allow you to reach more than 3% of your followers unless you pay for it! The online presence that you can control is your website, which is still the best contact point for people to discover the real meat and potatoes about you and your music. Next is your email list and newsletter, which is still #1 when it comes to fan communication, even though the concept feels dated to many.
5. The social world is constantly changing. Don’t get too comfortable with anything that you’re doing because guaranteed it’s going to change by next year. What’s working great on one platform today is going to be outdated really soon as both the platform and its audience evolves. Maybe your audience loved Facebook 6 months ago, but today it’s on to Instagram, and in 18 months from now, who knows? You have to constantly stay up on the latest as much as you can and adapt your marketing as needed to keep up.
6. You can’t be everywhere. It would be nice to be on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and any of the other top 50 social platforms, but the fact of the matter is that you need time to do what you do best, which is make music. It’s too easy to get burned out with the full time job that can be social marketing. And the fact that you have to constantly adapt to the various platform changes means that when it comes down to it, you’re better off to select a few where most of your fans hang out, and concentrate on those. Then at least you’ll have a fighting chance of keeping up without burning out in the process.
7. You won’t always get it right. You’ll get really good at one or two platforms, and just float along on any others that use for marketing. Don’t kick yourself – release the regrets, that’s just the way it is. Unless you can employ a team with specialists for each platform, you’re going to lag behind on some of them. Don’t beat yourself up – it’s happens to everyone.
While this post is more about the big picture outlook of social media marketing more than the nuts and bolts, it’s designed to put your mind at ease when you discover that you’re falling behind. Just take a step back and take a deep breath. If you’re doing at least some social marketing every day, you’re doing fine. If you don’t feel at least a little overwhelmed, then it’s time to worry.
You can read more from The Social Media Promotion For Musicians handbook and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.