Posted by Ariel Hyatt – Tuesday, 9 November, 2010
It happens to me all of the time when I teach artists social media. The face goes blank, the frustration begins to settle in and then the artist says it:
“I just don’t have anything interesting to say.”
I’m shocked by this every time. You are an artist; you do things we mere mortals are totally enamored by: you PLAY MUSIC, you write songs, you perform them in public!
So PHLEEASE, do not tell me you have nothing interesting to say. I ain’t buying it.
All you are missing is a System for Social Media Success.
Luckily, unlike sheer god-given musical talent, social media is a learnable skill.
As I was teaching my system to a client in my kitchen a few weeks ago over coffee and bagels and it HIT me… and so I created:
THE MUSICIAN’S SOCIAL MEDIA FOOD PYRAMID!
Remember that chart they brought out when we were in 2nd grade to show us how to eat well-rounded meals? I have re-tooled it for you so you can now participate on Social Media healthily! And you won’t even have to think about it – just follow along…
You wouldn’t eat only bagels all of the time. They are a treat once in awhile, but they are not healthy to eat every day – and a diet of only bagels would be boring!
Most artists are only serving their audiences bagels all of the time. Plain bagels. Over an over again.
We want a burger, or a giant green healthy salad, we want some candy, give us protein!
But you keep serving bagels, bagels, bagels!
These are five things that when used in concert with one another can help you ratchet up your social media effectively and manage it easily.
GROUP 1. DIRECT ENGAGEMENT
Like: BREAD, CEREAL, RICE & PASTA
Servings (Recommended Frequency): 3 – 4 out of every 10 posts
Make sure you’re in a two-way conversation with people consistently
Facebook: See something interesting something on their Facebook pages? Don’t just “like”, write a true comment about it and get more involved.
Twitter: Send messages to people or mention you are with them by using the @ sign and their username (For Example: I’m @CyberPR). Retweet (RT) comments you like by others.
Blog Reading: Create a Google profile and join communities of blog readers. Leave comments on blogs you like.
Video: Bonus! Make custom video comments or greetings with a Flip Camera; post them as comments or contributions. Subscribe to other people’s channels, and comment on their videos.
Location: Create fun spots that relate to your band/ music and check in, interact with others when you are out and about.
GROUP 2: SHINE A LIGHT ON OTHERS
Like: FRUITS & VEGETABLES
Servings (Recommended Frequency): 3 out of every 10 posts
All the best social media users know this and use it well. This takes all of the attention off of you and puts it onto others, and people will appreciate your kindness because you are recognizing them in front of new potential fans and followers and therefore helping them get known.
Quote people you like by sharing their profiles and videos on Facebook and re-post on your blog. Link to articles and interesting things that catch your attention such as videos, photos etc.
#FF (Follow Friday), #MM (Music Monday) and RT’ing on Twitter -
Reprint pieces of things that they’ve written, or link to music players. Review albums – talk about why and how those albums influenced you
by using http://www.bit.ly to track the effectiveness and to shorten your tweets.
GROUP 3. CURATE CONTENT
Like: MEAT, POULTRY, FISH, BEANS, EGGS
Servings (Recommended Frequency): 2 – 3 out of every 10 posts
Content may be king but content curation is queen!
The best part is you can set up an RSS reader to pull interesting content for you so you don’t have to come up with anything brilliant – just select what you like and share it. And if it’s interesting to you it’s probably interesting to your community
Ask yourself: How do I spend time online? What do I read? Are there sites I visit daily? Add them to the RSS reader (here is a brilliant Commoncraft video that will teach you how to set one up. Then all you have to do is grab the content you like and share (remember to always give credit where credit is due).
Recipes: Post links to foods you like from Epicurious or TheFoodNetwork
Media: Post book reviews, music reviews or film reviews
Blogs: News, politics, celebrity gossip, parenting, fashion, art, sports – all make good topics for people to connect around
GROUP 4. A PICTURE SAYS 1,000 WORDS
Like: MILK, CHEESE & YOGURT
Servings (Recommended Frequency): 2 out of every 10 posts
Visuals are extremely effective. And they mix up your strategy nicely.
Take photos using your mobile, post them directly to Facebook or to your Twitter stream.
Make a photomontage using Picasa [http://picasa.google.com], and post it on your blog.
I love Twitpic & YFrog because they are so easy to use and create instant Twitter integration.
Post videos on your custom Youtube channel, embed them on your blog and link them to your Twitter. They don’t even have to be videos that you necessarily make on your own. They can be videos of artists you sound like or play with, videos that make you laugh, or subjects that are thematic to your music and important to you like a charity.
GROUP 5. SHINING A LIGHT ON YOURSELF (AKA SELF PROMOTION)
Like: FATS OILS & SWEETS (Use Sparingly!)
Servings (Recommended Frequency): 1 out of every 10 posts
Of course these are OK to do once in a while, not in an over-hypey, annoying way. Just like treating yourself to a great pastry or some fries: its OK – but not too often!
It is after all, vital to tell people if you have an album coming out, a new track, a show, or anything that’s newsworthy, noteworthy, and important for your fans and followers to know about.
Don’t forget about your specific calls to actions or these won’t be fruitful.
So – Choose from Groups 1-5 and mix it up and soon you will be fully engaging people easily and naturally, without thinking. Just like eating!