The Danger of Being Everywhere: Social Media and Musicians

Why less is more when it comes to promoting your music on social media

Since the dawn of social media and time (ie Myspace), musicians have always been the unchallenged and unquestionable early-adopters of tech. With so many new platforms sprouting up all over the web every day, it’s no surprise that so many feel the need to be everywhere.

Some of us are driven by the mentality that more profiles equals more chance of being discovered. Others cling to the fear of missing out on a chunk of potential fans by not being there.

All-in-all, I think it would be fair to say the average musician has far more social media accounts than they know what to do with. And you know what – I totally get that, because I’m guilty of being ‘the average’ as well.

Oh no, not another profile to maintain!

Obviously Facebook and Twitter are a given for pretty much anyone, musician or otherwise. Then let’s throw in the mandatory muso hangouts, SoundCloud and ReverbNation. But beyond the no-brainers, we start to spiral down into a truly bottomless pit of music marketing possibilities – YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Myspace, LinkedIn, Tumblr, StumbleUpon; the list just goes on, and on, and on….

Now I’ll be the first to admit that the temptation is strong and the immediate gratification is great – each of these platforms are quick to sign up to, easy to set up, fun to play with, and above all else, free to use – free in the fiscal sense of the word.

But wait a second, what about the two pricey pals that we forgot to factor into that equation:

* Time: yep, you probably knew I was going to say that. But it’s true – the amount of time required to effectively maintain multiple social platforms is significant. And as an artist, time is one of the most valuable resources you have, right?

Presence: perhaps a cost that you had not considered. Online presence is a lot like real world reputation – not only will people judge you based on it, but they will talk about it when you’re not around; for better or for worse. Maintaining a healthy online presence is an absolute necessity for any musician that’s serious about their art. For each new social platform you sign up to, don’t forget to grab your toolbox and hammer one more nail into the coffin of ongoing commitment.

Running an agency of 18 spritely digital marketing obsessionists serving 60+ artists, I know first hand just how much work is involved in managing the online assets of an artist with a presence spanning 4 or 5 different networks — a hell of a lot.

By signing up to 2, 3, 4, or even 10 different social media platforms, you are exponentially increasing both the amount of involvement required to keep things up to date, and the risk of your presence on at least one of these platforms slipping into an almost inevitable state of disrepair *cue tumbleweed*.

Can I ask you something…?

WHAT exactly are you trying to achieve with your music?

Is it satisfaction, respect, royalties?

Take a moment to think about that.

Now, every time you feel the urge to sign up to yet another platform ask yourself why – WHY are you there? HOW does this fit with your ultimate music goals?

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Let me leave you with some final food for thought:

1. When building your presence online, don’t aim for quantity – aim for quality. Being everywhere with your music won’t be any help to you if you’re not doing it well. On the contrary, it’s actually more likely to do you damage than good.

Got a bunch of half-complete profiles you’re not using? Shut ‘em down. Pick one or two key platforms and do them right!

2. Choose the social networks that suit your objectives, and best amplify your voice & image as an artist.Social media sites are not all the same and believe me, regular users will not forgive you for ignorantly employing the same syndicated social strategies everywhere you go.

Want to be artsy and mysterious? Take a ticket and join the queue on Tumblr. Want to be more visual and a fashionista? Pinterest is your new pal.

3. Understand which platforms your audience is most likely to live on and invest your energy and focus there – why waste your story on a virtual room of people who could care less?

A little thought before action when setting up your socials will help you understand where you are currently, and where you want to be in the short and long term. Then it’s a simple matter of working out which social media channels will get you there the fastest.

Here’s to utopian dreams of a world with one less Myspace graveyard!

About the author: Nic is the managing director & co-founder of Jaden Social, a creative Digital marketing agency based in Sydney, Australia. If you want to hear more from Nic you can catch him for weekly instalments on his blog, Musician on Vacation.

Connect with Nic: @nicjrobertson

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