Social Networking for Musicians[In this post, guest contributor and full-time DIY musician Ari Herstand talks about social networking (“social” and “networking”) away from your computer. Throughout the article, he’s sprinkled links to other good information to help you along.]

I love Twitter. I have fun on it. I get into extended emoji battles and riff with Minnesotans and Chicagoans about Aaron Rogers superiority. I Favorite, RT and Follow and understand all the rules and etiquette. (For everything that is holy: if you start a tweet with @somonesname ONLY your followers who ALSO follow @someonesname will see it. If you want all your followers to see that tweet and you can’t think of a more creative way to start your tweet, put a period at the start like: . @someonesname).
+It Doesn’t Take a Web Genius

I Like Facebook (see what I did there… never mind). I Like, comment, share, post photo albums, and rant about politics. I also understand the separation etiquette between my personal profile and my Musician Page. I keep up with the changes in real time and change my tactics to accommodate.
+F**k Facebook…In The Face

The best way to social network: remember the REAL world

I do the same for Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, Soundcloud, Google+ (eh), Pinterest (not really) and now Vine. Yeah, everyone will tell you how important it is to social network and I’m sure – if you’ve made it this far in this post – one of your favorite past times is reading these “how to” articles on becoming a better tweeter and whatnot.

However, the most effective way to social network is not sitting behind your computer or on your iPhone. Whaaaaa?! I’ll let you catch your breath.

Bands wonder why 874 people clicked Attending (or now Join) to their Facebook Event for their show but only 42 people actually showed. You got 53 hearts to your show poster on Instagram and 7 Retweets on Twitter. You may have even gotten a few Repins. But come show day, you are constantly underwhelmed by the turnout. What’s going wrong?

The best way to social network is to network socially IN REAL LIFE. I’m no grandpa. I had my coming of age in the Facebook era and I consider myself fully integrated with the above mentioned sites. The more incredible apps and social sites that pop up the more I realize the effectiveness of real life, in person interactions.

As I wrote in my last DIY Musician post: No social network or YouTube video can change the electrifying energy of a physical experience. This is why the live show will never die (sorry StageIt – love you!).

Whenever I have a big show coming up I make sure to go out much more than I normally do. I go to more local shows and inevitably run into people I know. They inevitably ask me when my next show is. I mention it and then text them the week of the show and remind them and it doesn’t seem out of the blue or like a random mass text.
+How I Got 250 To My Debut CD Release
+Don’t Be A Dick

When you meet people at other musicians’ shows, pull out your smart phone and ask for their email. Send them an email right there about how great it was to meet them. In your signature there should be some links to your stuff so they can check you out if they want. Don’t just send them a “Sent from my iPhone” message. There are ways to change this and add a more attractive/informative signature – do it (I use the Gmail app on the iPhone). You’ll then have their contact info and can start up an adult conversation (we have passed the “find me on Facebook” phase – welcome).
+Don’t Be Afraid of the Phone

If your upcoming show is in a month and you go out 4 nights a week (you don’t need to buy drinks every time – save that dough!) for the next 4 weeks and meet/run into 5 people each time, that’s 80 people (I’ll wait while you figure out the math) who now have had an immediate personal connection to you who will much more likely come to your show over just getting an invite on Facebook from the dude they met that one time at that one party with that girl. Like!
+Booking Your Own Tour: A How-To Guide
+50 Is The Magic Number (Book a Headlining tour)


smile squareAri Herstand has been a full-time DIY musician for over 5 years. He’s played over 500 shows in 40 states and has opened for artists such as Ben Folds, Cake, Joshua Radin, Matt Nathanson and Ron Pope. His songs have been featured on TV shows like One Tree Hill and various Showtime and MTV shows. His latest studio album debuted at #11 on iTunes singer/songwriter charts. He writes an independent music business advice blog, Ari’s Take:

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[Picture of social network from Shutterstock.]