If you followed last week’s advice, you should have the format of your newsletters sorted. This week, we’re focusing on the mistakes that artists make when using social media. It’s not enough to just have facebook, twitter and MySpace – there’s a great deal more that you have to do to ensure that your online presence is successful.
So, here are the most common errors that artists make on social media, and how to fix them:
- Not providing basic information – You have all your pages, complete with videos, pictures and updates, but when it comes to the most basic, but essential, information, your lacking. Your fans want to feel like they know you, not just what you do. You need to include full names of all members, what you all play, where you come from, and when you started. If you haven’t got the simplest of information, it will keep your fans at a distance- not good for holding down a fan base
- Not creating connections – It’s important that you connect with your fans. Not doing so will massively decrease your chances of new fans joining, and of maintaining your following. People want to feel like you care about them – not having a community in your fans will put people off and will stop your fans generating new ones. Create a community where fans can speak to you and each other – whether that be a topic discussion on facebook or replying on twitter. Not having a relationship with your fans is a massive mistake, as they’re the ones that will get you where you want to be.
- Not writing about yourselves – You’re in a band! Its interesting! Don’t just write about upcoming gigs and post links to buy new tracks. For the same reason as giving your fans your basic information, they want to feel like they’re part of something – so let them know what you’ve been up to, in the studio, on tour, or just in general. A great way to do this is a blog. It’s as essential as a facebook or twitter account for keeping fans up-to-date.
- Poor content – So your on the most popular social media sites, you even have a blog or your own website, but when the fans log on, there’s nothing to see other than some info you posted months ago about a gig in Scotland. Social Media has to be a regular thing, and people have to want to click on your site. If a potential fan goes to your blog and it still just has the welcome message, they aren’t going to return. Make sure ALL your sites are contributed to on a regular bases.
- Not replying quickly – Following on from the last two points, not replying to stuff – tweets, comments, posts – quite quickly will alienate your fans, too. There should be a permanent conversation cycle between you and your fans. Invite participation and then hold up your end of the bargain. Also, don’t underestimate the power of the ‘@’ tweet on twitter back to your fans. It might seem like a lot of effort but it’s so worth it.
- Not having a consistent online persona – Your band is a brand. You need to figure out who you are and what you’re about and stick to it. If you don’t have an easily identifiable image, your fans will get confused and it will give them a reason to stray. You need to know your niche market and target them, then build on it from there.
- Being scared of other bands – There are bands similar to yours out there. Seeing them as just competition isn’t going to help. Their fans like them for a reason, and if your sound is similar, then chances are they’ll like your stuff too. If you identify with another bands scene, and even go as far as promoting them, they are probably going to return the favour. This means that your music will be exposed to a wider group of people, upping your chances of extending your reach.
- Not linking – If you dont have links to all you sites, on every site, then you’re making it too hard for your fans. Links stand out (underlined, different colour) and if they are there people will click on them and be redirected to more of you. That will add up to more folowers on twitter, more fans on facebook and, hopefully, more fans.
- Not tracking social media success – If you don’t look analytically at how you’re doing online, then you’ll never know what you’re doing well – and you won’t learn from your mistakes. There are loads of online tools out there (usually quite cheap or even free) and it will give you an insight into how big your online presence actually is, and how far you could reach.
- Not capturing fans data – Even if you have all of the above – if you can’t reach your fans through email then, as explained last week, you’re shutting off the best avenue to establish a link with followers. An email grabber (like the one Zimbalam has) is a perfect way to do this. Plus, you can have one on all of your sites – so you can alway stay connected with the people that matter – the fans.