The word of the day for musicians is social media. I realize that’s two words but bare with me here. Social media is a fantastic opportunity to connect with your fans and build your following. You can connect with influencers, other musicians or even take a casual fan and turn them into a superfan.
But social media isn’t a magical box you can pour all your hopes into and automatically reap the benefits, it’s only a part of your overall strategy. The two most popular social media services are Facebook and Twitter and there’s some confusion between them and how to use them.
Facebook Vs Twitter
Generally speaking both of them do the exact same thing: connect you with your followers and friends. But, primarily, you should look at both platforms differently: Facebook is for what is going to happen and what has happened while Twitter is all about what is happening right now. That’s it.
Because Facebook defaults to a trending or active posts, rather than listing them in your feed by chronological posting, the more comments your posts get the longer they stay on top. They also use an algorithm which means that your post may not show up on a fan’s wall at all. Think of Facebook as a dynamic bulletin board with limited space.
Twitter, on the other hand, lays out your tweets chronologically and the more people you follow, the faster the feed moves. It’s also reliant on hashtags which creates an atmosphere of what’s trending right now meaning it is a more real-time platform than Facebook.
That’s not to say you can’t promote future shows on Twitter or have any real-time conversations on Facebook. There’s still a lot of overlap between how both platforms operate, so be flexible with how you use them. Another point is that because someone is on Facebook, doesn’t mean they’re on Twitter or vice-versa. You reach more people by leveraging both platforms.
What Social Media Isn’t
This disclaimer needs to be made: a large social media following does not necessarily equal more sales. Think of social media as a conversation or an ongoing networking event and not a sales platform or a marketing tool. You’re after brand recognition which could lead to more sales, but rarely will it be directly by tweeting “buy my stuff”. Although when there’s something new to sell, by all means you should tweet that– just don’t make it the only thing you tweet.
There’s a huge learning curve to using social media effectively (not to mention other platforms like Instagram and Snapchat) but the easiest way to start learning is to sign up for an account and reply or comment to strangers or even your idols. Be authentic and the rest will attend to itself.
Written by Danny Santos. Freelance writer, online content creator, musician, visual artist, and performer. Writing online professionally for 4-plus years and has been everything from a social media consultant to managing a JUNO award winning musician. Also worked in video post-production and graphic design. You can reach him via email HERE.