Social Media Basics for Musicians – Getting a Handle on Twitter and Facebook

Since starting my work as social media consultant, I see many of my fellow musician friends and clients frustrated with their social media experience. They’re confused and overwhelmed with the various platforms, terminology, and constant changes.

So, I thought I’d write a post on some social media basics just for musicians. I’m also primarily focusing on twitter and Facebook because love it or hate it, these social platforms provide the best interactions and dialogue with your fans and followers — provided you know HOW to use it.

More often than not, I see musicians setting up twitter and Facebook accounts, posting status updates, tweeting once in a blue moon, and not following anyone. Lots of times, they rely on their immediate friends to like their page or follow their twitter, but don’t get the gist of building a larger audience and truly connecting.

Regardless of the platform, you need to establish a relationship with your followers and engage in conversation.

Yes, this takes time and a lot of work, but it’s worth it in the long run.

TWITTER
Twitter is a great tool for promoting your music, but it’s also an effective tool for interacting with your fans and followers. If you already have a twitter account, that’s great! If not…what are you waiting for?

Profile Photo
Choose a good quality photo that shows your face. It personalizes your page, lets people know who you are and believe it or not, it generates trust. Steer away from blurry photos, instruments, and the infamous faceless twitter egg. If you have a brand or music logo, use it as your background image.

Twitter Bio
I can’t express enough the importance of a good twitter bio. It’s crucial in gaining new followers and making you more searchable through SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Describe your music with words that will help people find you and don’t be afraid to add a little creativity to it as well — a little spunk adds personality! Check out my twitter bio here: @carlitarocks

Just remember, you only have 160 characters available, so word it wisely.

Follow Who?
Start off by following your friends then search their follower list for people you think might be interested in you and add them as well. It’s also a good idea to follow any local venues, radio stations, other bands or artists similar to you, and people in your scene. But don’t just stay in the confines of your town or city, look outside the box and follow musicians both near and far.

Take note that following is just one piece of the puzzle. You need to remember quality over quantity. You want to create a true fan base and engage your followers, so don’t overwhelm yourself by following a whole bunch of people right off the bat.

Tweet Me Some Updates!

Tweet updates from the studio when recording, manufacturing process on your CD, instragram photos from your shows, album release dates, ticket giveaways, and other news.

Be Social.
As I stated earlier, you want to engage your followers. Social media is about dialogue and interaction. You’re not a robot and no note wants to follow one. Show your followers that you’re interested in what they have to say. Have a little fun and be personable, remember, you get what you give.

FACEBOOK

If you haven’t migrated to the new timeline already, you might as well, because as of March 30, everyone will be set to the new timeline on Facebook. Interestingly, while some people may complain about this new feature, you’ll see that it’s proves quite useful for musicians, especially when setting up an artist or band page.

Profile and Cover Photo
The new features on Facebook allow a cover photo option in addition to your profile photo. The cover photo is perfect for your brand or music logo. Take a look at this blog by Reverb Nation, 4 Bands With Killer Facebook Timelines, it shows some simple, yet eye-catching covers. It’s the first thing people see, so again I remind you of the importance in using good quality photos.

Facebook does have some guidelines regarding cover photos, so make sure you’re clear on that before posting anything. Check it out here: Facebook Cover Photo Guidlines.

About Me
Your about section is only 150 characters, less than twitter so again, be succinct and creative.

The description section allows for a much longer and in depth bio of who you are and what your music is all about, so take advantage of this and craft something awesome! Make sure you provide contact information, email, and website address too.

LIKE…it’s a good thing!
A lot of people send invites to like their artist page, but seldom like anyone else. Why this is so, I’m not sure, but if you’re going to build relationships, you need to stop thinking about yourself and share the love.

Build your community and reach out to other artists. Recommend their music and start a conversation. Post their accomplishments, videos, and music on your page. We’re all one big family here!

And it’s perfectly okay to post some other things that interest you — it’s fun, personal, and creates dialogue. Your fans want to know more about you!

Updates
Let me just state that I’m not a fan of linking your Facebook page to your twitter account or vice versa, and there are many other social media folks who agree. It’s redundant, robotic feeling, and counter intuitive since both platforms serve completely different purposes. You also risk overloading your followers and losing them in one, if not both of your sites.

The Facebook links also take up a good amount of your 140 characters on twitter which in turn, prevents people from retweeting your information.

Twitter is viral and meant for brevity and shorter interactions. A tweet’s lifespan is short in duration with interactions happening immediately after posting.

The lifespan of a Facebook status update however, can go on for hours or days after posting.

Facebook is an opportunity to create deeper dialogue with your followers and engage in more substantial conversations. You can also add polls, photo albums, and other music applications.

Think REAL-TIME versus ON GOING.

— — —

Whew! Are you freaking out now? I hope not!

Again, it’s important to remember that all of this takes time. Don’t expect to get it done in one day and don’t expect social media to fizzle out because it’s not. It will change again and you’ll have to keep up — that is, if you’re serious about promoting your music.

While these tips may seem obvious, I see many folks out there who are still struggling with the basics. Many of my musicians friends are creating accounts or adding several pages instead of cleaning up the one they’ve got.

Focus.

Twitter and Facebook are powerful, don’t underestimate it. Of course, we can go more in depth with these platforms and others, but hopefully this will help get you started.

I’m here to help you, so message me or comment below. If there’s something that’s already working for you, share it with us. We would love to hear your thoughts!

For more information and tips join me on my Facebook page!

facebook.com/carlamoreno

~ Carla

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