What did musicians do to get their music listened to before social networks came along? Every article that I read regarding ‘how to promote your music’ states that having SM accounts like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (and the hundreds of others) are crucial when it comes to getting your music out there. But does having 100 social media accounts with tens of thousands of followers guarantee that your music will be bought or even heard?
Hmmm, one can only speculate until you give it a whirl.
I don’t like social networks, never have. When I joined Spicy Folk I was kind of pressured into creating a bunch of social media accounts. I was told that it was a necessity to have Facebook & Twitter if I wanted my music to be noticed. So I did, and…..nothing. Why? Probably because I wasn’t consistently posting on a daily basis. Who has time for that? Then there is tweeting or retweeting, and all that other mumbo jumbo. I was falling into the old “follow me & I’ll follow you” crap. I began following people that I didn’t even like, and they were following me back. But still, nothing – not one sale did I make from doing that. Eventually I gave up – that was about 3-ish years ago.
A few days ago, I stumbled upon an article called, “The Importance of Social Media for Professional Musicians” from promogogo.com.
It’s so interesting how they mention that having hundreds of followers or millions of views on YouTube doesn’t mean a thing if you’re not using the platforms right. “It’s really easy to get caught up in the wrong thing on social media… That really is the wrong approach, because the effort doesn’t mean anything without knowing why the social platforms matter in the first place.” That is the same trap I fell into a few years back!
They also go on to say that, “Research finds that social media and online promotion is used more than traditional marketing activities. That is more Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and less TV, radio and printed ads.” The last interesting thing that they say is to give it time, “Unfortunately there’s no silver bullet. It takes time and commitment.” That makes a lot of sense, and being that social media is literally everywhere these days, it kind of goes hand in hand with promoting.
On the contrary, here is an article I found called, “Why social media is DEAD for music marketing (and why email works) from DIY Musician.
What they are suggesting is email marketing, which I agree can be very useful. They go on to say, “Don’t get me wrong, social media is useful and you should have an online presence if you’re an artist or business. Try to grow your followers, and don’t stop posting fresh content. But don’t rely on social media as a sole means of marketing, and do yourself a favor: Use email to drive sales.” It kind of sounds like a lot of foot work, but compared to pimping on Facebook & Twitter to a bunch of ‘fake’ followers, it seems like the better deal!
An interesting suggestion they make is to offer a free download of your song, in exchange for your fan’s email. Makes a lot of sense, once you have their email, you can keep them informed of any new music you have, live performances, etc. Here’s what they say about it, “Instead of offering a free download through SoundCloud, ask people for their email address to receive the song. There are many great tools to help automate this, like DropTrack, FanBridge, and ReverbNation. (Note: Never just ask for an email address, but always offer something in return, like free downloads, promotional content, or tickets to shows.)
All in all, it depends on you, and how much time and effort you’re willing to spend on promoting your music. I would definitely be willing to try the email marketing strategy. How about you? Feel free to leave your comments below!