When it comes down to it there is an exttremely easy way to make your band look a lot more professional that doens’t cost you any money, will get you more fans, help grow the interaction with your old content and even make you a little money. And it’s free. Did I mention it should only take you a few hours a week to? Yup. This is something you can do that’s not going to be intimidating or ridiculously difficult. All you have to do is to post on your ogddamn social media. This is one of the truly huge struggles of the industry that people don’t seem to understand needs to happen. But whn it does happen we find ourselves succeeding beyond our wildest dreams. This is one of the big keys of the industry that people don’t want to admit because it’s tangible work. I know that sounds crass but we’re going to pick that apart too. Social media is the present and future and if you can’t get on the train you’re going to screw yourself over.
The key with social media is twofold and it’s not hard. You just need to be coming at it with regularity and diversity of content. Regularity is easy because it’s easy to schedule everything on Facebook or Tweetdeck to handle those two platforms. Instagram can be a little trickier but it requires discipline on your end which is fine, you just need to do it. Personally I set up all my Facebook and Twitter posts in advance, usually on lazy Sunday afternoons since it is a pretty low intensity task. As long as you keep grinding away at it you’re going to eventually get results. I know Facebook hides a lot of the content but a lot of it is just to show people that you are there. Bands who disappear for long patches between shows tend to not end up with any real following because they aren’t giving people stuff to connect with for long periods of time. If you don’t do that then you’re really just shooting yourself in the foot before you can get anywhere.
So the other key, diversity of content can be a fair bit trickier I won’t deny that, but it’s still something that is within reason even for small bands, it just requires commitment. My dudes in the band War Cloud are a great example of this. They chose to invest in a pretty decent camera, nothing crazy, but certainly a step up from your phone camera and they do impromptu photoshooots all the time and make sure to fill up their socials with content that is relevant and exciting for their fans to connect with. If you’re an artist strugglign to find content just take outtakes from rehearsals and upload them to soundcloud, share photos of the band practicing, or hell share interesting articles. All of these things help to create your brand identity and once you start to do that it becomes easier than ever to draw people in. I know that this is an obligation, but again, social media is just something that bands who want to succeed have to do.
Now yes, I know that some of your favorite bands in whatever underground scene you’re involved in don’t have social media. But guess what. When did they get popular? Are they even actually popular? There are a few exceptions, but even those bands, for example Thou (Who arguable got big in the pre social media age) still rely pretty heavily on social media in order to help them grow. This is why things are problematic and why I get headaches when dealing with this sort of thing. You’re not going to be unique, people are going to insist that you post about shows and that you go out of your way to help their brands, otherwise why should they be motivated in order to help yours? The long and short of it is that they are not going to be interested in this. They are going to want to work with you on creating something more substantial with people who tangible help them out. The tangibility of social media, even with low response rates is in fact one of the most important aspects.
The tangibility I think is both the boon and the curse of social media. The tangibility is a boon because, obviously, it shows people you care about your band, it shows people that you work really hard and it helps for industry people to see that you are invested. The issue of course is that if you’re not doing tangible stuff then you are admitting that you don’t want to help your band. you’re admitting that spending the time to boost your band is not worth it to you, and that’s a scary thought that no one wants ot have. I know that sounds needlessly pessimistic and a little bit dickis hand I get it, it is, that’s why I’m saying it, it’s not my job to pull punches. On top of that, no one wants to make a post and see that it only ghets two or three likes. But guess what, social media is just like playing shows, at first no one is going to care and no matter what you do you wont’ get anywhere until you persisty and start to work out the best practices.
Social media is hard. It sucks. Some Sundays I really loathe having to sit down and schedule thirty odd posts for the week and I get annoyed at finding content for various Instagrams. But guess what – I do it anyway because the payoff is tangible. It makes more people take us seriously and it makes us get the sort of advantages that we need in order to build in the industry in a way that isn’t meaningless but instead powerful and actually advantageous. Does it involve a fair degree of sucking up? Yes. But that’s a huge part of the appeal, so hop on and enjoy the ride because social media is going to be a wild ride any way you slice it.