Ok – this is going to be one of those articles where I talk a specific facet of social media that you don’t want to have to think about and which a lot of you are going to be pissy with me about. This is an article on the importance of native content. Native content is any content that you upload directly to a social media site rather than sharing it from a third party. In other words this means uploading a video directly to Facebook rather than sharing the link from Youtube. This is also where it starts to think in about the sheer amount of content that you need to create in order to generate the interest on social media over the long term that you are going to need. So let’s dig in and recognize that native content isn’t always an easy journey, but for better or for worse it is one that we need to take advantage of if we want our social media strategies to be as effective as possible and have the reach and connection to the scene as a whole that we desire and deserve.
Remember when you are posting to your different social media platforms that these people are all competitors. I mean maybe not Facebook and Instagram, but even then, you don’t think the head of Instagram is rivals with the operations manager of Facebook? The point being – we’ve returned to the walled garden approach that dominated the internet in the early days. It’s no longer a question of what oddities you can discover, people want to be kept within a system they feel safe, That’s why in countries like the Phillipines Facebook basically IS the internet. It’s a lot harder to fuck up your computer browsing Facebook than the open madness of the web. Which is fine. But appreciate Facebook wants to keep you in too, as does Instagram as does Twitter. All social media platforms want you to spend as much time with them as possible so of course they will prioritize the people who facilitate that.
So obviously the best way to optimize native content is to make sure that there is unique stuff on every social media platform. However this isn’t always possible because that would mean that you have to create a shit ton of unique content and even the biggest artists don’t have time to do that. It’s fine to repost and share things across multiple platforms, you don’t usually get penalized for that, at least not yet, though I could see that shifting in the near future. For now though – taking the time just to upload stuff on separate platforms is going to be favorable for you. And remember not every platform loves every type of content. Youtube doesn’t do great with super short videos, Instagram on the other hand caps videos at a minute. These are all things to consider as you evolve your brand. What I’m trying to say though is that by and large you don’t need to worry too much about crossposting. It’s just getting the mass of content out there.
Now of course there are two main types of native content. Videos and pictures. Videos can be shared across all platforms, though of course there are sometimes limitations depending on the platform. Pictures on the other hand speak a thousand words and can be used everywhere except Youtube. Youtube is sort of a different beast too, but let’s not get sidetracked. You need to have a lot of visual content fueling your native strategy because this is the kind of stuff you can’t easily adjust as you can with text. Once you appreciate that the visual content is going to be the driving force of your brand it becomes a lot easier to start to promote yourself. You get into the habit of consistently shooting videos and taking pictures while you are at shows. Once you get into that rhythm the flow of content feels a lot more natural. With this improved flow of content not only do you see more success but also long term interest from fans.
A final thing to note that might not be self evident is that you need to have the content not just be native to the platform but to your specific page. That is to say, sharing a Facebook video from your personal page is not going to do as well as uploading the same video to your band page. The same goes for Instagram with the Regram app. Just be sure to put as much regular content on your band page ass possible so that it fuels both interaction and encourages people to want to get involved and jump on board. This is the kind of thing I think a lot of people might realize subconsciously but never act on. You need to separate yourself from your peers and make a point of creating all of this content in order to grow your brand. Let people easily see where you are coming from and what you are trying to do for them. As they come to terms with this they will want to check back, and the more they check back… well that improves your place in the algorithm too!
I know that some of this sounds like weird attempts at growth hacking and brand development that many people simply don’t have. That’s how it goes though. Music requires a lot of patience if you are trying to develop yourself. Think about pop stars though and how much they put out with their outfits, photoshoots and constant chatter. This isn’t just because they are obnoxious narcissists, this is because they know that they need to be at the fore of the conversation if they want to remain relevant. So push yourself to the fore, don’t become another has been or try hard. Instead embrace what you have built and grow from there.