by MATT BACON >
So an issue I’ve been running into lately and that I’ve had to talk to a lot of bands about is figuring out how to help bands avoid corniness in their social media posts.
It’s a tricky thing to be sure. No one wants to be viewed as a try hard or a goody goody who does everything they can to ‘check all the boxes’. If we got into this music to be rebellious then why would we want to follow a rather bland and normal seeming plan that doesn’t lead to much real change or success? I get it – it’s not a fun thing to do. You want you social media to be indicative of you, not some version of yourself that you are trying to market or make happen to think would appeal to your core fanbase. It’s hard because you came from punk rock and you don’t want to be shooting yourself in the foot with whatever you choose to post about. I get it. These things aren’t always obvious, but I want to help give you some tools to find a better way forward.
I think first and foremost it’s important to realize that your fans don’t want you to be corny either, at least not most of the time.
For the vast majority of bands, especially people reading this article they know what they want and the kinds of posts they like seeing. They like feeling part of the community behind a band but they don’t want to have the curtain pulled back to much. They don’t want to be pandered to but they want content that appeals to them. These all seem like really tricky things to do, at least initially, but when you start to look at what that really means then you’re going to start finding a little more success than you thought initially possible. Very few DIY bands seem to understand how to use social media to their advantage and that’s simply because they are not letting themselves show through in their posts. They think that they need to do the ‘right’ thing, when, as it turns out, most bands will probably have more success by breaking the mold.
You need to sit back and look at the social media of some of your favorite major bands in your scene who don’t just post news.
The ones who really take advantage of the platform. What they do is use it as a way to share who they are. I know that sounds hard, but in many ways your social media persona really should just be an extension upon yourself and your art. Lok at some of the biggest Twitter users in your music community, they are all about directly engaging fans and being personal. They use their personas as the fuel for their tweets. This allows them to be funny, informational or even crass, they just make sure its on brand. The same goes for Instagram, you can post candids all day and people will eat it up, because they want to know what’s going on behind the curtain and what they can do in order to become a bigger part of it. I think that the real thing that throws people for a bone is Facebook, so here we go…
Facebook is tricky because most bands feel like it should primarily be for news and occasional small cool personal things.
To a certain extent this is true. There are things you can get away with on Twitter or Instagram that you can’t really do on Facebook just because of how much more ephemeral those platforms can feel. That being said – Facebook has a very important role. Not only is it probably the most visually attractive platform of the big three and the best one for sharing news on it’s also one where you are going to find the highest percentage of your fans. So you need to be very careful what you post there. I think the most effective content is certainly news related, but I also see a lot of live shots doing very well as well as cute little things. Sure it’s not as easy to personally engage and you shouldn’t be sharing constant memes, but you should be always focused towards the future, shoving it in peoples faces.
At the end of the day, as shitty as it sounds that’s what social media is about – forcing your way into peoples feeds and giving them something relevant so that they create a positive association with your band. I know that sounds kind of douchey and can be extremely difficult, but it’s also the only way to get to the top if you’re doing your best to be constantly talked about. Sometimes it’s difficult, especially when it’s still hard for you to get more shows and you still don’t know people in your scene, but even then you just have to try. I’m sure that some independent journalist has covered your music and if that’s not a starting point I don’t know what is. Musicians are known as cool for a reason, most of them are friendly and just want to hang out. Being able to hang out and figure out how to work together to create a stronger social media presence with all of you and build a brighter future is a key part of becoming a band that matters.
When it comes down to it even a lot of really big bands don’t understand social media because they got in on luck and good songwriting.
While these things are definitely important don’t think for a minute that you can get away with having a bad social media game. Your social media is what is going to keep driving your brand and even for those bands who got in on songwriting and luck at a certain point they realize they need to start embracing it if they want to keep getting likes and shares to grow the brand. It’s a weird thing and most people in the industry still haven’t realized what it means, but if you don’t accept it and prepare to start growing then you’re never going to figure out the best path forward for your art.