How can musicians really exploit social media?
We all know it and we all say it: Social Media is an addiction! But how many of us really simply shut it off? The honest truth is that we
#1: Social Media is ALL ABOUT INSTANT GRATIFICATION!
Everyone wants to be liked and followed. This is a very natural and simple instinct. Unfortunately, it can lead to very strange behaviors to obtain the desired result. In other words, the subconcious mind is not rational and the name of the game is: the end justifies the means. Therefore, we find people going crazy about getting more and more without realizing that they are becoming what the platform wants them to become.
So what happens with patience and people skills? Well, the answer is simple: THEY GET TRASHED!
The objective for you as a musician however is to be in control of it. Social Media is all about instant gratification but this is NOT the reason why you are on it. You are on social media to show what you do and make your business available to those who might need your skill. The truth is that you are in it for the long run and your focus on social media is to deliver content that enhances your brand. If people are going to define your brand, you're doing things backwards because you are doing what they want you to do. You should focus on having a brand that shows exactly what you do so you get only the business deals that will benefit you the most.
#2: What does it costs YOU to be on Social Media?
My dad always told me that NOTHING IS FOR FREE. This is why I never understood why people would be saying things such as "Free Food". The reality is that someone paid for it! Today, (Feb 9th, 2018) Facebook is worth almost HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS! How much of that money did you put into that pile? I think you're a pretty bright individual and that you probably know the origin of that money. The main reason for EVERY SOCIAL PLATFORM to exist is to gain access to your privacy. According to this Guardian study, Zuckeberg thinks you are worth about $13. So all your info you ever uploaded to FB for years can be sold for anyone bidding higher.
So why should you even care to be on Social Media? The answer is simple: EXPOSURE!
Once you realize that you are in it for the long run and you treat this like a business, you have to understand that you have to take some risks. So when you use social media for your profession, you should only show the things that you would be ok with the whole world knowing. Therefore, the best approach is to be very carefull on what you put on social media. Use it to gain value as you constantly minimize your liabilities.
#3: Why should I care about algorithms and backlinks?
Every once in a while, you find a friend that posts on their wall something about the new Facebook algorithm. Businesses are active in exploiting this algorithm in their favor and so should you. Social Media has some rules to tilt in favor of a few hand picked individuals that know the real endgame. Once you figured out that Social Media should be really be called Social Mining, you can use this in your favor to build your business. However, your business should not be ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Remember that Social Media is a tool to communicate. In this virtual world, people are talking and every once in a while, they get to see a picture or video they might like. After seeing it a few times, they get used to it and take a peak.
So what should be the priority? The answer is simple: DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR OWN WEBSITE!
When you understand what is going on on social media, you realize that you can not keep your eggs in someone else's basket. Building a website and hoping people to come is absurd. Social laws apply to the internet and some things are counterintuitive. For example: Backlinks! Google loves backlinks. If your website has many backlinks, your website may statistically rank higher. Therefore, when you have Social Media profiles poinitng to your site, your site becomes stronger. This is why it is called interNET. If more stings point at a point, the more solid and valuable that point becomes.
Therefore, your social media should be kept at bay for private reasons but very fluent and creative for business reasons. The real objective for you as a musician is to get more gigs. The reality is that if you wanted to, you could use Social Media as an excuse to boost your prices! In other words, a picture on an instagram profile that has 5K followers and consistantly reaches 10K impressions per week can become a valuable asset.
So why should you be in Social Media as a Musician?
- Gain real followers (people that really like your message and your craft)
- Build your value (gain a voice in the industry/niche you want to be in)
- Increase your prices (by showing that you have a tangible record)