I’ve been working as a social media manager for musicians under the business name Scully Love Promo for almost seven years and I absolutely love working with them because music has always been a great passion of mine. I’ve worked with everyone from local musicians who create music as a hobby to Juno and Grammy winning artists. Over the years I’ve morphed from super fan girl who listened to music constantly in my spare time into a self-employed person who doesn’t have a lot of time left at the end of the day to actually discover or listen to new music online, let alone the artists I’m already a fan of. So I suspect that most people’s computer time is also extremely limited and therefore it’s extremely important that as a musician with an online presence, you don’t take your audience for granted.
Social media has completely changed the life of working musicians and has forced them to get on board with it whether they like it or not. Most independent touring musicians don’t have time to write new music, record, produce, market and tour it themselves without a team of individuals in place to help them. They need a manager or booking agent, a publicist, a grant writer, a social media manager…you get the picture. It takes a village to create a successful touring musician!
Social media has also completely demolished the barrier that used to exist between an artist and their fans. It used to be that all they had to do was make records, give interviews to the press and perform live in concert, while their agents or labels took care of their marketing. Not anymore. The music industry has changed drastically, and now most artists have to do everything for themselves and the most important thing that needs to be addressed is the relationship they have with their fans. Without fans, they have nothing.
I’m sure most of us have LIKED the Facebook page of at least a few musicians, singers or bands since we’ve been on Facebook and some of us have liked hundreds if not thousands of them. If you actually want to SEE the posts from your favourite artist’s Facebook page, as soon as you LIKE it, click on Get Notifications and add that page to an Interest list. You can call the list whatever you like but it will help you to filter your News Feed so that you’ll see those pages’ posts that you’re interested in when you’re ready to look.
Most musicians that I work with are wonderful at posting their own content regularly on their Facebook page and they even know how important it is to post different kinds of content, including lots of photos, videos, text-based updates, questions, links, events, etc. Many of them are very good at having conversations with their fans and answer their comments and emails in a timely fashion. However, quite a few aren’t so good at it. Some don’t even really want to look at their Facebook pages, or their YouTube inboxes, nor give a damn about how Twitter really works, even though they know they’re important marketing tools and that having a lot of likes, followers and views (which translates to fans) is important. They think having a social media manager to take care of their sites for them should be enough, but it’s not. There is no substitute that is acceptable to the fans of that artist. They want to communicate directly with the artist! The social media manager should be there to help them post content in a timely fashion, let them know when they have messages and comments, organize lists, run ad campaigns, delete spam, monitor analytics, etc., but they should not be the ones talking to the fans.
When it comes to social media marketing, I’ve found that many musicians that I’ve worked with who have been around for a while fail to understand the need for or importance of not only being consistent and posting regularly on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but also sharing other people’s content. They think their social media marketing should be all about them, and that’s just not the case. We’re all here to help each other and the more that musicians show their generosity of spirit by allowing their fans to know about who they like and support by sharing their content, the better it is for everyone. If you’re not a household name and you don’t have a ton of cash to spend on a super professional and expensive marketing team, you need help, and that means that you need to be willing to help others as well. That’s how it works. That’s why we LIKE other people’s pages AS our page, so that we can use Facebook AS our page and scan through the News Feed to find other people’s content that we can share to help them. That’s why we retweet other people’s content and comment on other people’s videos.
Musicians are special. They are important. What the talented ones bring to the world makes it a better place to live in. But they’re not more important than the people who spend their surplus cash on buying their CDs or digital downloads and tickets to their concerts. Musicians and their fans are a team and should treat each other with thoughtfulness and respect at all times, because without fans, you may be a musician, but you’ll be a lonely player performing for yourself in your bedroom.
Updated February 10, 2015