What Many Musicians Don’t Realize About Social Media Marketing

Galway Street MusicianI’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 Ann Vriend Singer-SongwriterSEE 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

2011 Has Been A Good Year For Scully Love Promo!

Photo by Maria Offin Photography

Like every single person I’ve worked with over the past four years as a social media manager and internet promoter, I have trouble promoting me.  It’s not natural for most of us to toot our own horn – and I’m usually quite busy tooting the horns of others – but it’s the end of the year and I am very happy to report that 2011 has been the best year so far for Scully Love Promo!

Over the past year, not only have I doubled my income, but I’ve also:

  • Worked as a social media manager and virtual assistant for several Juno-nominated musicians (as well as a Canadian Folk Music Award winner and CCMA nominee) and kept them organized and in the loop while on tour
  • Assisted a music publishing company in getting 60,000 views of a single video on YouTube in 3 months
  • Helped a Juno-winning musician reach almost 2,000 fans on Facebook in 5 months without using any paid ads or gimmicks
  • Collaborated with an author, healer & public speaker with the launching of her successful social media marketing campaign that has resulted in the sale of hundreds of copies of her book
  • Helped the creator of a 2D animated YouTube series to get noticed by the William Morris Agency in LA & Fashion Television
  • Provided social media assistance and online promotion to three of my favourite Irish singer-songwriters, including Sir Bob Geldof
  • Proofread and edited a 460 page World War II action adventure novel and created a WordPress blogging website for its author

I’ve done many other things as well, but those are some of the highlights.  I continue to learn new things about social media and online promotion, build upon my skill set, talk to and work with the nicest and most interesting people, and relish the luxury of working from home (often in my pajamas!) for clients who truly appreciate what I do for them.  This certainly beats the hell out of working for lawyers!

It is with sincerity, humility and gratitude that I thank the following people for trusting me with social media marketing, online promotion and virtual assistance this year:

Ann Vriend
Darin Steckler
Dawn James
Chris McKhool
Shari Ulrich
Sue Kenney
Lou Tucci
Dave Moore (Roadmap Music)
Brian Howald
Camille Blue Amy
Kelli Trottier
Kirsten Jones
Jennifer Gasoi
Deborah Kimmett
Philip Tennant
Glenna Green
Tim Aylesworth
Deenah Mollin
Kindah Mardam Bey
Per-Henrik Guerth
Peg Campbelton & Michele Heaney
Cheryl Hiebert
Jill Crossland & Connie Larsen
Tom Ivison
Al Rankin
Pauline Vaughan
Michelle Dickerson

It has truly been my pleasure to work with you and I look forward to collaborating further in the future!

And to all my family and friends, both online and off, thank you for LIKING those Facebook pages I’ve invited you (see www.facebook.com/pages) to, for retweeting my tweets, watching all those YouTube videos, reading my blogs, and for being the awesome people that you are!  I couldn’t do what I’m doing without you!

All my best for a fabulous & non-cataclysmic 2012,
Christine