Why Indie Artists Have to Use Social Media
Posted by bwd_promos at Apr. 29. th. with No Comments
That new band website you have…it’s invisible. The best way to get it in front of people today is through social media. The most self destructive thing that any business, any webmaster, any indie music artist or anybody at all promoting anything today can do is…
to convince themselves that this whole social media thing is just a passing fad.
The funny thing is we’ve been down this road before. Similar things were said back in the 1990s about the Internet. People were dismissing it as just another form of media. Then Amazon came along and kicked Barnes and Noble’s butt. Netflix took Blockbuster’s lunch. And Napster began picking the music industry apart at the seams.
Remember back in the late 90s when every company decided that it had to have a website? Most companies back then didn’t fully understand websites, but they just knew that they had to have one. The ones who didn’t got left behind. But even amongst the ones who did , many got left behind because they didn’t know how to use their websites properly. They treated them as digital billboards. But they just knew that they had to get on the bandwagon because everyone else was doing it.
The same thing is happening today with social media. There’s tons of companies and nonprofits rushing in to jump on social media just because everyone else is doing it. Many of them have no clue how it all works. But it’s not just that. There are also the naysayers, just like in the 90s.
The naysayers were wrong to say websites were a passing fad in the 90s and they will be wrong to predict the passing of social media too. It’s here to stay and you had better be using it and finding a way to keep up with it while staying on point. If you don’t fully understand what it’s all about…learn. If you don’t have the time to micro-manage, then it’s more than worth it to find someone who can. It’s a 24/7 marketing business industry, without a doubt, so accept it.
By the way, I’ve got to say, I’m slightly embarrassed by how many indie music artists still don’t have websites. Hip Hop artists are especially guilty of this. Why would you not own your own website in 2012? It’s like a business without an office. Just being on MySpace doesn’t cut it anymore. In fact, I can’t seem to recall the last time I’ve even visited, since it changed over to label ownership. They turned it into a “Very” non-user friendly site. They didn’t grasp the concept of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. It’s way too busy and confusingly boring. That my friends, is coming straight from a techies mouth!
So, the point is that this whole social media thing isn’t just a passing fad. The Internet has fundamentally changed the way markets and producers interact with each other. Business and marketing have changed dramatically and there’s no going back. None. The only thing you’ll ever really see a majority of changes in, is the version.
The major record labels know it too, but they’re scared. They waited long enough for others to take the lead. In 2012, they must have budgeted for the never ending change, because they’ve seemed to just grasp the change. The innovations in music, and business models will come from regular people hungry for change.
I think that most indie music artists today understand where the future is. They’re way ahead of the traditional music industry on this. They’re already on Facebook, Twitter, Reverbnation and all that good stuff. Everything is computer driven, whether it be via computer, mobile, iPad, Kindle, etc. The days of downloading mp3′s will never make buying a CD worthwhile. The computer age with music has made us spoiled while allowing us to mix and match music without having to buy a whole CD. Yes. Although back in the day CD passing made you hot and still can to some extent today, the majority of artist’s popping are from their numbers online.
With regards to social media, many don’t use the available platforms properly because they think things online work exactly as they do offline. You may have a Twitter account, but if I ask you “What is Twitter good for?”, can you give me a good answer? If you can’t, you might as well not be using it. If you are not savvy enough to use social media outlets to their full potential, make sure you find someone who can.
The great value of social media to you comes down to one simple idea: Today, you’re invisible on the Web. What will tomorrow, next week, next month or even next year bring? Only you can answer this. You can only get out, what you put in.
The Internet is full. There’s too much information. Over saturation is more like it. Thank God for the techie side of me! I can wear numerous hats and get more accomplished in a day than most. I know how to weaver around the saturation. If you put up a new website, nobody knows about it. And nobody is going to know about it unless you make every effort to make it known. But even that doesn’t guarantee anything. In fact, your new website is likely not to get noticed at all.
Advertising online doesn’t work anymore because the Internet is first and foremost, a direct communication medium. And online, people don’t trust promotions. This can hurt you in the long run. There are good, legit and quality online promoters out there. Just do your homework first. Google SEO techniques are good, but they don’t kick in until you have links and traffic already rolling into your site. It’s all a catch 22. You can’t get ranked in Google without traffic and links, but you need search engine visibility to get traffic and links. The more promotion you can put out there, coming from numerous places or avenues, will give you a better leverage and possibly a good chance at getting noticed.
People have tuned out to ads online. So how does a band or a small label or a company get their website noticed today? Social media is really the only way to get the ball rolling, if you want to get your band or your brand noticed. It’s that first spark that lights the fire.
A site like Twitter, for example, allows you to jump right into the marketplace and test your chops. But the big difference today and the reason I say marketing has changed is that people will tune you out if you shamelessly promote. On Twitter, if you spam, people will unfollow you. I’ve seen people comment on twitter that it’s now boring and what’s the hype all about, well duh, if you aren’t engaging with your followers then there is no point. You can’t fake re-tweets from people that aren’t real and think that’s gonna work, we’re smarter than that. Twitter/Facebook have been here for a good minute now. People need to stop and reevaluate what they have going on. You need to realize that the cameras are off and you are not being mobbed; while looking at the value of being able to truly be yourself and engage with your twitter followers, fans and the potential for fans. So, be humble, take it down a notch, loosen up and let them enjoy you and you should enjoy them. It just might make your sales go up! However, if you are too vain to be on other peoples level, you just won’t grow as a an artist or person yourself. Though doing so, would add value.
Today, and in the future, you make yourself known by telling stories. You need a personality. That’s why you need a blog too. Social media isn’t free because you have to invest time in developing a compelling personality through storytelling. People listen to friends, not salesmen. Today, you speak with your ideas, not with your wallet. It’s okay to have some automation, just use the non automation times or in-between to really put yourself out there and engage. You’ll see a big difference within weeks.
So put your wallet away, and speak with your ideas. That’s what has fundamentally changed that many people don’t understand yet. It’s only after you understand all of this, that you can properly use social media sites and there is many of them.
In conclusion, if you’re not using social media, you’re walking away and leaving money on the table without even knowing it.