I get asked all the time, “Why does my social media suck?” Why don’t people engage with what I have to say?’ It seems to me that a lot of people run into similar issues so I wanted to break down some of the core mistakes bands are making when it comes to optimizing their socials. I’m not going to be talking about high-level music marketing concepts nor in-depth engagement strategies but rather just the basic stuff that people seem to be dropping the ball on regularly. So let’s dig into this and talk about the importance of posting regularly, formatting stuff properly, creating interesting content worth engaging in and then the importance of engaging.
4. Regular Posting Is Key!
This is the biggest mistake I see happening out there. People don’t understand that if you don’t regularly start talking then the people around you aren’t going to suddenly care. Too often I see bands wondering why their social numbers aren’t growing when they only have half a dozen posts in the last few months. This stuff is crushing to see because it’s so easy to do if you can make regular social posting a part of your approach. It’s a hard one to deal with though and convincing people to engage time and time again, in a way that makes sense at scale is sometimes hard to do. But seriously guys – if you post regularly then more people will engage. If you never talk to your crowd then guess what – they aren’t going to care!
3. Formatting Is Essential!
Another crushing one here – people create posts that are just plain ugly. This can mean any variety of things from having posts with lots of text in the photo (Which don’t perform as well on social) to just running photos that are poorly lit or worse blurry. I make these mistakes all the time too, but they don’t define my feed. Another mistake people make a lot on Facebook is using a lot of hashtags, honestly doing that just makes you look like a boomer. Sure it’s fine to have one or maybe two as part of your branding, but going too far beyond that is really just shooting yourself in the foot. Go look at some bigger bands in your genre, bands that probably have managers, etc, go and see how they format stuff. The way they do it should broadly speaking, be the way you try to format your posts. It will make you look more professional and make people place more faith in you.
2. Create Content Worth Engaging In!
This ties in a little bit to the previous point about formatting. Obviously, if your posts are not well-formatted then people are not going to be interested in engaging with you. Beyond that, though there are a ton of ways to mess this up. One big rule I see is that having lots of humans in your photos tends to dramatically push engagement. Pets and cute behind the scenes moments help too. So often I see bands where literally their only content is upcoming shows and the occasional crappy live shot. That’s not really an interesting way to paint your band and to get people interested in engaging with you. You want to provide a variety of content that breaks down into behind the scenes stuff, live shots and promo material. You want to give people the full ‘experience’ of your band – otherwise, it just doesn’t make sense.
1. Engage With Your Audience!
Now of course, just shouting into the void is not really helpful either. So many bands just make silly little posts that don’t encourage engagement at all. I strongly advise everyone trying to make their mark in the world of social media to ask their fans questions and also be sure to reply to fans’ comments. Remember that you are trying to make a one to many experience feel one to one. You can do this quite easily by replying to comments and sharing fans’ shots. This will only add a few minutes to your band workday and make people feel much more loved. It’s essential to breaking your band and giving fans the sense that they are a part of something greater – a part of your story. You can’t hold yourself above people you need to be a part of the burning fight.
Point being – I hope this stuff made sense. If you can get your band to a point that you are not making these four mistakes you are more than likely to get your band to a point that you are seeing real and meaningful success.
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Matt Bacon is a consultant, A&R man, and journalist specializing in the world of heavy metal. Having worked with everyone from Glam Rock icon Phil Collen of Def Leppard, to post Black Metal titans Alcest, by way of legendary thrashers Exhorder as well as labels including Prophecy Productions and Ripple Music, he has dedicated his life to helping young bands develop. Having started his own blog at the age of 14 he views his career in artist development as ‘a hobby that got out of hand’. In 2015 he formed Dropout Media in order to better support the artists he loves. We sit here now, years later with countless tours booked, records released and deals signed, and loving every minute of it.
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