From researching these elements of social media, I now have a decent grasp on how best to market my music – for free at first and then leading to commercial employment. First of all, I need to make my work heard, and I have found that the best way to do this is to increase my productivity and listeners on Soundcloud by using tags, free downloads, and creating a more professional looking page. I then need to create a page for my output on Facebook, using it to post updates on what I’m working on, pictures and most importantly links to my music on Soundcloud. These are the primary ways of increasing my audience- but I will also use Twitter to continue posting in the same way, but also including a more promotional push every so often. I will no doubt be using LinkedIn in the future, but I feel that it is most important to develop a grassroots following, which may in turn lead to employment.
Once these goals are achieved, the next steps would be to market my music commercially through outlets like iTunes and Spotify. however, at this point in time, these tools are not financially viable. It is my hope that I will one day see my music reaching a wide audience, and these networks (specifically their interconnectivity) will certainly help to achieve that goal.
As with Facebook, Twitter is one of the largest social networks in the world and can be an incredibly useful tool to promote work. Again, I have a personal Twitter page but do not have one specifically for my work. However, this is perhaps not the best approach. Hardcore Twitter users tend to follow hundreds of people, so will more than likely simply ignore tweets that only contain a link to a Soundcloud track. I’ve found that the best music-based Twitter pages with the highest number of followers/retweets tend to combine promotional tweets with a more personal “in touch with the fans” mentality.
An obvious example of this is the twitter page of One Direction. Now obviously it is enormously unlikely that I will get the same rabid following as an immensely popular boyband (Harry Styles has over 20 million followers at the time of writing)- but I am still able to gain some tips on how to use Twitter effectively through these pages. Each member of the group has a personal page which is fairly equally split between promoting their music and providing updates about their daily lives. This creates a connection with followers – people enjoy and engage with the human aspects of twitter, and are then more likely to check out promotional tweets.
It is also possible to ‘buy’ followers on Twitter. This is a practice that is fundamentally flawed, as it “sends out a message that your are desperate, inauthentic and that you really don’t get the point of social media.“. And while it is easy to pay for these followers, it is also very easy to spot when people are followed by ‘fake’ profiles.
This is a practice which will almost certainly not help my progress in promoting my brand, and will more than likely send out a very poor message to any potential employers.
The use of LinkedIn relies on an already decent grasp on the social networks listed below (at least for the field that I want to work in). LinkedIn is primarily a social network – or perhaps better described as a business network – that allows the user to connect with other professionals (currently around 300 million people use the service) to look for jobs and create/maintain business relationships.
I feel that this service, at least for the moment, will be largely redundant in regards to my short-term goals. While it is no doubt a useful site to connect with professionals in the music industry, I think that at the moment it is a little ‘out of my league’. I think it is first necessary to gain a decent following on more youth-oriented platforms like Facebook and Twitter to create an element of ‘buzz’ around my work before trying to market my music in a commercial manner.
As the largest and most used social network, it is imperative that I develop a strong presence on Facebook. Facebook has over a billion monthly users, so it is perhaps the largest online audience I can try to tap into.
As with most people of my age, I have a personal Facebook page which i use to communicate with friends. However, I very rarely share my music on Facebook – which is definitely an oversight when trying to promote my ‘brand’. The way to go forward with this is to create a page specifically to promote and share my music. I will use some of the ideas shown on my Soundcloud post, i.e. using many tags, in-depth track descriptions, a professional layout and cross-media links. There are many specific tools when creating a band/artist specific page which can help each post to reach a far larger audience than people who have already liked the page.
For example, Facebook offers a ‘paid reach’ service, which allows small companies (including bands/artists) to promote their posts as a form of advertising – which can reach anywhere up to 45,000 people. Paid media has become an essential part of developing effective social strategies. In fact, the top companies on Facebook today use paid media at a constant ratio. To fully unlock the sharing potential on Facebook to increase awareness of my work, it is necessary to use this strategy (“you have to spend money to make money”).
Soundcloud is a network that I have used for many years, both to find new music and to upload and share examples of my work. Soundcloud has an impressive following among music fans, with ninety percent of all uploaded tracks listened to within the first hour of uploading. My personal page does not garner a massive amount of plays – likely due to a lack of self-promotion on my part.
An image of my play count statistics
However, I investigated how best to increase followers and plays using the Soundcloud site, and found a lot of helpful information. For example, using a professional-looking profile picture and using established and popular genre titles to tag my work. The site also mentions that in-depth descriptions on each track help to attract people to your page and create a more professional feel. This is shown when looking at more popular pages outputting similar work to mine. For example, when looking at tracks by electronic producer Mornings, some have lyrics in the description box, some have recording techniques and almost all of them have links to his other sites (Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp etc. – which leads to a large amount of shares across these sites. It is this kind of multi-platform marketing that allows an artist like Mornings to gather a reasonably large following, particularly for music that is not necessarily ‘pop’.
Soundcloud also has an optional ‘free download’ feature that you can apply to any of your tracks. Once the above steps have been taken to try and gather an audience, however small, the free download feature can be incredibly beneficial. There are several sites which are very easy to find which will allow a person to illegally download a ‘non-free download enabled’ track with the minimum of effort – so it makes sense (at least for someone who is trying to get heard by as many people as possible) to allow people to get the track directly from you in the highest possible quality. For my short-term goals, this practice will be incredibly helpful.
This blog will be used to lay out my ideas and goals on how to market my work as a music producer by utilising social media to the fullest. The social media presence for my ‘brand’ is very limited at the moment – primarily based around my Soundcloud page and a few links shared on Facebook. I will look at the best and most practical ways of increasing brand recognition through various social media outlets by researching trends and statistics that I can capitalise on.
This blog will be frequently updated to show any research I have discovered and improvements I have made with marketing my music.
My main goals in regards to applying this research are:
– Find and utilise research that will expand my online presence as an artist via social media
– Develop a network of consumers for my music through filesharing/social network shares
– Discover how to best gain employment in the field that I wish to work by using the internet