Social media sites have become the pinnacle of communication in modern times. As a result, it is no longer a platform for general or personal communication; it is also an essential platform for corporate communication and marketing.
It is commonplace now for high profile executives and big name stars to have social media profiles to promote their brands and image. However, there are those that have yet to realise the potential for social media marketing, or are plainly abusing it.
When musicians use social media, they tend to fall into one of two categories: Either they use social media effectively to build their online reputations, attracting a following and working to keep their followers interested. Then there are those who simply do not use it, and a profile is simply created for them as a record company promotional tool, or as a parody.
For younger musicians or rising talent freshly signed to a record label, it will be essential to use all social media platforms that are currently available and learn how to use them in the right way. Ego plays a big part in a musicians’ persona, but must be kept in check, especially in the public domain in case damages are caused.
Big name stars such as rapper Kanye West have added to their popular reputation by attacking or degrading other stars publicly on Twitter, however, this approach will more often be seen as vicious and derogatory, rather than humorous.
This is an extreme example; however any kind of rant on a public forum such as Facebook and Twitter can lead to consequences. Chances are, there will be more people that will follow a musician for their music than what trivial comments they care to make.
That’s not to say there should be no personality included in social media posts. These pages require constant updating, even when there is no content to promote. This means something else has to offered, an insight into the personality is require for those who are interested, but nothing that could be greatly offencive should be posted.
The best way to achieve this is by building a following on Twitter and posting tasteful jokes and photos of daily life to maintain the following. The amount of ‘retweets’ and ‘favourites’ received will indicate the level of approximate number of people successfully reached is. Likewise the amount of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ on Facebook will give some statistics as to the level of popularity a musician is achieving.
For session musicians, social media is an essential tool for networking. In order to get work, it is essential to be the frontrunner in the minds of producers and composers working on a new project. Professional networking is very important when working as a freelance musician. The industry must see a highly talented, dependable and versatile professional that comes recommended by their peers in order to be hired and subsequently rehired for any work they may have.
Setting up a profile on the social networking site LinkedIn will be advantageous as it is a professional networking media. Many executives and middle managers use LinkedIn to maintain professional contacts.
The contacts made on any social networking site are all important. Even those that seem superficial and are not necessary to achieve current goals are still important. There is no telling how they may be useful in the future, or can offer a lifeline when things appear bleak.
A contact should be for life and never deleted or removed.