Practical (as opposed to theoretical) Social Media strategies and tips.
This week’s material consisted of an ungodly amount of videos from Hootsuite (an integrated SM platform) and a few from Hubspot. There wasn’t much new material but I don’t re-hash things so don’t worry, that means this post will be relatively short. First I’ll go over general strategies you should keep in mind when developing your social media presence as a whole or on any single site, then I’ll go over tactics and pointers the material addressed for individual platforms.
General Do’s and Don’ts.
Make sure the stuff you share resonates with your audience – Is what you’re sharing the stuff your personas want to consume? To determine this, stalk them. Figure out what content they share with each other, what kind of language they use when doing it, and what kind of media they prefer to do so (picture, video, audio…) In general people like videos, so be sure not to neglect them. (Have you ever noticed how many videos you see in your Facebook stream and how seldom they’re actually what people have recently posted when you visit their pages? This is because posts with activity (or, frankly, which are visual) get indexed better and are shown more, which brings up another point… exposure is becoming less about shared content itself and more about the discussion it begets (think Miley Cyrus.) So try to make your posts material people are prone to discuss.
Choose the right SM sites to focus on – This gets back to your personas. Who are the people you’re trying to reach and where do they hang out? Are they lower-level producers or people in the craft? Go G+. Are they professionals like sound design freelancers? Go Linked In. Pretty much any tween? Instagram. As an artist you always need to have a foot or two in YouTube and SoundCloud, but for everything else peep this nifty article, which offers some helpful insight into what the general users of various SM sites look like. And don’t forget little niche sites specific to your location or sub-genre!
Include popular keywords in your profiles’ info – Remember this is especially true for G+.
Link your sites to each other and to your website. – This helps people find your content both while clicking through and while searching organically.
Use lots of flashy, attention grabbing headlines and photos – Remember everyone online has ADD.
Post regularly – This goes for both blogs and SM sites. Because sites with more posts get a boost in SEO you want to post as often as possible with 2 caveats. 1. Don’t annoy your subscribers. 2. Don’t devalue your material by having too much more than people want to get into or spewing obvious shit. Diminishing returns almost always rears its ugly head, and it’s often very, very quietly.
Curate other people’s content – In your case this will usually mean making remixes or mixtapes. DON’T THINK YOU’RE TOO GOOD TO DO THIS… but don’t over-do it either. Putting out remixes is like courting your audience. This is the stage where they click easily, but are stand-offish. This is where you gain their trust and get them used to your style, so when you put your own stuff out, which will hopefully be like nothing else they’d heard before, they will be able to accept it. But you can’t sit in this stage for too long either. Eventually your audience will be ready for the next step and will want to know the real you. If you don’t deliver, they’ll get bored and forget about you. TRUTH.
Focus on interaction – People aren’t following you to be spammed. It is suggested that 80% of your content be helpful (funny/insightful works too) and 20% is promotional. In Facebook and Soundcloud, pinning tracks to the top of your feed can be helpful here.
Get support from respected people in your genre – Stalk them, figure out what they like, connect with them on those issues, give them your support, then ask for theirs if they haven’t given it already. But make sure they have less than twice as many followers as you, or they’ll probably never reply. Climb the ladder, don’t try to jump it.
Find and interact with people actually looking for you – Who’s looking for obscure artists or non-obvious finds? Dj’s, music bloggers, and avid music listeners (routine festival-goers could be an example.) These people will make up your secondary personas, but they’re not to be neglected; go to them. (I should take this opportunity to say that the blogger’s role in promoting new artists is exaggerated. They’re the most obvious, and it’s true that they are looking for fresh talent, but their main tactic in generating follow-ship is consistency and general appeal, as opposed to DJs who are going for novelty. Bloggers try to be one of the first to catch the coattails of a song they know is going to be big in hopes that they will rise with the tide. DJ’s are digging through new and old songs alike, keeping their finds in secret stashes, and waiting for someone to ask “heeeeyyy what IIISSS this?!” Remember, the lifespan of a blogger’s find is about 6 hours, but DJs will sit on stashes they keep secret until the songs either get too well-known or their listeners have heard it too much.)
Keep the look and feel of your pages consistent across all platforms.
- Keep posts around 115 to 120 characters for best optimization
- The earlier and more often you tweet, the better (in general)
- Use hashtags
- Don’t start tweets with “@….” because that will keep non-mutual friends from seeing it
- Use pictures! (They have a 50% higher click-through rate than text)
- Keep posts under 250 characters when possible, 1-2 sentences is best
- Post early mornings and early afternoons when people are getting their coffee breaks or coming home from school
- Keep things interactive (ask questions, take polls, get conversations going)
- Use the milestones feature when something noteworthy happens so your fans feel like they’re part of the journey
- Don’t forget about apps!
- Post to company or label pages and groups
- Try to post before 8am and after 6 on weekdays, especially on Tuesday and Thursday
- Keep your posts meaty and interesting
Soundcloud and YouTube weren’t included because the world is apparently filled with music-hating Nazi’s, but you should…
- Post as close to 3pm in your target time zone as possible.
- The best day to post is Tuesday, and the rest follow in this order: Wednesday, Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
I hope this post was helpful! If you have any questions or comments, type away or email me and I’ll get back to you. See you next week! FDD