Are you committing any of these social media sins?
I’ve been personally manning the Jaden Social Facebook and Twitter pages since starting the company in my bedroom back in November 2011. And let me say straight up, getting my hands dirty right from day 1 has been one of the most valuable and eye-opening experiences I could ask for as a business owner, musician and marketer.
In 18 months I have gone from checking in barely a couple of times a week to deal with a handful of interactions, to spending upwards of 12 hours a day monitoring and managing more than 100 interactions 7 days a week (thank you Chrome for the ability to permanently pin tabs to the browser window).
Now I would say I’m a pretty chilled out dude for the most part, but there are some things that musos do (and say) online that really make me cringe. Since I too was once a blissfully ignorant and, at times, cringe-worthy muso, I’m not going to sit here and get self-righteous about it. No, I’m going to do the next funnest (that’s a real word, I swear) thing and compile a list of 7 deadly sins I feel are damaging the online efficacy of all my musician friends’ content & promotion strategies on Facebook & Twitter.
1. Promoting without providing value
This is without a doubt one of the biggest no-no’s that exists on EVERY Social Media platform today. It’s one thing to use your page to dutifully inform your followers that you have new music, videos, or shows coming up, but completely another to ram the self-promotion stick so far down their throats that they get rushed to the emergency room with a ruptured spleen.
To be clear, it’s perfectly fine (even advisable) to post your links several times a week to achieve maximum reach, but for every promotional post you drop on your page you MUST be posting 3-5+ pieces of valuable content to break up the noise (believe me when I say your promo posts are NOISE, contributing to the deafening roar of that ceaseless waterfall spilling down your followers’ timelines).
Just like you would when writing and producing songs, try to blend a variety of elements (content types) in your marketing mix, and above all be both sparing & tasteful with your promo and the impact will be far greater!
2. Posting at the wrong times
OK, so maybe there is no such thing as posting at the wrong time – every post will be seen by at least a few people, which could never be considered a waste. But there is certainly such a thing as posting at the RIGHT time.
Instead of spitting out posts whenever you feel the itch, make use of your Facebook page analytics and a free Twitter tool like Tweriod or FollowerWonk to work out exactly where in the world your audience is and when they’re watching their timelines. This will both increase the reach of each post and reduce the number of times you need to post a piece of content for it to reach your entire fanbase.
3. Being generic & self-indulgent
I could fill an intercity dump truck with examples of the self-promotional garbage that currently pollutes Social Media – posts that are crammed with tacky buzz words, cliches, superfluous dollar signs, and highly questionable claims of the house being “ON FIIRE!!!”
People will feel much less like you’re trying to sell them shit (and much more inclined to buy your shit) if you present yourself as genuine, unique, and legit about your music. Why not show a little personality and package things up with a joke and a wink. Who knows, people might even end up loving you!
4. Irregular posting patterns
In a world brimming with unpredictability, it is inherently human to find comfort and security in routine; the daily routine of a 9-5 job, a weekly routine of exercise at the gym, and so forth. So many musicians (including myself) are guilty of neglecting this golden rule; often just posting when we feel creatively inspired or have something exciting to say. By failing to form regular posting habits on your Facebook & Twitter pages, you are putting up a barrier to entry for a large chunk of the population.
If you leave your audience hanging and with no idea when they might hear from you next, what hope can they have of forming any kind of lasting online relationship with you? Let’s also not forget about Facebook’s very own vigilant citizen, the Edgerank algorithm, who takes great pleasure in punishing you for failing to provide regular content to your fans.
The bottom line here is, keep your content regular and give your audience a fair chance to connect with you. And if this is too difficult to manage with your busy schedule, our good friends at Buffer have created a stunning piece of software that will bring the equivalent of world peace into your turbulent life.
5. Telling the WHAT but not the WHY
I have absolutely no qualms with you promoting your content; I mean, how else will I find it? But don’t expect me to care unless you GIVE me a reason to care. Telling me what you want me to click on is a great start, but how about telling me why I should click on it.
Will your new video clip teleport me back to the late 80′s, and my days as a cheeky schoolboy spending his lunch money at the local videogame arcade instead of going to school? Will it give me glimpses of the hardships endured by a twenty-something hustler out of Brooklyn?
Let me say it again – don’t expect me to care unless you GIVE me a reason to care. Treat every single post as an opportunity to reveal your character and interests, share your unique value proposition (what is different about you and your music), and intrigue your audience.
6. Forgetting that your timeline is a shopfront
The state of your Facebook or Twitter timeline is the first thing I have to judge you on when I drop onto your page. If your Twitter is a mess of personal conversations and in-jokes I’m bouncing. If it’s a string of ugly links and Tarzan-style chest beating promotion I’m bouncing. If your Facebook timeline is composed of nothing but pictures of your stupid cat in different coloured lace bonnets, you better believe I’m bouncing.
Make a habit of looking at your timeline a few times each week through the eyes of a brand new follower or fan who is trying to make up their mind about you. Does your timeline accurately depict your story? Does it spark curiosity and make you want to find out more?
Take your Social housekeeping seriously and make every impression one that counts.
7. Adopting the same strategy for Facebook & Twitter
The last but certainly not least of the 7 deadly sins is that of treating your Facebook and Twitter pages as equals when they are not! This is not to say one platform is better than the other, but rather each has its own strengths, weaknesses and nuances.
As an example, Instagram pictures look and behave beautifully when posted to Facebook, but appear nothing short of hideous when pushed through to Twitter. Hashtags can be used to great effect on Twitter, but don’t let me catch you dropping those soul-less, italicized naughts & crosses boards into my Facebook feed.
Rather than simply linking your Facebook & Twitter accounts together (possibly the worst crime against Social Media there is) and posting the same things at the same times, learn the differences between the platforms so you can capitalise upon their strengths. There are many, many unique characteristics of both platforms, and having a good understanding of these can dramatically improve the reach & reception of your content (feel free to hit me up on Twitter for a prod in the direction of some great resources).
Well, I feel like that’s enough typing for one day, so now I’m handing the mic over to you – feel free to get back at me with your thoughts, and more of your own deadly Facebook & Twitter sins in the comments below!
Until next time, thanks for reading and stay creative.