The fundamental premise of ‘Social Media’ platforms is building relationships. This does not mean you cannot self promote or sell products but it’s a good idea to tread gently. Today varied content is the key.
Let’s take a look at 3 mistakes that musicians and other creatives make when it comes to social media.
Mistake Number 1: Using Social Media Exclusively for Self-Promotion
There are endless angles a creative person can take in their social media presence to build a relationship with fans, customers or potential clients. Share your story! Provide video snippets of your latest song, artwork or project, include some inspirational material and don’t forget humour! There’s nothing better than a good laugh to build rapport.
You don’t have to spend hours and hours every day preparing your Posts but you will need a few hours per week to prepare and schedule compelling content. It’s always a good idea to include eye-catching graphics and video.
A good general rule is to aim for 1 in every 10 Posts to be self-promotion, with the others focusing on a variety of content.
Mistake Number 2: No Branding
Branding is important. People DO judge a book by its cover. How we present ourselves via Social Media is important. Specifically, we need to give consideration to being consistent in style, fonts that we use, colour schemes and the tone of our message. We do not want to confuse our followers. Try to match all your various social media platforms and your website with the same style/tone, and where possible include your web address and your logo. This will help people identify your content quickly.
Consistent branding is the key!
Mistake Number 3: No Newsletter
Some people think that newsletters are passé but statistics show otherwise, as long as they are engaging.
If a follower signs up for your newsletter they are inviting connection with you. It is fair to say that a subscriber would expect you to provide content and for you to advertise your services and products. So with this in mind, make sure you provide a means by which people can subscribe to your newsletter.
There is a strong connection between your social media presence and your newsletter. Your social media activity not only helps build relationships it can also provide an accessible opportunity to build your email list. You could, for example, give away some music product or a postcard of your artwork, or some other valuable gift in exchange for an e-mail address. (There is software available that can help you automate this process across your various social media platforms.)
Newsletters must provide valuable content and should not always be about you!
A Few Final Words
My clients and my creative friends often speak about being hesitant when it comes to using social media. They want to become more widely known for their art or their business but they believe they have to be an expert writer or a tech freak to really make social media work for them. They wonder if it is worth all the effort. My reply is simple; if you want to build relationships and expand your fan or customer base you have to communicate and you have to do it on a regular basis.
Relationships take time!
With over 1 billion active users on Facebook, for example, I think it’s crazy not to put some effort into this form of communication.
So if your social media presence is currently non- existent or sketchy I recommend you begin with getting the basics in order.
- What is my message?
- Who do I want to reach?
- How will I communicate?
- When will I communicate?
Once you have considered these simple steps … begin. Share your story and let your social media contacts get to know you. You are not necessarily looking for huge numbers of followers but rather, genuine, quality connections who will be an advocate for you and your creativity.
Please feel free to share your own experience of using social media. I’d love to hear from you.
Monica O’Brien is a professionally trained and accredited Coach and founder of Creative Edge Coaching www.creativeedgecoaching.com.au. She blogs on issues about creativity and small business development for conscious artists and business entrepreneurs.
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