Has social media helped your music "career" in any way? If so, how?

Yer Blues

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9,495
I have a Facebook account, although I'm not very active. All the bands I play in have a facebook page and I think it has been pretty helpful in creating events for gigs and letting people who liked the page know when/where the bands are playing. There have been a couple times bandleaders have paid/sponsored the event and it has resulted in more people stating they are going/interested, although I don't really know if more people showed up. I know one band books about half the gigs from facebook and a few venues have reached out for initial contact with the band via facebook.

A lot of people have used youtube pretty successfully to get their names out there and also provide us with some cool music (entertainment).

For 2017, I'm trying to think of ways to better use social media (mainly facebook). I'm not trying to post 3 updates a day about going to the gym, eating lunch, and stuff like that... but I do think it is a resource that could be used better.

Anybody have any tips, success stories, etc that they would care to share?
 

rolsen

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2,536
My band is a tiny little nothing, but we are on a tiny label and release music. If it weren't for FB and YouTube our 'patrons' would be cut in half. Fewer young music consumers check out local 'talent' at live shows anymore, so how does one advertise their wares?

My neat anecdote: we recorded and licensed (like legitimately) a cover of 'Crank' by Catherine Wheel, who in turn gave us props and linked to our cover from their FB page. Catherine Wheel had singles on the radio in the 90s and remain beloved... They are also followed by an S-ton of folks who in turn heard our rendition, liked our FB page and hopefully downloaded our EPs.
 

Multicellular

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8,315
It has helped sure. I wish it would help get more people to shows, that used to be fun, but I think its my demographic for better or worse. But I almost always see a spike in downloads when I post a show.
 

taez555

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9,779
I've had a few of my Youtube videos shared by "celebrities" or popular pages on Twitter and Facebook, and ended up getting some huge upticks in views. Not exactly a career, but definitely helped make a few extra bucks. :)
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
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25,076
In my neck, social media, specifically Facebook, is the pretty much the only way that bands and venues publicize shows. Email is for business and old people.

I'm FB friends with a bunch of bands in my area, but I pretty much have to "unfollow" anyone under the age of 35 or so, because they post 3+ times a day, because that's what their generation does, and because they read that in order to "engage your fan base" you have to provide a constant stream of selfies and chatter. As a result of that and FB's prioritizing algorithm (if you don't pay, it's probably not going to be seen), there's a lot of casual stuff I miss, because I don't want to spend an hour or two a day scrolling through hundreds of low-value posts.
 

Yer Blues

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In my neck, social media, specifically Facebook, is the pretty much the only way that bands and venues publicize shows. Email is for business and old people.

I'm FB friends with a bunch of bands in my area, but I pretty much have to "unfollow" anyone under the age of 35 or so, because they post 3+ times a day, because that's what their generation does, and because they read that in order to "engage your fan base" you have to provide a constant stream of selfies and chatter. As a result of that and FB's prioritizing algorithm (if you don't pay, it's probably not going to be seen), there's a lot of casual stuff I miss, because I don't want to spend an hour or two a day scrolling through hundreds of low-value posts.

Your second paragraph is one problem I have. There are probably 5-6 people like that on my feed. If I don't engage with them in real life on a regular basis I just unfollow them.

Funny thing is on my iPad I can't tell when a post is sponsored (an ad) and on my laptop I see when a post is sponsored. I'm not sure if the iPad is blocking all sponsored post or it just doesn't tell you? As I said above, the times someone has paid to sponsor a post it has increased the views. But I'm not sure how that actually translated other than more "likes".... which are pretty meaningless.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
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25,076
Your second paragraph is one problem I have. There are probably 5-6 people like that on my feed. If I don't engage with them in real life on a regular basis I just unfollow them.

Funny thing is on my iPad I can't tell when a post is sponsored (an ad) and on my laptop I see when a post is sponsored. I'm not sure if the iPad is blocking all sponsored post or it just doesn't tell you? As I said above, the times someone has paid to sponsor a post it has increased the views. But I'm not sure how that actually translated other than more "likes".... which are pretty meaningless.

The sponsored stuff I'm thinking of is when you buy an ad, say for a show for your band. Local bands don't do this, because the cost to return ratio doesn't work, because real advertising (with actual reach, let alone engagement) has always been expensive--hundreds, thousands of dollars for a single ad. If you have an "entity" FB account--one specifically for your band, solo act, or a business, it's tough to get people to see any of your posts without giving FB a good chunk of money on a regular basis. If you do all the posts on your personal page, it's easier, but still not easy.
 

Yer Blues

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The sponsored stuff I'm thinking of is when you buy an ad, say for a show for your band. Local bands don't do this, because the cost to return ratio doesn't work, because real advertising (with actual reach, let alone engagement) has always been expensive--hundreds, thousands of dollars for a single ad. If you have an "entity" FB account--one specifically for your band, solo act, or a business, it's tough to get people to see any of your posts without giving FB a good chunk of money on a regular basis. If you do all the posts on your personal page, it's easier, but still not easy.

The ads are from local bands though. Sometimes they're not local and it's something I haven't even liked.

IIRC, the bandleader with the band I'm playing with did it 2-3 times and it definitely increased the views. I think he only paid $10.

Right now I'm thinking of putting up some video on my personal page. I might just do 1 or 2 within the next month and see what happens.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
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25,076
The ads are from local bands though. Sometimes they're not local and it's something I haven't even liked.

IIRC, the bandleader with the band I'm playing with did it 2-3 times and it definitely increased the views. I think he only paid $10.

Yeah, but $10 worth of views doesn't translate to much. When you buy the ad, they've got rates for how much you spend and exactly how many people they'll show it to. You get to specify the parameters that determine who it gets shown to--such as the geographic area, interest in country music, etc. Then they pull X number of names out the hat that match those criteria and the ad shows up on their page for whatever period of time you've purchased. For $10, that's a few days.

In the ad/survey world, a response rate of 5% is considered GREAT. So, if you buy an ad for 500 people, a tiny percentage will view the ad, and small percentage of those will actually commit to acting on it--like going to one show in the next year. Which is why print advertising only works when you're hitting tens of thousands of people, over and over.
 

tapeworm

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8,840
The ads are from local bands though. Sometimes they're not local and it's something I haven't even liked.

IIRC, the bandleader with the band I'm playing with did it 2-3 times and it definitely increased the views. I think he only paid $10.

Right now I'm thinking of putting up some video on my personal page. I might just do 1 or 2 within the next month and see what happens.
I used to use the sponsor option quite regularly to promote our local shows. In the end I found it was kind of useless and wasted funds that could be better used elsewhere for furthering the band. Sure it increases visibility for your event an in turn your page, but the majority of the time it just results in people clicking that they are interested in or going to your event but doesn't result in actual turnout. So you may only spend $10 but it could only end up resulting in 1 actual person showing up to the gig. A well targeted ad may get you 10-20 likes on your page but these people may never even come to a show. Likes are cool but it can be expensive to get ones that come from sponsoring your events or page and I know plenty of bands with a lot of likes but no real fanbase and/or turnout for their shows. It's really tough to measure how effective it actually is in my opinion. Couldn't hurt to try it and see, it might work differently for you.
 
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Yer Blues

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I figured what the hell and sponsored the page for $50 for a week. I'll let you guys know if anything happens. Back in the day I'd spend (waste) $50 on other things regularly.... so I figured whast the hell.
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
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Once in a while a kind YouTube comment encourages me.

And they say musicians don't read fan mail! :p
 

Yer Blues

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9,495
Once in a while a kind YouTube comment encourages me.

And they say musicians don't read fan mail! :p

Hahaha.... stuff like youtube has helped me, too. If people can criticize musicians like Jeff Beck, St. Vincent, John Coltrane, and Creed then I can take some criticism, too!
 

GtrWiz

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4,092
It's what got me my current gig. I posted a video, the guy saw, liked it, and sent me a DM asking if I was available. I've also gotten some students. Probably my main goal for this year is to increase posting. Instagram is my favorite.
 

Yer Blues

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It's what got me my current gig. I posted a video, the guy saw, liked it, and sent me a DM asking if I was available. I've also gotten some students. Probably my main goal for this year is to increase posting. Instagram is my favorite.

That's one of my goals, too. I don't have Instagram, but I do have facebook. The problem is I rarely use it. Bands I play with use it so I will "tag" us and share events, but other than that I don't really do anything. I'm definitely not looking to share political stuff or what I ate for lunch though.
 

jdogric12

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I'm not trying to post 3 updates a day about going to the gym, eating lunch, and stuff like that... but I do think it is a resource that could be used better.

I try to post on my personal page an average of once a day, and make sure it's something people can engage with. Likes, comments, and shares (hereafter "engagement") is what gets you more visibility in your friends' news feeds, and often in their (non-mutual) friends' news feeds. I hear the weirdest anecdotes from people I don't even know (nor are fb friends with me) who say they saw something on facebook related to my band in this way or that. And I have pretty decent privacy settings for someone who's trying to put themselves out there, so it's not like I'm completely wide open to randos. So when it comes time to promote a show, I'll do so on my band page, and share on my personal page, and I've noticed a good increase in the engagement on the promo posts since I started doing this.

So you don't want to do too much (3/day?) and get hidden, or post boring stuff (meals, gym) and get hidden, but you do want to stay relevant and visible, and engaged.
 

russintexas

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683
I use mine in a different way... here in the D/FW metroplex, theatre music directors tend to use FB to recruit players for their shows. It's not really a social promotion kind of thing, but more of a traditional person-to-person networking thing.
 

slybird

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6,463
I don't know exactly how it helps the band, but I am sure it doesn't hurt the band.

I know than one of my songs has been played over 500 times on soundcloud, and the rest of the songs on that album have a fraction of the plays.. In short, I have some metrics that I would not have otherwise.

Because of Bandcamp I know one person thought my last album was worth paying for even though I give the stuff away and it is under a CC licence.

Facebook allows me easily let people know when and where we are playing.

I gained two collaborator in other countries because of Reddit. No real chance of working in person together, but it's fun. I now have a piece of music with Korean lyrics and vocal.

I am absolutely sure I need to get on Youtube. Something I have not done yet.
 
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GtrWiz

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4,092
That's one of my goals, too. I don't have Instagram, but I do have facebook. The problem is I rarely use it. Bands I play with use it so I will "tag" us and share events, but other than that I don't really do anything. I'm definitely not looking to share political stuff or what I ate for lunch though.

I get a lot more "unique views" and likes from people I don't know on insta. Facebook I get more from people I already know. Both are good. I'm trying to figure out snapchat, but so far I don't get it...

Also don't be shy with hashtags I used to be and it really, really helps reach more people.
 




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