What follows is an article I wrote for Songwriters Magazine, published by the Songwriters Association of Canada in their 2013 Fall Edition. For the musician who isn't a digital native (someone who grew up immersed in Internet culture and online networking), the world of social media can be incredibly daunting. Some might ask,Wouldn't my time be better spent writing songs or rehearsing?" The mere mention of Social Media Marketing is enough to make many musicians roll their eyes. You know you need to use the Internet to market your music, but how?
The 30-Minute Rule
In only 30 minutes per day you can find new fans, create new opportunities and improve your music career.
That's equivalent to one rerun on TV, which you probably didn't even realize you were watching. You could also stay up a little later in the evening to get it done, or get up a little earlier each morning. Or even try tweeting while on your commute to work or school.
If you're sick of hearing about all of the luck" other bands are having, then read on.
Luck doesn't just happen — it's created.
Luck is a culmination of being talented and prepared while doing the necessary networking to make yourself known to both fans and industry professionals. Luck can be created by pulling people into your world of awesomeness, through the creative use of social media.
Start with a very basic, three-day repeating schedule that takes only thirty minutes per day. Once you get comfortable with this schedule, mix it up and customize as you're able to.
10 minutes - Post and schedule new updates for the next three days on Twitter and Facebook (using a free tool to schedule your status updates such as Bufffer or Hootsuite).
- For starters, don't post anything more than two updates per day on Facebook (at least a few hours apart).
5 minutes - Initiate one new discussion with someone whom you've never spoken to before on Twitter.
Day 2: 10 minutes - Use Twitter Search to find and follow music industry professionals who are relevant to your goals (music bloggers or journalists, music supervisors, agents, managers, labels, publishers).
10 minutes - Reply to every single tweet and comment that you receive.
5 minutes - Initiate one new one-on-one discussion. Day 3: 30 minutes - Content Creation
- Write and publish a short new blog post for your website. Always include an image. It can be about anything, just share something. It doesn't need to be about the music. Share your personality and your interests.
Next, apply the following concept into your schedule:
Two-Step Fast-Track Music Marketing Plan:
1. Do something small once per week.
- a blog post, a new photo, a new video, a podcast, share an interview or review, a poem, a drawing, a painting... the sky's the limit.
2. Do something bigger once per month.
- release a new song or EP, put up a new t-shirt or merch item for sale, or launch a new contest, or announce a new tour, or a new merch bundle (get all 3 for only $35!), or a new limited edition item (only 5 left!), or a podcast, or an internet video chat, or an acoustic StageIt performance with guests. You can do whatever you want, but just do something.
Remember, people use social media to be entertained and to stay connected to those they care about. Make yourself worth caring about. Don't advertise or spam your stuff onto people's profiles, that simply doesn't work and it annoys people, resulting in them un-following you.
In the world of social media, getting and keeping people's attention is the single most valuable commodity. Get their attention and don't lose it. Instead...
Be Remarkable. Exceed Expectations. Intrigue people with your awesomeness.