Social Question

FreskBeats's avatar

How important do you think networking is to artists in the music industry and why?

Asked by FreskBeats (26 points ) March 26th, 2011

How important do you think networking (such as: Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, Myspace, etc.) are to artists in the music industry and why?
Should it be important that artists stay in contact with fans as much as possible, or are you not really interested in hearing about them eating dinner, etc.?

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3 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

Social media is important to create an audience for your art. You need to be visible to people if you want to move your career forward. Creating a personal connection to people who will buy your songs and come to your performances can only happen with social media. And it’s essentially “free” in the sense that there’s a time investment in promotion.

I’m in my 50’s. I attend music shows within a 100 mile radius of my home several times a month. I find new music through public radio, FB, YouTube, Amazon, Bandcamp, MySpace. When I’m going to hear a band that I know, the first thing I do is check out who’s playing with them – on YouTube, Amazon, and I google them to see if they have MySpace or a web site. If it’s something that I like, and think my friends will like, I “like” them on FB, and post a video or webpage link on my page for my friends to see.

With respect to blogging as a musician, you need to separate your public persona from your personal persona. No, your fans will not want to hear about you eating dinner, but they will be interested in hearing about stories that happen while you’re on tour, or about other musicians that you’ve heard and like, or about upcoming tour dates, CD pre-launch information. Every time that you cross-promote, you will turn up in a search for that individual or venue if you tag them. In addition to fans, your visibility is important agents and booking venues.

With most things in a business, and earning your livelihood music is a business, it is helpful to commit on paper a communication plan. Think about who your audiences are, what goals you want to meet, what information your audiences need, and how you’re going to create that content. You will get more out of your effort and content if you have a plan for what to communicate.

There is a saying that I picked up in a communications class that is very true for music promotion – “You tell people the same thing over and over again because you have to.” People have attentions spans like gnats when it comes to entertainment. You have to stay top of mind. Social media allows you to do that.

In case you’re wondering what a 50-something would drive 100 miles to see – The National, Janelle Monae, Ra Ra Riot, Fleet Foxes, Decemberists, Dawes, Apples in Stereo, Walk the Moon, Over the Rhine, Mayer Hawthorne, Fitz and the Tantrums, White Rabbits, David Byrne. Not a geezer band in the bunch.

Randy's avatar

To echo what @BarnacleBill said, I think it’s very important. In the entertainment business, you have to make yourself available to people. If you don’t put what you’re doing in front of their face, they tend to forget about you easily. No one can or will seek out something that they don’t know about.

longtresses's avatar

kevbo gave this article in another question, so I thought I should pass it on..

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