Don't Just Wait For Lightning To Strike
I constantly make notes about clients. I compile facts, quotes, information about their background, gear, songs, etc.
When you have potentially 365 days of posts to do, it is best to have more content than you need and to have some of it compiled ahead of time. Sure social media is great for spontaneous moments, but that's not something you can rely upon.
And I think that is where a lot of bands and businesses run into trouble. They wait for inspiration and expect it to hit every day. Sometimes the muse will visit you, but most of the time you are going to have to forge on without her.
Running a decent social media profile involves being a kind of modern day journalist. You have to find the stories. You have to track down the interesting bits of info. You research, interview, compile, organize, write, and edit. And you kind of have to do it every day if you want momentum and stamina.
Focus On The People
People are differentiators. Often what makes one band better than another are the people in that band. That is why people are the primary focus of the content I create with my clients.
I also find that people are deep wells of content. There can be definite limitations to what you can say about a product or how you can describe a service. But the people behind those products and services can be never-ending sources of stories and insights.
And despite the tendency to pigeonhole whole swaths of people into broad, generic categories, in reality there are an infinite number of variations with people. And to me that makes for interesting reading. Two guitarists who play the same style of music -- hell, two guitarists in the same band -- will have differences in their approach, their background, and what they bring to the songs.
From my perspective, the best thing you can do when creating social media content is focus on the people.
Posting About People Who Have Passed
Posting about famous people who have died… Some see this as cheap way to glom on to a trending topic for the sole purpose of driving more traffic to your social media properties. And sadly, some treat it this way. That does not have to be the case, though.
Whether you are a band or a business, posting about the passing of an icon can be a nice way to pay homage to a person who inspired you. I think it is classy to honor those who paved the way.
I think social media can also be a good medium for a kind of collective mourning. There is something cathartic about seeing that, yes, others felt the same way about this person that you did. You are not alone in your sorrow or admiration.
People appreciate heartfelt posts about the death of someone.
My guidelines for clients about this:
> If the person was not an influence or inspiration to you personally, don't feel that you have to post about his or her death. Again, I don't think this should be done just to give your stats a boost.
> If you have a personal story involving the person, that's great. Share that. If not, some simple words are nice too - a good example being this recent post by client John Papa Gros about the death of Gregg Allman.
> Maybe don't run a hashtag with this. It's not awful if you do, but sometimes it can be misconstrued that this is all a marketing tactic for you.
> Never piggyback a promotion for your own product or service on top of this. Retailers have already given us enough awkward Martin Luther King Day posts and sale announcements to last a lifetime.
Very few bands can have a career doing just one show a year. Even big name artists will do at least 30 or 40 shows. And the average band needs to be out there way more.
The same is true of social media. Whether you are a band or a business, you need to be persistent. You need to be pushing out content -- quality content -- at least a few days a week, preferably five to seven days a week.
It is a marathon, not a sprint.
A number of bands just push posts from Instagram over to their Facebook page. Some people see this as lazy. But to be fair, it is one of the few ways to ensure that your posts look like a household pet walked across your keyboard. Otherwise it would take a lot of typing to fill your text box with 75 hashtags that no one cares about and unusable links to other accounts.
Better Follower Engagement
I started work with a new client this week. As the graph shows, there has already been a slight uptick in his follower engagement.
Painting A More Complete Picture
"My main goal when writing and recording this new record was to use as much of my musical background as I could in order to paint a more complete picture of who I am as a musician." - client John Papa Gros
MailChimp Goes Social
According to PC Mag - "MailChimp has announced that users can now build ads on Facebook and its subsidiary, Instagram." Personally, I have no problem doing this within Facebook, but I know some people get intimidated by that ad manager and might be more comfortable working through MailChimp.
The big possible advantage is that "It also lets them combine MailChimp lists with Facebook-selected audience segments." If by this they mean that you can easily create custom audiences from your MailChimp mailing list, that could be a really cool feature. In fact, given many people's preference NOT to receive any email marketing / newsletters, this could be the key to MailChimp's future.
"'Heart & Soul' – I think this record – and particularly this song – was the first time we used an EMT reverb. It’s very prominent on the percussion and cowbell, and I fell in love with it." - Johnny Colla of clients Huey Lewis & The News
Facebook Algorithm Update
In one of the latest updates to Facebook's algorithm, they are trying to clamp down on clickbait posts, such as the ones accompanying fake news, posts created by spammers who just want you to visit their website so they can get the ad revenue generated by your views.
Specifically they are going to be targeting posts that link to websites containing "little substantive content and that is covered in disruptive, shocking or malicious ads."
While that all sounds good, it should be noted that this will not be done by actual people. Instead it will be done by artificial intelligence. Based on how their AI evaluates photos for ads and the number of times I have seen it say the picture has too much text when it actually has none, there is a chance some innocent, legitimate websites could get caught up in this crackdown. We'll see how this goes.