Social media like Facebook and Twitter should be an important ingredient for performers in their marketing agenda. Like most people, performers, artists and bands are familiar with these tools from their place in their personal lives; however, when starting to use them as a marketing tool there are some things to consider.
I’ve chosen three behaviours which I often see many performers and artists exhibiting when using social media. None of them are horrendous, but none the less, they are all things which any performer whom considers themselves a professional would do well to avoid.
Mistake Number 1: It’s all about me, me, me.
This one doesn’t need too much explaining, but it does get a mixed reaction sometimes. Some people are of the opinion that if someone follows you on Twitter or finds you on Facebook then they must want to keep up to date with all your latest. That’s true to an extent and I’d agree with it, but that doesn’t mean that it’s all they want to hear from you all of the time. If the bulk of your messages are all “come to my gig”, “buy my album”, “check out my performance” then you’re over-cooking the self-promotion a tad. If when you’re not promoting yourself you’re asking for favours, then you’re extra guilty.
Experts far cleverer than myself have crunched the statistics and come to the conclusion that one out of ten Tweets or posts should be self-promotional. That’s nine opportunities you have to engage with your fanbase by sharing your thoughts, passions or opinions before you get to ask them to do something for you.
Mistake Number 2: Not having somewhere to send people that’s yours.
Now that we’ve established that it’s OK to promote yourself as long as you’re not overdoing it, where are you sending people? I read a lot of Tweets and posts that take the focus off the performer and onto a ticket website, or an official page for a cabaret or gig – anywhere except the artist’s own website. Just like a poster for an event will eventually be taken down afterwards, so too will information on a venue or promoter’s website. You will serve yourself far better in the long run if you collate and host your own information on your own site and make that the hub which people can come to for information. You can always send people from there to a ticket site if you need to, but at least the details of your event will remain on your site for future clients, agents, fans etc to look over.
Some of you might be wondering “Isn’t that what Facebook is for?” and you’d be right. Facebook is a great way of sharing, promoting and archiving content, but what kind of Facebook account do you have? Personal profiles are what the majority of Facebook users have, whereas businesses, brands and celebrities will have ‘Pages’; which brings us neatly into the next mistake.
Mistake Number 3: Mixing business and pleasure badly.
Recently, The Stage conducted a poll on Twitter asking…
The responses were varied, with a lot of opinions both for and against. It seems as if the camp is split between people who feel you should be ‘yourself’ and those who feel a brand-like approach is more suitable. Personally, I think that the ideal blend is a bit of mix and match across Twitter and Facebook, but you have to be mindful of your audience.
I think that Twitter is a great platform for even the biggest celebrities to engage with their audience. I wouldn’t suggest that anyone go and get themselves another Twitter account just for their professional Tweets. People will often follow you because they want to have a closer connection to you as a person and get a feel for your personality, even if you’re not acquainted. As long as you keep in mind that what you are Tweeting is visible to anyone who chooses to follow you (or even if they’re not) then that’s the way to go.
For Facebook though, I would suggest a different approach. Rather than just use your personal Facebook page whereby people send you friend requests etc, better to set up a Facebook ‘Page’ and keep the photos and information you might share with friends and family, separate from the activities you share with your wider audience. This is probably the area which split opinion the most, you can read some of the responses to The Stage below:
One point that was raised in relation to Facebook pages was that perhaps it was over the top if you haven’t got any recognition or celebrity status; I would say why wait? Recently, Naill Sheehy featured in the ITV Superstar programme and I suspect, as a result, went on to setup a Facebook page in addition to his profile. You can look at Naill’s page here and I think it’s a great example of what a professional performer’s page can be like. There’s no reason why you have to wait to have your own. Nobody knows when fame or popularity will come, so it does you no harm to hone your social media skills and demonstrate that you’re committed to your appearance off-stage as well as on.
In the end, over 50% of respondents felt that separate accounts were the way to go and I’d be inclined to agree. That doesn’t mean that anyone from your inner circle has to miss out, there’s no reason why you can’t post links to your page on your personal profile for friends and family to share and comment on too.
The Stage are running an event on October 2nd all about marketing yourself online. Hosted by Michael Wharley (@MichealWharley), the three hour seminar focuses on how to best harness the power of social media and other online casting tools to promote yourself. For details and information on the event, you can visit the website here or watch the short video below.
Armshouse Group also offer a range of social media services ranging from custom backgrounds and graphics, to help with setting up profiles and custom layouts and apps. Take a look at our Facebook and Twitter profiles for examples or feel free to contact us for further information.
What are your views on this topic; do you agree, disagree; are you attending The Stage seminar? We’ love to know your thoughts, so please leave a comment or connect with us.