I often get asked: what’s the best social media site for bands? My business clients ask the same thing using different words: what is the best marketing channel to promote my brand? The idea that there is a magic formula or single solution to take care of all your needs is a misnomer. Where you should be promoting and the tools that you should be using should revolve around one main concept: where your target audience is. It’s as simple as that.
We often make things more complicated by adding in our own hurdles to success. We ask, what about fans who use multiple sites? What about our own website/mailing list? What about getting new fans? Those answers all are solved when you really understand who your target audience is. This is why I always say that buying followers is a bad idea…because not only are you buying spam/fake accounts, it does nothing for your real target audience.
Here are some helpful hints to help determine where you should stake your brand:
- Your target audience is already there: If your fans/potential fans are on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Mixi, Pinterest, etc. chances are that you should too. It’s an easy way for people to share about you and for content to become viral. However, it’s important to understand the nature of each of these sites..just because people are on the sites doesn’t mean that they’ll care about what you do on them. Whatever you do, it should resonate with the target audience there. I write about that here: How to Develop a Hardcore Fan Base.
- When you have more than one audience: The same principles apply above if you have more than one target audience. For example, promoters are more likely to check out your ReverbNation than a casual fan.
- Can you do it well?: If you don’t have time/the ability to create something of quality, perhaps you should wait until you can (or at least grow the skills before pushing the site). You don’t want to fragment your brand by creating several poorly managed, out of date websites. These do reflect on your band. Instead, focus on what you can do well and have time to keep fresh, relevant, and looking good.
- Bring it all home: Whatever you decide to do with social media, make sure you loop those fans back into your own website/email list. Social media sites come and go but people should always be able to rely on your website and mailing list to get reliable content when they stop using social media sites. Don’t wait until Facebook becomes the next Myspace before you jump ship. Make your brand-controlled sites the ultimate destination for fan related content.
Remember, you shouldn’t have a Facebook or BandCamp page just because other people have one. You should have those pages if that’s where your fans (current and prospective) are hanging out at. What sites do you use? Any unusual success with lesser known ones?
Simon Tam is owner of Last Stop Booking and author of How to Get Sponsorships and Endorsements. Simon’s writing on music and marketing can be found at www.laststopbooking.com. He is on Twitter @SimonTheTam