Lately I have been thinking a lot about how social media is used to promote music and ideas online and I have read a lot about the kind of different paths people take to promote and distribute their music, videos etc.
What became evident to me pretty quickly was that no one really cares about your ideas, your music or your craft if it is always about yourself.
Every week, I receive tons of Twitter messages from other artists, who are asking me to follow them on Twitter or like their Facebook page. Most of the time I simply ignore those generic messages as I have never heard of the artist before. Even though social media has been around for quite some time now, it looks like lot of people still have that mindset that promoting means advertising and the more you advertise, the more success you will have. Unfortunately for them though, it works the exact opposite way.
I always try to envision Twitter as a social party I am invited to, but where I hardly know anyone. Now you can go tell everyone what an awesome artist you are and even hand out business cards all day long but the reality is, most will bin your cards and have forgotten about you the next day they wake up.
On the other hand you could go talk to people, introduce yourself and see why they are there. This might mean only handing out 5 business cards instead of 50, but the chances that they will remember you, support your cause or even become a fan are so much greater. Also paying attention to your followers and understanding their needs and preferred ways of communication is essential in establishing an ongoing dialogue. This isn’t an easy task and it may seem that you are making little to no progress at first but I am positive that your efforts will pay off as every follower will be interested in supporting your cause.
Seth Godin wrote a compelling piece about Permission Marketing that builds on this idea that your promotional efforts need to be relevant to your target audience.
An insightful video by DJ Pain 1 that gives further advice on using Social Media to promote your music can be found here: Promoting your Music Online