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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

7 Social Media Mistakes Musicians Should Avoid

A guest post by Franz Vitulli

Building a significant list of fans and followers on our social media pages is a crucial part of our business as musicpreneurs, and sometimes it requires time, work and research.

The other side of this activity is that we have also to keep our fans from clicking the ‘unlike’ or ‘unfollow’ button. At this purpose there are some simple rules to follow and some mistakes to avoid.

Here are seven of the most common mistakes many musicians make.

1. Posting the same content on all networks at the same time.
Tools like HootSuite let us post the same content on multiple pages (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). You think “how cool is that!”... well, it’s not. For three reasons. First of all, every social network has its own way of show things and what works / looks good on Facebook may not on Twitter and viceversa. Twitter, for example, doesn’t show Instagram pic previews anymore and sharing Instagram pics on Twitter can be less powerful than before. The second reason is strictly connected to the first one: every social network has its own typical kind of population, for example LinkedIn is industry-oriented, Google+ is still a marketers’ heaven, Facebook and Twitter are more mainstream, etc. Sharing different links on the different platforms will make you be more integrated within the media of choice. Third reason, more practical than the first two: the tags. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. have different way to tag people: usually, on external social media management tools, if you write a post intended to go on different social media, you can prepare the post to tag for a social media, but chances are that that tag won’t work on another social media.
And posting different content on different social media will work as an incentive for people to subscribe to all your pages. Otherwise, what’s the point in following you in more than a single social media site?

2. Being just a ‘salesman’.
I see all the time, in my social media news feeds, musicians who once per hour ask people to buy their albums, books, etc.
Internet marketers agree on the fact that social media are not the best tools for selling what you have. Newsletters are definitely better in that field. Social media will make you nurture your relationships with fans and turn them in proud ambassadors of your music, but their impact on sales remains low.
This is for a reason: people, on social media, want to relax. If you are there trying to sell all the time, you’ll become annoying in seconds. Use social media to provide value (share your songs, videos from Youtube, blog posts, music lessons etc.), sometimes driving fans where they can also buy your stuff.

3. Inviting people you never interact with to like, retweet, etc. your content.
We all have friends, fans and followers that we somehow exclude from our social daily routine. If you ask them to like, follow or retweet you, they will probably ignore your requests. Cultivate relationships as much as possible with nothing to ask in return, they will support you when needed.

4. Inviting all your friends to your events on Facebook.
Instead of inviting all your friends, target your invites towards people who can actually come to your event. I understand the urge to let people all over the world know that tonight you have a gig in a trendy club in London, but a status or a link on your timeline will be more than sufficient. There’s no need to invite people from Melbourne. Even because they will probably click on the ‘ignore all invites from this person’ button.

5. Posting links without writing anything.
It’s not engaging and will not stimulate your fans’ curiosity, whatever the shared content is.

6. Posting too many automated posts / tweets
This is another of those features provided by tools like HootSuite, but also by some email maketing softwares that once per day automatically post on your profiles asking to join your mailing list. The only automated tweet service I use is, a webapp that create an online newspaper with contents from sources and keywords of your choice. Every morning it makes your Twitter account tweet the new version of the newspaper along with three sources, that often retweet, reply or favorite that tweet.

7. Sending the same direct message / post / tweet to whoever follows or likes you
People don’t like impersonal messages, they sound like spam a lot. Instead of pasting every time the same message, adjust it according to whom the recipient is, and if you don’t have time, don’t send anything, it’s definitely better.

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