How to make social media work for you

We were at the Big Music Project Live to learn how songwriters can best use social media to stand out from the crowd. Check out these expert tips…

Jim Ottewill
  • By Jim Ottewill
  • 14 Oct 2014
  • min read
As a new band or songwriter, effectively using social media to stand out from other new acts can be a devilishly tricky task.

Which platform should I use? How often should I post? What should I be saying to attract (the right kind of) attention? These are just some of the questions you need to ask when setting out on your voyage of discovery through social media. Used well and the likes of Twitter and Facebook can be brilliant tools to help you promote yourself and your music. But they need to be given some serious thought before use.

Earlier this October, we were at the Big Music Project Live to learn from a panel of music industry experts the most effective ways to make these platforms work for you. Rudimental’s online guru Ben Anderson, Genevieve Ampaduh, the brains behind One Direction’s social media campaigns plus Bandapp’s Adam Perry  David Walsh from and Brighton Institute of Modern Music’s Harry Leckstein were among the panel discussing the subject. Check out their words of wisdom below…

Use social media to enhance real relationships

GA - Social media can help you excel but you also need to connect it to real world/life. It shouldn’t exist on its own. It’s just a facilitator of human relationships otherwise it just becomes odd. Always remember that you need to interact and make eye contact, just as you would when you speak to people.

Don’t be boring

GA - Whatever you do, don’t be boring. Or send tweets like ‘follow me’. Imagine you’re in the pub and someone did that. It would be weird. So you need to get involved in conversation, keep it interesting and fundamentally, keep it real. It’s about interaction and communication. Used as a communication tool, it can give insight into what your fans are looking for. Then you can customise what you’re providing for them. It’s all in the word ‘social’.

Timing is all important

AP – It’s super important as a marketing tool but remember, it can create more problems if you don’t interact with people in the right way. Be prepared to tweet about something worth tweeting about at the right time to tweet about it. Make sure your content is ready and your audience are prepared to listen to you.

Don’t forget the music

HL – As is always said, content is king. You need to remember why you’re on social media in the first place – and that’s your music. Drip feed content slowly, use the platforms to get people to come to you. Use social media to drive traffic to your website to get them to download or engage in some way. It’s when they’ve gone to your website, then they’re your friends. Before that, they belong to Mark Zuckberberg.

Interactions are more important than ‘likes’

HL - Record labels are looking at interactions with your fanbase. It is not just about likes, or friends and followers. You need to have people engaging with you, whether it be communicating, signing up or downloading.

Super fans

AP – Super fans are really important. If you can find and nurture these relationships, then it can be a very important marketing tool, particularly in new markets. 100 super fans are very powerful and can help you broaden your reach.

Research how others have done it

HL – Social media needs to be a part of a campaign – production, post production, any art will get a response. You need to plant your flag and be prepared to get any kind of feedback. Be open to be judged. It also helps to look at previous campaigns, dissect what has worked, what hasn’t and model your own on that.

Monitor what you’re doing

HL - Always monitor the effectiveness of what you’re doing on social media. Use it as a feedback tool. Then you can tell whether something is working or not. If it isn’t, then go and amend and tweak.

Read our recent 'how to' on Facebook with Rizzle Kicks manager, Joey Swarbrick.