Lack of attention to detail and social media misconceptions
I was recently looking for an artist online I know as a possible act for a future live music showcase. In doing a Google search her main site was offline as well as her SoundCloud account! This is of course not unusual and I can only imagine how many opportunities are missed by such a lack of attention to detail. Another misconception is to only use social media as a platform for online communication and not have a central website which you then have control over. Its not just artists that miss “the elusive obvious” of course.
Earlier this year I had an extensive conversation with a music promotor who also did “mentoring” for artists. I offered to pay for her time and booked two hours with a series of questions I had in mind. It was an enjoyable conversation but when I looked at her main site for her company, over 40% of the links for artists simply didn’t work, not the best advert for somebody working as a promotor. I come from a business background and have been teaching communication skills to business and groups across USA, UK, Asia and Europe for the last two decades. I’m amazed that in “the music business” many artists and promoters make a lot of basic mistakes. Yes, we are all learning, but these are basic errors that will directly limit the ability to communicate to a wider audience and/or artists.
Both artists and the public often don’t appreciate that with platforms like Facebook, the “customers” are those who pay for advertising, the rest of us are users of the service. Being on Facebook and complaining how the platform doesn’t meet your personal needs is a bit rich considering that its a free service for users. The benefits of this and other social media platforms is that they can potentially drive traffic to your main site (which of course you can frame in whatever way you want), rather than become subject to the latest algorithm from big tech. Some artists adopt the “I’m not commercial” stance, but then literally endlessly plead to a small fanbase to underwrite and support their creative plans. Nothing wrong with that, but this can be a pretty myopic way of working,
The Green Eyed Records platform and social media
In April this year I set up Green Eyed Records platform to promote discussion and debate. The central idea is “creativity through collaboration” and I talked about this at length with Sylvie Simmons here. As well as running the main site, a small team of us have being exploring using various social media platforms to reach a wider audience and generate more interest for the platform. I’ve been massively surprised by some of the findings. Having never been a fan of graphics with quotes and artist one liners, I have to admit that some of these can generate an extraordinary amount of interest. One of these posts created 6.6k likes, 497 comments and 1.5k shares. This added a huge number of followers and likes for the page, far beyond my wildest expectations.
Its early days for GER, but its become clear that with social media there’s a tipping point that is needed to generate interest and that means an investment of time and money on an ongoing basis. This also means paying attention on a daily basis to how many people are engaging online and what generates attention. I am working with a few artists who value the “creativity through collaboration” ethos and sharing everything I am finding useful in reaching a larger audience. In 2022 GER will also start assisting selective artists with promotional music campaigns to help them develop greater audience reach. We will also start running some live showcases in conjunction with the Music for The Head and Heart platform on a substantially bigger scale than in days gone by!
Maintaining focus and productive messaging online
Another common mistake in developing a good presence online is to lose focus in maintaining a consistent message. Sometimes artists veer off into making all manner of posts that in my view really don’t help promote their image in a positive manner. Two examples of this are Eric Clapton and Van Morrison with their anti vax proclamations. I have no issue with whatever they want to believe in putting their own opinions about health specialists, but having once greatly admired this artists I now think of them as total dicks. Its a real shame as both in days gone by have produced some exceptional music.
Of course there is no right or wrong way to creative a presence online and people can have radically different ideas about this. One thing is certain in recent times which is that more and more people are looking for music via the internet and that social media is increasingly a major factor in reaching a wider audience.