Building Your B(r)and on Social Media
Starting a business is hard. Keeping that business running is even harder. The same can be said about a band. As a musician, I have learned that it takes a lot more than just picking up an instrument, finding a few others that play instruments, and composing a song that you (and hopefully everyone else) like. After a few sessions of this, you have a handful of songs, ready for the world to hear when you go on tour in a few months. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy, and anyone who has started a business knows they can’t open a new store selling an item no one has heard about. This is where brand awareness comes into play. Aside from playing in front of a live audience, the two best ways to attain this is having a high-quality website with eye-catching content and a strong social media presence.
The internet is today’s primary source for information. If someone wants to know about the latest fashion trends, the hottest spot for brunch, or what new music they can listen to, they’re likely going straight to a search engine. This is why having an online presence is so important. If you want to get your product on the market, you need to start where your potential customers are. A website with visually-appealing media and a song playlist showcasing your band’s music is a great start, but the digital age of music has expanded into other domains. You can now access music not only in iTunes, but sites such as Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, and SoundCloud, to name a few. To make your music accessible, there are several outlets like these to upload your songs and information to. A business could also face the same number of sites to take their product to, but it is very beneficial to have a product accessible through all of these platforms. The next time someone is searching for the best product or album, your name will be more likely to appear in the results. The more content you put out, the more exposure you will receive.
Now that you have established an informative, attention-grabbing website, the next step is social media. In the past, a business’s best advertising was through printed media, radio, television, or simply word-of-mouth. Now, all of those forms have been condensed into one page displayed for possibly thousands, even millions of people to view daily. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and Instagram have all proven to be great ways of transferring information. Your website will be a great place for social sharing by having buttons for connecting and subscribing to your channels or accounts. You can take a photo of your product, post a promotional e-flyer, and upload a video of yourself playing your latest song all in a matter of minutes. However, there is more of a technique behind using these social media platforms than most would assume.
Grab Their Attention
Depending on the type of business you have, some social networks might be better suited for your brand than others. After figuring out your audience, focus on what appeals and interests them so then you can utilize this knowledge for future posts. To get people to listen to what you’re talking about, you must first grab their attention for them to turn their ears in your direction. Too many bands and businesses have fallen by the wayside on social media because they are constantly posting about their band or what they’re selling, and not actually engaging anyone but themselves. This approach is impersonal and uninviting to the outside viewer and you will usually have little to no feedback. Giving your brand a unique and fun identity is one way to spark an interest in your followers. Examples of this can be telling a joke, asking a question, or even running a contest between your followers. All of these are tactics that require viewers to get involved in what you are posting, which will help build your presence and awareness of what you are actually selling.
The term “social networking” was created for a reason, so it’s important to have an understanding of “who’s who” in the industry you’re in. This involves researching bands, venues, labels, industry professionals, and companies then connecting with all of them. The more connections you have in your industry, the less work you will have to put in to land your next gig or showcase your new product. If you are a local business owner or musician, it’s always good to partner with others in your area. Sponsoring each other is only helping the both of you gain more business and recognition. An ad campaign is another way of quickly and effectively promoting yourself. I have found these to be the most beneficial for special events or song or album releases.
Whether you are looking to start a new company or musical group, the internet and social media are going to be the primary tools in launching your brand. After determining your audience, it’s easy to create informative and interesting content to push your product to the next level.