We’ve already talked about why you need to be on social media. Now we’ll explore what you should post. But first, let’s talk about what not to post.
Don’t Have a Facebook Fan Page
Facebook allows you to create fan pages. These are typically for companies and organizations to let people know what they’re up to. If you’re an artist, you should absolutely have one of these. If you’re a freelance musician, you probably don’t need one of these, and as a matter of fact, you shouldn’t have one. Why not? It’s a liiiiiittle big douchey.
No offense to anyone that has a fan page, but when you get an invite to like “Tevin Sebastian’s (Drummer) Official Music Page” it sends the message that Tevin thinks he’s so important that he wanted to create one page just so the droves of adoring fans can always know when and where his bar gigs are. Not to mention, updating another page on Facebook takes work. If you’re an artist, it’s a great way to let people know where you’re playing. If you’re a hired gun though, pass on it.
Don’t Post Stuff That’s Too Personal
Your social media feed should definitely have lots of you in it, but be reasonable. Sharing stuff that you’re doing is great, as well as things that aren’t music related, but posting something like:
“Stephanie is a backstabbing liar. Should’ve broken up MONTHS ago #byebyebye”
just makes all your friends and followers uncomfortable. Remember, your gig buddies are seeing this. Be you, but don’t get uncomfortably personal with it.
Before we go any further, there’s someone you need to meet: @giggingdbag
This is the official twitter account of what not to do. Let’s take a look at some of his tweets and see where he went wrong.
— Gigging D-Bag (@Giggingdbag) April 26, 2014
Lesson: Don’t retweet compliments. This is the equivalent of forwarding a flattering email to all your contacts.
Lesson: Go easy on the bragging and the bashing.
— Gigging D-Bag (@Giggingdbag) May 9, 2014
Lesson: Leave @replies as @replies. Don’t add a period before it so everyone sees it.
Lesson: Seriously, go easy on the bragging.
— Gigging D-Bag (@Giggingdbag) February 7, 2014
Lesson: Cool it with the name dropping, man.
Lesson: I know you gotta rep your endorsements, but don’t be douchey about it.
— Gigging D-Bag (@Giggingdbag) December 13, 2013
Lesson: Holy crap so many hashtags.
Lesson: social media is great for networking, but not like this.
What TO Do
What’s the point of social media? Is it just to brag? Is it just to post pictures of your food?
At its core, social media is about communication. What you communicate is up to you. Communication itself is crucial in any relationship, personal or professional. Like we’ve talked about before, in musician life relationships are everything.
Will social media get you more gigs? Not directly, but if you play your cards right, you’ll continue to foster the relationships you have with other musicians, and that will get you more gigs. So yes, you should post on social media. Don’t be a douche, try these instead:
Share What You’re Doing
If you are doing a recording session in Capitol Studios, yes you should post a picture on social media, but make sure you have the right attitude. Seeing this picture posted from a musician who is a jerk (like @giggingdbag) makes you angry and bitter. Seeing that same picture from someone who is genuinely a good musician and person makes you proud to know them and cheer them on.
Share what you’re doing, don’t be ashamed, but also don’t be a douche.
This is great advice I got from Peter Dyer (a musician in an upcoming podcast): Sound Busy.
The thinking goes like this: Imagine you are at the store and run into a guitar player friend of yours, let’s call him Anthony. You ask how he’s doing, and he proceeds to tell you how his career is in the toilet, he can’t get gigs, and he hasn’t played his instrument in over a month.
Later that same day you run into another guitar player friend of your, let’s call him Bernard. You ask how he’s doing, and he says, “Great, I’m keeping busy, playing with a few different people. Last weekend I played with Tevin Sebastian, do you know that guy? He’s a killer drummer. Anyway, we should hang out sometime man, great to see you.”
That night you get a call for a gig, and the artist asks for a referral to a guitar player to play the gig with you. Who are you going to call?
(If you answered the ghostbusters, you get 10 points) Of course you’re going to call Bernard.
I’m not saying that you should lie to people and tell them that you’re way busier than you actually are. However, you shouldn’t be timid in telling people what you’ve been doing lately. Be honest, but don’t undersell yourself.
Keep It Moderate
Be careful of sharing your gigs and projects too much. If you look too busy, other musicians will write you off as “always busy.” You should post the coolest stuff that you’re doing, and be cool about it, but you probably don’t need to post every single gig you play.
If you do post every single gig that you play, your followers will get incredibly annoyed. Not only that, when you’re not working, everybody knows. That’s weird and embarassing.
What it all boils down to is this: social media is essential for professional musicians in 2014. You should share things that you’re working on, but be cool about it. And whatever you do, don’t be like @giggingdbag.