Have you ever watched in horror as your musician friend who is in a band joins a local Facebook music group that you are also in and starts linking their music whilst asking random people they’ve never even met for YouTube subscriptions?!?!?! Horrifying isn’t it!
It normally goes like this: “Hi everyone it would really help me out if you subscribed to our page“… only to receive two or three sympathy likes.
Now if all someone does is press the ‘like’ button then you are being laughed at. Not even a love react? Only takes an extra 2.0 MiliSeconds of squeezin dat MF ‘like’ button. Yuck. I used to be guilty of this but now that I see it, bricks come out of my pooper.
Unfortunately, this approach actually makes you look worse than if you had done nothing. The brand of the band/ artist being flogged around these groups is being dragged through the mud as every single potential first impression that could have been made correctly has been made horrifically.
You are associating neediness with your brand if you randomly hit up ‘local indie rocker facebook group’. You look selfish – you don’t look like you have just joined a group, you look more as if you have just joined the ‘me, me, me’ club. What would happen if everyone who ever joined a group did this exact thing? Why, nothing, of course, as groups would no longer be called groups. Have you ever seen this happen yourself and meaningfully reacted? I bet you haven’t.
When you do this you are creating an unattractive begging image in these people’s heads that your product is worth nothing because instead of demonstrating impressively, you have demonstrated pathetically and I regretfully inform you that you ain’t getting these first impressions back.
What can you do about it?
First things first: YouTube links on Facebook are a no-go unless everybody is really invested in you. You see all platforms choke their organic reach if the content you are promoting requires their customers to leave the platform. Added to that, it doesn’t make sense to try and prompt somebody off the platform on which they are mindlessly scrolling because it makes another app on their phone open up which can be horrifying if you are zoned out and comfortable in the scroll zone. It can feel like a personal attack.
FB Video for FB. IGTV for Insta et al…. Facebook wants you on its platform so use ITS platform. Instagram wants you to use its platform so use ITS platform.
Always remember: Facebook is not a social network – it is an ads platform. Same with Instagram which started out as a photo platform but now is just another advertising platform that uses photos and video as… you guessed it! Ads 🙂
This might require a wee bit of brain re-wiring conceptually but it is 100% true and the sooner you stop believing that you are actually doing anything social on these “social” platforms the better – you will spend less on therapy.
“But FB views are meaningless!”
No they aren’t… (unless they are!). How you break them down and the circumstances in which these views occur are the main indicator of whether or not they are useless. This is where knowing what you are doing comes in handy!
So! Here’s some quick tips on good etiquette as a musician online :
Be present.Support your friend’s bands. I rarely see other bands sharing their friends’ band’s stuff unless they are involved with one another somehow*. This is bad form. It doesn’t even have to be your friend’s band, any band in your scene is good. Just be sound, basically. *This statement absolutely does not apply to the Limerick scene in Ireland.
Practice objectivity and thoughtfulness. People will just ignore you if you post something saying “please help!” but, as I touched on in my last article on Tuaths’ site, practicing objectivity and thoughtfulness should be at the forefront of your thoughts. Individual people you know may respond more appropriately to your content so privately message them and gently ask them if they will perform an action for you to help you out – it is more work but nine times out of ten they will help you.
There are some other big things that I will be touching on in future articles but let me leave on the following:
All businesses work on a linear trajectory – we make introductions, we learn more about one another, then we start to trust one another. For example, we get to know people and then we can ask them if they’ll let us borrow their dog for an afternoon to impress someone we met on Tinder… or y’know, subscribe to our YouTube channel.
It is for this reason you don’t just walk up to someone in the street and say “Like my facebook page!” – they will think you are fucking crazy! Similarly, people will walk past you if you stand on the square in your town with a megaphone shouting the same – people will actually ignore you even further.
This is exactly the same on Facebook and other social media sites.
Sending someone a random link out of the blue in a group is akin to wearing a big overcoat, standing at a weird dark alleyway and asking random people to follow you down into the unknown. Sounds dramatic, and I think I stole that analogy from somewhere, but it’s real shit!
I will chat more about what it means to make a solid introduction in the next part of this article and the science of persuasion which, unfortunately, has become a part of being an artist in the modern age.
I’m gonna use this real estate to ask you to come to my band Tuath’s Youtube and Instagram channels and subscribe for any of these three reasons: you like the band Primus, you like post-punk music or you like post-punk music that sounds like Primus but os Gaeilge. In the future we’re gonna be doing Youtube tutorials on how to use Ableton Live and some Q and A’s on how to do certain things within the realm of marketing.
Our thanks to Robert of the band Tuath for these insights into the murky world of marketing. Check them out on Spotify: