SOCIAL MEDIA HANDBOOK
1st Edition: 2013 - 3rd Quarter
Table of Contents
Table of Content
Facebook Do’s - The Basics
Facebook Do’s -The Strategy
Facebook Posting Rules
Twitter Do’s - The Basics
Twitter Do’s - The Strategy
Twitter Posting Rules | Twitter Don’ts
Youtube/Vimeo | Wordpress/Tumblr
Where To Host My Music? (Soundcloud, Spotify Bandcamp
If You Really Want Your Music Everywhere (Myspace, Reverbnation, Pinterest)
Worth Checking Out (Links)
Over the past two years, social media has hit a new stage in its evolution as a social
tool. What once was considered a supplementary aspect of any digital marketing
campaign is now arguably as important as an artist or brand’s website.
If you take a look at the way most website are built today, there is an emphasis on
driving fans to the social networks and vice versa. A web presence no longer consists
of a central hub (website) connected loosely to social media sites that act as outliers.
Today, the website and social sites are one interconnected entity, funneling
information and fans continuously between the two. As a result, a properly maintained
social presence is even more important.
The roll of statistics in social media has evolved as well. Whereas there was once an
emphasis on quantity of followers, the realization that a focus on optimizing the
interaction of your fanbase has shifted the focus to quality. Having a large following is
one thing, being able to achieve interaction with that following (via retweets, replies,
comments, ‘likes’, shares, etc.) is a much more effective word-of-mouth marketing
tool, leaving these statistics as the best sales leads one could hope for online.
Facebook is the largest social media site in the world. It currently has over 1.15 billion
active monthly users, and 669 million daily active users. Facebook is also one of the
main places people find new music, and the simplicity of clicking ‘like’ allows for an
individual to easily be in a position where they can be kept up-to-date with any artist
or brand of their choice.
Its important to realize the roll of math in your Facebook timeline. Facebook uses an
algorithm, formerly know as Edgerank. This algorithm determines how often your
content appears in a user’s newsfeed, based on how often they interact with your
profile. In short, the more often a user likes, comments on or shares your status
updates, the more often your posts will show up in their newsfeed. Also, the more of
your fans that interact with each post, the more likely it is to show up in other fan’s
Fans don’t generally visit your artist page without prompting. Its for this reason that
engagement and increasing your presence in their newsfeed are essential to
successfully optimizing your Facebook presence.
Set up a Facebook fan page as opposed to a personal profile.
Use Facebook ‘Like’ Buttons on your website.
Add Content - Content is King! The more photos, video and audio
content you provide the more interaction you will get on your
Create A custom URL - www.facebook.com/yourbandname.
Use your Facebook insights - You’ll see these charts and graphs in
the admin page at the top of your artist page when you are an
owner of it.
Don’t flood fans timelines - Spread your posts out. If your posts are
one on top of each other you might get a lot of ‘unlikes’.
Connect your Instagram Account - This is an easy way to add quality visual content to you page. The same
rule does not apply to adding your Twitter feed as wall posts (though you can add your Twitter feed as a tab
on your Facebook page).
Use Enticing Headlines - In terms of writing, a great headline is almost as important as a compelling article.
It doesn’t matter how great your music video is if you don’t convince fans to check it out.
Customize Your Tabs (Add Soundcloud & Youtube) - This allows easy access for fans to your other content
and helps to ensure you are keeping all of your social media statistics in the same place.
Ask Questions - Comments on your status are great engagement. Try to turn your Facebook posts into a fan
forum. Your personal participation in doing so will increase the interaction significantly.
Show Your Personality! - The more creative you can be with your posts the better. Think of your Facebook
page as an opportunity to let fans learn more about you personally, and build your brand in the process.
Post some Content Not About You - Nobody wants to feel like they are just being sold. Hear a piece of
music you liked? Post about it. Saw something funny? Share it with your followers. This helps keep them
interested and also allows you to build your personal brand.
Respond to Comments - Engage your audience and they’ll be more likely to engage your statuses, upping
Shorter Posts - Facebook generally isn’t the place for a long diatribe. Try to keep the copy for your posts
short and to the point. The more snappy/clever, the better.
Pins - Have a particular post you want to continue to highlight over the next couple of days or even weeks?
Facebook lets you pin a post to the top of the page and continue to post other material during that time
Post no more than once or twice per day during your prime posting period (i.e during an album cycle or tour). Aim to post 3-5 times per week when not in this
If you choose to automate Facebook posts, be careful! Make sure the posts
maintain your personality and don’t come across as lifeless, spam-ish promos. Also
Studies show that there are three times of day that people are mostly using
Facebook. Late morning (around 11 am), midafternoon (around 3 pm) and at night
(around 8 pm). Try to keep your posts to those time periods whenever possible.
Also, posts during the week garner more fan engagement than those posted on the
Geo-target when on tour. Facebook allows for you to choose specific regions that
can see your posts. On a long tour, geo-target the posts about specific dates so only
those that might come to see the show can see it.
Are your link previews showing up? Make sure the thumbnail image is showing up
when you post links. If it isn’t refresh your page and try again. Those little images
make the links all the more enticing for fans to click through.
Don’t! Set up your band or brand as a personal profile rather than a fan page.
Don’t! Abuse your friend list with constant event invites that they likely can’t
attend. Case in point, playing a gig in New York? Why are you inviting your
friend in Dallas that has no planson being in NY anytime soon to this show?
Don’t! Overshare. Keep to the posting rules we set forth here already. Posting
too often will lead to a lot of ‘unlikes’ and angry potential fans and
Don’t! Autopost from Twitter. Twitter is a social site that allows for a lot more
updating, and you should be active on Twitter. Do not, however, post all of
your Twitter updates to your Facebook wall. You will annoy fans by doing so.
Don’t! Be a cold-caller. You know how frustrating it is when you get a call
from the broker trying to convince you to re-finance your mortgage during
dinner? Constantly asking people to “Buy my new record” or “Please
download this track” is the online equivalent of doing so. It is okay to post
these kinds of statuses now and again, but do not make it a constant barrage
of sales pitches.
Whereas Facebook is more of a social media hub, Twitter has developed more into
something that would be considered an evolutionary offshoot of the newswire. These
days, breaking news and viral content alike spread quickest through Twitter. As a result,
the site has become something that would best be described as an information
network with a social capacity, as opposed to Facebook which is largely a social
network that possesses the capacity to move information.
A tweet may only be 140 characters but it can make a game-changing impact as it can
travel through Twitter’s tremendous, international usership almost instantly. These
real-time updates allow you to not only connect with your fans and allow them to get
to know you on a more personal level as well as access your content, but also
transforms them into the best word-of-mouth marketing tool you have in your arsenal.
Twitter can connect you to fans, other artists you wish to work with and even those
cultural influencers that could break your project to a larger audience. After Facebook,
Twitter is the most important site for you to build when promoting your brand or
Choose a username that is easy to remember. (i.e @davematthewsband, @primus @chipotle). If the most direct
username is not available, be sure to make it as easy for your fans to
find you as possible (‘_” and ‘-” are good ways to go (i.e @Dave_Matthews, @ben_harper).
Connect your Instagram. Again, content is key!
Make Twitter lists. Organize the people you follow into lists such as
“blogs”, “sports”, bands” etc. This will allow you to search more
effectively when you need to reach a certain group of people. It also
allows you to focus your attention more on checking in on the people
you need to keep up with more often without having to sort through a
million inconsequential tweets.
Follow your Peers - You should follow artists that you would like to align yourself with, as well as
the tastemakers for your particular demographic. Engage them in conversation by responding to
their tweets and tweeting at them, not in a self promotional way “Hey @Questlove, check out
my new track” but in genuine conversation “@Questlove, caught your DJ set at Brooklyn Bowl
last night, good looks including “Salt” by Chuck Miller #deepcuts”.
Follow the conversation about your brand or project - Regularly search for mentions and
respond (or you can Retweet or favorite the tweet) when people tweet at or about you. The
more engaged with your Twitter following you are, the more they’ll keep the conversation
about you going.
Offer content for tweets - Have a free download? Consider offering a ‘Tweet-for-Track’
promotion where fans can receive access to the download by tweeting about it or posting to
Have a personality! - Just like Facebook, the more entertaining you are the more people will
engage you on Twitter, and the more followers you’ll find yourself amassing.
Post Pictures - Whether by connecting your Instagram or just through Twitpics, a picture says a
thousand words…and gets you more followers. Same goes for Video and Audio content as well.
Introduce Yourself - Go to an artist you sound similar to and follow the last few people that
followed them. Some will follow you back, some won’t. You can use the application Twitkarma
at a later time to unfollow the ones who don’t.
Use Hashtags! - We’re not saying you have to overdue it, but proper use of hashtagging is
the best way to increase your search results.
Include pertinent links - Have a new single, don’t just let people know, give them the link
where they can check it out.
Post regularly - Unlike Facebook, to a reasonable degree the more you tweet the better.
Don’t! overshare. Yes, tweet often but don’t perform a hostile takeover of your follower’s timeline.
Don’t! be a mindless promo drone. Maybe 1 in 58,000,000,000 people will click your automated
promo tweet. Sending out the tweet “DOWNLOAD MY NEW HOT SINGLE NOW
http://www.soundslikeeverythingelsebeingpromotedontwitter.com” will not increase your click
throughs. It will just get people to unfollow you.
Don’t! ignore the site. There’s no point in having a Twitter account that you use once in a blue moon.
If you’re going to use it, use it. Make the most of it or invest your time somewhere else.
Don’t! buy followers. The twittersphere is onto the fact that @TimfromHempstead, the accountant by
day jazz flutist by night, probably doesn’t have 100,000 followers. It’s quality not quantity, and fake
twitterbot followers definitely fit more into the latter category.
Don’t! Automate tweets. Its one thing to ‘schedule’ a few. But having the same tweet repeating every
three hours is the equivalent of letting a record skip.
Instagram is similar to Twitter but exclusively based around photos. It’s a great way to
increase the amount of content you have to share with your fanbase, and also gives your
followers a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look into you and your project.
Use hashtags - Same concept as we described in terms of using them on Twitter.
Be interesting - Share insightful pictures that give followers a glimpse into your personality,
and use it to help build your personal brand.
Link to your Facebook/Twitter - Maximize the reach of your Instagram content by sharing with
these sites. This also provides those sites with more quality posts to increase their page
Search for Tags about you or your brand - Follow the conversation as you do on Twitter. This
will help bring people to your page when you engage their post, and encourage them to share
more posts about you.
Make the most of your captions - Give people more of a reason to engage your photo with an
insightful, descriptive or clever caption.
Diversify your posts - For example, share photos fom soundcheck, live shots, in the van,
writing sessions, recording, merch, video shoots, and also more introspective or artistic posts.
Geo Tag - Let people know where your posts are from. This will help create familiarity, which
breeds greater engagement.
Google+ is Google’s answer to Facebook and Twitter, and it is quickly gaining ground
on both sites in terms of popularity. Its actually set up to be more friendly towards
content producers as well, and an active Google+ profile also helps greatly with
optimizing search results.
Use hashtags - Again, proper hashtagging goes a long way here as well.
Customize Your Profile - From the header to the bio, to the content; make sure this
page really represents your brand to its fullest potential as it will show up prominently
in search results.
Post Constantly - The best way to build a following here is through consistent posting.
You should update this profile as often as you do your Twitter, or at least close to it.
Use your ‘Circles’ - Google+ allows you to organize people into ‘circles’ based around
categories and lets you share posts to specific categories if you would prefer. Organize
your friends here by geography as well as type of relationship (similar to the
aforementioned Twitter lists). Post content that will only be interesting to certain
people in the corresponding category. Big announcements can go out publicly.
The most effective piece of content in terms of garnering coverage in the
blogosphere is an interesting music video. Even above free downloads, a great visual
will capture your audience’s attention and reach your optimum levels of virality. It is
important to have a Youtube or Vimeo account where you house not only official
videos, but also behind the scenes footage/vlogs, live footage and any other
interesting content that you can think of. Be sure to properly tag your uploads to
ensure they are really reaching their full potential in terms of coming up in search
Blogging is another way to create extra content that fans will value. Traditionally, a
blog is thought of as text, however with the advent of Tumblr, and Wordpress’ recent
adaptions, any sort of content is great here. You can post Spotify Playlists, videos you
find interesting, songs you are releasing or listening to, pictures or of course text
blogs. The great thing about the current state of blogging is that both our suggested
blog hosting sites are set up to increase the viral potential of your posts as well.
tagging, ‘reblogs’ and following via the site creates a whole new potential audience
that a blog will grant you access to.
Soundcloud: Due to Soundcloud being set up in largely the same way as your
standard social networks (followers, reblogs, likes, etc.), it is the best place to
host your track uploads. Soundcloud is also ideal for getting blog coverage
and spreading your track to other sites as it is easily embeddable (the code is
directly in the player for people to copy and paste on their sites). We suggest
using Soundcloud to host all of your uploads, and promote the players from
this site. This will allow you to keep the majority of your stats in one place.
Spotify: Spotify is an ever-growing music streaming service that allows users to
listen to any track in the site’s tremendous catalog without actually
downloading it. More and more people are turning to Spotify to listen to
music, and they also recently added a social aspect and embedability, which
increases the usefulness and importance of maintaining a presence there.
Bandcamp: Bandcamp is a DIY music based e-commerce site. If you are
interested in selling your music digitally in a more affordable way than iTunes,
emusic, or the other more traditional methods, Bandcamp is a great option.
That being said, it is not an essential aspect of your digital presence.
Myspace: At one time, Myspace was absolutely essential for musicians trying to
make it. A whole generation of acts such as My Chemical Romance, Taking Back
Sunday and Fall Out Boy owe a lot of their success to this site. That time has
come and gone. Even with Myspace’s recent revamping, it is still not necessary
to have a presence here (though it doesn’t hurt either).
Reverbnation: Reverbnation is a sort of ‘jack-of-all’ trades, master of none type
of site for artists. It’s a one stop shop for mailing list, digital distribution and
content streaming, but there are better sites you can go to in order to handle
each of these aspects of your marketing campaign individually.
Pinterest: Pinterest is an extremely niche site, and is only beneficial to certain
artists that fit that sort of branding. It’s billed as a ‘tool for collecting and
organizing things you love’, so it can be helpful in solidifying your brand, but be
sure your fan base has a presence on Pinterest before you decide to commit
your time and effort to the site.