Today’s post comes from freelance writer Katheryn Rivera. We admit, this whole website is practically one big argument for why you should be using new techniques and social media services to promote your music. But sometimes it helps for an outsider to add their perspective. Read On…
It’s a good time to be a music lover. The web has permitted more musicians to share more—well, music—than ever before through various forms of social media and digital distribution.
There have been success stories from musicians of all genres who’ve taken to the web with their tunes only to meet unexpected stardom and adoration from hungry listeners.
FROM BEDROOMS TO BIG TIME
Perhaps that’s the web’s biggest advantage to hopeful musicians: it’s teaming with people who want more media all the time. It only makes sense that this would be the perfect market for today’s musicians to sell and promote their work. Artists as big and mainstream as Justin Bieber originated from the web, but his unique circumstance is not the type of marketing plan I’d recommend to most musicians trying to hit it big.
I’m talking about small scale, intimate acts with a ton of talent but no immediate tools by which they can show it. These are the musicians that truly need the power of social media to bolster their visibility within their genre.
I’ll choose a specific genre for the sake of this discussion. Low-fi electronic indie musicians in particular are enjoying a period of wild popularity right now—that melodichazy and synthy pop sound paired with spaced out lyrics has been trending among certain listeners for some years now. Acts like Washed Out and Youth Lagoon have gone from complete obscurity—recording
songs from their bedrooms and sharing them with a few people—to indie stardom in a matter of months. They (and acts like theirs) reached popularity in part because they were wise with leveraging their music on the web.
CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL MEDIA SERVICES
We are well past the dark days where MySpace stood as the best chance a band had at promoting their name online. Sure, MySpace provided a huge social network to some musicians, but the more novel and genre-defying artists certainly had trouble marketing their sound to the many users who raved about Billboard Top 50 acts. MySpace lacked the nuance to house a diverse spectrum of musicians.
Things are much better now for indie musicians trying to share their tunes on the web. Whereas MySpace lumped all services into one clunky band page, there are now fully realized separate online services for everything from sharing songs to selling records to promoting new material. All bands have at least a Twitter or a Facebook through which they can immediately reach fans and let them know about the latest news.
One of the most notable displays of Twitter’s power came from Kanye West in 2010 during the months before the release of his masterpiece album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. West used Twitter to tell fans about the recording process as it happened, or he sent out links to provocative pictures or samples of new songs. The Twitter frenzy helped make the album one of his best-selling.
As powerful as Twitter and Facebook can be, they are ultimately one of many tools at an artist’s disposal. Through these standard social media sites, artists can link their fans to more targeted tools designed for very specific purposes.
TARGETED SOCIAL MEDIA SERVICES
Soundcloud is perhaps the best example of a targeted social media tools for musicians. With Soundcloud, a musician can upload songs in virtually any format to be streamed by listeners who want to sample material. It’s the ideal marketing vehicle for musicians who want to put out a catchy single before an official album release, or just to generate some buzz before a tour. A simple heads-up from Twitter or Facebook linking people to an artist’s Soundcloud is all it takes to redirect people.
I’ve seen artists use Soundcloud in other ways though. Some use it as a way to promote artists that were influential to them by posting a playlist of their favorite songs. Other artists like to post remixes or alternate versions of popular songs just to draw in traffic from people who want it. It’s a wise strategy because Soundcloud is a community of dedicated audiophiles where posted material is taken seriously. Read ”WHY IS EVERYONE SO CRAZY ABOUT SOUNDCLOUD??”
- What are some ways that you see your favorite artists using targeted social media to promote their work?
- Whate are some new targeted social media services you have recently discovered?
Katheryn Rivas is an avid blogger whose true calling is researching and exploring the future of learning. For comments and questions, she can be reached at email@example.com.