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20 Things Every Band Should Know About… Social Media

Tish Hart
Tish Hart 6 March 2015 at 17.00

Our latest mag is stuffed full of new bands (59 of 'em to be precise), and all this month, we'll be running a series of features where we get the lot of them to give you THEIR tips for getting your band off the ground First up: the big, bad world of social media.

1. Social media shouldn't be your enemy.
"Social media is your best friend; use it wisely and politely. It’s a great platform to connect with your fans on a more personal level, and if someone tweets at your band, it might make their day if you tweet back. When it comes to social media, it's more than just posting your tours and videos. It's the little things so be yourself, but most of all don’t be a jerk."
Josh, Milk Teeth

2. The internet is eternal. Don't forget that. 
"Think about what you put online. Once you press send it's up there forever, and people are going to see it. Be sure to have a good online presence but at the same time don't spam people, if they are interested they'll check out your music. You don't need to shove it down people's throats."

Henry Cox, Boston Manor

3. Be good at social media by all means, but get good at being a band first.
"The social media side of being in a band only becomes important when you have relevant things to share with your potential fan base. Get your music recorded and get some shows under your belt, then work on making your Facebook / Tumblr / Twitter all pretty and junk."
Tobi Duncan, Trash Boat

4. Filter what you write.

"Quality over quantity. Don’t overdo it. Nobody cares when a person updates their Facebook status from ‘bubbly’ to ‘anxious’ 30 times a day, and a band is no different. Thirty behind the scenes videos and one music video won’t keep people interested."
Tom Marsh, Cardinals 

5. Remember that you're representing the whole band when you post something online, not just yourself.
"Always be conscious of how your posts on social media sound out loud and the weight your words can carry. Consistently keep in mind that when posting on behalf of your band, you are not representing just yourself as an individual, but multiple people.  If you have a social platform that people pay attention to, use it wisely and consciously."
Kevin Maida Knuckle Puck   

6. Timing is everything.
"Try and work out the best times to publish updates from your social media platforms in order to maximise the reach and exposure of your posts. There are good and bad times to release content online - for example there's not much point dropping a new video / track at 7pm on a Saturday night just as everyone is about to go out for the evening."
Drey Pavlovic, Allusondrugs

7. Interacting with your fans is important. But it's not about ego.
"It's one of the most important tools in your arsenal, but not necessarily the most important. Remember that songs and performance always come first, so don’t conform to the paradigm that 'likes = units/bodies in a room', because it is absolutely not the case. Your music will always serve better than an online following. What IS important, is to appreciate everyone involved in the making of your band, and that means that interaction with people who follow your accounts and support you comes pretty high up in the social media hierarchy. When there is news good or bad enough to share, keep them in the know, and be as creative as possible with it! Just don’t use it as an ego venture."
Austin Dickinson, As Lions 

8. Being accessible isn't a bad thing.
"Engaging with fans is the best thing you can do. They spend countless hours buying / listening to your music, wearing your merch, attending your shows and just want to know that you care about them as much as they care about you. A simple reply goes a long way and shows that your fans are important to them. Be accessible to a degree and let them know that you love them."  
Chrissy Costanza, Against The Current

9. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube... they're all different.
"It's important to understand each platform’s strengths and weaknesses. For example - posting 30 times a day on Facebook is gonna piss people off for sure and potentially lead to you losing fans from your page. It's best to save the constant updates and band to fan interactions for Twitter as it's way more geared towards that kind of thing. OR your post reach is nothing to do with Facebook charging for posts to be seen. If you know how to utilise social media properly and actively use Facebook with a strategy, your interaction will be high and therefore so will your post reach. Paying to have posts seen sucks, so work out what your fan base interact with best with and play on it!"
Alex Adam, ROAM 

10. It's okay to ask questions...
"Be responsive and ask questions. Social media is an awesome window to the people who dig your band. Social media makes it so much easier for fans to contact the bands. And by the same token, it is so much easier for the bands to actually respond. So unless you're as big as Metallica, respond to your fans. Also, use social media to ask questions about what your patrons want from you. The more you trust and know about them, the more successful your band will be."
Tom Napier, Light You Up

11. ...and answer the questions people ask you.
"Engage with your fans. Social media enables you to have a much closer relationship with the people who enable you to do what you love doing. Respond to their comments and converse with them in the same manner you would do at shows."
Josh Redrup, Palm Reader 

12. Be intersting. Mix up your media.
"Keep people interested by using photos and videos 'cos that's much more interesting, and don't spam!" 
Will Bottomley, Marmozets

"Facebook isn't the be all and end all of advertising your band. Make use of all available platforms i.e Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr etc. Don't take yourselves too seriously on these pages as it can be pretty dull; try and have fun and remember your fans will want to know what you’re getting up to, keep it updated with photos and funny shit."
Max Campbell, Fathoms

13. You have a personality. Use it.
"Be conversational. It’s great to be professional, but you’ve got to give people a real reason to like your page or follow your Twitter account. Post the kind of things you might put on your own profile and don’t be afraid to put up and share things that are generally interesting to you and your bandmates; chances are, the people who’re into your music will be into similar stuff to you anyway. Show your fans who you are and what you like."  
Rob Vicars, Wars

14. Treat your fans like friends.
"It’s really important to be active with your fans. There’s so many ways to do this from Twitter to Instagram and Facebook. We feel like our fans are our friends, so with us we share what we’re up to and share things that are important to us. It seems like what’s important to us is also important to our fans. It’s a really cool experience for everyone. You shouldn’t share every waking moment though and you can definitely overdo it."
Sydney Sierota, Echosmith

15. Cyberbulling is fucking lame. Don't do it, don't rise to it and make use of that 'block' button.
"If someone is not respectful in messages, comments or is abusing other peopl, ban them. We don’t have patience for people who aren’t here for music and an escape from everything in life. We are against cyber bullying."
Kevin Ghost, Ghost Town 

16. On that note, be prepared for criticism.
"Don't lose sleep over negative comments. You can't please everybody and the internet can make you very aware of that!"
Josh Hurley, Hacktivist 

17. Learn to laugh at the trolls. You'll live longer.
"Rise above the shit talkers! Know when to reply to followers and when to ignore the basic internet trolls that search for any public forum to gain attention. It's not worth your time or your followers... although sometimes it can be a little comedic." 
Shaun Milton, Landscapes

18. It's an addiction. We all know that.
"As an individual, I would like to stop using it all together.  It can be fun, but it's a generational obsession and a crutch that I take part in."
Jami Morgan, Code Orange

19. Keep it brief. Also, PICTURES.
"Make sure your posts are timed well (not three in the morning) informative, but most importantly, short! Nobody likes reading essays about your new single, they just want to hear it! Try and include pictures as much as possible." 
James 'Jibs' Kennedy Oceans Ate Alaska 

20. Most of all... be yourself.
"The best advice I would have is to make sure you be yourself online, don’t present an idea of yourself that doesn’t exist but don’t take it too seriously, either. I spend most of my time tweeting about Pokemon or how much I love Manchester Orchestra. Also, try your best to reply to everyone, or at least most people. If somebody took the time to tell you your band rules, take the time to say thanks or acknowledge it in some if at all possible."
Sean Reid, Only Rivals

SO there you have it. Twenty top social media tips for a bunch of bands we love. And remember. All of the bands featured here appear in the New Noise issue of Rock Sound. It looks like this:

and you can order it, download it, or grab it from shops right now. So go on! Go find some new bands to love.

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