We've all heard about the effectiveness of social media for marketing purposes.
But how effective is it really?
The answer is simple: it depends on how you use it.
A lot of musicians create a fan page on Facebook and a profile on Twitter because it's expected.
Beyond that, they don't have any strategy to back up their good intentions.
Oops. No wonder it's so hard to get noticed out there.
So you need a marketing plan of some kind. Check. Now what do you share with your social followers?
Believe it or not, the selfie can be an effective tool for marketing your music. You can share them across a variety of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and others, which is easy to do with Instagram, a mobile social app that's practically synonymous with the selfie.
Here are several tips for marketing your music with selfies.
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Put A Face To The Music
Many people create a brand around their business or music, and immediately proceed to… hide behind it.
But not you, right? You know that people are fascinated by music and what goes into it. They want to see who is responsible for making their favorite song.
Show some personality. Show yourself engaged in activities you enjoy. Take a photo with your favorite soft drink, or with your favorite fast food item.
At first glance, this will do little more than drive up engagement. In the long run, however, people will feel like they know you, and this is an intangible that you can't fabricate in any other way. Building relationships is the cornerstone to any good marketing plan.
Take Pictures Of Yourself With Your CDs & Merch
This tip is obvious enough. The goal is to show the world that you've got something to offer them.
You can hold up your brand new CDs in front of your camera, pre-release, and let your fans know that you have them in stock. This will make them want to get their hands on your new release even more!
In like manner, you can hold up your brand new T-shirts, baseball caps, stickers, buttons, and other branded merch to show fans and prospects what you have in your inventory.
Of course, it doesn't necessarily have to be new. You're just letting people know what you've got, and that you're not just kidding around about this “music thing”. This boosts your credibility instantly.
Encourage Your Fans To Take Selfies With You & Your Products
It's a good idea to take selfies with your product in hand, but if you really want to take it to a viral level, you have to encourage your fans to do the same.
For instance, you could encourage your fans to snap a few photos at your merch booth whenever they buy something.
You could take it further by asking them to use a specific hashtag. You could even turn it into a contest, and send a few bonuses to the winner (make sure to educate yourself around running contests on social media; it can be tricky business). Then you could have the contest winner take a selfie too.
Furthermore, if you have any noteworthy fans (i.e. a celebrity or a known internet personality), you could take a selfie with them and up your street cred. Or, better still, get them to take a photo of themselves buying a CD or enjoying your show.
Pull Back The Curtain & Tease Your Fans
What incentives do your fans have for following you on social media?
If you answered “none”, then you may want to start thinking about how you can build excitement around your music and products.
Teasing is a great marketing strategy. The idea is to reveal just a little bit – but not too much – about an upcoming project, announcement or event.
You can stretch it out for about as long as you like (well, within the confines of about six months to a year). It mostly depends on the size and scope of the project.
In addition, you can give your fans a behind-the-scenes look. You can snap a few pictures back stage. You can take a selfie while you're in the studio. You don't have to say too much about what you're doing. Just reveal a little bit at a time. This will build a lot of anticipation.
Do A Little Reconnaissance Work
Have you ever wondered who your fans are exactly? How old they are? What they like to do in their spare time? Where they live?
Knowing your audience demographic can come in handy, especially if you're thinking about running a Facebook ad in the near future. Location is also good to know, as it can give you a better idea of where the majority of your fans are, and where to tour through.
How do you do this? Using selfies, of course. For example, you could take pre-orders for your next album, and have fans take selfies with your CD and post them to Instagram when they get their package in the mail (remember to offer some extra incentives).
Although you may not be able to learn a lot of specifics about your fans by looking at their profiles, you can still get a sense of who they are, and if they like your music, odds are people like them will like your music too.
Not convinced? That's okay, there are always different strategies to try. There are plenty of social networks out there, and many different ways to connect with and engage your fan base.
However, if you put yourself out there, you might be surprised at the results.
To summarize, selfies can come in handy in a number of different ways. You can show your personality and give your fans a sense of the person behind the music. You can share new releases with your fans. You can have your fans take photos with your product in hand. You can give your fans a behind-the-scenes look into your music, and you can learn more about your fans by spying on their social media accounts.
Did you know you could do all that with selfies?