If you, like most folks these days, are on Twitter, you may have noticed the recent influx of some of the most legendary musicians onto the social networking site. Prince joined up recently, as did Robert Plant. Paul McCartney took the Twitter plunge quite some time ago, but has just created a new Instagram account that seems to primarily be used to support his upcoming album, New.
It’s no secret that social media is a great way for new and emerging artists to connect with their fans – in fact it has seemingly become an imperative part of most artist’s career these days. Still, it seems a bit surprising to see some of the members of music’s old guard joining in, though when it comes down to it they are using social media for the same reasons you should as a young artist.
Prince Tweets 2 U
Perhaps the most shocking addition to the Twitter-sphere is Prince, who’s aversion to all things internet has become legendary. While his past experience of controlling the internet has primarily taken the form of issuing takedown notices on YouTube, now he can control his internet brand more directly and also not come across as a digital control freak.
This is a great example of how you can use social media to both create and control your brand while displaying your own distinct personality.
Free Marketing 4 U
Perhaps the greatest thing about social media is that it provides a worldwide stage for you and your brand while being free. Obviously this is why so many artists take advantage of the social media platforms, but this also becomes a problem as it makes it hard to stand out from so many others.
But the best way to overcome this is to provide your audience with something they can’t get anywhere else; in other words, do whatever you can to attract attention. This means different things to different artists, and can range from giving away a free download of a song to offering a contest to win tickets to an upcoming show to anything else your fans will appreciate.
Fans Tweet Back 2 U
The obvious reason to create an active Twitter account is that it means you are going where your fans already are. However, the biggest problems most artists face is that they are not engaging enough to create a loyal following and fan base.
This applies to all social networks, and simply means that to effectively take advantage of the free marketing and promotion opportunities social media offers, you must be willing to actively participate on the platforms. While it’s unlikely that Paul McCartney himself is choosing his Instagram filters or that Robert Plant is personally logging onto Twitter (though, who knows?), the important thing is that their platforms are being actively updated. While you likely aren’t the position to hire somebody to take care of your social media for you, getting into the habit of regularly updating your accounts and conversing with fans is the first step in making sure you build a solid online following.