What have I learned in 6 months of living & breathing social media (6 month review)
In August 2016 I embarked on a new journey to put a small full time team together and build a new project, develop a brand by immersing myself in social media from the moment I woke up until sleep time. The brand would be myself as a music industry educator, however also to implement anything learned into my existing on-going businesses.
While I have been helping musicians (& small start-up businesses) for over 20 years, social media was to become the vehicle to take these strategies out of the classroom and rehearsal studios to deliver and distribute them on a world platform.
I started with an open mind, a fear of Facebook ads, a snapchat used to draw dicks on my friends heads (standard) and zero interest in Instagram. As for Youtube, I had a dormant 10 year old account with a few videos from bands, businesses and family moments gone past. I would say that in general I had always tried to keep a low profile online.
My tactic for learning thus far has been simple : Make daily content, consume as much advice re: SM strategies as possible, then to test these theories to make my own judgements. I set daily budgets for promotion (marketing and advertising) on each platform to invest in knowledge so I could pass every bit of information to musicians who have limited time and resources. So what have I learned and what valuable insights can I pass on as a ‘soon to-be’ social media expert?
Firstly Facebook is the easiest way to grow your audience due to its clever algorithms of growing the visibility of content from engagement. Also boosting posts to relevant audiences and experimenting with actual adverts. This means growing numbers is pretty easy however building an engaged relevant audience becomes tougher. My Facebook page currently grows at about 1500 likes a month however it has been scaling upwards monthly as content get shared and seen by new users. I experiment with new ads every 2-4 weeks in different areas of the world and different audience searches at a budget of around £20 per day mixed between all the platforms and utilising adverts and boosts.
Instagram – I was not fussed on Insta until they copy cat’d snapchat and stole their features, instantly becoming a much more interesting and exciting option for me. Daily 10 second vlogs to engage face to face with followers, the new live feature also allows a new exciting opportunity for me to perform, engage & educate regularly. The hashtag feature allows me to get my content in front of people and start relationships who have used a # relevant to musicians.
Snapchat – While it’s tough to build an audience on snapchat without it’s own search engine, the great thing is that your audience is more attentive than any other platform (pos other than Insta stories). With a Twitter audience of over 2600, my snapchat audience (around 300) completely outnumbers them in terms of engagement. While Instagram is currently kicking SC’s ass I have a feeling they will hit back and as it’s so easy to make daily content it’s worth keeping it bubbling away… for now.
Youtube – Currently my slowest platform for growth however I feel like I’m learning so much each day to help. I add all content from fb as well as the odd daily vlog and some workshops so many facebook followers don’t feel the need to add me on YT yet. So far the best way to grow this audience has been consistency, experimenting with meta tag’s including longer phrases (geographic area helps) and a long write up including tags featured from the heading and the write up.
On all platforms the more work I put in and the more hours I spend, the more engagement I get back and therefore growth, however juggling all platforms has been detrimental with just myself (and Al) making videos. Be careful with too many platforms and save energy and time for building in the right places and not getting attracted to new shiny’s!
Spending money makes a huge difference to growing faster however be prepared to waste money while you learn the best formulas. The braver I am the more it pays off, trying different areas in the UK, US, Europe and even pockets of musicians in the UK have given me a broader understanding.
Ego constricts learning. Making assumptions without doing the testing is a dangerous game and this goes for my content. I use my engagement to help me improve my content and i am learning that thumb nails and headings matter a lot. There is a reason why the work ‘Click Bait’ comes up regularly, just don’t piss off your audience with sneaky click bait tactics.
You can push your audience to different platforms. For example, every few weeks I make a Youtube heavy content video and in it ask my fb/instagram followers to subscribe stating there is extra content on YT. I find that every time I do this I will get a spike in my insights that day.
Good content wins through and while this is obvious and said by everyone, I would like to embellish it and say, in which case make the content that your audience wants to see… which a lot of the time is the journey not the destination. Youtube especially! If you are awkward on camera then be creative with ways to communicate, if you get more engagement from 1 minute daily vlogs or you have a talent then squeeze it dry. I know that my youtube will come alive as soon as I have the resource to make daily vlogs as I get a lot of feedback curious about my day to day. I’m working on this!
I don’t worry about people un-subbing me because of the amount of daily positive feedback and new followers I get. If 1 person gets fed of me and leaves while 100 others are happy, I’d rather play those numbers!
Lastly I have a rule which is if something isn’t working, I’m not precious and I ditch it to find something more attractive to gain peoples attention. I respect people’s time so much more and realise that I have to give so much in order to be gifted 1-10 minutes of someones life. So while I’m trying to deliver daily content, I would happily change this to twice a week if that was the best way.
In conclusion, the first 6 months have been an amazing learning curve and I’m chatting to so many amazing musicians daily, the buzz is building and I am getting asked to help with companies social media as well as music industry advice. I have definitely learned that when it comes to social media, everyone is an expert but I am watching so many businesses and big bands completely fuck it up, which I chalk down to ego!
The next 6 months should be more streamlined with more varied content and help with distribution so I’m excited to see what we can achieve by August! Thank you so much for everyone who is coming on this journey with me, I am genuinely happy to share ANY information with you as this is about helping musicians as well as myself. We’re in this together! All I ask is the occasional like/share of a video if you feel it deserves one!
Here is to the next 6! and by the way when I say I’m ‘living this’. I am currently finishing this off from my ‘throne’ (you know what I’m sayin!) and it’s nearly 1am!