A couple of weeks ago Manny-O-War asked me if I would contribute to the site in some way. We discussed it for a bit and we decided that I would write a monthly column detailing a few marketing tips for bands as well as throwing in the odd story about silly self-promotion we’ve seen bands do.
The reason why Manny thinks I’m qualified to do this is because for the past three years I’ve run a metal promotion company called Dewar PR. We primarily work with independent bands, but we’ve also worked with some labels as well. While we may not be the biggest metal PR out there, we have grown quite a bit since we first began, and hopefully we will sustain that growth and continue to be able to help awesome bands.
So, with the obligatory introduction out of the way, here is what I want to cover in this month’s post:
SOCIAL MEDIA GOOFS
99.9% of all bands fuck up social media. Many bands seem to think that spamming the shit out of journalists/bloggers and random fans is the way to build up a social media following. Unfortunately this is not correct and these same bands end up alienating the same people they were trying to endear themselves to.
For example: A common tactic seems to be for bands to go on Twitter and follow as many journalists/bloggers/random fans as they can. This is fine, however once they get a follow back the band will then tweet or (even worse) message that person with “HEY MAN!!! WE ARE ALSO ON FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE, GOOGLE PLUS, SNAPCHAT,MYSPACE, ELLO AND INSTAGRAM. FOLLOW OUR ACCOUNTS THERE AND BUY OUR UPCOMING CD AT THIS LINK.” Nothing is more prone to alienate a potential fan or reviewer than by shoving a bunch of self-promotion at them, especially when the person just found out about you. This tactic will generally get you unfollowed or blocked.
Another common mistake that bands make is to friend a journalist/publicist/blogger on Facebook. This too is fine, but what many bands then do is to start PM’ing the person with spam, or just as bad, tagging the person in every single post about their band. Again, this is just rude and serves to alienate a potential friend.
What you need to do is to be a regular human and talk to people. Have conversations, make friends and eventually (if you include a link to your band on your social media profile) people will check your amazing band out. Actually interacting with people and treating them as friends instead of potential “likes”, “re-tweets” and clicks will go a long way to getting your band known and thought well of. That journalist you friended on Facebook is far more likely to review your band if you treat them as a person, instead of as someone you can use for your own advantage. People can smell insincerity from a mile away. I’ve made friends with and purchased from tons of bands who’ve actually talked to me instead of treating me like someone to be exploited.
Hopefully the above was of some use to you, let me know of any suggestions or tips you would like covered in future installments! (Editorial Note: You can find Curtis on Twitter @dewarPR)