The past few columns I’ve berated you on the different ways that bands fuck up their PR and general promotion. This time around, I figured I would talk to a few bands that I personally think do it right when it comes to social media: Allfather, Castle Freak and The Glorious Rebellion. All three I personally met due to social media and I think that you can learn a lot from each of them. They are all active on Facebook and Twitter and I highly recommend you follow their accounts and the advice they give.
You post a lot on social media-How has using social media benefited the band?
Billy Myers III-Glorious Rebellion: It’s hard to say, but ultimately its impact is largely in spread. It allows us to provide a lot larger, more instantaneous spread of ourselves, our thoughts, our image, and our music. When we first started, within 24 hours we had over a hundred likes on our Facebook page without much effort. We didn’t have music or press photos or anything to offer to anyone. Getting over 100 people to just think your band was cool without knowing anything about your band would’ve been next to impossible on a day’s notice back in the day.
Tom Ballard-Allfather: In it’s very basic form it has helped us from a PR point of view. It is a way to get people listening to your music or coming to shows without having to take out adverts in papers and magazines or rely on mouth to mouth like we had to do 15-20 year ago. It has allowed us quite quickly to get people interested in our music from all over the world, something that would of been infinitely more difficult before social media. The down side of this is that it also easy for 16 million other abnds to do the same so standing out from the crowd is the challenge.
Zak Carter-Castle Freak: I do a lot of the booking for Castle Freak through facebook and I connected with Dewar PR via Facebook and he has been extremely helpful for Castle Freak.
Have there been any instances of social media causing a negative effect on your band?
Billy: The only real negative thing to deal with is other people’s opinions. Comments, responses, etc can be negative sometimes. How you respond to that can either light a fire or put one out. Sarcasm and tone of voice don’t translate very well to social media sometimes, which can cause people to get upset. This happens sometimes when you’re a cynical, sarcastic person who is not known to hold their tongue.Tom: I don’t think so no. We’re pretty good at not get in arguments or saying dickish things online, at least with the band account anyway.
Billy: Personally, I enjoy Twitter the best, as it’s the most genuine and conversational. However, they all have pros and cons. Believe it or not, I think email is still the best thing in the world for getting things done and communicating with your audience.Tom: Not sure which is best but have noticed that Facebook and Twitter can both be really helpful but in different ways. Twitter has been useful in linking up with other bands, writers, PR people and general music enthusiasts. It takes a little longer and you need to be a little more subtle but it has been useful in getting us out there. Facebook is a little more immediate. For example, if we play a show and there are a good few people there, chances are we will pick up a few extra likes the next day but nothing usually on Twitter. We will usually do one or two posts a day on Facebook, usually some new music we like or a cool article. Twitter is a constant thing, I maybe tweet 20-30 times a day. Both useful but for different reasons.Zak: I really just use Facebook because it’s the only one I really “get”. Twitter has too much going on and I feel like a lot of stuff gets lost in the mix unless EVERYONE is posting about it.
Billy: Different social media is to be used differently. There’s ways to do all of them the “right” way that wouldn’t work on any of the other platforms. I think bands like Whores. and KEN Mode are DEFINITELY doing Facebook probably better than most. On twitter, like him or hate him, Kanye is brilliant. They don’t seem to favor the platform as much anymore, but for a while Orange Amplifiers killed it on Twitter. A hip hop artist/friend of mine named Satellite High is astoundingly good at Twitter. On youtube you have bands like Superbob killing it. There’s a guy named Fluff who does amp and gear demos on Youtube, and now that he has a new band they’re already blowing up. I’m guessing that’s largely due to his YouTube “celebrity” status. I don’t think anyone but DJ Khaled has really figured out how to use Snapchat to their advantage. This isn’t a story as much a list of people, but honestly, I think it’d be better if people just looked up some of these people on these social networks and saw what I’m talking about for themselves.Tom: Vision of Disorder, when they released The Cursed Remain Cursed. For about 6 months they rode Twitter hard with gags and games. It was brilliant. It engaged fans in a fun way without relying on having to bang on about releasing their album.
Billy: Don’t friend request or follow people and then once accepted (if they accept) IMMEDIATELY send them a request to like your page. Don’t DM them bullshit links to stuff they didn’t ask to hear, like, or see. Don’t make your social media just about plugging/spamming your shit non-stop. Don’t think that your social media is important or more specifically that it makes YOU important. Don’t take things so seriouslyTom: Bands using twitter just to tweet Facebook posts, Bands In Town and other social media updates and really nothing else is annoying. Also when bands spam blogs or labels with their new album or new video is also a bit shit. It’s just meaningless and lazy.Zak: If you are a band, STOP POSTING FUCKING MEMES that shit is annoying.
Do you have any suggestions on how bands can better use social media?
Billy: Be personable and real. Try to join or start conversations rather than just spam people with your stuff. The emphasis needs to be a lot more on SOCIAL and less on MEDIA. Suggest things that people might like, or links to other music or things your band is interested in. Talk about behind the scenes or social trends or issues. Whatever’s on your mind. Make people interested in what you have to say, and you won’t have to tell them about what you’re doing because they’ll have been paying attention enough to know on their own.Tom: As a fan of music, I love the way Twitter gives you an opportunity to talk directly to bands you love and have loved forever and the best band accounts are the ones where they engage with fans in that way. The effective of someone in a band you love giving 2 minutes of their time to acknowledge some praise you’ve given them or chat about a new band they love is massive on that person, it doesn’t take a lot really. So, I run the band Twitter account with that in mind. Spend a bit of time talking to people, ask what people are listening to, mess around with some stupid hashtag games, that sort of thing. Every now and again you can tweet about a show or a new release or merch but make it more than that, get involved with people and don’t be a dick.Zak: See above