YouTube and Instagram tips for bands

There’s a good chance that you’re already be using these platforms, but I hope some of my thoughts below will still be useful.

social@2x_19Youtube

An estimated 300 hours of new videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute and there are over 1 billion users watching videos.

If you’re starting out or don’t have much of a budget to record video clips get creative! Ask around and see if a friend has a good quality digital camera that you could borrow. It could be also worthwhile to approach local or community film schools to find budding talent at an affordable rate.

Spend some time in the rehearsal studio and see if you can capture a great sounding song in the studio or even live to share with your fans. Don’t upload crappy quality videos just because it’s all you’ve got.

If you have a mate who’s willing to help out, always offer to put them on the door for your show if they are capturing live footage and make sure you give them credit and compensation for their time.

Also, make sure your YouTube page is branded. Upload a quality profile photo and cover image. Read the quick spec sheet for more information. You can also add links to your online channels, so add your website, Facebook page and any other social channels you’re using.

Surprisingly, not many bands have uploaded images or links to their profiles. Not even Devin Townsend, and you know how much I praise his online branding…

Here is Iron Maiden’s channel. You can see they have uploaded their profile photo, cover image and links to their website, Facebook, Twitter and Google + pages.

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Check your comments regularly and ignore the internet trolls. If people don’t like your band, don’t worry. You cant please everyone so don’t get into a disagreement with the trolls. Your fans will stick up for you.

social@2x_04.pngInstagram

If you’re on the road a lot, Instagram is a great way to share interesting photos that capture both the good and bad sides of being on tour. Photos can help your fans to feel more engaged with the band.

Make sure you show both sides of the story. It’s just as meaningful to share a photo of a sold out venue as it is to show the realities of being on tour like awful takeaway food, sleeping in airports and smelly tour buses. Just keep things genuine and your fans will appreciate it.

You can also upload short videos to your Instagram account. So if you don’t have access to a professional camera consider using your phone camera to upload videos. Users of this channel may expect a much more raw feel to the videos, so it’s okay if they’re not professionally recorded.

Don’t forget that these snippets can also be fun videos; at the studio, on tour, teasers for new merch, albums or videos. 

Here are a few cool behind the scenes images from Karnivool’s Instagram account. The screenshots show how many likes and comments each image received.

 

This is what music is all about

As much as this is a blog about marketing, it is most importantly a blog about music. Without music, I would not be who I am today. I have no doubt in my mind about that statement.

If you’re on Twitter you’ll notice a lot of the big metal magazines are posting about the bands who have cancelled shows in Paris or postponed their European tours. But no one seems to be giving credit to those bands still playing.

On Sunday night I saw Jack Dalton, Caligula’s Horse and Shining play here in the Netherlands. The bands were scheduled to play Paris in three days time, unsure if they would make it into the country or if the venue would even be open.

The bands released these statements below. They still had all intentions of going to Paris, because as Queen would say The show must go on.

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Caligula's Horse statement

Last night these bands took the stage at Le Divan Du Monde, Paris.

I thought it was important to remind everyone that THIS is what music is all about. Standing up for your rights and your beliefs, sharing love and respect through your music. At a time like this where there is so much grief across the world music can help with this grieving process.

I am proud of these bands who also have family and responsibilities and had every right to be scared to play a show after the devastation. They chose not to be afraid and to play for their fans who needed to heal.

“At times like these when violence and fear and hate comes knocking at the door and it’s rampant all around the world.You guys have all been through something tragic, something I can’t even imagine. But I think its important to say out loud that the road ahead is not paved with that hatred, nor that violence, nor that fear. The road that is ahead of us is paved with love. It is paved with respect and inclusiveness and the fact that everyone is here tonight, shows me that we are not afraid to walk that road. I hope that after tonight we can all take courage and walk that road together with our arms open.”

Jim Grey, Caligula’s Horse

Watch the live video of Firelight from the show courtesy of Axelle Quétier.

Sending love and respect to all other bands continuing with their tours including Kadavar and apologies to other bands I may have missed.

Music has helped me get through so many tough periods in my life and without it I just don’t know where I’d be.

So I just wanted to say thank you to these bands, for reminding us that this is what music is all about and helping us with the healing process.

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All images are from the bands official Facebook pages, thank you to whoever took these photos.

Caligula’s Horse & Shining

Last night I saw Australia’s Caligula’s Horse and Norway’s Shining play at De Helling in Utrecht.

As noted, I’m an amateur photographer. Here are a couple of my favourite shots from the show. You can view the whole album on Facebook.

 

Should your band use Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn?

Today I’ll be looking at Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn to discuss how you could use them to promote your band.

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Twitter hasn’t quite taken off in Australia as it has in America, but you should still give it a go. Start off by following bands who have influenced you and follow back anyone relevant that follows you.

Twitter can give you a different way to engage with your fans via direct replies, likes and retweets. It gives you an opportunity to connect with your fans on a one on one level, which could help you to build fans for life.

Twitter is best for short to the point messages, often with an image or a link to another page. Think set times for your show, links to reviews or general thoughts or updates that will fit in 140 characters or less.

Write content specifically for Twitter. Don’t always auto-share the exact same post from every other social platform you use. Why would fans follow you on multiple platforms if you don’t offer different content for each? Give them a reason to follow you.

Here’s a good example of a tweet from Devin Townsend. Check out Devin’s Twitter and Facebook pages to see how he writes different content for each platform.

Devin Townsend tweet

Here’s an example of a generic tweet from Opeth – You can tell by the URL that this has been posted on Facebook and auto-shared to Twitter.

Opeth tweet

Keep in mind that you don’t want to be spamming people with tweets, two to three a day is ok if they are relevant. If you can’t get your point across in one tweet, maybe you should share your thought somewhere like Facebook or a blog post instead.

Check out these 10 twitter tips for bands via mashable. You can also read about these 20 things bands do wrong on twitter via DIY Music Promotion.

social@2x_05Google+

This is another platform that didn’t quite seem to take off in Australia (or at all?), but it does have some unique benefits for small to medium sized brands.

Sharing content and links on Google+ could actually help you rank in search results in cases where your website may not.

People are now searching hashtags on Google (who would have thought! I’ve certainly never tried). So Google is starting to integrate tags that you have used on your Google+ page into their search engines.

If you want to learn more about Google+ and its benefits check out Beyond Social: The benefits to Google+ for business by Alison Zeringue.

social@2x_06 LinkedIn 

LinkedIn is used by individuals and companies alike. However, there might be a few good reasons to connect.

It could be worth setting up a profile as an individual to follow record companies, promoters, tour managers and band managers. It could be a fresh way to connect with people in the music industry.

Added bonus – these companies might also be hiring if you’re looking for a new job!

Have you used any of these social channels?

Leave a reply and share your thoughts. Remember to obey the community guidelines and contact me if you would like me to work with your band.

Facebook tips for bands

There are so many social channels out there, but which one should you be investing your time using?

With so many different social media channels available to engage with your fans, I thought it might be a good idea to explore some of the more popular channels in a three part blog.

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The social media channels you decide to use may depend on the stage of your band’s career. If you’re just starting out, you might want to start with the basics like Facebook and YouTube to build your fan base.

But if you’ve been around for a while now, you will already have accounts with some of the platforms I’ll be discussing. But that’s no reason to stop reading here.

If you have already established your presence online you should always be looking for new ways to refine your strategy to make your content more engaging.

In this blog, I’ve listed a few thoughts about Facebook.

According to Statista there are 1.49 billion monthly active users of Facebook. Which means there could be thousands of fans out there waiting to hear your music.

So make sure that when they find you on Facebook your band’s page looks professional.

Your profile photo and cover image

There’s nothing worse than having blurry or pixelated images on your band page.

There are plenty of free photo editing sites available through Google. This free website is so simple to use. Just upload your photo and resize it (under basic) to the required pixels and save it as a .jpg (under file). You can also use websites like Canva if you need some design help.

Make sure your profile picture is sized to 180px by 180px and that your cover photo is 851px by 315px.

If you need some cover photo inspiration, check out these 20 leading-edge Facebook cover photos in heavy music.

devin townsend

Secondly, don’t limit your audience. I would not recommend uploading an image with graphic or offensive content. Keep it sleek, smart and simple. I know you’ve all heard the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ but it is social media after all.

Potential fans that come across your page may judge your band based on your profile image and cover photo before they even listen to your music. And don’t for a second think that if they don’t like you based on your brand they don’t matter.

I’ll discuss the concept of treating your band like a brand a little further down the track.

Your content

Make sure you find a good balance between posting regularly and spamming your fans. Have a look through your old posts and see what type of content has recieved the most likes and comments and which posts didn’t get much response at all. This should give you a good indication of what kind of content your fans want to see.

You should have a good mix of tour dates, tour photos, band and studio updates, quality live videos, articles, reviews and information on where to buy your music and merchandise.

If you’re posting info about tour dates regularly change it up a bit, don’t just use the same wording and “insert city name here”, it’s gets boring and fans know you’ve put no thought into it or that it’s an automated post.

And finally, don’t just post because you feel like you should. Make each post count to get the most out of it. You want your content to be interesting and likeable.

The more likes, comments and shares your post receives the more likely your post will appear in your fans top stories news feed. Also, if a fan likes or comments on a post it can appear in the newsfeed of all of their friends too.

Check out my previous blog ‘5 bands that write likeable content’.

Is Facebook your band’s primary social media channel?

Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Remember to follow the community guidelines and contact me if you would like me to work with your band.

How to write likeable Facebook content like these bands

As a fan, I follow a lot of bands on Facebook and some bands post more likeable content than others.

Some of the bands I follow manage their page on their own and some might have a team writing posts for them. But not to worry, even if you don’t have a background in marketing you can learn how to write engaging content.

Companies spend time looking at their competitors to see what they are doing in the online space to see how they can be doing things better, so there is no reason you can’t be doing the same.

Spend some time on social media and search for bands that influence you, as well as bands at the top of their game to see what kind of content they are producing.

Read through some of their recent posts and take some inspiration from their page. Is there anything they are doing that you could do differently or better?

Just keep in mind that it’s never a good idea to just copy what they’re doing, even if they won’t see your page.

I’ve taken some time to find a few examples for you. In no particular order, here are five bands that I think are posting great content.

Congrats to all of the other bands out there who are also writing likeable content!

Haken
I like their Facebook page for a few different reasons. Their current profile image is their latest album cover with their tour dates designed to fit nicely as their cover image.

They have made good use of the CTA (call to action) button in their banner suggesting for their fans to ‘shop now’. If you click on this link it will take you to their official website merchandise page.

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Haken have a very balanced mix of content from asking fans about where they should tour, to praising other bands live sets and keeping fans updated with news from the studio. You’ll also find that they often reply to comments made by their fans. Just scroll through their page and have a look for yourself.

Gojira
Gojira post brilliant visual content on Facebook. Often keeping their text short and sweet. I’m not sure if that’s due to English being their second language or because as they say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. And let me tell you, their visual content receives well over a thousand likes.

Their posts include tour dates, photos from Instagram, live videos, throwback posts and fan tattoos. They even offer guitar lessons while on tour! There is a good mix of humor in their content. It’s refreshing to see a band who can laugh at themselves and not take social media too seriously.

Their image below is a perfect example of this and it received a whopping 25,897 likes, 1,716 shares and 1,522 comments.

Gojira

Caligula’s Horse
These guys post a lot of likeable content. It’s fun, it’s personal and it’s genuine. Caligula’s Horse share a lot of great behind the scenes photos and videos and that make you feel like you’re part of the band.

They reply to their fans comments and often sign off with their name so you know which member replied to you. Understanding the importance of interviews and album reviews, they are always happy to share them and tag the author and pages they came from. They have also taken the time to personalise their Facebook apps with their new album artwork.

Caligula's Horse

Guys – if you’re reading this your new album Bloom is amazing! Take a note out of Haken’s book and use the shop now feature.

Mortal Sin
Australia’s thrash legends Mortal Sin have been broken up for a good few years now and their Facebook page is solely run by frontman Mat Maurer.

So what do you write about when you have no albums to release, no tours to promote and no merchandise to sell?

Well, there’s 25 years worth of history to tell and memories to share. Mat often digs up old merch hiding in his garage, hand written lyrics and setlists, shares vintage photos and videos of the band that fans have found online and tells stories about shows or tours that they played.

The posts are personal, sometimes funny and they always stir up a lot of good memories from their fans. I’m sure there is still a lot in the vault waiting to be shared. Check out their page and reminisce for yourself.

Mortal Sin

This photo reached 20,918 fans, received 929 likes, 67 comments and 29 shares. A little bit of humour can go a long way.

Anthrax
When I think of Anthrax, I think of having a good time. Their posts are exactly what I’d expect them to be, fun and full of energy. This is a perfect example of tone of voice, they are writing in a tone that is in line with their brand.

Anthrax also post a lot of vintage photos, tour posters to show where they’ve come from but they do a great job of promoting their current tours and material as well as responding to fans posts.

Anthrax have over 2.5 million likes on Facebook, so it’s my guess that they would have a manager running their page. I like that they have used their mascot ‘Not Man’ as their profile photo, which shows that their a fun established band that don’t need to use their logo or image for fans to know who they are.

Anthrax or their management also respond to comments in the tone of voice you’d expect. Think about your bands tone of voice and how you want to sound to your audience. While I wouldn’t suggest swearing in your responses back to fans… this reply from Anthrax definitely made me chuckle.

Anthrax Facebook fan comments

Names and band names have been removed from some photos to respect the individuals privacy.

What kind of content do you find works best for your band on Facebook?