Starting a new band or project can be a challenge when you need to build your brand from the ground up.
I spoke to Martin Sweet, of Crashdiet and Sister about his new project Sweet Creature and how he using the power of social media to successfully promote his newest band.
MM: I really liked the way you approached the launch of the new band, by releasing teasers of the band logo Vester, before even releasing the band name, what kind of excitement did this create for the fans?
Martin: The idea was to create something different for the fans to look forward to every week for a period of time. I believe that if you give away everything at once, people will either miss it in their social media feed or just forget about it after a short while. So I tried to build up anticipation during the few weeks before I dropped the music video, which actually was shot in December last year. So there was a lot of preparation to say the least.
MM: The members of Sweet Creature were only announced days before your new video was released a month ago, which has nearly 10,000 views. What was the idea around keeping the members a secret?
It was just another way of creating anticipation. Anything that you’re about to reveal or launch, you can effectively build it up to a rolling momentum. People on social media are over saturated by “noise” everyday so it’s necessary to be in their faces constantly, without being too spammy of course. It has to be good and interesting content that you’re posting.
MM: I visited the Sweet Creature Community site, which is a closed Facebook group for fans to join. What opportunities will fans have to interact with the band using this page, rather than traditional social media outlets (twitter, instagram etc…)
The closed community was created for fans who want something more than just the everyday news feeds, like for example if you wanna be part of discussing merchandise designs or even participating in creating new designs, we can experiment with different ideas together in the community, undisturbed, between fans and the band members.
The idea is also to get a better connection between the band and the fans. On a traditional band page on Facebook or Twitter, there is only something like 5-10% of your followers who actually will see your posts, unless you pay to “boost” you posts to reach more people. In a Facebook group every member sees your posts, or that’s what I’ve heard at least. There is also a separate app for Groups which makes it easier to manage. If you wanna join, go to http://www.sweetcreaturecommunity.com and I will ad you as soon as I see your request!
MM: I found the community from an Instagram post you shared, asking fans to get involved with the band’s merchandise to choose which designs they like the most. How much of a positive effect do you think this has for the band when fans can help to choose what merchandise designs become available to buy?
I love the way technology has made it easy for an artist to connect with their fans. In CRASHDÏET, we always took advantage of that, which is probably why we still have a solid fan base. Even though we’ve had our ups and downs, we’ve always tried to keep the diehard fans satisfied with new merch and cool releases like live albums and DVDs. This is stuff that the record labels haven’t been interested in releasing at all, because there isn’t a lot of money to be made from it. But we think it’s cool to have a DVD out for each album and tons of merchandise to choose from. To engage fans will only make them bigger fans, and in the end it will help to make the band bigger and stronger. So it was pretty natural for me to incorporate this method in Sweet Creature.
MM: One thing I have always admired about you, in all of your projects is your dedication to social media, responding to fans and sharing personal photos. What kind of enjoyment do you get out of interacting with fans online?
The fans are the one’s who will stand by us through everything if you treat them with respect. Without fans, there will be no future for the artist. I feel blessed to even have fans, so I very much enjoy talking to them as soon as I have some spare time. It’s an amazing feeling to have fans I think.
MM: Finally, do you have any advice for new bands or long time musicians starting new projects and how they can get their name out there into the world of social media.
It’s a jungle out there, but it’s not impossible. My advice would be NOT to stress out about things. Be patient if you believe in what you do. Don’t put out music before it’s finished, don’t publish your website if it’s not ready. It took me ages to set everything up with social media, websites and artwork etc, but in the end it’s definitely worth it, because it looks more authentic. Take your time to create great content instead of just posting because you have to post. People can wait, because they have other things to do in the meantime.
MM: Thanks Martin for sharing some words of wisdom! I can’t wait to see what else is in store for Sweet Creature.
Thanks for having me!