By Chris Bolton, reposted from the HostBaby Blog.
Building your web presence means you want to be in as many places as you can. After all, you want your fans to easily find you on their favorite social networks. But just being on a social network is not enough. In order to ensure that you are easily found, and that your fans can easily connect with you, you need to make sure that you fill out your social profiles completely and that you include vital and relevant information that your fans can access.
It’s ok that you only login to Pinterest once a month. Maybe it’s not the most important social network for your music, but did you at least upload photos for your fans to share? Did you include a link to your website so that people can easily click-through to learn more about your music?
Social media sites are built on the premise of connecting like-minded people, bands, and businesses–but for this to work, you have to put some time and thought into filling out your profiles.
Here’s my 10 point checklist for optimizing your social media profiles. This can apply to any local band or music directories that you sign up for as well. I recommend creating a folder on your computer that contains your best band photos, your band bio, contact info, and anything else you might need to fill out when creating an online profile. This way, anytime you sign up to a new website, you’ve got everything you need at your fingertips. This doesn’t mean that you should put the exact same info in every single profile you create, it’s just a resource you can build off of.
1. Fill out everything
Yes it’s a pain, but social networks use the information you give them to suggest your content to other like-minded users. The more information you fill out about your band, the more likely fans will find you online.
2. Link to your website
This is the most important one. Almost all social media sites will allow you to link to your own personal website. Always link to your website, and don’t link to another social media profile–otherwise you could create an inadvertent feedback-loop and destroy the universe. Kidding aside, linking to your website will not only help fans easily buy your music, access your concert calendar, blog, and more–it will also help your search engine rankings in Google and Bing.
3. Include contact information
Your contact information should be consistent across all sites. Assign one band member as the contact person and use their phone and email, or use a dedicated band phone or email address. It’s easy to miss a great opportunity if you’ve got outdated contact information on one of your social media sites. (Yes, it’s happened to me.) Make sure to audit the networks you are on, and update your contact info.
4. Upload lots of photos
Photos are a great way to draw in fans and prove that you’re the real deal. Photos are also very sharable and can extend your web presence. I recommend uploading at least 10 photos to every website profile you create. More is better. Include photos of your band mates and of your audience.
For your profile pic, try to use the same image across all of your social websites. This will make it easier for fans to recognize you when you appear in their feeds.
5. Enter your artist/band bio
If you don’t have a band bio, get on it. If you do, see if you can condense it into about 500 words. Most social media sites ask for a short bio–so having one ready can be handy. But don’t feel like you need to have the same bio on every site. You can alter it to fit the vibe of the social media site you are on.
6. Include reviews or quotes from the media
We all know that you think your band is the cat’s meow. That’s why it’s often more interesting to hear what journalists, bloggers, and fans have to say about your music. Be sure to include one or two of your favorite quotes in your social profiles.
7. Leverage your genre
Bands hate describing their own music in definitive terms. Using genres can feel limiting and not specific enough. But think about it from a music fan’s perspective. They’ve never heard your music, and chances are they are they aren’t going to type in “french-electro-psychadellic-trip-hop-zydeco” when searching for new music . Every band can’t have it’s own dedicated genre section in the record store. Figure out where your band would probably get filed, and use those terms to describe your music. This way you will attract the right people to your social pages.
8. Find and follow fans and bands
Make sure to find and follow your biggest supporters online. These people are integral to expanding your web presence because they aren’t afraid to evangelize on your behalf. Make a list these supporters and whenever you join a new social media site, be sure to follow/friend them. Even better, send them a personalized “hello” and ask them for some tips on using the social network you just joined.
9. Post content
Yes, you’re a musician not an online marketer. I get it. But posting a few updates every week isn’t going to kill you and your fans will appreciate it. If a fan stumbles across your Facebook or Twitter page and notices you haven’t sent an update in 6 months, chances are they are going to move on without following you.
10. Join the conversation
Creating an account and publishing some interesting posts is one thing, but you’ll find the most success by actually interacting with people and joining discussions. Don’t always worry about promoting your next single or album, find out who your fans are. Shoot the breeze. Build relationships.
Do you have any thoughts on my checklist? Let us know in the comments below.