Though I definitely encourage people to check out what's happening in the world of new social networks, lately I've been thinking more about the power of focusing on a single social network when initially building one's brand. So I decided to reach out to DIY pop star Alex Day and musician and marketing consultant Solveig Whittle for comments, since they'd influenced my thinking on this topic, and see if that might lead to an initial single network approach for DIY musicians.
Alex Day's gotten quite a bit of coverage at Hypebot due to his unique approach to building a DIY music career. He's especially known for his YouTube videos where he performs and shares his music.
Day has a sizable social media following but despite being at a point where some would add to their team or outsource some of their social media work, he continues to focus his art and business around YouTube with related use of other networks.
Alex Day on Focusing One's Audience
"I primarily use YouTube for a number of reasons. Firstly, it's monetisable. I'm still baffled that musicians don't consider YouTube to be a primary income stream. When my tweets or my facebook posts get viewed, I only get paid in attention. When my YouTube videos get viewed, I get paid in attention AND money!"
Day's official website is a Tumblr blog that has a varied schedule and a large numbers of "notes." He also has a sizable following on Facebook and Twitter. Here's how he views his social media presence:
"YouTube is the place to go if you want to see what I'm up to. I only have a Twitter because I think it's useful for people that might have heard my songs through a friend and don't know to check YouTube first; Tumblr because I use it as a primarily music-focused blog; and Facebook because I think it supports more meaningful growth (you're more likely to incur dead accounts on Twitter and YouTube where people change their usernames or online habits by ditching the account and starting again, but a Facebook profile is always going to be yours)."
"So people know what to expect from each different platform. It's as much for me as it is for my audience, though - who has the time to be maintaining various online appearances when you could be off doing stuff in the world? :)"
Day feels this approach also focuses his audience:
"The other thing about streamlining is that I'm getting more views and followers to each stream if I only have a few of them. I post pictures to Twitter so some people might follow me primarily because they like the pictures I post. If I set up an Instagram, those people will just go there for the pictures, so it becomes very fragmented."
Do note that Day's well-organized approach does not feature multiple daily posts on each social network timed to an optimum point in the day for maximum impact and repeated at varying intervals. But though he does make a good case for focusing one's social network activities, Solveig Whittle helped me a bit more with the issue of starting with a focus on only one network.
Solveig Whittle on Focusing One's Energy
I had noticed that musician and marketing consultant Solveig Whittle seemed primarily active on Twitter and we had discussed this topic so I asked for her take on the matter:
"Focusing on the primary social media channel where your audience is interacting is more efficient. It's becoming better understood in the social media marketing world at large that a small business (which a musician or band is, really) has finite resources to devote to social media. Focus is important for keeping your sanity. If and when a band gets big enough to financially support a larger social media team (when they are no longer 100% DIY), then they can actively address other channels."
She also pointed to statements by Ellie Mirman:
"Especially if you have limited time and resources, don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to maintain an active presence on every single social media site. Research and learn about the makeup of the audience that populates each social network so you can figure out where you should focus. If your audience isn't there, don't waste your time."
And by James A. Martin discussing Jim Bennette's research:
"So how can an SMB [small and midsized businesses] be successful in social media? The key is to focus on just one social media network to begin with, Bennette said. Keep at it until you perfect it. Then, as you become successful with that social network, consider adding other social media channels to augment what you're doing on your primary social platform."
A Single Network Approach
Taken as a whole, the above comments and insights do support an initial single network approach to DIY music marketing. Such an approach can support multiple styles of involvement.
Alex Day tends to focus his activities around video production and related quick content posts maintaining a consistent routine without posting regularly throughout the day. Solveig Whittle does post regularly on Twitter and utilizes a variety of techniques and tools in the process.
Both styles can fit a single network approach. Day is demonstrating how that approach can scale without adding a social media team. Whittle seems more an advocate for building a presence that would ultimately require support to maintain on a consistent basis but is initially grown through a single network.
Whichever style or combination you prefer, focusing on a single network will allow you to build a solid foundation for further growth.
[Thumbnail image: Detail from Lord of the Rings cover.]
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.