Social Media Advice For Bands

I’ve been asked for advice now and then about certain social media activities for bands: sometimes from bands and sometimes from fans. I certainly don’t espouse myself to be some kind of expert. What I can say is that I have 30 years of experience running groups and doing social media outreach for organizations (majority non-profit). There are way too many things to cover and tons of nuance, so I’ve decided to do a list of ten things: things I’ve noticed pages (bands and non-bands alike) do or not do over the years. Take this for what it is: friendly advice from someone who wants you to succeed! Or ignore me completely. After all, in the long run, it is your page and your band and your decisions to make.

  1. Unless you have directly harmed someone (emotionally or physically) you should not apologize on your social media (or on stage for that matter). Having technical difficulties? Been absent a bit too long from your page? Post the wrong thing? Don’t apologize. Instead, thank people for their patience or understanding. What sounds better, “Sorry about the technical difficulties everyone” or “Hey, thanks for your patience as we get this sorted out!” Thanking your listeners/page visitors puts the ownership of being awesome on them. It let’s them know how appreciative you are for their behavior and not how apologetic you are for yours. Don’t say you’re sorry for not posting in a long time, instead thank your readers for their patience.
  2. Don’t put your personal drama on your band’s page. It sucks that your band is broke and can’t afford to pay the rent. It sucks that last night’s venue short-changed you or only let you perform for ten minutes instead of the planned thirty. We have all been there. Post that stuff on your personal page if you must, but your band page should not be where you are complaining about your personal life (even if it’s band-related). It’s not that people don’t care, per se, it’s that people have their own personal drama they are dealing with and the majority of the “that sucks” or “sorry to hear that” posts are just that: posts that are meaningless. Air that out with your friends on your personal page (or your actual real life friends) and not on your fans.
  3. Along the same lines as #2, do not talk smack about other bands on your page (or on stage). By all means call out egregious behavior like racism, homophobia, etc., but just because you don’t like a band doesn’t mean a damn thing to your fans. That only risks isolating some of your fans who do like the band your talking bad about. Music is mostly subjective and whether or not you like it does not mean others will not. For example, I would never say that a comedian is bad: I say instead (because it’s true), that the comedian is not funny to me. So I would never say that Band A sucks, just that Band A’s music doesn’t appeal to me or “it’s not my thing.”
  4. Make sure your About section is filled out as much as possible. Provide a link to your Bandcamp page or Soundcloud page or main web page. List your band members and what they do (keyboards, vocals, guitar, programming, etc). Specify your genre(s) and fill out the “bands you like” or “influences.” In the About section on Facebook, make sure you fill in a “username.” The username should cause your page to come up immediately. Have someone check for you who is not an admin. If they put in @bandabc and it comes up with six different pages, then you need to modify it. It amazes me how many bands don’t think about this. You want your fans and radio shows and DJs to tag your band and the easiest way to do that is to have an @username that definitely comes up with your band and not something else. You may have to modify it to @bandabcofficial or @bandabc.info or similar to get it to come up immediately in a tag. Play with it until someone can tag your band easily in Facebook. If you luck out and user FB “username” matches your Twitter handle: BONUS POINTS!
  5. If you’re going to use an image to bypass Facebook’s algorithm that forces you to “boost your post,” that’s fine, just don’t forget to include a direct link in the first comment. Don’t make your fans search for the event page or manually type in the web page that’s in the image.
  6. You don’t have to respond to every fan’s comment, but you should at least post in the thread where fans have commented. Something along the lines of “Thanks for all your feedback everyone” or “Keep the comments coming, we love and appreciate your input!” Even a simple “thanks” from you can make a fan’s day.
  7. If your band’s page is tagged by a radio show, DJ, magazine, or genre supportive social media group (the page itself, not readers or fans of that page), then you should at a minimum like their post. You should consider posting a “thanks” of some kind in the comments. You should definitely think about sharing their post: not just when it’s only about your band, but when your band is included among others. The scene is equally as important as your band. Without a scene, your band has no support network. Sharing this stuff introduces your fans to other bands and vice versa. It increases awareness of the scene and increases the fan base across the spectrum.
  8. Speaking of the scene, it is important that you support the scene. You are not an isolated band. If there are no other scene bands, no clubs, no scene fan groups, then there is no fan base for you. Don’t be afraid to tag other bands in the scene (especially if sharing a radio show or magazine that mentions them). Don’t be afraid to introduce your fans to other bands or share music you like that isn’t yours. Hopefully the band you tag is just as awesome as you are and will reciprocate.
  9. There is nothing wrong with posting things that aren’t “professional” if you are willing to engage your fans with fun things. Don’t post something like “What’s your favorite holiday meal” and then not interact with those who respond or not posting your favorite holiday meal as the first comment. It’s perfectly fine to have fun with your fans on your page and interact with them in ways other than sharing your videos or events. If you do, you need to actually interact with them. Don’t ask them to participate if you are not going to participate.
  10. Last, is politics/religion. There are definitely bands out there who are political in their stance and their lyrics and that’s perfectly okay. If you are not one of those bands then you need to weigh the risks of posting political or religious stuff on your band’s page. You risk isolating some of your fans. Obviously there are legitimate reasons to isolate some of your fans (like a band posting that anyone who is a racist should not be their fan), but if you’re not going after the big fish of racism, homophobia, etc., then be careful. Use your personal page for politics/religion unless you fully understand the ramifications and consequences of posting on your band’s page. I’m not saying don’t do it: what I’m saying is understand the fallout that can come from doing it.

Best of luck to all of you as your pursue your musical dreams. I want all of you to succeed. I want the scene to be stable and thriving and full of amazing talented folks! Keep making music. Keep doing what you’re doing! Keep the synth-based scenes alive!

BWAHAHA 3/7 – 3/13

BWAHAHA (Blair’s Week Attempts at Haha’s) 3/7 – 3/13: I was at a Mexican restaurant earlier this week eating their awesome lunch buffet. This restaurant is in what is considered to be the “rural” area of Huntsville. Within a mile of my house is shopping centers, million dollar homes, meth labs, cattle ranches, cotton fields, horse ranches, and trailer parks. So you never really know who you’re going to come across when spending the day among the natives. The table behind me were racists. I don’t mean the accidental or ignorant kind: I mean the Dixie brand wearing, Confederate flag waving, Garth Brooks worshiping, goin’ muddin’, engine and washing machine in the front yard, momma’s a meth head, mean spirited, and hateful kinda racists. I mean, being a racist and having a racist conversation is bad enough, but when you feel empowered enough to have that conversation so loud that everyone in the section can hear you? Well, that’s just a whole new level of bad. During their conversation I learned that there are more black racists than white racists. I also learned that blacks don’t want equality, but special treatment (Is that at least a small recognition that black people currently don’t have equality? Nah, they’re not smart enough for that level of thinking). Let’s see, what else did I learn from the racists adjacent to me. I learned that it’s not really a black or white thing, per se, but an interracial thing (gosh, if only those black people kept to themselves and left us white folks alone!). But then the best thing happened. One of the women there started talking about how her mom was from Guam (you know, not white) and that her name used to be Torres, but she changed it so people wouldn’t think she’s a dirty Mexican (Fuck them, but their food is amazing! Am I right?!). Did her friends freak out and suddenly demand that this horrible impure mudblood leave the pure white American flag waving table? Nope. I guess it’s okay to be not 100% white as long as you have enough hatred in you to fit in with the rest of the morons you’re hanging out with.

When your close friends wish you happy birthday, that means something. Right? When you family wishes you a happy birthday, that means something as well. Right? Thanks to social networking sites, no one has to actually remember when your birthday is anymore: even your family. Everyone is reminded that it’s your birthday. What that means is that instead of saying “thanks” to the fifteen people who are routinely a part of my life, I’m now saying “thanks” to 500+ people who feel the need to type “Happy Birthday” because Facebook fucking told them it was my birthday. Let’s not mention the fact that the last time we even talked on Facebook was last year when you wished me Happy Birthday and I replied, “Thanks!” Just like this year. Facebook and other social media sites that remind everyone when it’s your birthday, have made birthdays annoying. I think I’m going to hide my birthday on Facebook. Then again, if I did that, my family and best friends would forget about it… On the awesome side, my girlfriend gave me a Vape Cake!

Awesome Vape Cake! ClouporT8, with Nautilus tank, two batteries, and a bottle of Mother's Milk and VG.

Awesome Vape Cake! Cloupor T8, with Nautilus tank, two batteries, and a bottle of Mother’s Milk and VG.

OTHER STUFF:

  • I’ve discovered a Hipster hive. If I find the queen Hipster, I’ll kill her and save humanity. Wish me luck, I’m going in!
  • They were even worse than Hipsters… they were Hippisters: dreadlocks & patchouli with Abercrombie from a Thrift Store!!!!
  • And the seal opened and voices cried in woe and there was a great gnashing of teeth as the trumpet blaired. ‪#‎IFarted‬
  • Birthdays are annoying when no one remembers and equally annoying when everyone remembers.
  • My yard is farting. The ground is so saturated, the septic tank has nowhere to go, so the gases bubble up the surface and ‪#‎ChemicalAttack‬

140 CHARACTER ASSASSINATIONS:

  • Sasha be like, “Pft, white people.” ‪#‎TheWalkingDead‬ ‪#‎TWD‬ ‪#‎deadbuzz‬
  • Advice from Twitter? Perfect! ‪#‎GoodAdviceIn4Words‬
  • Wipe first, pants second. ‪#‎GoodAdviceIn4Words‬
  • Porcupines make horrible pillows. ‪#‎GoodAdviceIn4Words‬
  • Puppies are like veal. ‪#‎GoodAdviceIn4Words‬
  • Bob’s better in marinade. ‪#‎GoodAdviceIn4Words‬ ‪#‎TWD‬

BWAHAHA 1/17 – 1/23

Seahawks-wood-banner

BWAHAHA (Blair’s Week Attempts at Haha’s) 1/17 – 1/23: First, let me start off by saying, THE MOTHERFUCKING SEAHAWKS ARE GOING TO THE MOTHERFUCKING SUPER BOWL!!!!!!! I’ve been a Seahawks fan since I was 13-years-old. I spent almost 30 years watching them lose and lose and lose and lose. And now, two years in a MOTHERFUCKING ROW!!!!! If you’re not a football fan, the next week is going to suck for you on social media.

So the State of the Union happened as well. I always enjoy watching the reaction of the Congress as the President speaks and what they do and do not decide to clap for and stand up for. It’s a great way to check out the mindset of each party. I’ve decided to start calling it the State of the Loonion. My observations based on the behavior of Republicans during the State of the Loonion Address:

  • Republicans be like, “Fuck child care.”
  • Republicans be like, “Fuck equal pay for women.”
  • Republicans be like, “Fuck community college.”
  • Republicans be like, “Fuck climate change and fuck future generations.”
  • Republicans be like, “Fuck gay rights.”
  • Republicans be like, “Fuck women’s access to health care.”
  • Republicans be like, “Fuck the right to vote.”
  • Republicans be like, “Fuck better politics.”
  • Republicans be like, “Fuck the fact that Democrat and Republican citizens agreed with Obama 90% of the time on Bing Pulse tonight.”

Yeah, the Bing Pulse minute-by-minute poll showed Republicans and Democrats agreeing at least 90% of the time with everything Obama was saying. The red and blue lines were almost exactly the same throughout the entire speech. Independents were all over the place and looked like arrhythmia on an EKG, but that’s normal for them. So if Republican citizens agreed with almost everything Obama said… why are Republican leaders so against everything he said? Methinks your base is narrower than thou doth think!

OTHER STUFF:

  • Thanks to YouTube’s random recommendations, I just discovered Japanese Steampunk.
  • I tried to type “Go Colts” and auto correct changed it to “Go Clits.” I’m more surprised that Clits is in my phone’s dictionary.
  • If the Patriots did use deflated balls, I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.
  • Ready to watch the State of the Loonion.
  • In the “I wish I had thought of this category:” Rich people: the reason your conspiracy theory is nonsense. Silly… but true.
  • Osmosis: Becoming fans of Donny & Marie after hearing their songs at a friend’s house. Side note: you shouldn’t be friend with that person.
  • Me: “Your dog and I have known each other for almost seven years.” GF: “But we’ve only known each other for about a year.” Me: “Exactly.”
  • Mutineer: someone who climbs hills instead of mountains.
  • Support LGBT rights? Don’t read the comments on articles about Alabama. The bigots are showing their asses and you don’t want to see it.
  • Victory in Alabama for those who don’t let a Bronze Age book tell us who people can and cannot love.

140 CHARACTER ASSASSINATIONS:

  • I drink so Lele b bow that I’m a librettist arty veining. 8 necessary to Dino now. #DrunkTexting
  • Someone has some Green Bay NFC Champs shirts on sale somewhere. @Seahawks are #SuperbowlBound

@MIDNIGHT #HASHTAGWARS:

  • The Bookie of Life #ToughGuyRomComs @midnight
  • Pinch Hitter Perfect #ToughGuyRomComs @midnight
  • Shredding Crashers #ToughGuyRomComs @midnight
  • American Pie Hard (With a Vengeance) #ToughGuyRomComs @midnight
  • There’s Something About Gary Cooper #ToughGuyRomComs @midnight
  • Menchanted #ToughGuyRomComs @midnight
  • The Housearrest Brony #ToughGuyRomComs @midnight
  • Pretty in Pink Spray from a .50cal Bullet #ToughGuyRomComs @midnight
  • Youv’e Got Male Pattern Baldness #ToughGuyRomComs @midnight
  • Boxanne #ToughGuyRomComs @midnight