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 1/24 – 1/30

BWAHAHA (Blair’s Week Attempts at Haha’s) 1/24 – 1/30: This week my girlfriend and I went out for seafood. While driving around running our errands beforehand, seafood became “anyplace that has seafood,” which after a few more hours of running around then became, “Fuck it, let’s do the Chinese buffet.” The Chinese buffet we go to has seafood on their dinner buffet. I personally can’t stand seafood. The only seafood I like is hushpuppies (you’d be amazed at how many people I have to explain that joke to). Luckily for me, most seafood places have at least a few non-seafood items on their menu. But I still have to deal with the nauseating smell. At least at a Chinese buffet the smell of the regular food does a better job of masking the seafood smell. While I’m about to get a second plate, I notice the cooks brought out some fresh crab legs. Since that’s really what my girlfriend wanted, I got them for her instead of getting my plate. While I’m standing there holding tongs (and my nose) I notice the man on the other side of the buffet bar is using his fingers to find mussels with meat in them. I’ll grant him that the meat fell out of most of the shells during the cooking process. However, if you’re smart (as in not from Alabama), instead of searching shell by shell with your fingers, why not use the fucking spoon to grab all the loose meat at the bottom of the pan? Instead, this idiot is going through all the mussels with his fingers. Later that night my friends asked me if I said anything to the staff. Nah, I’m not eating that booger looking shit, so what do I care? Besides, it probably made that shit taste better. Just one more reason to not like seafood.

One of the errands we were running that day was getting my girlfriend a laptop. We spent days looking online for deals that were not only cost effective, but actually had the right amount of processing power, memory, etc. She kept picking out $200 laptops and asking, “What about this one?” To which myself (and later a friend) both told her, “NO FUCKING WAY!” But she kept sending them to us. My friend and I both point out the perfect laptop for her. It’s $500, but on sale for $350 after instant in-store savings and a $50 mail-in rebate. Does she order it? Nope. Does she go straight to the store that has it so she can buy it in person? Nope. She runs me around all over town looking at tons of laptops that either aren’t powerful enough or are too expensive. So where do we end up going when she finally decides to actually spend the money? Yep… to the exact same place I told her to go in the first place. WOMEN!

OTHER STUFF:

  • I used to have a built-in bench in my shower. Now I have a knee-high shelf. ‪#‎WhenYourGirlfriendMovesIn‬
  • Alcohol and Little Big Planet Coop Mode. The insanity. The laughter. It hurts!!!!!
  • The twitter notification sound is really loud after midnight when trying not to wake the person sleeping next to you.
  • It was a long and blustery night, but I survived ‪#‎BlizzardOf2015‬ here in Alabama. Look, ice on the ground!

    It was a long and blustery night, but I survived ‪#‎BlizzardOf2015‬ here in Alabama. Look, ice on the ground!

  • A 5’2″ tiny Chinese woman just physically abused me for an hour. It was awesome.
  • AL Judges panel reverses opinion: gay marriage okay in AL. Suddenly marriages are stopped for staff shortages. Skeptical Blair is Skeptical.
  • It’s time for Chief “Justice” Roy Moore to STFU, retire, and disappear into the sunset. Roy Moore, giving Christians a bad name since 1999.
  • Alabama: Get Over Yourself

140 CHARACTER ASSASSINATIONS:

  • #‎FacebookDown‬ is like being left behind in the Rapture. Sure, it’s scary at first, but then you realize all the cool kids are still here.
  • The NSA brought Facebook down because users were talking about Chemtrails causing the blizzard. I know because I removed my tinfoil hat. #FacebookDown
  • #‎Interviewgate‬ continues as North Korea takes down Facebook after John Miller posts a positive review on his wall. ‪#‎FacebookDown‬

@MIDNIGHT #HASHTAGWARS:

  • Aeronauticalengineeringbatics ‪#‎NerdierSports‬ @midnight
  • Air Bender Hockey ‪#‎NerdierSports‬ @midnight
  • Aquamanathlon ‪#‎NerdierSports‬ @midnight
  • Long Distance Re-Cycling ‪#‎NerdierSports‬ @midnight
  • BenchWordPress ‪#‎NerdierSports‬ @midnight
  • Pericardium Sac Race ‪#‎NerdierSports‬ @midnight
  • Camelot Racing ‪#‎NerdierSports‬ @midnight
  • RiverTamboarding ‪#‎NerdierSports‬ @midnight
  • Lawnmower Man Racing ‪#‎NerdierSports‬ @midnight
  • Skyrim Nordic Skiing ‪#‎NerdierSports‬ @midnight
  • Capture the Flagella ‪#‎NerdierSports‬ @midnight

CAPTION CENTRAL:

  • It's like a Furry Convention, but a McFlurry Convention.

    It’s like a Furry Convention, but a McFlurry Convention.

  • New Yorkers be like, "What, it ain't that cold."

    New Yorkers be like, “What, it ain’t that cold.”

  • Have you seen North Korea's new surface to air missile system? It's pretty wicked!

    Have you seen North Korea’s new surface to air missile system? It’s pretty wicked!

BWAHAHA 12/27 – 1/2:

j0309664BWAHAHA (Blair’s Week Attempts at Haha’s) 12/27 – 1/2: I was too busy enjoying the post-holidays to do jack this week. I ignored Twitter and television and just enjoyed my time with Suzie and my friends. I threw a New Year’s Eve party to ring in 2015 with my favorite people. We sang karaoke, drink alcohol, ate some goodies, and had a generally awesome time. I even got to do a bit of storm chasing!

2014 will certainly be missed, as it was a good year, but I’m looking forward to what 2015 brings to Suzie and I as we continue to grow together. So enjoy the tiny bit of shit I did this last week…

OTHER STUFF:

  • 2 shots Whipped Cream Vodka, 1 shot Amaretto, 30 drops Frostbite Hot Sauce, fill rest of cup with lemonade. BAM! You’re welcome.
  • Turn your keyboard upside down. Now shake it. A lot. Ewww…. you should do that more often.
  • My New Year’s resolution is 1080p.
  • Seen on Facebook, “And I highly doubt that it’s the sun that actually causes cancer.” I’m weeping for science education right now.
  • While my keyboard is getting a bath and drying, my temporary keyboard is driving me crazy since I’m not used to the keys and layout.

BWAHAHA 10/25 – 10/31:

BWAHAHA (Blair’s Week Attempts at Haha’s) 10/25 – 10/31: So this week, even though I’m behind a week (yes, I’ll catch up this weekend), I’ve decided to take a different approach with the #HashtagWars done by @midnight. First, I’m giving them their own section, separate from my other Tweets, posts, etc. Second, I’m only including ones that are 100% original. I do a search for my joke and if anyone else did it – it doesn’t make it on this page: even if I did it first. There are some low hanging fruit and obvious jokes with each #HashtagWars and we come up with the same stuff. It happens. But there are a few where I know someone copied mine and used it as their own, because I used an odd Syntax or put in a special character where it didn’t need to be. You know who you are and did you not know that Twitter has a search function that shows not only that you stole my joke but time stamps that shit as well? Douchebag.

OTHER STUFF:

New tag arrived today!

New tag arrived today!

Need to plunder something. Yes, bartender, I'll take a Me & Coke, please.

Need to plunder something. Yes, bartender, I’ll take a Me & Coke, please.

Enjoying some Captain and vape! #ForeverVaping

Enjoying some Captain and vape! #ForeverVaping

Best Buy just aired a Christmas commercial. In October. I am now no longer shopping at Best Buy.

On the road back to Pittsburgh. 12 hours of other drivers pissing me off.

Even when I'm on the road, the storms fizzle out before getting to me. Mother Nature hates me.

Even when I’m on the road, the storms fizzle out before getting to me. Mother Nature hates me.

After numerous searches on the Internet, I have concluded that I have Ebola. The Internet is never wrong.

So when does Earth to Echo 2: Payback come out where Echo, with all his alien friends, takes revenge for the government shooting him down?

140 CHARACTER ASSASSINATION:

Who wants some roast? TAINTED MEAT!!! #TheWalkingDead

We had Swiss steak for dinner tonight. #TAINTEDMEAT #TheWalkingDead

Eating Bob gives #TheWalkingDead chocolate pudding a whole new meaning.

I have only a few Zombiepocalypse rules. No kids is one of them. Judith proves my point. #TheWalkingDead

All praise the red-handled machete! #TWD #TheWalkingDead

Uh-oh, did Daryl bring back some #TAINTEDMEAT to the church? #TheWalkingDead

#HashtagWars WITH @Midnight:

Lawrence of Catabia #CatMovies @midnight

The Abyssinian #CatMovies @midnight

Breakfast at Chantilly-Tiffany #CatMovies @midnight

The Godpawder #CatMovies @midnight

12 Angry Mice #CatMovies @midnight

The Usual Suspets #CatMovies @midnight

12 Years a Pet #CatMovies @midnight

The Himalayan Blues Brothers #CatMovies @midnight

When Hairy Met Alley #CatMovies @midnight

Hairballspray #CatMovies @midnight

Sarah Palin makes Vivid deal #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight

Michael Vick opens animal shelter #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight

Every Wives Tale is TRUE #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight

Rapture happened: you missed it #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight

Rick & Daryl: gay love scene #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight #TWD

Zombies only eat Playboy Bunnies #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight

Cloverfield monster… was a baby #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight

Knock Knock. Who’s there? Jason. #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight

Olympics being held in Liberia #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight

Condom broke… with a prostitute #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight

Technically, we’re all TAINTED MEAT! #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight #TheWalkingDead

EMP burst kills the Internet #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight

They’re just friction burns. Honest! #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight

Adam & Steve, not Adam & Eve! #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight

What’s in the box? Microsoft-10 #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight

Satan’s number is actually 404 #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight

Come again… How fast, officer? #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight

Yosemite seismic activity rapidly increasing #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight #NotReallyFunny

You don’t take credit cards? #ScaryStoriesIn5Words @midnight

CAPTION CENTRAL:

This would make more sense if the car were a Tiburon.

This would make more sense if the car were a Tiburon.

IHOP on Pop... IHOP on Car.

IHOP on Pop… IHOP on Car.

Cool story about a penis, but the real news: The James Bond Submersible Lotus is in a museum in Miami!!!!!!

Cool story about a penis, but the real news: The James Bond Submersible Lotus is in a museum in Miami!!!!!!