This is the second in a series of “Do This, Not That” posts regarding social media with special attention to musicians. Click here to read the first post on this subject.
“Support your friends.” It seems like that should go without saying. Unfortunately, this is not always the case on social networking.
Generosity and Reciprocity
I love connecting with people on Twitter. I can understand the draw of the other social and music networks. I even know a few people/musicians who don’t bother with Twitter. But in my view, the Twittersphere has a kind of energy and immediacy the others can’t match. One of my recent connections there (that quickly spread to SoundCloud, ReverbNation, Instagram, and beyond) is the band Staring Blind. In addition to a clear, rockin’ musical style, they have forged into the social media territory with an excellent intention and practice of reciprocity with other acts. Kudos to Matt Carver and the whole band! (2016 editorial: Sadly, Staring Blind web presence is gone as of February of this year, so all links have been removed.)
Another great example is Wild & Welsh, an independent duo from Howden, (England) UK. I can’t remember if we first connected on ReverbNation or Twitter. But the social conversation quickly moved to SoundCloud and has continued there. Our reciprocity also includes YouTube. Be sure to check out their great channel there.
The idea of reciprocating is simple enough. If your friend gives you a like/retweet/comment/mention, you can give them one back. My friend Tracy Ready has a great post called “Reciprocate: a simple concept for social media” that I highly recommend.
Some friends are incredibly generous, but act “silently” by liking your Facebook posts, retweeting your tweets, and maybe chatting with you privately. Others are right out there with their “love” by sending you frequent mentions, re-shares, favs, likes, and so on. You should choose your own style of generosity and reciprocity. And do it.
I got this DM (direct message) on Twitter recently: “Thank you for the follow Stan! I scanned your tweets and I look forward to more! Have a great day!” Sounds like someone who wants to be friends, right? Strangely, he did not follow me back. (This DM may have been automated. More on that later in this series.) This means that (a) he most likely won’t see my tweets and (b) I cannot reply to his DM to continue the conversation (due to the Twitter rules for DM’s). It’s amazing how often this or some variation of it happens on social networks. Also surprising are the number of times that people say, “Yes, I followed you back/liked your page/etc.”, but it turns out that they did not.
Support Your Friends
It’s that easy. If you “like” other people on social networks, reciprocate with follows, favs, and more. Advertise their gigs, releases, and promotions; chat about the best way to get live recordings; ask questions; and help your friends when they (honestly) ask for it.
It can be fun.
4 thoughts on “#DTNT on #SM – support your friends”
Thanks Stan! You hit the nail on the head with this one once again. I think that you were the first “real” person that I connected with when I took over our Social Media endeavors only a month or so ago and you shared both your amazing support as well as some excellent advise. In that month I have seen countless examples of the things you mention. Too many times I have opened messages that ask that we support an artist at one or all of the many links they have attached only to be greeted with “You many not send a direct message to those that do not follow you” when attempting to reply.
Personally, this is one of quickest & only reasons that would cause me withdraw support from an artist. It strikes me as very audacious to ask for assistance to further your progression if you aren’t even willing to follow, like, fan etc. me before asking for that favor! Using Twitter as an example, while I do understand that everyone wants the ideal scenario of having hundreds of thousands of followers while following only a handful at the most (i.e. @nickelback.) However, I can honestly say that Nickelback and artists of their status are not the ones asking me to spend my time clicking their links.
21st century Music (and the performing arts in general) is a global market based on give & take whether you like it or not. I spent the first three years in my current band focusing on other aspects while avoiding the the social media aspects that are prevalent today. In the past few weeks I have learned many things but most importantly that in order to achieve any level of success in the current entertainment market the online aspect cannot be avoided or overlooked. I have also learned that just as in normal everyday life; what goes around comes around, you get what you give, and #karma exists just as strongly in the virtual world!
Thanks again Stan, for all your help to everyone!
You may think you’re new to social media, but you really get it. And your online karma is in good shape if you ask me. Your genuine approach shows how good things can happen among independent musicians/bands.
I hear what you’re saying about the big names. For example, I follow @itspetergabriel and will continue to, though the follow is not mutual.
Thanks again for the great connection, Matt! Keep rockin’.
You are the reciprocity king, Stan! Great post!
You must be the queen of both reciprocity and serendipity, Brenna!
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