Bands: Social Networking No-No’s #2-5

The ridiculousness of adding a bunch of people on Myspace and then treating them like your loyal fans is what has made Myspace a joke. Of all the emails you received from bands on Myspace, how many of them are from bands or musicians that you actually know and like? Chances are, if you’re a band, you’re probably treating all of them like your loyal fans too. If I didn’t know better, I know I would. Why? Because I don’t add people on Myspace. Haven’t in a long time. After I reached so many 1000 friends, Myspace automatically removed my right to approve friend requests and just adds them to my list. The only exception, I believe, is for those who are running paid ‘add’ campaigns. I have to manually approve those and, for the most part, I don’t. Initially, I did this so that I could safely assume that people adding me were fans. But, I can’t assume that at all. They add me and, in the backasswardsness of it all, I’m considered their  fan. 

Can’t we all agree that this is stupid? This was the reason Facebook created fan pages. And, now, bands are trying to bypass that by doing several things that are proving to be HUGE turn-offs to fans and fellow-musicians:

2) Adding you as a personal friend and then bombarding you with excessive event invites and personal email invites to shows. 

That’s a sure fire way to get deleted as a friend or have your events added to the “ignored” list as in “ignore all future invites from this friend?” Um, yes. Do send out invites but, be mindful of how many you send out to the same people or people who aren’t even in your area. You can filter friends by hometown and create lists for different cities. I’ll work on a how-to for that. 

Side note: If someone replies “no” to your event, don’t send them emails telling them it’s their “Last chance…” or “Change your mind….”. Or worse,  if they haven’t replied, don’t send them an email saying “Why haven’t you replied?” . Ugh!  I repeat, people are being bombarded with this stuff. Don’t add to it with your need to have everyone acknowledge you. 

3) Posting their events on your page or tagging you in their videos, pics, wall photos of band flyers so they’ll show up on your wall. 

Oh, no you didn’t! Don’t try and figure out how to make Facebook as “useful” as Myspace was for spreading the word about yourself. That’s not the way it works in other social networks. It’s just obnoxious for bands to post their stuff all over everyone else’s “walls”. Personal pages are for making personal connections! That’s what is important on Facebook. And, don’t get me started on people who post their gigs on other bands fan pages. Unless the musician your tagging is involved in the show: tacky. I even had one person comment on an event link and say “Hey, if you can’t make it to her show, you can go to mine over here…”. Really?!

4) Becoming a fan on any social network and then saying something along the lines of “I’m your fan, now be mine” or “I follow you, now follow me” (which always reminds me of Phil Collins ❤ but, that’s beside the point)

The definition of “fan”: an ardent admirer or devotee. Short for “fanatic”. Call me crazy but, I think, if you want fans, you want people who really like your stuff instead of people who feel obligated to like your stuff because you liked theirs. You can’t make people like your music but, if you are nice, they might support your music even if it’s not their favorite thing in the world. It’s fine to politely invite people to check out your music but, don’t take it personally if they don’t. Let it go and remind yourself that they’ll see what you are doing in their home feeds. If they are going to get interested in your music, they’ll do it as they get to know you. Post a link here or there (not everywhere and not all the time). Suggest your page to them (don’t post it on their wall). 

5) Taking it one ginourmous step further and asking you to do the advertising for them.

I’m not talking about bands asking their fans to help spread the word, I’m talking  about bands saying. “Hello, I like your stuff. Here’s my stuff. Tell all your friends about me.”

Can you imagine this in any other business? “Hey, Wendy’s? This is Billy Bob’s Burgers. Love the  value menu you have going on. We liked you on Facebook and/or follow you on Twitter. Could you tell all your customers to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, come to our restaurant and buy our stuff.”   Huh? I have so many of these…it’s like someone wrote a blog suggesting that musicians should do this. If so, please tell me who. I really want to know. 

And, it’s not even about competition…it’s about honesty. 
I don’t mind promoting other bands and musicians at all! I love doing it. I cross promote with several musicians I work with and some I don’t work with but, just because I love them.  I think it should be this way. We should be helping each other out in ways that make sense. It makes no sense for me to promote people I don’t even know or whose music I don’t like. I don’t expect anyone who doesn’t like my music to support or promote it. That would be silly. And,if you are only promoting someone because they guilted you into it (or, even paid you to do it), you lose credibility. No thanks. 
Now, on Twitter, it’s often customary for people to “follow back” when someone follows you. Musicians, please, don’t take this as an opportunity to address everyone on Twitter as your biggest fan. Big, huge, famous people can do this. You know, those that only follow 10 people but have thousands of followers. In that case, it’s safe to say that most of the people following them are fans. Also, on that note, don’t just follow people to have them follow back and then, stop following to drive your “followed” numbers up. That’s just silly and annoying. Again, social networking is about building relationships not making yourself out to be something you aren’t. 
All that said, go on… THINK BIG!
Be EVERYWHERE.  You should be making it stupid easy for people to find you. 
You are awesome, you are amazing, you are all that and a can of confetti! That in itself will draw people to you.  So, put yourself out there in a big way, just not on top of everyone else. That’s the old way. The playing field is different now. You have to find creative ways of standing out while being part of the music community instead of just trying to step over everyone else in it.  
 – Laura Marie
Next Up: SXSW stuff, the low down on apps used


14 thoughts on “Bands: Social Networking No-No’s #2-5

  1. Laura Marie,Great post! It never ceases to amaze me that so many artists do all the things you just advised against! Many of them fairly well known ones, at that. It seems common sense has left the building in so many cases! It’s truly refreshing to hear my own thoughts echoed in your post!For the reasons you stated, I chose not to ask people to "like" me on Facebook! I mean really! What good is it if they aren’t someone truly interested in what you’re doing?Pretty worthless if you ask me! Not to mention just plain annoying! Keep up the good work! By the looks of my FB page there’s a PLENTY who really just don’t get it! You’re doin’ a public service for the rest of us! All the best to you & have a "soulful,rockin’,blues" good day! ;o)Lucy Hammond

  2. <html><body bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><div>Lucy, I know bands get frustrated because they want to get their page likes up. I think it’s fine to ‘suggest’ your page to friends, post a link to your page on your wall every once in a while or even take out an ad on FB if you have a little cash to spare. They can also add FB page widgets to their website, blogs, etc. This will drive the likes up too. There are less than obnoxious ways to do these things. But, yes, quality vs. quantity. Thanks for the comment!</div><div><br>All my best,&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>Laura Marie</div><div>(sent via mobile)</div></div><div><br></div></body></html>

  3. <font color="#000099"><font size="4"><font face="trebuchet ms,sans-serif">Laura Marie,<br>Absolutely,I agree!<i> It's the endless,spambot type posts on a daily basis to &quot;like&quot; them &amp; the repetitive gig postings to everyone who has little, if any, interest in what they're doing, that most of us find annoying.<br> <br>Though I have a fan page,I've purposely done little or nothing to artificially &quot;grow&quot; it. Probably why I currently have so few likes. However,my perspective was/is, that if folks don't genuinely connect with you,your music, &amp; who you are, it's pretty useless.My strategy has been to build my personal page to the maximum through genuine interaction,&amp; shared interests,with the thought that when I've achieved the magical # of 5000,it might actually be effective to then transfer more of my time &amp; effort to building the &quot;fan&quot; page. <br> <br>Naturally,I've been pursuing airplay,web presence,on air interviews(<a href=""></a>  3/21/11 interview upcoming 7pm west coast time,10pm east coast)marketing,&amp; completing my first EP,live performance,etc.The methods you've  suggested, are definitely the more sensible way to go when using social media appropriately! Great hearing that what I've been doing already, is endorsed by someone farther down the trail than I! Thanks!<br> <br>All the best,<br>Lucy Hammond

  4. Haha…I just got the following message on reverbnation: I’m about to become your fan. So, visit my page and become mine.

  5. Lucy, Usually, "likes" happen with advertising, posting links on other sites and live performances since people won’t stumble across your page unless they actively do a search for it. I find it interesting that the majority of people who have "liked" my page are not connected to me through my personal account. Many of them are but more aren’t. Be sure to mention your fan page on that radio spot. Oh, but be sure there is something on the page for the fans to check out 🙂

  6. <font color="#000099"><font size="4"><font face="trebuchet ms,sans-serif">Hilarious! Ain't it just how it goes?! So funny!Happens to me every week! ;o)<br>Lucy

  7. <font color="#000099"><font size="4"><font face="trebuchet ms,sans-serif">Laura Marie,<br>It's interesting,I've had a little of both.Definitely will be posting links,&amp; broadcasting them on my interviews! Appreciate the heads up,though! Never hurts to state the obvious with most folks! <br> <br>Are you aware ofJohn Oszjaca &amp; his <a href=""></a&gt; program? Looks like a very useful tool to me. Plan to get it next week. Bob Baker &amp; his <a href=""></a&gt; is another of my favorites.  Another is Martin Atkins. Went to his seminar last year supporting his book &quot;Tour Smart&quot;. Great book! His latest will soon be in my library of tools. All of these gentlemen have great stuff you can check out for free on Youtube.<br> <br>All the best!<br>Lucy Hammond

  8. <html><body bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><div>Yes, a lot of great tools out there for indie musicians. I’m familiar with&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(26, 26, 26, 0.296875); -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(175, 192, 227, 0.230469); -webkit-composition-frame-color: rgba(77, 128, 180, 0.230469); font-size: 18px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; ">John Oszjaca but will have to check out Bob Baker. Thanks for the tip! :)</span><br><br><br><div>(sent via mobile)</div></div><div><br></div></body></html>

  9. Totally fan of your blog, won’t be redundant telling how much I agree. Just reposted it on my websites, in the hope of my artists friends read it too and consider.Best Regards.JL

  10. Hmmm… Marketing is a touchy game. What exactly is it you do that allows you to have advice? I am just curious since you write I am wondering if your taking articles or other sourced material or if your speaking from experience. Also the good and the bad of myspace is its lack of planning. It was the best format for the entertainment industry having been customizable and such easy marketing to your friends(known or not), That is also its downfall. I am curious to speak with you directly Laura Marie

  11. <html><body bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><div>Frankie, my blog is my opinion. Nothing allows me to have it. I just have it. I’ve been working promotions for myself and other musicians on the internet for over 10 years so, yes, I write from my experience. You can check the ‘about’ section of the blog to find out more and other places to contact me on the Internet. Thanks so much for reading and posting! :)</div><div><br>All my best,&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>Laura Marie</div><div>(sent via mobile)</div></div><div><br></div></body></html>

  12. Jose Luis, thanks so much! I couldn’t resist sending a link to the blog via Myspace email to all my "fans" there. Subject line: Can we all agree this is stupid? 🙂

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