The actual "promotion" bit.

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The actual "promotion" bit.

Post by Folderol »

I have a problem in that I don't 'do' social media, so don't get much traffic. There's no way I'll touch facebook, and the others don't seem much better, so can anyone suggest alternatives for getting noticed?
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Re: The actual "promotion" bit.

Post by The Elf »

Re-think Facebook. I hate it too, but it's a huge element you're blanking out.
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Re: The actual "promotion" bit.

Post by Martin Walker »

Tough views from The Elf, but essentially true.

Also, as you may remember, Drew gave those of us on that SOS Virtual meet a handy synopsis of the strengths and weaknesses of having an Instagram channel. I've dabbled with other social networks over the years, but those are the main two I frequent.

I also regularly visit threee or four other music tech forums around the globe, have my own website, YouTube and Soundcloud channels, but one really has to be active in all these areas to get noticed at all.
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Re: The actual "promotion" bit.

Post by The Elf »

I have to come clean, though. I *HATE* all this 'social media' cr*p, especially Facebook. So I have as little to do with it as possible. But then I'm not looking to be noticed.
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Re: The actual "promotion" bit.

Post by James Perrett »

No matter what you might think of Facebook, it is a good way to keep in contact with music biz people - especially older music biz people. Nothing else has quite the same traction. I wouldn't necessarily expect to grow an audience on Facebook but it makes it really easy to get in touch with the right people who can help.

In your case I would approach specialist (online and traditional) radio people who could play your music to an appreciative audience. There are lots of small community radio stations and most of them have specialist music programmes who might play your music. Make sure they announce your Bandcamp address when they play the music too.
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Re: The actual "promotion" bit.

Post by RichardT »

Folderol wrote: Thu Dec 08, 2022 8:26 pm I have a problem in that I don't 'do' social media, so don't get much traffic. There's no way I'll touch facebook, and the others don't seem much better, so can anyone suggest alternatives for getting noticed?

There are lots of promotion platforms. I’ve used Submithub, Mysphera, Daily Playlists, Soundplate and Groover. SubmitHub has been the most successful.

But your music must be on streaming services for them to work.
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Re: The actual "promotion" bit.

Post by Drew Stephenson »

I've been thinking about paid advertising in the dead tree media recently. Haven't done it yet, but a fortnight in private eye will cost you £60 or so for a short classified, I reckon that might be worth a punt.
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Re: The actual "promotion" bit.

Post by BigRedX »

I only have a Facebook presence so that I can see photos of my bands after we have done a gig. I'm lucky in that there is one person in each band who is good at the social media stuff and they deal with it. I used to repost gigs/single/album releases but now all of my friends who are interested in my musical activities follow the band pages for info rather than me.

IME the best promotion most small/unknown artists can do is to get out a play gigs. For instance The Terrortones had a very strong social media presence and Mr Venom was great at thinking up new strategies, but the vast majority of our merch/CD/record sales (about 95%) occurred at gigs, and even the on-line sales were driven by our live presence. The moment we stopped gigging, on-line sales dropped to almost zero. We still get streaming revenue but we haven't sold a download or physical copy of anything for over a year now.

You could look at one of good on-line promotors but they are not cheap. IIRC we spent £1000 plus 150 copies of the first Terrortones single to get the attention of all the appropriate on-line reviewers. However long-term it worked well as we built up a good relationship with those who posted good reviews rather than simply cutting and pasting the press release, and of course once you know who's going to look favourably on your music you don't need to pay for the same level of promotion for subsequent releases.
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Re: The actual "promotion" bit.

Post by Drew Stephenson »

Thinking a bit further about the different types of social media, my experience (in terms of using them for promotion) is thusly:
Facebook is reasonably good at getting information out to people you're already connected to. But you do have to go at it fairly heavily, and the more you use it the wider your reach - you have to feed the addiction.
A small amount on paid promotion (e.g. a £5 paid boost) increases your reach significantly and can be worth doing if you have something to sell. I've used that for significant gigs for the band and for my last album launch.

Twitter is great if you're already famous basically. An average tweet from a person with a typical follower base will be visible for about 2 minutes.
So unless you've got a lot of followers who will retweet you, or you're using a hashtag that's trending, you'll disappear into the ether very rapidly.

Instagram is, I find, the best of the bunch for reaching people you aren't already connected to. Their discovery algorithm seems to be the most strongly hash-tag driven rather than interaction driven. This means that sensible use of tags gives you a reasonable chance of reaching interested people without having to go through the same level of profile building that Twitter and Facebook do.
The challenge with Instagram is that Meta (or Facebook to you and me) still doesn't really know what the product is. It started as an instant photo-sharing app with an emphasis on stuff happening in the moment (it's only recently become possible to load content from something other than a smart phone). Then Facebook got involved and saw it as a way to get into youtube's video sharing space by boosting reels (mini movies) over images, but the users weren't too happy about that so it went on the back burner for a bit. Then TikTok came along and again Facebook are trying to make Instagram more like TikTok to compete. You'd think at least one person in a company that size would understand cargo cult copying...
The other challenge with Instagram is that making engaging content takes more time. Text-only, or text-and-audio doesn't really fly.

Youtube suffers from the same scale problem as Twitter; 500 hours of content is uploaded every minute so unless you've already got a big following you don't stand much of a chance of getting into someone's 'next up' list.
The 'next up' list is the closest thing Youtube really has to a feed, it's generally much more a destination site than a browsing site. People go there to find a thing rather than a casual 'see what's happening' rummage.
The real advantage that Youtube has is accessibility; there are no log-ons, apps or special programmes required. Send a link and everyone can see it.

SoundCloud (yes, this too is social media) is an interesting one, and it's one where I've found that the more you engage with the community the more plays you seem to get. But genuine engagement takes time and there are a huge, huge number of bots there.
The other problem(?) with SoundCloud is that if people are really only interested in your songs, once they've found you they have no incentive to go and look at your website, your bandcamp or what have you because the content is already there. So you can build connections, but it's hard to translate them into anything other than plays - whether that's an issue depends on what you're looking for of course.

TikTok - I haven't spent any time on this. I did download the app but it chewed through my phone battery in half an hour (normally I get a day from my phone) so I dumped it.

This is obviously all just my opinion and experience, and I have small followings and reach on all of these platforms - it might be different for those with a lot of connections.
All the people I know making music for a living are active on all these platforms and invest a lot of time and effort keeping their profiles alive.
Marketing is marketing, it doesn't matter where you do it, it takes time and effort to make an impact.

One final point, that applies to everything apart from SoundCloud, is that most of the content on these things is visual. Image matters and, used wisely, can help you stand out.
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Re: The actual "promotion" bit.

Post by RichardT »

Yes, I agree Drew, it's a lot of work.

I don't have a social media presence to speak of. Although I'm sure I suffer because of that, it's not absolutely necessary to have some success. Getting the attention of playlisters, primarily on Spotify, has been my approach.

I think, Will, it all depends on what you're trying to achieve! If you're happy, say, with a few thousand monthly listeners on Spotify you can do that for sure via the on-line promotion services.
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Re: The actual "promotion" bit.

Post by Folderol »

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone.
I guess it really comes down to how much time I'm prepared to spend on management rather than creation :(
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Re: The actual "promotion" bit.

Post by Drew Stephenson »

It was ever thus.
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