The Social Media for Independent Musicians

It is actually fairly easy to get thousands of Facebook likes, Twitter followers etc. in a very short space of time. I wouldn't recommend it though. After all, if the ultimate aim is to find people that actually like your music, finding thousands of people who aren't even vaguely interested is totally pointless. The only justification I can see, is that it makes you look 'bigger', perhaps fooling people into believing that they are following the wisdom of the crowd by supporting you. In my opinion though, a steady approach works best; networking and building genuine relationships. This strategy demands more of an investment of your time - but don't most things worth doing?

Perhaps counter-intuitively, I would suggest starting by building a network of fellow musicians on video-sharing sites such as YouTube and Musicians Together. MT is the better option, because it not only provides the community, but also actively seek out ways to promote its members' music. The reason I recommend video-sharing, rather than just audio-sharing, is that people are many times more likely to listen to music on the internet if they have something to look at too. The web is mainly a visual medium - and you need to provide something to grab a casual browser's interest.

The harsh reality is that the overwhelming majority of people browsing the internet for music don't even consider seeking out the work of indie musicians. It has to be stuck right under their noses, with big flashing lights and sirens wailing. This is where your network of peers comes into play. If you have gone about it the right way (taking a genuine interest in other people's music) you will be part of a community of individuals who champion each other's cause. For example, if I have a good relationship with a fellow musician and they bring out a great song, I will share it on my Facebook page and maybe Tweet about it too, for good measure. Between my Facebook friends and Twitter followers alone, I have over 2,000 contacts. That's 2,000 potential fans just from my sharing activity - others in your network may well be doing it too. That's why I would start by building a genuine network of mutually beneficial relationships.

From this point on it all comes down to the quality of your music. If it is just slightly better than average, the song might make it to your contacts' contacts before it loses momentum. If it is exceptional, it has the possibility of 'going viral' - that is, carrying on through other people's contacts, growing exponentially in reach, like the branches of a family tree with each generation.

Because I have a website, I can see where all of my visitors arrive at the site from - so I can confidently report that Facebook brings me the highest number of new people by a wide margin. Twitter brings a few - but I wouldn't bother investing much time into it. The rest, like MySpace and ReverbNation have barely registered.

So in summary, my advice would be to concentrate on:

1. A video sharing website

2. Facebook - have a personal profile and a fan page, so you can get friends and 'likes.'

Unless you've got loads of time to spare, give the rest a miss.

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