Keeping things fresh on social media.
This is something that I have subconsciously always done, but I have only just realised it's importance more recently after reading Gary Vaynerchuk's "Crushing It" book, where he talks about it in good detail.
"Crushing It", the sequel to "Crush It" by the same author, is an awesome book by a terrifically inspiring guy who really knows his shit when it comes to marketing in any form, and it's safe to say that it's completely changed the way I'm using my social media. Highly recommended reads, the both of them.
The main premise of what I want to get across to you today is this. Have you ever heard someone say that Facebook is for Mums/Dads or FB is just cat videos and memes? Or Snapchat is just for teenagers, Twitter is for political/pop culture rants, Instagram is for makeup artists etc, etc?
Well whether you agree or disagree with any of those statements... the takeaway should be that people are on the separate platforms for different reasons.
I don't know about you, but when I'm using social media for leisure purposes, after I get bored on Insta, I'll probably flip over to Twitter/FB/whatever. If I fancy a deep dive into the schematics of some old recording gear or a comic book characters back story, I'll open up Youtube.
If I follow someone on social media, and they're posting the same thing on all of their platforms, so no matter which one I'm using, the exact same post is there, I'm going to be inclined to skip past their page/post.
I might not even mean to, I might fully support what they do, but something subconsciously in my mind is going to say to me "BOORRING". Hell it might even persuade me to skip it the next day also.
Also, it's important to note that if it's literally the same post word for word on all your platforms, this can create algorithm problems with your fanbases and may start to get the apps to work against your organic reach, which is always a bad thing.
Now I can already hear you crying out:
"But sometimes you have to post the same thing on all of them!"
And you're right, sometimes you do, especially when it comes to music. If you're a band/artist etc. you will have to post fliers, announcements and the like numerous times across your career and typically, these type of posts are time sensitive.
So if your band has been announced for a festival slot, you will probably be given a date and time that all the slots for other bands are announced too, because that's what time the news goes to press and media outlets, to help sell tickets and the like. This is usually part of the deal of your band being involved in the festival, to help with the mass promotion to sell the tickets, so you can't be posting that shit a week after or whatever!
So how do you keep things fresh when posting about the same thing on all social media platforms? Well I think the trick is to change things up to best suit the medium you're using. You could create a plethora of great, engaging but slightly different social media posts on the different platforms about the same thing just by making some minor adjustments to how you do it.
Here's a few examples of how I would handle a festival announcement for a band across the different social media platforms that I use and why:
1. Website Posts | Priority over all
First things first, compose a well written informative news article/post on your website. (I mean, what do you think I'm doing here?)
Going to go off on a little tangent here but I think it's an important note to make and should be common knowledge for everyone.
But basically, in this day and age, I honestly think it's just ridiculous if you don't have your own website for your brand/band/project/product/business/whatever.
The age old excuse of "we don't need a website, we've always used our Facebook" just doesn't cut it anymore. Not that I think FB will be going anywhere in the same way, but I was around when bands spent hundreds of pounds on the layout/look of their myspace pages, concentrating all of their marketing and promo efforts into building their shit on Myspace, only for it to go completely down the drain around 2007/2008 time.
If you have a website, it's yours. The domain is yours and it should be that way for as long as you need it to be. Make it the HUB of all of your operations.
More or less every single post on social media should link fans/customers back to your website, if not for commerce reasons then for brand awareness and growth/promo reasons alone. In 2019, this is literally a no-brainer. The internet is not going anywhere and you need to at least get started on building your online presence outside of the free social platforms. Don't worry about how it looks right at the start, just use Wix and make a damn site. It's literally one of the most important things about marketing in this day and age, don't get left behind.
ANYWAY, back to the examples. I would always make the content on my site the "master content". If permitted (by the festival for examples sake) I would even try where possible to link everyone to this master content in all of my posts (again, where permitted, some festival organisers would veto this), so all ticket links, posters, line up info and so on will be located here in the form of a short but informative blog post/article.
2. Twitter | Spark a conversation
For me, Twitter is the most conversational of social media platforms in it's basic state, forgetting about the DM function for a minute - the best use of Twitter for me is to respond, retweet and reply to posts and actually have conversations via the tweets with your fanbase.
Which is why it can be a political/current events battlefield most of the time as anyone can chime in on someones opinion if their posts are public (Side note: political posts of any sort, on any platform are something that I'm now sworn against. In fact, I've made a pact with myself to never to post a political argument/point of view via my social media platforms ever again. I strive to be in a positive mental state as much as possible and I find that stuff to be the most destructive towards bringing my PMA down. It's honestly the quickest way to get me to unfollow you if you do that shit).
Whilst I absolutely detest the negative Twitter battlefields at all times, it's important to keep in mind how they spread like wildfire when posting on Twitter for your band/brand. Meaning you should always be aiming for people to respond/retweet or ask a question about your post at all times.
Remember that Twitter is a short-form platform, you're limited to 140 characters a post, so keeping things short and to the point is a must, alongside tagging everyone involved for maximum share potential also.
But there's no room for long deep posts or full line up info.
Yes you could and should include a link to all that stuff anyway... But by prompting fans to respond to your tweets with a simple question, it will give you the opportunity to relay more information if necessary and keep engagement up!
Therefore, instead of just posting:
"We're playing ____ fest this year! We hit the ____ stage at 5:45pm. Ticket links below."
you could greatly improve the reach of your posts by adding:
"Who's coming down?" or "Who are we seeing down at the front?"
Example below from @ROAMse:
3. Instagram | Three possible routes
Obviously, Instagram is a visual platform so that must be the priority of the content. The post should focus on looking as good as it can at all times. If it's a festival flier, you need to make sure that you're posting the highest quality version of the flier so that people can read the band names/times/dates etc.
Route 1: Feed Posts
Depending on how you conduct yourself on Instagram, for something like a festival flier which usually has a load of info in the picture, I would advise an Instagram Feed post to have a caption that is short and sweet. A festival flier kind of does what it says on the tin, people are going to know what it means, so a caption like "We're playing ____ fest this year! We'll see you on the ____ stage at 5:45pm, ticket links in bio!" would more than suffice.
I would also recommend tagging the heavy hitters on the line up in the photo, along with the festival IG account, and of course I would advise using the hashtag methods explained in my previous blog post. Here are a few examples of some great posts I've seen that follow a similar method to what I've explained above:
Obviously the bigger the band/reach, the less you'll have to say as you're going to have more "true fans" (Check out 1000 True Fans, a concept I explained in my last blog post also), but you get the picture. Route 2: Story posts Instagram Stories is Instagram's answer to Snapchat taking the reigns in the mid 2010s and it operates pretty similarly. In my opinion, the stories I enjoy watching the most are the ones that are the most human/relatable. You could just film yourself talking to your phone (in selfie fashion) about the announcement and follow it up with the flier and link prompts in the next story post. If you don’t feel comfortable enough doing that (which is 100 billion percent fine, I’m only just starting to try it myself), then you can simply repost the Instagram Feed post you’ve put on your profile to your story by clicking the “paper airplane” icon on the feed post and then clicking “Add Post To Story”. Accompany this with some short text about the announcement and a “link in bio” prompt and you’ll still connect with your audience effectively. You can of course always just post the flier to your story... but I think when there’s a little more of a human element to your promo it works a lot more effectively. Example below from @eisberghc:
Route 3: IGTV One of the most exciting aspects of Instagram to me lately is IGTV. Instagrams answer to Youtube, it has channels that stem from the profiles that you follow on the app and focuses on more long form content (10 minute videos at present). One of the latest additions to IGTV is that a minute long preview can be shared on your Instagram profile feed if you wish, prompting more people to watch the longer video on your IGTV page. This is an extremely powerful tool for social media growth which I am going to be delving into very soon! (AUDIO NERD NOTE: Only thing that bums me out about IGTV from a sound engineer perspective, is that all the videos sound is in mono! So mixing tutorials are a weird one, but I’m sure this will be changed in the near future). Similar to the story post example, I would post a longer more in depth announcement video (you talking to your fan base) about you playing at the festival/event, but go on a bit more. Talk about why you’re stoked to play, what it means to be supporting so and so, what gear you’ll be using, what your the event is a part of, etc etc. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t fit into the minute clip on your page, as Instagram will automatically prompt viewers to watch the full video regardless. If you were to post this a few days after the initial announcement post, it will be a great way of re-targeting your fan base for engagement about the festival/event.
4. Facebook | Less frequent posting leaves room for more
Like most social media platforms, visual content is best, but on Facebook in particular video is the king. Facebooks algorithm system will prefer native video content (that means a video uploaded directly to Facebook, not a Youtube link) over almost any other kind of post. Videos are also muted as standard on Facebook, so that's why you're seeing a lot of videos that include subtitling.
But whether you are posting videos or not, one thing that I've always noticed about posting on Facebook is that the less you post, the more chance you have of getting into the news feeds of your fans. Unlike Twitter and Instagram, which are both high volume platforms, it'll typically do more harm than good to post on Facebook four times a day if you're just starting out.
I would recommend posting meaningful, important news/content relating to your band/brand once a day (at max) at your peak performance time (usually 12pm-1pm, when people are on lunch, but you should always refer to your actual Facebook analytics/statistics for your page to determine this, it could be that your best time for posting is after 5pm before 7pm, when people are looking at their phones on the way home from work). I would also suggest that if you've got nothing very interesting to say that day, don't. Let Twitter/Insta take the reigns for "filler" posts.
I would also suggest that if you have more to say about the announcement you're making, then Facebook is the place to do it over Instagram and Twitter. Get your main points across along with relevant tags and links in the first few lines maybe, and then go on to include the line up info, maybe even a short passage of why you're so excited to play and so on and so forth. Again, most of this completely depends on how you compose yourself on Facebook regularly, and how big your band/brand is/what your current reach is like, but in my opinion posting high value/important content less frequently allows for the longer more in depth and meaningful posts to shine through into the news feeds you want them to.
Whereas if you posted every single thing ever along with massive posts it would be a lot harder to get your posts to the people who need it most. Cool example below from my fam in The Skints, note how people are tagged appropriately also:
I hope that this helps you with your social media strategy in some way! I find music/musicians careers are a tricky beast to begin with, so if this helps you keep your social media game up in any way I am glad, and would love to hear if you have any questions or anything to add!
#jacklongman #creatives #creative #artists #creator #bands #garyvaynerchuk #hashtags #growth #socialmediamanagement #musicians #productivity #entrepreneurism #twitter #socialmediamarketing #brands #career #businessdevelopment #festivals #announcements #socialmedia #socialmediaposting #2019 #facebook