Artist Social Media Marketing: Pros and Cons

 In Artist Management, Entertainment Law Articles

As an artist, you’re fully aware of the importance of social media in helping to develop a fan base and expose your music.  It’s also pretty important in possibly helping you get that elusive record deal!  However, between recording new music, filming viral videos and performing all around town, it’s very difficult to be consistent and keep up with the various social media websites that you’ve joined.  Hiring a social media marketing company may be a smart decision.  Read on!

What is a social media marketing company? / What do they do?

A social media marketing company is a public relations/marketing company, which solely focuses on building an artist’s online presence and increasing online traffic to the artist’s various social network websites. A social media marketing company helps to build an artist’s presence by online “word of mouth” of an artist’s activities (for example, Beyoncé posting on Tumblr about her Superbowl performance, blogs discussing Keyshia Cole’s shoe collection with Steve Madden, or Taylor Swift instagraming about her new album) or by creating new media content and encouraging fans to share it with their friends on their various social networks. Think of them like your online public relations team.

How do they work?

Social media marketing companies implement various services and strategies to increase an artist’s engagement with their audience and to attract new fans. The services usually fall into one of two categories: 1) data analytic services and 2) creative service management services.

Data analytic services can include search engine optimization or SEO (i.e. putting your website at the top of an internet search when fans type in specific keywords) and/or analysis of your social media websites (for example, using Google Analytics, Google Alerts– [like Kim Kardashian does for herself], Twitter or Facebook analytic tools to figure out who and where your fans are).

Creative service management includes website creation and management (i.e. reserving your domain name, web design, and maintaining your website content); social media account management (i.e. managing your Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, Foursquare, and Instagram accounts; increasing your Facebook “Likes,” retweets, or blog re-posts); and building widgets, and other social media tools (for example, FaceBook or phone apps). Services might also include those implemented by more traditional public relations and marketing companies such as media purchases (ads, posting, tweets, etc.), press releases, and sponsored campaigns.

Advantages: Many of these services an artist can perform on their own, using social media services such as HootSuite, which allows an artist the ability to manage all of their social media accounts on one site. However, as discussed in the introduction, an artist may not have the time to be consistent so there are many advantages to hiring a social media marketing company.  Here are some factors to consider before choosing one:  

Areas of Expertise: A social media company should have expertise in the online world, after all you are paying them to be good at what they do! Before choosing a company you should look at their client list and list of services. Who are their clients? What services are they providing for each client? Will the company understand your genre, brand and your audience?  Are the services in line with your needs and your goals?

Success Rate: The social media company should be successful at increasing online presence or creating “buzz” and attracting an audience for their clients. After all, the more successful they are in their efforts, the more successful you will be! But even though a social media marketing company offers a service, it may not mean that they are good at it. So don’t be afraid to ask the company to provide a test case from a real client. What did the client want? What did the company do? Did the company satisfy the client’s goals? A company that is not willing to explain their work process or how much time and manpower they have to spend on your project might not be your best bet. Plan to spend a minimum of 3 – 6 months using a social media marketing company before seeing tangible results.

Keep in mind that as an artist, you will still need to do your part in providing content to the social media marketing company.  Without consistent quality content, the social media marketing company can only do so much.  That means that you should expect to continue to record new music or cover recordings, shoot viral videos and update the social media marketing company whenever and whenever you’re performing, etc.

Disadvantages: There are also negative advantages to using social media companies that you should keep in mind:

Costs: Engaging the services of a social media marketing company can range from $50 to add a few followers/friends on Twitter or Facebook to $2500-$5000 per month to implement a full-scale social media marketing campaign. The main question you need to ask yourself is whether the results will justify the investment?   One way to gauge how successful a social media marketing campaign is to see if there is an increase in your fans or followers.  Another way is to see what type of “buzz” you’re receiving from the music blogs.  The more, the merrier!

Maintaining Brand Integrity: Word is Bond! At the end of the day, your social media presence is your bond to your fans and your career. You need to be authentic and honest with your engagements, and in turn, so does the person on your team who is tweeting, re-posting or liking things on your behalf. You can never erase what you publish on the Internet—not even a good ol’ Kanye twitter rant, despite the fact that he erased all his tweets. And if you are so unlucky, once you break your trust or lose those followers, it’s hard to get them back! Also, do you trust the social media company or the people tweeting for you? If not, then you should start looking for some new people!

This law firm now offers a basic three (3) month social media setup and marketing plan for new and up and coming artists.  For more information, contact us.


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