Social Media 101: Four Things You Can Do to Not Get Discovered.
Social media sucks! I have a hard time keeping up with it, to be honest, but it has become an essential tool of promotion for pretty much anything. For musicians, social media is their press person, working twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week to garnish them attention from even the smallest of publications and crummiest of bars, because everything counts. I have spent the last few weeks combing through hundreds of band submissions for another publication, and have found amazing groups due to it and passed up on a lot of them too. Here are four things that will surely put you in the latter group.
1. Exclude Your Hometown from Your Social Media Pages
Yes, the best way to get skipped over for other artists is by excluding your hometown from your Facebook or Bandcamp page. Most publications, regardless of size divide their coverage into regions. A small publication—such as this one—only covers a single one, but a large one covers several at a time and filters bands this way. If you are clever enough to put in your location field "Mars" or "Nowhere" you can be sure that no matter how good you sound that person tasked with sorting through hundreds of bands will skip you.
2. Make Your Music Hard to Access
If you are keen on not ever getting discovered, then all you need to do is exclude any streaming links from your pages. Trying to be secretive about your material or trying to charge for it at an early stage is a surefire way to get looked over. Your first EP is probably great, but no publisher looking to cover it will pay $5 to stream it anywhere, most will move on to the next group whose music is free and quickly accessible.
3. Avoid Band Photos Like the Plague
If you are a talented group whose mission is never to be discovered you certainly have a picture of Felix the Cat as your Facebook profile pic and Naruto as your cover. Publishers want to see who you are, how many members are in the group, who plays what, and more. If you decide that your brilliant idea to put a picture of Lucy Ricardo as your band photo should stand, not only will you be hip but you will also be skipped.
4. Believe Your Hype
There is a difference between believing in yourself and buying your hype. A guy that comes up to you after the show to tell you how amazing you are may very well mean it, but that does not say that your next single needs to be hyped up like it's a new Led Zeppelin record. A band who wants to be overlooked will hang on to a single for months while other groups release entire records as quickly as possible. You may have a great single in your hands, but it won't matter if nobody can listen to it.
If you disliked this blog post and want to get noticed by music publications, Ashley Friedman over at Elicit Magazine has this excellent blog post on how to submit your music to blogs. Put up some links on your Facebook and Bandcamp pages, take down the cartoon photos and let people know where you are. In time—if the music is right—you will be noticed and will see your beautiful band photo on the cover of a major publication in your city. Talk to you later!