Musicians: 3 Areas Where Social Media Is Not Enough
It is a cruel twist of fate that the trope of the ‘struggling artist’ is inexorably tied to the stereotype of ‘putting oneself out there’ time and time again. Musicians are, when compared with contemplative artists or introverted writers, typically regarded as outgoing types, willing to do whatever it takes to get their name in lights.
Unfortunately for them, however, this so rarely turns out to be the case. And, while the majority of us find ourselves in our element when we are up on stage, singing, dancing and, for lack of a better time, ‘showing off’ what we can do with a guitar or keyboard, most of us will still shy away from the idea of relentless ‘self-promotion’ or personal branding.
This is, of course, where social media has grown so valuable – it provides a platform on which self-promotion and personal branding is ‘the norm’ for all of its users, and where we do not feel out of place pushing ourselves and our music forward.
Still, there are areas where even the strongest social media presence falls short. In this article, we will look at a few notable examples that consistently prove the value of opting to create a music website that can operate in complement to your social media presence, and offer you a much more comprehensive platform on the world wide web.
Read more below.
Your Merch (and Sales) …
When we hear someone say ‘merch’, we will almost all invariably call to mind an image of a Guns ‘n’ Roses T-shirt, a Rolling Stones patch, a hoody emblazoned with Sonic Youth’s ‘Goo’ or a ballcap straight from the stalls at a Bruce Springsteen concert. In essence, wherever our minds go, they go somewhere specific – they go to a memory bank filled with apparel that represents musicians and their fanbases in equal measure.
What we mean to say is this: band merch is about a lot more than an item of clothing. It has long since existed as an integral part of the music industry, and the fans’ experience. In numerical terms, the global music merch market was valued at $3.1 billion in 2016, and continues to grow alongside the music industry.
For bands looking to make the most of their growth and increasing import in people’s lives, simply selling your merch at gigs and events is a wasted opportunity.
Creating and augmenting an online storefront for your brand means that you will be able to consistently build upon your merchandise sales – thus spreading the word via your fans, and ensuring a year-round stream of income via this invaluable channel.
…And, of Course, Your Tickets
In a similar sense, while social media offers an invaluable tool for self-promotion – particularly with regards to upcoming appearances, events, gigs and shows – it is far better placed to prove its worth as a channel onto other things, rather than an endgame.
What we mean by that is promoting an upcoming gig is, of course, vital – but promoting that gig and, at the same time, offering an easy link for your fans to follow from point-of-interest to point-of-purchase (in this case, ticket sales) is all the more vital.
Social media is an invaluable tool, but one of the downsides to that fact is that everyone is using it – all the time! It would be all too easy for your followers to feel interested in an event, and to have every intention of booking tickets – only to be distracted, or pulled away from this next step before they are able to commit.
Making your website a desirable destination for fans – somewhere they check into regularly – means always keeping them relatively close to a digital POS for your tickets.
Don’t Underestimate the Analytics
Musicians are creatives – and, for that reason, very few of us are inclined to spend hours pouring over numbers, stats, and raw data. Of course, we know the value of doing so; we can keep clued in on our music’s performance with regards to sales, downloads and streams – get to know our fanbase (and its growth) much better, and, in a general sense, understand how our efforts online are paying off (and, perhaps, where they may be falling short).
Yes, social media apps offer their own analytical insights, but a professionally built website will be purpose-built to offer a highly comprehensive and detailed (and, thankfully, user-friendly) overview of your performance online – and ensure that you can continue to augment and hone it over the coming years, as your status as a musician continues to evolve.
Scanning data and reviewing analytics is not something that comes naturally to anyone, but sites designed to be used by users – rather than digital marketing experts – make the process of reviewing and extracting meaning from your site’s analytics much smoother – and, to that end, much more valuable for you.