Social media for independent musicians ?
Been mulling over this recently and my thoughts are, for an independent, ambient musician such as myself (i.e. not in any kind of major league !), I don’t really see the value of spending the time on social media to try to ‘raise my profile’. I should say I’m speaking here as an individual artist – I can’t speak for bands and the like.
I do have a YouTube channel and an Instagram account * (see links), as I have made a lot of videos to accompany some of my music and I am a keen ‘out and about’ photographer. I very selectively follow / subscribe / comment on these two. I did have a Twitter account for a week (couldn’t really see the point) and have never had a Facebook account (on principle !). I do have a Soundcloud page, but I use that as just a place to post tracks.
The time required to subscribe / follow / like people and posts is just not worth the effort in my opinion – bearing in mind the reciprocal and disingenuous ‘back slapping’ thing going on, which is not my thing at all. I do wonder how much real ‘connection’ is made on these social media sites ? I used to have a Myspace account and spent some time ‘curating’ that and did make some meaningful connections there through private messages, but I gave up on it as it started to lose it’s way somewhat and I realised that I had spent too much time on the networking side of it and now all of that is lost as it has long gone – which could happen to the current sites too.
Out of the blue, I get emails from people who say very complimentary things about my music, which encourages me significantly, this was also the case before social media existed too.
In conclusion, my view is that I would rather spend my time on my music. It may seem an obvious point, but that really is the primary thing – without good work, all manner of promotion is pretty pointless. I do do a bit of a ‘press release’ thing when I have a new album out, but don’t go overboard on it. My goal is to improve and release the best material I can. I have been releasing since 2003 and am very pleased that more people than ever are listening to my music.
(* Instagram seems to me to be a social media site using images (and videos) instead of words. Maybe that’s a simplistic view on it, I originally thought it was more akin to ‘flickr’, but on my short time there it seems much more ‘socially’ orientated than that)