Though bands have had the ability to share anything and everything with their fans in real time for years now, many of them still haven’t figured out what’s worth posting and what should be held back. Some bands adopt a philosophy of complete openness and transparency when it comes to what they share. If they feel, think, and experience it, it’s worth telling their fans about. Others take the opposite approach and hold everything back save for music-related information like new music and shows. Both extremes are bad for most bands which means a balance needs to happen to get the most out of communicating with fans. Here are some guidelines on what to post on social media.
Your band won’t be able to figure out what to share with your fans if it doesn’t know its own identity. This extends far past the sort of music you make. It’s about distilling your music’s personality to its core and presenting yourself to the world in a way that reflects that identity. This means that unless you play in a band shrouded in mystery, you should consider posting more than strictly music-related information. Figuring out your identity will help you learn how to get the most out of sharing with your fans.
Open, vulnerable, and interesting vs dramatic, needy, and petty
Just because your band can post something, doesn’t mean it should. Rants, memes, pictures of your food––you should think long and hard before posting this stuff. Think about what your band does for a second. You write, record, and perform music. Unless you’re angling to become reality tv stars, posting this sort of stuff only distracts from what you actually do. But there are times when bands can and absolutely should post information that veers off the path of your music. Supporting a cause you believe in, coming out against something fishy happening in your scene, and highlighting the music from other bands you respect are just a few examples. Another is documenting your experience on tour with pictures and videos.
The strong silent types
The tone and frequency of posts to your fans should depend on your band’s unique identity.
Posting too often and about each and every thing your band does might come off as desperate, but hardly ever sharing news with fans might make your band appear uninterested or aloof. Yes, your band’s main role is to make music, but focusing on posting pictures, videos, artwork, and other information related to your band are all things that can ultimately benefit your work. This is becoming more of a necessity than an option for bands who want to connect with audiences in today’s music industry. This doesn’t mean you need to post things you don’t care about, but instead that you take some time to carve out a creative vision for the non-musical elements of your band. Find an artist you like and work with them. Hire a photographer to shoot your next show. Decide what stories behind your band are worth sharing and tell them in a compelling way.
Patrick McGuire is a writer, musician, and human man. He lives nowhere in particular, creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and putting his hands in his pockets.