5 Steps to Social Media Engagement for Electronic Musicians
During my work with NAMAC, I created a ‘Social Media Engagement Cycle’ template in order to communicate with my supervisors just how we might dive in to using blogs, RSS, Facebook and Twitter to engage with our members. Inspired by Beth Kanter’s post ‘How Much time Does it Take to Do Social Media‘ I thought I’d remix it specifically for electronic musicians and provide a template for ’social media engagement’ – self-directed online information gathering that transitions into community-based offline knowledge exchange.
I’ll cover 5 basic stages of social media engagement, how you might start and some handy tools to play with.
Listening is knowing what is being said about topics in electronic music elsewhere online and analyzing and extracting patterns from these conversations. You can let these inform your future trajectory in conjunction with your internal strategy. What are other electronic music enthusiasts talking about? Are they talking about the latest technology and gadgets? Perhaps there are some new styles of electronic music that you should be aware of or a local event? What kinds of keywords/ideas pique your interest?
Tools/Things Needed :
- An RSS feed reader like Google Reader or Bloglines
- A startpage/aggregator like Netvibes, iGoogle or Protopage
- Find some RSS feeds. Here’s a few to get you started:
- Plug them into a feedreader (or assemble a social media monitoring dashboard)
- Respond/connect as necessary (see next step: Participating)
Hot tip: Think of feedreader as you would an iPod or turntable – they’re listening stations essentially and you can put in and play what ever you want;)
After getting a good grasp of what’s happening out there, participating entails joining in some of those conversations with fans of electronic music on other platforms – blogs, Facebook, and Twitter readily come to mind. Simple ‘Hello!’ s and ‘Thanks for the Add!’ are common courtesy. There are also LOADS of forums and listservs that existed long before these platforms, though participation in these is subject to it’s own ‘good nieghbor’ policies. Any good forum will have ‘Start here’ or ‘community guidelines’ post to acclimate yourself.Also remember that you are talking with people here – the golden rule generally applies. Be nice. Tools/Things Needed:
- A list of a few electronic music communities/people to connect to
- Something thoughtful, supportive or even constructively critical to say, though be sure you’ve got the particular netiquette down.
- There’s also never anything wrong with introducing yourself and saying what you’re there for (this helps community managers too;)
- Creating a profile on an online network/community/blog/forum
- Adding some friends/connections
- Beginning to comment on other blogs, platforms, forums and online communities.
Hot tip: Think of your online profile as a business card you might give a venue owner, fan or fellow electronic musician. What would you want to communicate in that brief exchange?
- Generating Buzz
After establishing your own presence/ways of participating on various networks, you can start raising awareness about things important to you mixed in with some of what you make, whether it’s original tracks, dj mixes, events/parties you are playing at or a new podcast you’ve just started. Be careful though about tooting your own horn a little too much – nothing is more annoying than someone who’s constantly trying to ’sell’ their products to their friends/network. Most people are immune to ‘buzz’. You also have to build trust. Many people jump straight to promoting/marketing their own work before getting at least a basic understanding of the netiquette involved by participating in/on a particular network. Why would anyone want to listen to you?A general rule of thumb is to promote the work of others as much as or more than your own work – we are all doing this together, plus it’s generally good karma;)
- Passion about what you’re doing
- Knowledge/experience the will contribute value to your network/community
- Something you are proud of – that you’d do regardless of what anyone else says.
- Discounts on stuff (shows, cds, artists’ merchandise) – music downloads are always nice too
- Create something awesome – be it a new track, a dj mix or even some other form of electronic music.
- Upload it somewhere (your blog, MySpace, Facebook, Last.fm, drop.io)
- Share it in appropriate places
- Ask for feedback
- If your stuff rocks, people will share it.
Hot tip: think of what you’re offering up as demos. Perhaps it could use a little refinement, but at least it gets your foot in the door – and people paying attention.
- Sharing Knowledge
Here is where – after you’ve listened, participated and perhaps even generated a little ‘buzz’ discussions – you start making sense of and refining the information and research you’ve gleaned, solidifying and taking action to share what you (and your connections) have learned. All communities go through this process. By reflecting and documenting what you know (whether it’s a blog post, workshop you decide to run or something else entirely) – you empower yourself and those around you. There will always be ways to improve on what’s already out there. How might you contribute to that bettering? How might you add to or refine what’s already there? Tools/Things Needed:
- A good ’sample bank’ of knowledge;)
- A network of friends you can bounce ideas off of
- A personal publishing platform (like a blog, website, listserv – heck, even email;)
- You can even use a few ‘techie’ tools like Lijit, Zemanta or ShareThis – these faciliate knowledge finding/sharing online if you’re an avid blogger
- Gather, refine and produce your knowledge (hopefully gathered from previous steps)
- Pick a platform or two to share on, though don’t overdo it. No use spreading yorself too thin or reinventing the wheel. Ideally you know where where your fanbase is already by having Listened, Participated and Generated some buzz around your work.
- Share and email useful posts from within your community.
Hot tip: Chances are, if you’re into electronic music, you already know about remixing and sampling. Information, learning and knowledge are no different;) Almost everything is remixable these days: information, knowledge and of course tracks;)
- Community Building and Social Networking
Continued fostering and nurturing of network relationships on established platforms. This exchange is also facilitated quite well when you have offline places to meet and socialize and perhaps – gasp – even get off the internet to actually go and meet some people.A good example of this are the Shareevents which happen around the world. Share provides ‘infrastructure and support for new media communities worldwide’. Folks who may have only initially met on the Share Global listserv meet up in real time at a physical location to have impromptu audio/video jams and exchange knowledge, tools, feedback and sometimes even toys;).Tools/Things Needed:
- A dedicated connector/community manager/convener/planner/organizer – you?
- A passionate community
- A space
- Put the idea out there of ‘a gathering of cool folks’
- Assemble a good ‘core’ of people together for feedback and mutual support
- Delegate some tasks
- Implement the project
- Refine as needed with community input along the way
Hot tip: Nothing beats face-to-face interaction for knowledge sharing and creating value for yourself and your community. This really isn’t that much different than planning a sweet party either. Except maybe not as much beer;)
Do you have any other tips, resources to contribute to this blog post? If you liked it or found it useful, don’t hesitate to share it using the little social/bookmarking networks below.
- 5 Tips To Boost Your Performance in Ableton Live (memeshift.com)
- How To Start Making Electronic Music (memeshift.com)
- 5 Steps to Social Media Engagement for Electronic Musicians (memeshift.com)