We’re all familiar with all the social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Klout, YouTube, Instagram, and on, and on… But how honest are you as an artist online? There are many things I’ve noticed artists do to tweak their social media accounts to control feedback. Is that really for the best? In my opinion, there are a few things artists do online that do more harm than good. Let’s use Facebook and Twitter as examples. Most musicians’ goal is to have more fans follow or like them than they follow themselves. Somehow having a multitude of people interested in you shows stature. Now here is where it gets tricky. There are ways to “trick” the system and purchase these “fans.” As a result, true fans are being cheated. In my position, I have to differentiate the real from the fake and assess who they really are. That is really the only true way of helping you as an artist with your brand, by knowing who your fans are. Now, if most of your fans are “bought,” how will I know how to help you? This will also affect your insight numbers. If a new record label asks to see your fan interaction, and for example, you follow 500 folks and have 10,000 fans, and never have replies, questions will begin to arise. If you have 10,000 Facebook fans and post daily, why doesn’t anyone give you feedback? That will look suspicious, and in the end might make you appear dishonest.
In addition, many artists disable the comment section on YouTube because they are afraid of negative comments that may follow a new video post. We get it- feelings and egos can get hurt. However, while we know that some people can be straight up haters, comments can also include honest feedback that can help you become a better artist. Fans can serve as an informal focus group, and therefore should be listened to. Remember, offensive comments can simply be deleted. But this keeps you real, and fans want to see the real you.
Finally, many artists are unaware of and thus have closed off the setting for fan comments on their page. There have been plenty of times we want to share a video or picture of a particular band/artist, but when we go to their fan page, there is no way of making comments. This can be a turn off to fans, especially when they want to interact with you. There are plenty of reasons for blocking comments, but keep in mind that doing so limits potentially useful feedback. These are just some tips on what I run into being in the music industry. Hope this helps and give you as an artist and or artist fan, street team, manager some insight on using social media tools to your advantage.