Will the process of simply sharing my creative output through a social media outlet, generate a much sought after ‘business response’?
Nurturing a social media presence in order to promote my music and hopefully receive paid work as a result has been a long sought after goal of mine but has not produced the results that I would have hoped for. I started uploading music that I wrote, to a bandcamp website page, a number of years ago. I also have a facebook page which was designed to promote the band that I was previously organising. That facebook page has now been ‘changed’ into a possible media hub to promote the various musical and media services that I would like to offer on a professional basis. The process that I’ve taken to transition from a musician hoping to promote my music, network with other musicians has now changed to reflect my new skills developed from studying audio engineering at SAE Brisbane and my hopes to still be involved with the music industry, but, play a different role within it.
What I’ve found interesting during the research stage for this blog, is the strategic business approach that could be adopted in order to generate not only an on-line presence for my creative output, but also, developing a better understanding of how to target and interact with an on-line audience on the basis of a professional identity that should reflect myself and my talents.
Important considerations such as choosing my top 3 objectives according to Yvette Adams from the creative collective website, and then choosing the best social media network to meet those objectives is a helpful suggestion. For my part, most of the musicians I know network on facebook and promote gigs in that way. The other consideration from Social Media Shortcuts website, suggest that before a facebook page is set up, there are number of steps that need to be taken in order to make an effective facebook page such as:
What am I trying to achieve?
Who am I trying to talk to?
What will my brand look like?
If the experts in Social media are to be trusted, then social media such as facebook, may be tapped into very effectively, in order to achieve professional interests. What I’ve discovered during the course of my research for this blog however, is that in order for social media to be effective professionally, I still need to be effective socially. For instance, Zoe Wyatt, from the Social Media Shortcuts website suggests splitting up my content for my facebook page into percentages of 30% each for: Promoting myself / promoting others / providing quality information and the last 10% should be ‘inspirational’ content. Robert Scoble, blogger, ‘technical evangelist’ and author of the book: The Fourth Transformation, however, suggests a far more focused use of facebook. On his own facebook page, he suggests such things as: “Unfriend people who do not post to Facebook or engage with anyone else. You’ll find your posts start getting reach they never did before.” He goes on to explain that the algorithms that facebook use to spread anything that I post, throughout the news feeds of my ‘facebook friends’, are based on how active they are on facebook. So, in order to be an effective facebook user, one also needs to know how to play the social media game.
Other marketing theorists such as Sinan Aral, Professor of Information Technology and Marketing at MIT university, proposes that behaviours may be influenced by their association through peers. So, that someone who is an ‘early adopter’ of new technology, or, someone who is otherwise known as a ‘tastemaker’ within the music industry, may have a greater impact on those who are friends of them, over time and has attempted to quantify how susceptible people are to influence through their social media associations. On-line business entrepreneur and author Gary Vaynerchuk, suggest that in order to further my own professional ambitions and be an effective on-line presence, I need to bring value to somebody through my facebook site and leverage that to get what I want, which is exposure. He suggests that 51% value needs to be provided in order to get 49% value returned. Interestingly, he suggests: “When I care more about your audience, than what you have to say, then you start winning. Eliminating expectation opens up a world where I can provide.” So, how do I create a strong on-line presence and become a person of influence that can bring value to people’s lives. Mmmm, let me think about that, or, maybe I should ask Gary Vee, because he interviews people like John Legend, currently one The USA’s most successful singer / songwriters in the business!
From all of these different approaches to becoming a person of influence in the world of social media, it would appear that if I were to try to be all things to all people, I would probably not end up achieving my aim of reaching more people through social media networks and create an audience that I could then tap into in order to assist with my professional ambitions to be a music producer. Maria Popova, well known for her blog Brain Pickings, described by Maria as a: “cross-disciplinary LEGO treasure chest, full of pieces spanning art, science, psychology, design, philosophy, history, politics, anthropology, and more”, suggests that one needs to make the distinction between aiming to please everybody and eventually being perceived as ordinary, or, aim to be extraordinary and prepare to be subjected to extremes of opinion”. In this, lies the nature of the nature of internet-based success. While some people are considered good at being famous on-line, like like Gary Vaynerchuk for example, others like well known game developer Phil Fish, actively cultivated a more abrasive on-line presence and was became the Simon Cowell of the indie games world; The person that people love to hate. Either way, one cannot deny the importance of maintaining a strong on-line presence using social media, my aim to use the social networks of others to further my own professional ambitions needs to be mindful of the social protocols that are inherently a part of this new social / business platform.