Social Media for the Zim Musician
Social Media has gained popularity in the last decade or so and is the staple for interacting with people all over the world. For musicians, this is a good thing where the market is now more accessible than ever. Social media has completely changed the landscape of music marketing. That being said, to make the most of social media, Zimbabwean musicians need to employ good tactics that facilitate that. Here are a few tips to help you along the way:
General consensus seems to point you towards being on every social media platform available… PLEASE. DO. NOT. DO. THIS. Look, that model is unsustainable and you probably will not become more popular by being on every social platform out there. We made the very same mistake with Radio Kunakirwa at some point. We were so focused on being relevant on every platform that we neglected the core strategy for social media. It became unsustainable and up to this day we have dormant accounts on platforms we will never use.
Find the best platform to fit your brand as a musician. Consider this. If you were a paint artist which social media platform would best showcase your talent and expose your work to potential buyers? I would consider Instagram and Pinterest because they are tailored to visual stimulus. This means that the people that will appreciate art are more likely to be on those platforms than say, LinkedIn or Twitter. Goldmine. Likewise, as a musician, think a little differently. See where you benefit from a platform and what it means for you and your music. Once you decide on this… milk the opportunity.
It’s one thing being on a social media platform but quite another to master how it works. Take time to learn what makes the platform tick and how you can position yourself/your brand to make the most of it. It can be off-putting for your fans if you are not interacting well with them simply due to a lack of understanding of the platform. For some fans, this is a do or die scenario and they may just not bother with you thereafter.
Before you start posting etc, familiarise yourself with how that social media platform works. Give it time and while you do so quickly learn from any mistakes you make. There will be a time when such mistakes can be extremely costly for your career. Best to avoid them.
One thing that many musicians might not consider is a social media strategy. Now you might be thinking ‘Say whaaaaaat?’ and I totally understand but you need a strategy. Without one, you are posting as and when you feel like it and/or have time for it which isn’t all that bad but look at it this way: it could be sooooo much better!!!
Break it down and look at the following:
- What are you posting?
- When? This is influenced by factors like time of day when other users are most active, your schedule etc
- What is the goal of what you are posting (engagement, create sales leads for your digital album, promote your event etc)? How does it relate to your brand strategy?
If you can afford a manager/already have a manager, they should be responsible for handling your social accounts (or at least most of it themselves or through a PR rep etc). This allows you to focus mostly on making music and nurturing your talent. It is not to say don’t be on social media completely but don’t spend too much time on it that it becomes your second job. One mistake many Zimbabwean musicians make is wearing too many caps: CEO, musician, marketing manager, producer, videographer, accountant, graphic designer. As great as that might seem, there is a saying for that: Jack of all trades, master of none.
You become so busy managing everything else that sooner or later you will lose focus on the prime objective: making amazing music! Don’t lose focus by taking on more than you can chew, it probably won’t be worth it for what you are trying to achieve with your music.
The ball is now in your court, try the tips above and see how they work for you!