The irony of writing this on an online blog is not lost on me but I do struggle to manage my social media across all the different projects I am involved in. I am in 2 bands, 1 rock (www.theasklive.com), 1 folk (http://kittyhawklive.wixsite.com/kittyhawk ), I am a singer/songwriter (no current marketing strategy in place). I work as a sound artist (www.julesbryant.co.uk). I have a creative project looking at challenging subjects such as mental health (https://www.facebook.com/thebluepenguincollective/ ).
Associated with each of these there is a Facebook page, Twitter account, Email account and web pages. Some of them attract a Youtube, Vimeo and Instagram account. This results in quite a tangled web of media posts and updates that can be a real headache to keep on top off. What I find is that I seem to work on one project in a burst at a detriment to the other projects: The rock band Facebook will be flourishing whilst the folk band one has not been touched in weeks.
So, what am I doing about it? Well, during the last few months I decided to focus on the rock band in order to find an approach that would work for it. Then I could replicate that by the folk band. I will then look at the solo projects and find a method that can be repeated across each of them. What I have also done is stopped all personal use of social media, everything relates to one of my projects or it does not get read or posted (so you won’t find pictures of my latest meal on Facebook, unless it is a particularly fine burger after a gig). This has freed up a little time but there is a long way to go.
Now, I know there are tools out there to help with managing this stuff. What I find is that there is a trade-off between time invested in working out how to use these things and the eventual return to be made. Being a poor musician it is also important that I keep costs to a minimum so I use free versions wherever possible (unfortunately these are often scaled back versions which only do enough to pull you in and then you need to invest to get a service that will work longer term; that’s business I suppose).
In order to start collating what I am doing and identify what all the bits are I decided to start this blog. As well as providing a record of what I am up to I thought it would give focus to sort some of these things out and it might prove useful to others in a similar position.
Something that needs to be defined early doors is a strategy showing how my projects interlink and complement each other. Where can projects provide material that could be used on the media feeds of the other projects? So this is what I came up with……………
My finding from focusing on the rock band has been that most interest is generated by live gig performance videos when they are posted across a large number of Facebook music groups. Weekly posts from our rehearsals also go down well if they are based on a video or a sound clip. I have experimented using photo slideshows as a video and also animation tools such as http://www.moovly.com to generate something a bit different. These all seem to work well but are time consuming. I find that varying the approach each week seems to keep it fresh but you can never tell where Facebook will choose to send your posts, it is all a little hit and miss at the Facebook masters behest! Where I can I repost other bands clips and events to share the love and on the rare occasion that I get to see another band I like to review that too. We have recently started posting youtube clips of bands that people might not be aware of and our drummer has a great and varied musical knowledge that is being put to use providing new material of interest with weekly posts on Facebook.
I intend to flow these approaches out to the folk band to try and bring its social media presence up to the same level of the rock band. We shall see how this pans out. Occasionally I look at website traffic using google analytics although I must admit that I find this of little use. I sometimes post using Hootsuite. This is useful when I want to produce a timed campaign consisting of a series of posts going across a number of accounts.
The upshot is that this is tough and needs constant feeding to keep current. I think that timetabling regular updates might work well for me; I am often up late into the night after the rest of the family has gone to bed so perhaps a regular slot each week for each project would be a useful approach. Let’s see how 2017 goes!
Next time: My FAWM experience and output