Social Media: Increasing Connectivity

The music industry, unlike many other industries, has always had a social aspect to it.  Music is something that is best enjoyed when it’s shared with other people.  Live concerts provide the kind of face-to-face interactions and collective experiences we all crave.   The highly emotional nature of music can facilitate strong personal connections between artists and listens.  So, it is not surprising that artists are beginning to utilize social media to generate even stronger personal connections with fans.

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can perform several important functions for artists.  According to an AFP article, social media is changing the way  artists promote shows.  Using social media to promote shows allows artists to reach interested fans who might not have heard about the show otherwise.  Artists can also build anticipation for upcoming shows by keeping fans informed.  This inexpensive way to get publicity can be extremely valuable to artists.   One Oklahoma based artist, K.C. Clifford says she regularly uses twitter to excite her fans before shows.

In addition to publicity, social media sites can give artists the ability to connect one-on-one with fans.  K.C. Clifford says social media is breaking down the artist-fan barrier.  Fans are able to have personal contact with their favorite artists through Facebook, Myspace, Blogs and Twitter.   The cultivation of personal relationships with their fans can give artists a real advantage by generating a loyal fan base.  Wayne Coyne, lead singer of The Flaming Lips, uses his personal Twitter account to share pictures and opinions.   His personal twitter has about 37,000 followers and is referenced on other music news sites.

Many artists have had great success with personal blogs.  One excellent example of an artist blog is the blog run by the lead singer of Deerhunter, Bradford Cox. In his blog Cox shares his musical influences, stories about his struggle with Marfan syndrome, and hours of free music with fans.  Recently, Cox released four albums worth of bedroom recordings and demos that could be downloaded for free.

The bottom line is that artists now have the ability to cheaply and effectively do a lot of self-promotion with social media.  I think this self-promotion will ultimately be more effective than more traditional forms of promotion because it feels more organic and personal.  Artists who use social media correctly can have real and meaningful conversations with their fans, which will only increase the intimacy of the personal relationships between artists and fans.



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