Bands: Be (sort of) like Radiohead

Can you be like Radiohead and delete your social media profiles leading up to an album release? Probably not, but the concept makes sense. In the frantic, hurried 24/7 world we live in, the norm is updates around the clock. What did Radiohead do? Eh, they deleted everything. They’re living in opposite world, apparently.

One thing you can do is care a bit more than the 2,093,234 bands out there who are blasting out updates ever 12 seconds with new shows, album updates, and latte’ art pics. Stick with some general rules here:

Auto-posting from Instagram means your fans on Twitter have to click another link in order to see your images. Sure, it saves you the time of having to open Twitter and upload the photo, but it passes the time investment onto your fan. And plenty of bands are posting their photos right to Twitter, and those appear right next to your Tweets, and might entice your fan to check out that other band.

You can’t be a regular in every coffee shop. Love Twitter and loathe Facebook? Then don’t use Facebook. Half-assed efforts on any social media network (like auto-posting from Instagram to several other platforms) looks cheap, and you ain’t cheap. Connect with fans by being sincere while everyone else is content to automate as many marketing bullet points as they can every single day.

Case in point; those “I uploaded a video to YouTube” links are garbage. Unpaid interns can do that, but you’re a band on the road, with songs that touch hearts. Your albums become the soundtrack for summer, so treat your social media messaging with some revernce. That means more than just “CHECK OUT R NEW VIDEO!” Put 12 seconds of thought into your messeging. Tell a short story about taping the video, thank the producer, or send out some behind the scenes pics. Remember, you’re competing with canned “I uploaded a video” copy – it doesn’t take much effort to do better than that.

Instead of Tweeting every single date of your upcoming tour to people who can’t make the 56 hour drive to your gig in Woonsocket, RI, put your dates in one place and link to it (like Corrioson of Conformity does here):

When you do this you can monitor traffic from Twitter, which then gives you a good idea of how effective your social media efforts are. You know you can do that, right?

It’s like out-running a bear, you only have to run faster than your friends. Plenty of artists are putting in minimal effort on social media networks and expecting maximum return. You don’t skimp on musical equipment, song writing, booking tours, and paying artists to create shirt and album artwork, so don’t short change yourself on your own DIY online marketing efforts.

Seth Werkheiser is the quiz master of metal trivia at Skulltoaster. He’s also the founder of some music sites you may have heard of, including Noise Creep (2009) + Buzzgrinder (2001). He’s anti-Facebook, anti-clickbait, and anti-growth hacking. You should most definitely follow him on Twitter. Yes, right now.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.