Bands and musicians, I have a list of 10 things that you should stop doing because your fans and followers find them ANNOYING. Please and thank you. ;)
1. Commenting or replying to people’s original posts telling them to check out your band. If I tweet that I’m listening to a song by another band, please don’t reply and ask me to check out YOUR band. I know you’re just scouring that other bands hashtag or mentions and commenting on as many as possible with the hopes that one of us will check out your page. It’s 2016 and this feels so fake.
2. Following someone on Twitter/Instagram then unfollowing them shortly after. Follower numbers don’t mean anything if the people aren’t actually interested in your music. Inflating your follower count by following as many people as possible with the hopes that they’ll follow you back is a big time waster. Instead, interact with the people who have organically followed you. Engaging with your true followers will always be better than just accumulating a high follower number.
3. Treating each platform the same. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t post the same content, but you should definitely deliver it differently. Certain audiences are more active at certain times of the day on different platforms. Make sure the content and delivery get the most out of whatever platform is being used. People don’t want to visit your Facebook and see the exact same thing as Twitter and Instagram. Some and even a lot of overlap is okay, but at least change up HOW you’re saying it and keep some content exclusive to that platform.
4. Repeatedly trying to sell your album. People who want to buy your album will know how to find it. You don’t have to keep reposting a link to your bandcamp/iTunes/etc. telling people to purchase it. Once in a while is totally fine, but the majority of your updates shouldn’t consist of this. People want to connect with bands on social media, not be constantly sold to.
5. Not crediting content that you use that others created. Listen, I really don’t understand how this keeps happening. Whether it’s a fan that took a cell phone photo you liked or drew a photo or a professional photographer who captured your set. You should credit who made that content because it will make the creator feel good and reflect positively on you. For the fan, it’s an awesome way to acknowledge and pay respect to them. They’ll be elated and probably share with their friends/followers the fact that YOU shared THEIR work. And if it’s a professional, you should be asking for their permission and always crediting them anyways. That’s just common courtesy as one professional to another. There is really no downside to doing this, so just do it.
6. Automatic DM’s to follows. This seems so impersonal. I don’t expect a follow back or even an acknowledgement from a band when I follow them on Twitter, but I hate getting those automatic direct messages thanking me for following and linking to where I can purchase their newest album or latest single. Just don’t. Nobody likes getting these.
7. Inviting everyone on your personal Facebook friend’s list to your event. While I don’t mind being invited to events that I could actually attend, a lot of your friends list probably consists of people you’ve met on the road and won’t be able to attend that event. If the event isn’t within a three-hour drive for them, don’t bother inviting them to it.
8. Not researching where you are or who you’re playing with. It’s always awkward when a band tries to tag another band that they’re playing with and uses the wrong Twitter handle. Or even worse, gets the venue or city confused. I think the worst is if they’re trying to do the thank yous on stage of all the bands playing that night and they either a) forget a band or b) completely get the name wrong or c) get the city wrong.
9. Just posting a link with no context. Don’t just plop down your Bandcamp link with no text or no driving point as to why people should click there. Use your words, people!
10. Using your band’s social media to express your controversial personal opinions. This one is tricky. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use your platform to bring awareness to issues you care about. But there is a big difference between awareness and ranting to or arguing with your fans. Most people are following your for your music, not your opinions. And for goodness sake, please stay politically correct and don’t say something that will make you lose fans.