I'm a songwriter and I'm trying to use the social media channels to try and cultivate an audience. To learn about social engagement and music marketing in this new economy I read blogs, and subscribe to newsletters, by respected authorities like Thorny Bleeder, Gary Vaynerchuk, Ariel Hyatt.
The advice I get from all of them is:
- Be yourself
- Put out compelling content.
- Don't spam people
In a market teaming with incredibly talented indie artists, all vying for the ears and hearts of the internet, I wanted some compelling content, that I coulld publish on a regular basis, to put alongside my music. I came up with 'Deep Readings' where I embrace the time tested gag of reading pop lyrics without the music. The difference being I would do it with equal parts irony and drama and put a twist on the classic. And in a really deep voice.
Don't Stop Believing by Journey was my first Deep Reading.
I posted it on a Tumblr blog and shared it with my normal social media channels like my Facebook page and twitter. Then came the slippery slope to accidental spammerdom.
I used twitter search and looked for "Don't Stop Journey". I got quite a few results and responded to their comments in a friendly way by responding to the actual tweet and not just sending a link. For example one tweet said their favorite part of singing along with the song was doing the guitar solo. I replyed that there were no guitars in my version. They responded back with a follow and a compliment that it sounded awesome. Super fun, I had achieved engagement. Someone else responded that it was cool and reminded them of Leonard Cohen. High praise! Let's keep this twitter train going ...
Someone else has a hashtag #Nowplaying Don't Stop Believing - Journey and I respond with "When you're done check out my version and tell me how they compare." Their response? They retweeted me and added "THE BOOK IS ON THE TABLE". I Googled the phrase and found this song:
It was my first request! I was so excited I immediately got the lyrics did a deep reading and sent it back to him with expectations of him retweeting it to his 31,000 followers and experiencing immediate and overwhelming web fame. I then twitter searched the phrase and responded to the several others who were using it in their tweets assuming they were talking about this crazy Brazilian dance song.
Nothing. No response.
Getting a bit of a sinking feeling I dug a bit deeper into Google and found this video where the government of Brazil is trying to explain why it's important to learn english. The punch line of the video is when the Portuguese woman says the only english phrase she knows. You guessed it ... The Book Is On The Table.
I use Google to translate a few of the tweets I had responded to. None of them were talking about the song. In my overzealous attempt to engage people with my silly pop song readings I wound up spamming a bunch of friendly Brazilians with complete nonsense.
Social rules are social rules. Online or off. People are having conversations with friends and family out here. You can't just walk up and start selling something or blasting your song out the window thinking they'll love it enough to run up and buy your stuff.
- Be yourself
- Put out compelling content
- Say hello
- Answer questions
- Be approachable
- Say please and thank-you
- Learn a bit about who you're talking to
- Don't spam friendly Brazilians with nonsense they won't care about