SOCIAL PLATFORMS: the mindset
The mindset: Attention is everything. You want eyeballs on your content as much as possible to position yourself as the expert.
Create long form content first, then break it into smaller platform-specific content. It’s unbelievably important to transform your content into content typical of that social platform.
For a musician, that can mean making full-length performing or teach videos for a YouTube audience first. You can send long form videos to YouTube because that’s the nature of the platform and that’s what audiences expect when they’re there.
Then, chop up these videos into smaller pieces that fit the aesthetic of the other platforms like Instagram. For example, break a single YouTube video into 5-15 different shorter 60-second videos for your Instagram wall. Or 10-30 15-second clips for your Instagram Story. Use a brief caption that describes what’s in the video. Tag anyone else that’s in it and the location in which it was shot. Use 5-15 relevant hashtags. Post at optimal hours on optimal days for your audience. (Instagram analytics tell you this when you have a business account).
Use this same Instagram Story content as your Facebook Story and Snapchat content. Also, use Snapchat, Facebook Stories, and Instagram Stories as a moment to show behind-the-scenes candid moments. This is a great place to show your vulnerabilities and human side. Utilize the built-in filters as that’s what the audiences expect on those platforms.
Facebook is the best place for long form text content. Use your wall as you would your blog. Post a transcript of your YouTube video in blog form. “Time” is the biggest commodity we have and the more time you save your audience, the more they’ll consume your content. Don’t make them go to the blog on your personal website. Post there, too, but post on your Facebook wall so the audience never has to leave the platform and they can engage with your post. Leave a link to your blog at the end of the post for anyone interested in similar content. You can also get away with copying a YouTube link into Facebook with a relevant caption. It’s possible because it’s still long form and viewers don’t have to leave Facebook to view it.
Twitter is the TRUE social platform. When something happens in the world, the world turns to Twitter. It’s the world’s water cooler. So use it as such. Don’t simply copy+paste your YouTube video link and post that. No one will watch it. They’re on Twitter to engage in dialogue. So engage. Talk about all things relevant to your “brand.” It’s a great place to show your others interests besides music. Like a certain sports team? Post about it.
You never know what relationships and opportunities will come out of someone seeing your other interests. Those interests are what help us build relationships, and we all know how powerful relationships are in our field. So for your YouTube video you posted? Post a casual statement relevant to its content, post a clip from it (one of the Story of IG Wall clips), and tag anyone that’s in it. You can get away with this every so often, but don’t make it your primary post type. Again, it’s about conversation and a dialogue with your audience. If you can’t create content then, document your activities. Have nothing you want to document? Then distribute relevant content.
For Twitter, inject yourself into other people’s conversations. How? Use “Search” inside the app. Search for relevant hashtags and trending topics. A million posts will magically appear related to that topic. Read 200 of them and provide value in your comments. People will see your post, see that you were helpful/thoughtful/whatever, then they’ll go follow you.
The same is true for Instagram. Use “Search” to find relevant hashtags.
You’re a percussionist that wants to build your following. Search “percussion” and click “tags.” All the hashtags using some variation of the word will appear along with the number of posts of that hashtag worldwide. Get a sense for the popularity of that word and its variations. If there are some variations with 10,000,000 posts and some with 100 posts, then find you’ll need to use a hashtag somewhere in the middle of that range (maybe 300,000-800,000 posts). Using a hashtag with 10,000,000 posts means your content will get lost among the traffic. And using a hashtag with only 100 posts means few people will see it.
The term “percussion” has 981,548 posts worldwide right now. That’s the most posts with a variation of the term. Because it’s still a relatively small number, it would be acceptable to use this hashtag. The hashtag “music” currently shows 176,184,468 posts. That’s way too large for my content to be noticed. So I’d look down the list to “musicians” which has 3,152,184 posts. It’s still a large number, but much smaller in comparison. I’d opt for “musicians” as the hashtag with the most posts that I’ll use. Use a 80% hashtags with medium post numbers and 20% with high post numbers. Put the highest posted hashtags at the end of your hashtag list in each post.
Use Instagram Search to inject yourself into conversations and communities. Search for 10 relevant terms and click “tags.” For each, click on the hashtag and you’ll see a grid of the top posts from that hashtag appear. Go through the first 50 posts of each hashtag. Click on the posts and look at the users’ following. If they have a large following (3k+), start commenting on their videos leaving value. Do this on the top 9 user accounts (by follow count) for each of your 10 hashtags. Because those users have large followings, your comments will be posted in front of the eyeballs of their audience. When their audience sees you’re posting everywhere and have valuable thoughts, they’ll start to follow you, too. Leaving your $0.02 will add up quickly if you stick to it.
IT’S A NUMBERS GAME
All of this is a numbers game. Doing all of these strategies day in and day out, providing value to your community with absolutely no expectation of anything in return will make you the expert on the topic and will guilt people into buying whatever it is you’re selling later. Today’s cultural reality is you must give away first before you can expect to receive. Whether you’re a Chinese restaurant providing chicken samples at the mall or a world- class musician on the internet. The audiences wants social proof before they’ll bite.