So the other day, Habbi was asked to speak at an Artist Meetup run by Secret Sessions in London, which she did.

It's always nice to interact directly with songwriters and musicians, who are talented and committed, and see where they're at. A lot of the questions we got were on building an audience and about social media.

Here are Habbi's notes from the event.

Banner: Passenger performing at Secret Sessions, 2013

Habbi's Notes

"What struck me was how often the artists seemed to forget that social media is not for managers or some dreamed up industry standards, but it's a way for the audience to follow the work they do as artists.

To reiterate: social media is where the audience interacts with the artist – where they find out about new music, a tour, or an upcoming event near them.

My Experience

As someone who has never been a musician, but always just a fan of the music, this seems so obvious to me.

I experience time and time again, as a fan (or at least trying to be one) difficulty in trying to follow the work of artists I actually genuinely like.

Here are some examples:

  • I go to a gig and take a photo of the band on stage. I'm about to post it on Instagram, and want to tag the band, when I can't find the artist on Instagram.
  • I'm at a festival and want to tweet about some cool artist I come across. I can't find the artist on Twitter.
  • I google them. Nothing.
  • I check Spotify, and their music isn't there.
  • I can't find anything about them.

It's frustrating because I know if I can't find them – I will absolutely not remember what they're called.

On Keeping the Audience In Mind

Particularly for work reasons, I like to follow interesting artists I come across, to continue watching their work as artists. Not just me, but the entire Promogogo team. It's amazing when we've spotted an artist early on, and get to watch them move up venue sizes and get bigger and bigger features in the media.

So it is quite common for me to go out of my way (as described) to try to find the artist in question.

I wonder how many of the other audience members are willing to try more than one social network. What's frustrating, is that the ones who lose out the most here, are the artists. It's like they don't want the audience to stay engaged after the show's over.

I know on an intellectual level that this is definitely not the case, and I understand that there is a really big ask on musicians to be some kind of online-marketing-geniuses in the industry as it stands (like they don't have like a thousand other things to worry about).

That doesn't change the fact that there is only so much the audience can be expected to do when trying to keep up to date with any one act. If the artist doesn't make it easy, they're the ones who lose out in the long run.

It's hard enough to get people to pay attention – so when they do, having a channel ready for them to interact with makes all the difference.

There are too many examples of artists or videos blowing up, and the audience not being able to find a suitable channel to follow the artist on, so (of course) the audience just forgets about it.

Hypes in general don't tend to leave a lasting legacy. In these cases the legacy is literally none."

Here Are Some Useful Posts To Kick It Up A Notch on Social

Three Key Takeaways

Posting Content People Like

Audience = A Group of People

It's easy to think of "an audience" as something in the abstract. In reality it's the people who happen to like what you do.

They don't need to be tricked into liking what you're doing. They either do or they don't.

They don't need to know about every single thing you do. But they'd probably like to find out when there's a new track or you're performing in their city

Reminding People You Exist

Posting something every now and then is like checking in with a long-distance friend. It's the quick "hey, this is what I'm up to".

A photo from the studio, a previous performance, gives the people a little peek into your life and your work.

The more you give, the more you can get them to be on your side, and start rooting for you.

It literally reminds people that you're still around, you're still making music, and you're excited that they're there.

The Actual People, Actually Care

Having a group of people on your side makes it much easier to get an announcement across when you have one. The people in your audience want to know if you got new music coming out and if your tour includes their city.

It really isn't about some quick and dirty tips and tricks. The easy tricks tend to attract bots, not humans. And it tends to be the humans who buy your albums and come to your shows.

Possible target audience? image from I, Robot