In December I had the pleasure of teaching a Masterclass on Social Media & Marketing for the CS Music Masterclass Series. To kick off the new year and this new column I’d like to share some advice the masterclass attendees got back then, in a compact format, which I think can help you get excited about your social media goals this year!
- It’s not them, it’s you!
Social Media is not inherently toxic as some may want you to believe. It is how you use it and your mentality that might make it so. Focus on using your Social Media as a tool that will help you in your artistic search for inspiration, making connections and amplifying the way you share your voice and your work with the world. Always prioritize collaboration over competition. Lift others up and they will do the same for you. As an artist, this exploration should be fun, exciting and simply one more element in your toolbox!
- Be proactive!
You don’t have to post every single day on your feed, but you should try to be active on your account every single day. This is where your stories come in handy and are a low maintenance way to keep your account alive and interesting… think of them as good conversation starters! Having something in your story at all times should be the bare minimum goal to keep your followers interested and regularly chatting with you in DMs. After all, would you stick around where there is no action?
On another note, while Facebook & Instagram continue to be the most popular platforms in the opera world, I encourage you to have a presence everywhere and use the same handle on all platforms so people can easily find you, and there is consistency in the way you present yourself.
- A full life is all the content you need!
Let go of the idea that your social media has to run your life for it to be successful or effective. Focus instead on developing your interests, intellect, relationships and career first. Then, find creative ways to share it with the world on your channels. You will never “run out of content” if you are leading an interesting life. The way I see it, half of the growth of your channels will come from the work you put into them and the other half will come organically as a reflection of your career and life projects. Diversify your portfolio from every angle and you will eventually reap the benefits from every angle! The era of putting all your eggs in one basket is over.
The pandemic may not be allowing us to travel or do many cultural activities right now but guess what…? Most people are in the same boat and there is plenty out there to keep us busy learning and creating. The cool #travelgram content may have to wait for now but there are lots of other trends out there and an increasing awareness for important social issues, which I encourage you to advocate for.
- Have a strategy!
Having a strategy is the key to growth that you can sustain. You will never need a “social media break” if you use your time on social media wisely. Sure, sometimes it’s fun to just scroll around to see what people are up to, but generally, since you should have better things to do than scrolling all day… try to use your daily time on social media in a productive way. The key concept here is Engagement. Make sure to spend your daily social media time genuinely engaging with other people and their content and others will respond and hopefully do the same for you. It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason, and its power lies on the idea that if you get social, great connections, collaborations and relationships can be formed. Pro tip: make sure to publish your posts when you have time to stick around… the more engagement your post receives in the first 30 min after it’s shared, the more accounts the algorithm will show it to. More engagement brings more visibility, and more visibility means more growth!
- Join an Engagement Group!
Engagement Groups are private groups on Facebook where entrepreneurs, artists and influencers network and support each other. Two friends and I created an opera-friendly engagement group with a very supportive environment, where artists of all backgrounds agree to engage with each other’s content on all social media platforms. It’s a lot of fun and great connections and collaborations have already come out of it! I’d love to see you there! It will not only boost your numbers but also motivate you to put in the work every week! You can find us by searching for the “Operatic Engagements” group on Facebook.
Ultimately, Social Media changes and evolves very quickly so don’t get too stuck on one single way of doing things. Keep the above concepts in mind, learn how to maximize the way you use the apps available to you and then draw from your experience, creativity and logic to keep you going! See you on the gram!