Ask a person in their teens, 20’s or 30’s where they get most of their information regarding music, entertainment, or even the world, and they will tell you they get it mostly from their social media feeds. If you ask most DIY musicians what the best way is to get the word about their work out to potential fans and they will say the same thing, social media.
Now consider this, the percentages of organic (non-sponsored/boosted/advertised) views etc. an average post receives is as follows; Facebook(2%), Twitter(under 6%) and Instagram(between 1-3%). Most DIY musicians are shocked by these low numbers. The reasons for these algorithmic statistics can be complicated, but it comes down to this. Every social media company wants to provide each user with what they think that the user will like to see. Doing this keeps the user coming back and scrolling along. Meanwhile, they hope to get advertisers to pay for the opportunity to have their products or services appear in those scrolling feeds.
Most musical artists of today know that they must have at least some social media presence. Some are VERY good at generating content and cultivating followers. But even a great post by an artist with a robust following of 9000 followers may not be seen by more than 180 people.
That brings me to a conversation I had with a promising young singer/songwriter who recently self-released a full-length album. When I asked about her website, she said that she did not have one. When I asked her why, she said that websites “...don’t have a great ROI (return-on-investment).” My response was simple. “Social media has an engagement rate of, at best, between 1-6%. Do you think after spending thousands of dollars and over a year of your life to bring an album into the world, that $14.95 a month, to run a website, is too much to invest now that the album is out?”
She further (and correctly), clarified that there is more than the money involved in having a website. It does take some time to build, to maintain and to maximize. However, the biggest point that she and other artists are missing is that you have 100% engagement with anyone who visits your site. If you can make your site a destination, then good things will happen for you as an artist in EVERY phase of your career.
A well-constructed website creates a flourishing email list. That is one of the things most overlooked. If you can get website visitors to sign up for your email list, then you can reach out to them at any time. Furthermore, let’s consider that, according to Mailchimp, the average artist/musician has an email open rate of over 26%. (Over 10X better than some social media!)
Let’s break that down to numbers that are even more relatable. In our previous example using social media only, we needed at least 9,000 followers to reach 180. With an average email, (nothing special, an average update, etc.) you would only need 1000 subscribers to reach 260!
The winner of the ROI argument is the website.
An artist’s approach regarding social media vs. websites should be as follows.
- Have a dynamic and engaging website that allows fans to easily become a part of a community.
- Use the website to control what content is put out into the world, physically and virtually.
- Use social media to drive new fans, and old, to your website. (Where you have complete control over what they see, read or hear.)
You need a website now because it is one of the keys to the kingdom for the independent or DIY artist. A well-built and engaging website can help you fill the seats in any venue, get more streams, and spread the news regarding your music. Your website should be one of the first steps in your marketing strategy.
Keep an eye out for how your website can work FOR you in our upcoming blog posts.