Are Artists Spending More Time on Social Media Than on Their Music?
Social media has shifted power back to the artists. These outlets can serve as powerful self-promotion tools, allow artists to market their music and directly connect with and find new and existing fans. As a result, aspiring producers and musicians don't necessarily need a major label, huge record deal or boatloads of money to get their careers off the ground.
We now live in a music world where social media stats have joined play counts to become more important than ticket sales or record sales.
A recent lengthy post from trance and progressive house producer/DJ Gareth Emery has sparked an interesting debate, however, on how much time and effort artists should put into their social media. Emery explained that he's handing over his social media accounts to Sergei on his management team and turning in his iPhone for a good old fashioned Blackberry. Why? To put this time towards his music.
Do I want to be the guy who made music that people still were listening to after he was dead?
Or the dude who posted many immaculately edited picture of his meals which got tons of likes but were old news before he'd even shat them out.
For Emery, this wasn't even a question. He's keeping his accounts active to make sure they remain outlets for fans to keep up with shows, new music and report things like outstanding merchandise orders or ticket scalping.
In addition to putting his music first, and giving it his utmost attention, Emery cites other benefits that come with kicking social media - being more present when he's with his kids, making more time for reading books, etc. We certainly can't argue with Emery on these.
There are reasons why many companies often hire professional social media managers. This stuff takes time! Even with managing software, the energy required for these platforms is enough to be a full-time job.
Of course, handing over your social media to someone is often not an option for aspiring artists. But if you can't afford to hire someone, it couldn't hurt to put feelers out and see if you have a friend or can find someone looking to get into marketing. They just might be willing to help with your social media simply as a resume building experience.
For artists that already have their careers in motion, is the time it takes to keep up with all of these platforms really worth it? There are certainly exceptions. Dillon Francis, we're talking about you.
We've seen several artists get very caught up with their online persona and lose momentum and relevance because of what it took from their studio time and the constant interruption and distraction from the creative process.
No amount of viral posts, however, can make up for music that can come from hard work, from hours and hours in the studio and from a determination to put evolving and improving as an artist the absolute top priority.
While Emery is going cold-turkey, this is not the only way. Emery even admits that he may miss it and return sooner than anticipated. Another solution for artists could be to set up a system for time management which designates certain days or hours for social media.
No matter what dream you're working towards - whether it's music related or not - just being more aware of your social media use could make a huge difference in your ability to harness productivity and creative flow.