More than 40 booking agents, promoters, journalists, musicians and publicists have taken part in the Jazzfuel interview series over the last couple of years and, more often than not, social media is mentioned as an important part of the jazz musician puzzle.
More specifically: Facebook
In this article we’ve pulled out a few of these to highlight some of the common views from people working inside the industry. These opinions may come from different angles, but the takeaway is usually the same:
The quality of music is, of course, the most important thing, but ‘extras’ like social media can make a big difference when it comes to things like:
- Engaging your fans
- Showing clubs & festivals you’re ‘on the case’ with promoting your shows
- Giving journalists a sense of the backstory
- Building a community around your music
- Providing hard data to back up the promise of ticket and album sales
If you’re interested to check out some of these, read on…
German agent Matthias Wendl on Snarky Puppy’s rise to prominence:
“They did a very good job in their social media. They produced elaborate and high quality videos of all their album tracks and posted them on a weekly basis. The videos captured the extraordinary energy of the band and their skills as musicians.
As this became a viral success they constantly followed that path and regularly fed their fans with new material”
British broadcaster Tina Edwards on how much an artists’ social media helps in promoting a show:
“Social media is undervalued by some artists, and it’s a missed opportunity… Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are all shop windows into your music and, thankfully, your personality. Social media shows potential fans your human side.
Sure, you want them to interact with your music, but you want them to interact with you as well. That’s how you create a loyal fanbase. Sure, there is a lot of great music about there, made by talented artists who have little or no social media presence.
Would it put me off playing their music? Absolutely not. Would it make me think twice about inviting them to be an interview guest on Jazz Standard? Yes.”
Jazz A&R Wulf Muller (Sony, Universal) on where he’d go to check out a new band:
“Website, Facebook, Spotify… more or less in that order.”
American writer & digital media expert Philip Freeman on how important it is for musician to work on their social media:
“I think it’s crucial. There are not anywhere near enough press outlets covering jazz to make it without doing your own outreach directly to fans… But it’s not enough to have an active, frequently updated Facebook page, or be a witty tweeter; you’ve got to maintain direct connections, preferably by building a strong email list.”
Ronnie Scott’s programmer Nick Lewis on where he discovers music:
“…social media – seeing what musicians are posting and getting excited about”
Canadian drummer & publicist Ernesto Cervini on what separates great musicians who become ‘well known’ from those that don’t:
“To get international recognition I think it’s important to, beyond obviously presenting great music, invest your time and effort into establishing a following outside of your country.
This involves having a great e-mail list, or some other subscriber-based program to help you keep in touch with audiences outside of your immediate area.
This also includes touring on a semi-regular basis, and having a great online presence through your website, social media and whatever else fits your brand”
Czech festival promoter Vilem Spilka on keeping up-to-date with the jazz scene:
“I get a lot of info on Facebook and YouTube, I have to say. Many of my favourite musicians post some inspiring stuff.”
British trumpeter and jazz promoter Kim Macari on connecting with an audience:
“I’d hope if people took a browse through my instagram or facebook or my own website they’d a gain at least a bit of an insight into who I am and the work I do.”
Estonian festival booker Merli Antsmaa on what steps a relatively unknown musician take right now, to make themselves more bookable:
“Always remind us and offer good ideas for a concert. Update your photos, videos and social media according to your material and plans”