This article marks the first in a series of four tutorials that seek to answer a hard question DJs and producers face constantly: with a good strategy, the right tools, and a little guidance: could you get good at social media, double your followers, and enjoy the process at the same time? That seems like a tall order, but with the help of a few industry heavyweights I am going to try to do just that – and share what I learn with you in the process.
That was until I met Terry Church, co-founder of JustGo Music, former founder/editor of Beatportal, past editor of DJ Mag, and a social media expert who has worked with some of the biggest DJs in the world including David Guetta, Eric Prydz, Luciano, Dubfire, Sebastien Leger, and Satoshi Tomiie.
Terry helped me see that social media can be a great way to provide real value to fans, just in small, easily digestible bite-sized chunks. Make no mistake, many of these “social” sites are a vacuous wasteland of wimpy words – but if used properly, they can be powerful connectors of people too.
“Building a social media fanbase is no longer an opportunity for DJs, it is a necessity,” Terry told me. “From the very beginning of their careers, bedroom DJs and producers need to learn how to communicate effectively, and work towards building a brand. Think of yourself as a magazine – one in which you are the cover star everyday.”
Terry explained that many fans might not have time to listen to a full song or a mix when they are at work or at school, but they will still get a lot of value from small, meaningful interactions with artists. Social media can provide the glue that keeps us closer and fills the gaps between big releases.
Ok – I’m sold. Social media canbe valuable – now what?
THE PLAN OF ATTACK
Over the next four week, I will undergo a social media “make-over”. With the help of Terry (pictured at right), and a few other industry experts, we are going to inject a lot of life into my Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, and Instagram pages. By providing consistent value to fans through the sites they use regularly, we plan to double my followers and teach me how to use the platforms better in the process. My hope is that you will follow along, and learn the principles too. Perhaps you could even follow the same protocols, set a personal goal, and complete your own social media upgrade over the next 30 days.
Every Wednesday for the next four weeks we will publish a different set of strategies, and specifically explain how DJs can better connect with their fans.
- Week 1 – The Plan (This week) How to create a plan, and build the framework for success.
- Week 2 – The Gigs What to do on social media before, during, and after a gig.
- Week 3 – Rich Media Great content that people will love.
- Week 4 – Wrap Up Good tools that will build your fan base and a summary of everything that we learned.
Ok, it all starts here . Let’s dive in and set the stage for the work to come.
Step 1: Build a folder of digital assets: “The secret to effective social media communication is building a buffer of good content,” explains Terry Church. “Remember, you are a magazine, and you need to plan ahead, just like editors do each issue. Artists who fail at social media, generally fail for the same reason – they take that first big step and make a commitment to social media, and then when they get all the way to Facebook or Twitter, they find they have nothing meaningful to say.”
So step 1 to excellent social media communication is building a folder of content, that you will then share over the next month.
Create a list of assets and media you can realistically create and share on a regular basis. Think out of the box and find media or tangible items that can be shared over the next month. For me it will be:
- 30 photos – throwbacks, current, flyers, behind the scenes shots, and studio snaps.
- 4 Unreleased Tracks – things I am working on or tracks that have not been published yet.
- 4 Special Mashups from the Past actual audio files from my controllerism performances.
- 1 New DJ Mix – a full fresh mix that summarizes my sound right now.
- 1 Fun DJ Mix – a unique mix that is a different sound or style to my normal sets.
- 1 Competition – a competition to get into a Q&A Google hangout with me.
- 5 Songs I Like – great tunes that you might like too.
- 2 Mixes from Other DJs I Like – good examples of quality work, and mixes that I think are special.
- 3 Industry Commentaries/Opinions – personal insights, rants or perspectives on the DJ industry and scene that I represent.
- Great Performance Videos – past videos and unreleased content from previous performances.
Step 2. Collect, organize, and schedule: Terry’s social media protocol involves posting a lot to Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis. This is unrealistic for most people, but especially busy artists. The way to get around that is by pre-collecting and creating a folder of assets in advance. Create a social media folder and group all of your assets into types. For the text based commentary – pre-write as much as you can, and put it all in a well organized text document.
Step 3: Identify a system that can help you manage this process: Actually logging in every day and publishing content throughout the day is tedious, no fun and not terribly realistic. We want to set you up for success – so it is critical that you have some help in this area right off the bat. Can’t afford a personal social media manager? Not a problem – there are a number of tools out there that will help you to dominate social media. The one I am using over the next 30 days is Just Go Music – a very simple online dashboard for DJs and electronic artists that does two critical things:
- Provides an overview of your social media profile, and shows you how things are doing statistically so you can learn how to communicate better.
- Allows you to schedule and plan the publishing of content in advance to Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, YouTube and Mixcloud – critical for effective time management.
I’ll be using the JustGo Music social media dashboard to set my goals and measure my progress. Here is my condition right now:
Step 4. Create a communication schedule: Once you have your content it’s time to set goals for daily engagement and then create a publishing schedule that meets those goals. Terry recommends:
- 5- 10 tweets a day
- 2 – 3 Facebook posts a day
- 1 music upload a week
Not all of these posts need to be high value, media rich content, so the schedule will spread out your most valuable assets and balance the really juicy material with commentary and quick snippets.
Set a number that is realistic, but substantial and then stick to it. “Fans are like plants – you have to water them consistently, rather than drown them with a huge bucket once a year,” says Terry. “Communicating with fans regularly and consistently is the only way to ensure that your fanbase continues to grow online.”
One other critical thing to consider is the content itself. The easiest way to do that, is by thinking about what kind of posts you like to read on social media.
“What artists may consider as high value social media content, often isn’t that valuable to fans,” says Terry. “The number one rule of social media communication should be ‘entertainment’. If you ask yourself before every post, ‘is this entertaining?’, you will quickly discover that what is high value to you, might not be so entertaining for fans. For instance, DJs and artists often shout loudly on social media about their new release on Beatport, or their upcoming big gig on the weekend, however fans generally find that kind of self-promotion pretty boring. Entertain your audience first, and then once you have them engaged, they are much more likely to accept that kind of occasional advertorial.”
Your personal publishing schedule will depend a lot on the types of assets and media you plan to share. The key is balance them out and keep things consistent.
Want to see this series in action? Head over to my Facebook page and give it a like to follow along with my month-long quest to strengthen my presence in the social media world.
[…] is to create a schedule and figure out what posts you will use for that schedule. Think about what kind of posts you will create on each day you post. Upload different kinds of content every now and then to keep your feed fresh. […]
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Did you ever make part 2??? This is amaizing almost 3 years later and you have blown up. Great to see
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Where’s Week 3 – Rich Media??
Check out my underground music archive collection on YouTube.
[…] you need to post and share effective media on a regular basis. You should plan to share a list of different types of media every month. It could include photos, unreleased tracks, and mixes from the past, a new mix or […]
Did the rest of this series get finished?
This read like a big long advertorial for justgomusic
Great article, exactly what i am trying to find more info on right now.. Thanks as always DJTT
How to upgrade your social media strategy: post an article on your own successful blog/website anouncing you are going to do just that so people get curious and follow you on facebook, twitter, etc so they can keep track of the changes… 😉
All kidding aside, I disagree with Terry’s recommendation regarding the number of daily tweets/post, especially if you say that “Not all of these posts need to be high value, media rich content”.
I’ve acutally unfollowed artists who used to post an awful lot of meaningless stuff. I guess the worst example is a female techno DJ who is really successfull at the moment and who seems to be retweeting literally everything her fans post about her on twitter.
I’ve my timeline gets cluttered by your meaningless posts, I’m probably not gonna read any of them or simply unfollow you.
Contrary to what many social media experts believe, I don’t think there is anyone on this planet whose life is interesting enough to justify more than one (or two) posts per day.
As a follower, I’m interested in information about upcoming gigs or releases so I don’t miss any of these.
I’m not interested in: what you had for lunch, how “[insert random city] totally rocked last night” (especially if posted after each and every gig…) or anything that could end up on https://twitter.com/DJsComplaining
But the article is great and probably really helpful for a lot of people, and I really appreciate your efforts!!
I really Appreciate this!!!
I am going to employ as much of this as I possibly can as of 10 minutes ago. I’m gonna try to follow this week by week, and see what happens. Engaging directly with people, particularly those who share the same interests and frustrations, is proving immensely helpful!
Great article!! Please keep them coming, this is hugely relevant if you plan to take your music outside of your bedroom. Social media is an area that gets more or less ignored for me and I hate self promotion. Unfortunately this is exactly what promotors look at. Skills are useless if you aren’t valued for your work. Keep it up DjTT!
Wouldn’t recommend Justgo.. it’s still in beta and isn’t that great compared to competitors (hootsuite, or just doing it yourself a few times a day)
I disagree. Nice self promo, do you work at Hootsuite “guest”? Hootsuite is only is for posting to FB and Twitter. JustGo is like Hootsuite on steroids! I can track my FB, Twitter, Soundcloud, Youtube followers in one place plus schedule all my music uploads to Soundcloud, Youtube and Mixcloud. It’s built by DJs for DJs and Terry even sent me some social media tips. They’re definitely legit dude.
I tried hootsuit and also tweetdeck but they are just like, for writing stuff on facebook and twitter. never heard of just go but the music uploader tool sounds freakin awesome because my biggest problem is i dont ever have enough time to get my shit on mixcloud or youtube. will try that today.
i dont really understand how to use stats though…hoping just go’s stats are really simple cos i am not good with numbers. would be cool if this article series covered how to use stats.
No, I don’t work at “Hootsuite,” I was actually going to make a similar content about JustGo probably paying or something to get the plug on DJTT, but I didn’t.
JustGo May let you track your followers but the statistics are often incorrect and not very detailed, and if you want to do any real social media work you’ll need to log into them individually anyways.
The soundcloud/youtube upload tags don’t work on the respective sites, so you still have to go do them there, as well.
It’s working fine for me dude.. They’re still in Beta and they’ve added every feature I asked
Personal social media manager???
Sad world we live in.
you guys are wrong. posting to fb 2-3 times a day will kill your edgerank. especially if you are posting from “JustGo” —use facebooks native scheduler. 1 post a day at most. 4-6 times per week. I run social media for awesome bands and DJs….
I enjoy most of the articles I read on this site, even the ones that are not releted to me directly as Im interested in all things to do with music tech and djing. I see a lot of complaining in the comments so heres an idea, read the title of the article and if you dont find it appealing then dont read the rest, or if you do try not to complan. 😀 Keep up the good work Ian & the DJTT crew.
This is great man! Much needed advice and clarity to massive and confusing topic! Big ups
no matter how good you get at social media, But you still gotta bring the skills to the decks, and interact in the real world. I do use social media but know i get no where near enough work through this media or followers.but that don’t bother me as main work I get is through word of mouth,and my reputation, still fact as solid today as ever, it’s who you know, not what you know…
can not wait I feel like everything is so over used and not used correctly this will really help sort out better direction to head towards! Cant wait for next week!
I needed this! I’ve been really cynical about social media, but this has inspired me to make a real effort. thanks Ean!
Great article! Looking forward to the series! I’ve recognized social media as a necessary evil for some time now, but my attempts at effectively using it have been seriously lacking; hopefully, this will help me to improve my consistency if nothing else.
Great article except for the “think outside the box line.” Think outside the cliche’ dude. Also, EXTREMELY IMPORTANT….you gotta approach this from the point of view of DJ’s with day jobs. We arent as fortunate as you, Ean, or alot of fulltime working DJs. I put in 35-40 hours of work a week and then try to do some music on my commute or at home. Its not easy man. But I have a passion for it that drives me. Thanks!
yeah man i have the same problem…with college and then my part time job i dont have any time for doing anything for my dj career. i think the biggest problem for djs like us is not having enough time to do stuff like social media or promotion – like everyone says, its the only way to get yourself heard now.
Great article! Looking forward to the rest of the series! I’ve recognized social media as a necessary evil for some time now, but my attempts at using it effectively have been seriously lacking; hopefully, this will help me to improve my consistency if nothing else.
Ean, everytime i come to your website… its always some interesting insights that you are giving… thanks to you we all get information what we want… Just do it for 4 weeks. i’m starting the same… Love the idea of this tutorial… because this really maters right now!. it doesn’t matter how technically cool are you, if no one doesnt know who you are, and here comes the social media!. so again, thanks for starting it and am waiting for the next week post 🙂
I actually really like this idea! It’s gonna be interesting to see how fast you can raise your fanbase. You caught me like half a year ago with the Depeche Mode Remix I stumpled upon. Since then I’m following you, hoping that there will come some similar content.
I’m looking forward to see that this project is going to be a huge sucess for you AND DJTT!
Look forward to this series, playing & creating music are only a fraction of the battle. Unless you’re comfortable playing for just yourself & a few friends, you gotta learn the marketing aspect of today’s social world
again with the poor text layout…..
This article came at just the right time for me. My social media reach is definitely lacking, plus I’m a bit anti-social IRL. I’m going to follow along and incorporate a similar plan.
This is something I need to do. I will be following this indeed.
Noticing a lot of the newer people are grumbling about the “static” (what I call the white noise of the internet, all the garbage that wastes time). This article will seem very rudimentary to the younger crowd, but it is most relevant to the older generation of DJs (the ones of us who have spent hours recording a perfect mix & then burning a stack of CDs to hand out to promoters…back when promoters actually listened to people’s music before they booked them). I myself am guilty of not adopting social media as quickly as I should & I run all the online stuff for an entire artist management group (email@example.com if you want some awesome DJ/producers in the southeast ).
The biggest tip I can give to anyone starting out: Make a **page**, not a **profile** for your pseudonym!!!! I see this constantly & it isn’t cool. If you use it properly, a page will get you where you really need to be professionally. If you use a profile, it will be easier at first, but when you finally do take the plunge & make a page you will be months behind everyone else. You can quickly amass “likes” but they may not be relevant at all unless you build them organically (as in, without broadly targeted ads or “get 10,000 likes” type methods).
Terry actually contacted me Via e-mail. At first I thought it was a gimmick but I can honestly say terry has helped me out with a few simple yet effective Social media Marketing tips. I can vouch that JustGo Music is a viable marketing option for Dj’s.
This is like an instructional video with a very slow bloom on it, nice one y’all.
Ean think this is a much needed series. As a bedroom d aspiring producer, getting what you do out there is the biggest step. I’m taking the time to design my own websites. It is important to have digital real estate. Every known dj has a huge variation of their online presence.I’ve seen websites profile pages that haven’t been updated in 3 months!!! If I am fan and don’t get an oportunity to see you play, how do I know you are still in the game?
Its all about engagement and being part of the communith. Digital is the new scene and its important to stake your claim
What he said.
This is going to mean more Ean Golden content 🙂 I love the job you’re doing Ean, keep it up!
Videos for sure. But you’re right, there is so much value to social media and staying connected. I like how Facebook also allows you to preplan your social media a month in advance, however JustGo Music looks rad!
Honestly. The market is so saturated with free mixes, tracks,etc that it kinda puts me off following any of it. The problem with this free content is that it’s hard to estimate the quality of it, so to find that one cool track or mix or whatever, there’s a tsunami of fodder to endure. So my advise to any of you DJ’s is: focus on having fun, getting gigs, making cool tracks, etc. It’s better to have people making a concerted effort to find out about you than casually following halfhearted attempts at “getting yourself out there”.
As for your own trajectory Ean. What turned me on to this site were the tutorials and wealth of information that could be found here. I realise there’s only so much you can say about DJ’ing, so I get the shift towards productions and maybe the more loosely affiliated aspects of DJ-life (such as social media strategies and such).
It’s not for me though. I’d rather see you guys making more videos with DJ’s and producers about the way they operate. Remember Jeff Mills’ ‘Purpose Maker Mix’?
That tought me so much about dj’ing. I watched it endlessly just to see how he eq’d tracks, etc. I do the same with Boiler Room sets still. It’s inspirational to see other people at work. Hoping to see more of this on you site.
I some of you are missing the point here. Instead of ean filming a video and showing it back to you, you can actually watch what he’s doing and how he progresses right in front of you, with a clear cut summary of what he’s achieved and how he’s done it. To those who want to progress and up their game this is invaluable.
Great Choice of articles. I’m all for new DJ technique videos but the fact is that social media is a must these days. Not only useful for the music world but anyone who has business / blog on side. Keep up the good work chaps!
social media… that’s all you guys do anymore. where’d all the great videos go? where did the DJ tutorials go? in the past few months ive learned how to advertise myself, and how others advertise themselves… but what about the thing we are supposed to advertise… the skills? why not get back to teaching that? because im done hearing about social media.
Went to the homepage and clicked back six pages before I could find anything close to this kind of “advertising yourself” DJ biz advice, that article on Talking to Promoters. Are you sure you’re not thinking of digital Dj tips or someone else?
lol, digital dj tips is wack
Did you like last week’s article that I wrote on cue point strategy? http://www.djtechtools.com/2013/06/03/real-uses-of-real-cuepoints/
Watched the video, but there wasn’t anything in terms of how to quickly switch between the types on the fly. I live by my cue points, sometimes 5 or 8 isn’t enough, and I am trying to get the hang of saved loop points, but sometimes my cue’s get lost and I have to remake them.
no no no no no no no no no no no no no, you hardly make any videos these times don’t waist any more time on facebook make those awesome vids like you used to do and help me become a DJTT addict again.
Our commitment is un-changed here at Dj TechTools. We want to help, inform and teach you amazing things about digital djing. This new effort on social media won’t take away from Dj TechTools, it just means I am not ignoring my personal artist/dj career as much in the process.
Will be following this with you Ean! Great article