Running Respect My Region burdens my inbox and social media timelines with non-stop friend requests from musicians, producers, DJs, managers, you name it. Being one of the more influential hip-hop bloggers in the Northwest leaves much to be desired. My timeline used to be filled with posts from family members and old friends. Now it’s littered with low budget graphics and posts with 999 people tagged, promoting a bedroom recorded Soundcloud record.

I’m a big believer in social media networking, it’s my job. Yet, these rappers that add me, rarely reach out themselves. It’s really easy to shoot me a direct message and strike up a conversation, I’ll always respond, it’s my job. It’s even easier to comment on a post of mine. I constantly do this with artist and individuals I wish to network with. I’ve built “relationships” with people on Facebook simply from commenting on each other’s post over mutual interests. It’s always weird to meet someone in person for the first time, but both say “we know each other from Facebook.”

This is the world we live in. There are huge advantages in social media platforms that is crucial for artists of any kind.

Social media is a tool. Say it with me “social…media…is…a..TOOL!” People often forget the two main components of social media. Social and Media. Content is great,  but without social interaction, links sit there (with 999 people tagged in the post). Social media allows you to be your own publicist, but you have to stop looking at memes and put in the work. The social aspect is great, but if we only talk about Floyd Mayweather and the Kardashians, then how do you expect your content to get exposure.

How do these two parts intersect? In this case, lets talk about music. How do we build interaction and conversation around our music content? There’s no single answer to this question. It depends on the content, it depends on your following, what your following wants from you, and it depends on what you want from your following.

Essentially, you need to think of interaction with your audience as an exchange of value. Gaining new audience members is gaining more value. You want something from them, they want something from you. Whether you want social currency or literal currency, you have to:

1. Have value defined.

2. Demonstrate that value.

3. Communicate your value proposition effectively.

For example, let’s say you have a new record and you want your following to not only listen but share the music. Tagging 999 friends and posting meme’s about a lack of support isn’t going to be effective. First, ask yourself, what kind of music does your audience want from you? What kind of artwork is going to catch their eye? How about the song title? Let’s say you got that covered. Hot chick on the artwork, song about big ol’ titties, and it’s catchy as hell.

Now, how will you get them to listen? Messaging your biggest supporters before it drops personally and asking them for feedback and their social currency: Shares, likes, reposts, word of mouth, etc. This shows your fans, you value their time, money, and fandom. Leveraging your super fans is a great way to start an organic following.

mixtape coming soon

Stop tagging me in your mixtape

Remember, you don’t want these people to pay for your music with actual currency, but with their social currency. Their time isn’t free. With streaming services at their finger tips, your audience has access to every musician on the planet,  from past to the present. You’re fighting for air time with damn near every single artist in the history of music. You have to put in the work for your fans if you want your fans to put in the work for you. Show these people WHY they need to listen to you, don’t just tag 999 friends!

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