As a tool for bands, social media has come a long way since the golden days of MySpace and that one amazing friend, Tom, who you made there.
Why do you never call Tom?
If you’re looking to grow your social media following fast, put your merch to work for you and watch the likes and follows flow in the door!
If you’re not sure yet what merch you want or quite how you want it to look, ask your fans. By throwing it out as a question to your Facebook page, you’ll be encouraging people to interact back. That then puts your Facebook post onto all your fans’ friends feeds too, which is useful - hello new converts! As a general rule, the more you can get people interacting with you online, the further your band’s profile is going to go. You could even consider throwing a few t-shirt designs out for a vote. Merch is a great way to start a conversation and get people talking.
It pays to have a think about how your merch is going to look on your fans’ Instagram and Facebook feeds. You want easily-identifiable, awesome-looking merchandise that’s going to attract attention wherever it pops up online. If you’re going for printed band t-shirts then great colours, a stand-out logo or a clever tagline are all ways to make sure your merch passes the #Instatest. Think about your fans and who they are, what they wear and what they want to buy off you and make sure your band merch delivers.
Wear it + Look amazing in it + Promote it = Sell more of it. Simple equation, big results.
Your drummer’s hot sister with 4690 You Tube subscribers? Your cousin with the carefully perfected persona she’s honed through 1209 coy black and white selfies for her Insta profile? Ask them to model your merch. Honestly, anyone who has a bit of sway online (or just looks great) is someone you should be throwing some merch too.
You’re not going to be the first to use this trick, but there’s a reason for that - it works. Put together a care package of your finest merch and offer it out to your fans on Facebook in return for their pledges of eternal love (or just get them to comment, like or share somehow- that’ll work too). It comes back to the concept of getting your online followers interacting with your channels as much as possible - it’s important and it works and oh my goodness, how did you get all those followers so fast? These entries are all from your Grandma again Kate.
Now’s not the time to explore the deep, dark recesses of the Instagram filter list (and no-one ever looks good under the Amaro filter, it’s time people accept that). Pick a look and feel for your social media that works with the style of your merch and music and stick to it. Whether that’s black, or brightly popping colours, or manga or country or whatever you’re shtick is - BE CONSISTENT. You’re a band AND a brand - pick a look and stick with it already. GOSH.
If you have a bit of spare cash (say, from selling merch) and are keen to dabble in the dark art of Facebook marketing, popping a few items in an online shop and throwing a budget at them could be a great way to turn your little bit of cash into a bit more cash. Start by targeting people who like your band’s page and the people they're friends with and go from there.
The more you can get people connecting with you on social media, the better. Your goal should be to create as many opportunities for them to do that as possible.