The Power of Presence

Sometimes social media can be really scary but it doesn't have to be. Here's six tips on how to wrangle the untamed monster that is your online presence.

By Tammy Paget


Photo: Michael Grondin

Photo: Michael Grondin

First, what IS presence? When you’re talking to bands it can be a thousand different things. How you play, how the group vibes on stage, how the band interacts with the crowd, how you talk to show-goers, how edgy you are, how ANTI-edgy you are. As the trends change and bands are turning to business models to operate, the scope of presence only widens. You now have branding, customers, partnerships, sponsorships… the list goes on.

Whether a blessing or a curse, here in 2017 one’s presence so often comes down to who you are online. As a musician, it’s easy to take social media and throw it on a shelf until you drop an album or have an upcoming show. When you’re actually taking the most important aspects of your craft and releasing it onto the world wide web to compete with cats, goats, memes, fake news and seasoned social media veterans. How often do we step back and look at our presence and assess how we’re marketing ourselves to, literally, the entire world?

After a lot of trial and error, here are Tam’s Top 6 Social Media Tips.

1. Review the data

When is the last time you checked out your analytics? Do you know when people are viewing your pages most, or which hashtags have the greatest reach? You have free (or cheap) tools at your fingertips with Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Bandcamp, Snapchat and your website. These ARE tools. If you want to build your presence, take these tools out of the tool belt and use them.

2. Make a few dumb posts

There is going to be trial and error. THIS IS OK! You can’t measure what doesn’t work until you know what actually doesn’t work. If Steve Harvey can crown the wrong Miss America and still be awesome, then I promise you can come back from a few awkward posts.

3. Target your target market

The awesome thing about competing with the whole world is you have the whole world to compete with. Are you interested in hitting the US west coast for a tour next fall? Find the bars, the bands, the promoters, the radio stations, the booking agents and the breweries. They are literally at your fingertips. Let them know who you are. They won’t all answer, but the more contacts you have, the more visible you are. The greater your presence. You sometimes need to knock on a hundred doors to get an answer… but you won’t get any answer if you’re not knocking on doors.  

4. Don’t be scared about engaging

Social media is like dating. There’s a hot dude at the bar and he just told a really funny joke. Do you walk by and not say anything, or do you laugh and buy him a shot? Getting yourself out there is WAY easier online than it is at the bar – follow brands you love. Laugh at funny profiles. Engage and talk to your favourite Twitter personalities. More often than not they’ll engage right back – they’re doing the same thing you are. Building a brand and a fan base.

5. You get what you pay for

Once you find the rhythm to your online presence, sponsor your most impactful content. Promote your shows on Facebook. Upgrade your website. You can turn this into more fans at the door, more merch sales and (hopefully) bigger bar tabs and guarantees.  

6. Keep at it

It’s daunting at first! Keep hitting it. The more you’re looking at your analytics, trying out posts and paying attention to your online voice, the stronger your presence gets.

Willis Hoff

HAWK Design & Creative, 425 18 Street Northwest, Calgary, AB, T2N 2G6, CANADA