With Social Media as one of the tent poles of the current music climate, a lot has been made of the importance of ‘Likes’ and ‘Follows’ online. Bands work hard to improve those numbers, getting top quality content out there so people will share it, grow their fan base and spread the word. But….

The fact is, big numbers online doesn’t make a band popular. There are ways to inflate your Twitter followers and Facebook likes quickly and with certainty, but the question is – what percentage of those people (a) see the messages you’re putting online, or (b) actually care? It’s difficult to know.

Social media isn’t a shortcut. In the good old days, bands had to gig, sweat and carry their gear from town to town to build up a following, and though the internet may have made it easier to reach out, it’s also made the world so noisy that individual bands are hard to hear.

So, when you’re gigging, don’t just plug your Twitter feed and Facebook in the vague hope that someone might be listening. Use another tool such as Mailchimp to put together an email database, and put out a good old fashioned sign up form by the exit or at the merch stand. If people sign up, the advantages are several:

  • They are already hooked to the point where they are more likely to pay attention to any emails you send
  • Your email will appear in an inbox and stay there until they’re ready to read it, as opposed to disappearing into their ever growing Twitter feed/Facebook wall
  • You can also use the same database to include any industry people you want to get involved
  • It’s more personal and direct than any Social Media can be
  • Once you have the email address, you can find the person on Social Media anyway…
  • AND when you have a new release to promote, you can go direct

So, don’t forget your mailing list – it might be old school, but it’s still the best way to collect real fans.