THE COST OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA AS A SOAPBOX FOR INDIE ARTISTS
As I peruse the Twitter landscape with the recent elections that happened, I see lots of political talk and some very extreme views being posted by artists that are trying to grow a fan base. These same artists also are always commenting on how they are losing or can’t keep followers. Their numbers barely grow for the important fans they need and the impressions to attract the interest of endorsements and labels.
The problem with politics or religion is that half of the people believe one way and the other half believe the other. If you, as an artist, come out with your views and are upset or mad based on the current political climate, you risk alienating part of your current fan base or potential fan base.
A lot of artists will point out people that have made it in the past and have had several political hits, so let me address that. Number one, this is a different day and age. This isn’t the time of the Vietnam War, and number two, most of those artists that have been pointed out were already established and had a fan base. It’s much easier to point out the exception to the rule than to be the exception.
Musicians tend to express themselves much better through their music and not 140 character rants on Twitter. If you truly believe you are a great songwriter, then let your music do the talking and put your message out there. Let your music plant the seeds of your messages and change the world in the way that suits you the most. Music is the most powerful medium there is, so take advantage of it! It is easier to attract people with honey than it is with bitterness. Don’t alienate your potential artists for a rant box. Be professional and use your music to convey your message.
If you truly need another outlet to express yourself besides your music, create a separate Twitter account and rant there. Don’t associate it with your music account or other music professionals who may support you, work with you or endorse you. You have a responsibility to them and their image as well. Not everyone believes as you do and they don’t want your rants reflecting on them. Marketing is very important and so is your voice so do both smartly and effectively.
You as the artist have to decide what is more important. So ask yourself – do you want to be heard for your opinions or your music? Is your opinion more important than the career you are trying to develop? In the entertainment industry, you have to be careful about alienating yourself before making a name for yourself. Is your personal crusade affecting that?
Yes you can niche market to people with the same beliefs as yours, but what are your goals, how much money do you need to make to survive and are you just singing to people who already agree with you, or are you trying to change the world?