How to Build an Online Presence as a DJ – Chapter 2: Build a Social Presence (Strategic Planning)
As a DJ in today’s digitally fueled world, it’s crucial to stay up to date with new digital technologies and reserve your digital real estate. There are many talented DJs who aren’t getting the attention they deserve because of their lack of experience with the ever-evolving internet. For the generations that grew up before the advent of the internet, learning how to manage their DJ presence online might seem like an overwhelming task, let alone building a Facebook page.
Our series on ‘How to Build an Online Presence as a DJ’ could be common knowledge to the younger generations of DJs who grew up with a mobile phone while they were learning to crawl, but for those of us who grew up without Snapchats, we hope you take this knowledge and successfully apply it to your DJ career. This chapter covers building a ‘social presence.’
What does it mean to build a social presence online? Does it mean signing up on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Soundcloud, slap a profile picture on it, and voilà, you’re done? Building a social presence online is much more than that.
Having ‘social presence’ means daily engagement with your friends and followers online and posting interesting/quality content everyday.
But we’re also realistic. We know that DJ life is incredibly busy and that there are several DJs who are at different levels in their DJ’ing career. Some DJs are super busy, have careers/jobs other than DJ’ing, or just don’t have their craft perfected yet.
Whatever position you’re in there are best approaches suited just for you.
*Note for the Beginner/Bedroom DJ
Haste Makes Waste
For DJs just starting out or only have a year or less of experience under the belt, it’s still important to start growing your presence online, but tread lightly. It’s better to perfect your craft first before diving in marketing a ‘not-so-ready’ product (i.e. your music).
You may be brilliant in marketing, a pro at graphic design, and know digital technology inside and out, but if you can’t spin your social rep will suffer and it might be harder to get booked in the long run.
Focus on your craft. Keep practicing everyday and FILM/RECORD your progress. Take it step by step. People will begin noticing your improvements and you will get better clout within your network.
For DJs who are more advanced and confident in their skills, but don’t know the ins-and-outs of social media just yet, then read on.
First and Foremost: Figure out Your Game Plan aka Strategic Planning
Having a game plan for social media is very important. This is the step where you really have to look at your brand and decide the following:
– Brand Consistency
– Type of Content You Will Be Publishing to Your Social Channels
– Content Posting: Schedule
The Brand (i.e. your pretty face) should remain consistent across all digital mediums. How do you achieve this? Make sure your DJ NAME matches all social networks. In our last chapter of this series on How to Build a Website, we mentioned that when choosing a domain name to make sure it’s catchy and consistent. The same goes for your social usernames. If your name is DJ Donuts, make sure to match all networks with the same name or if need be – minor alterations. For example:
– Instagram @djdonutsofficial
– Twitter @djdonutsmusic
– Facebook DJ Donuts
– Soundcloud DonutsMusic
For help in seeing available usernames across social channels, check out this website.
Your profile picture and banners you use on your social networks should also match each other or at least use the same logos or color schemes to be recognizable and connect back with your brand. Make sure to use high-resolution images and optimize the size to fit the dimensions to each social network. This handy guide from SproutSocial is an excellent reference tool to get the up-to-date optimal image sizes.
Type of Content:
This is where it can get tricky. The content you publish should standalone, be high quality, and help to define your brand. You’re thinking; how the hell do I know what type of content to produce/promote? Below are some examples you can use and help kickstart your content posting.
– Throwback photos/videos of you in the early 90s spinning your first booking
– Current photos of you spinning at your residency
– Flyers of past, present, future bookings
– Behind the scenes – images rarely seen, you in the studio, pics right before a gig. Personalize it!
New DJ mixes that helps new fans discover your unique sound
Songs that you like: Curate and share songs you’ve been listening to or discovered recently.
Curate mixes from other DJs and share on your social channels. Other DJs might return the favor of some of your mixes. After all, we’re all in this together!
Commentary/opinions. Share your analysis of the state of the DJ/music industry. Your opinions matter!
There are two ways to post content to your social channels; automation and manual posting.
About Posting Automation:
Managing your social channels is hard work and usually requires a full-time commitment. Let’s face it; there just isn’t enough time to manually publish content everyday. But there is a solution to this. There are posting automation tools made specifically for online social media content.
What do we mean by posting automation tools? It’s simply an online application where you upload and schedule your content (pictures, videos, etc.) during a specific time of the day to your social channels. You can schedule out content for the week or even a month. It’s really convenient for DJs who have are way too busy to manage their own social channels.
Here are a few automation tools we suggest.
What do we recommend?
Posting to your channels requires a balance. Yes, automation is convenient, but if that’s all you do when posting it will quickly become clear to your followers that you are just automating posts and it will reflect a presence that is not genuine, hurting your brand reputation. You might as well not post at all.
Here’s an idea. Automate posts like Throwback photos/videos or scratching videos. Manually post ‘real-time’ content like the gig you are currently playing at or if you’re traveling to your next gig, share your experience on the road in a video or photo. Your fans want to connect with you on a genuine level. Provide them content that will allow them to do so.
The above is only the start of this chapter on how to build your social presence. In the next chapter of this series, we will tackle execution on social – mainly discussing on the technical aspects of social channels and get more in-depth with growing an engaged audience.
If you haven’t created your social channels yet, below are step-by-step instructions on how to build a Facebook Page, a Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, and Mixcloud account. Let us know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns in the comments below!
Create a Page from your account
Click the arrow in the top-right corner.
Choose Create Page.
Choose a business category for your Page
Select the type of Page you want to create from the following categories:
Local Business or Place
Company, Organization or Institution
Brand or Product
Artist, Band or Public Figure
Cause or Community
Choose an industry-specific category
Choose a category that matches your business. Then fill out some basic info about your business.
Agree to the Facebook Pages Terms.
Click Get Started.
Optimize and start connecting
Add a description and your website address, if you have one.
Add a profile picture from your computer or device.
You can also add your Page to your Favorites on your Facebook account, so you’ll have easy access to it when you log in.
Know that you’re human.
Humanize your brand.
Connect with people, your fans, on a genuine level.
Engage, promote, connect.
Frequency of socializing
To create an account on the web:
Enter your full name, phone number, and a password.
Click Sign up for Twitter.
In order to verify your phone number, we will send you an SMS text message with a code. Enter the verification code in the box provided. Learn more about having a phone number associated with your account here.
Once you’ve clicked Sign up for Twitter, you can select a username (usernames are unique identifiers on Twitter) — type your own or choose one we’ve suggested. We’ll tell you if the username you want is available.
Double-check your name, phone number, password, and username.
Click Create my account. You may be asked to complete a Captcha to let us know that you’re human.
Tips for picking a username:
Your username is the name your followers use when sending @replies, mentions, and direct messages.
It will also form the URL of your Twitter profile page. We’ll provide a few available suggestions when you sign up, but feel free to choose your own.
Please note: You can change your username in your account settings at any time, as long as the new username is not already in use.
Usernames must be fewer than 15 characters in length and cannot contain “admin” or “Twitter”, in order to avoid brand confusion.
Important information about signing up with email address:
An email address can only be associated with one Twitter account at a time.
The email address you use on your Twitter account is not publicly visible to others on Twitter.
We use the email you enter to confirm your new Twitter account. Be sure to enter an email address that you actively use and have access to. Check your inbox for a confirmation email to make sure you signed up for your account correctly.
Instagram is a mobile app that you can download on iOS and Android phones and tablets as well as Windows Phone 8 and later. You must create your account using the Instagram mobile app, not a computer. After you’ve downloaded the app and created an account, you can then view Instagram from a computer.
To start using Instagram:
Download the Instagram app for iOS from the App Store, Android from Google Play Store or Windows Phone from the Windows Phone Store.
Once the app is installed, tap to open it.
Tap Sign Up, then enter your email address and tap Next or tap Log In with Facebook to sign up with your Facebook account.
If you register with email, create a username and password, fill out your profile info and then tap Done. If you register with Facebook, you’ll be prompted to log into your Facebook account if you’re currently logged out.
Keep in mind, if you sign up with email, make sure you enter your email address correctly and you choose an email address that only you can access. If you log out and forget your password, you’ll need access to your email to get back into your Instagram account. Learn more about keeping your account secure.
Go to www.soundcloud.com and click the orange “Sign-up” button on the top right corner of your screen. A pop-up screen will appear.
You’ll have three options for creating an account: you can sign up using Facebook, Google+, or email.
Choose your favorite kinds of music and audio. Once you’re signed up, Soundcloud’s welcome screen will ask you to choose genres you want to hear from the categories available. If you don’t want to bother with this task right now, you can choose “skip and finish” to bypass it.
Verify your account. Check your email for a message from Soundcloud regarding the verification process. Click the link provided in the message. Your account is now created!
Edit your basic profile. Go to your settings and choose to modify your basic profile – it’s the first page available. On this page, you can add a profile picture, enter your real name and location, and note your occupation or occupations (there’s a maximum of three).
Modify your advanced profile. Go to your profile and choose “edit” under your profile picture. You can add a description of yourself or a link to a website or alternative profile.
Start uploading your sound. To add music to your stream, click “Upload.” You’ll have two options:
You can choose the files of your existing recordings.
You can record a sound directly on your Soundcloud account.
Get noticed. Once you’ve uploaded some of your music, make sure you use tags, add artwork, and interact with as many other people as possible. This will increase your visibility on Soundcloud.
Creating a profile is easy, just click on ‘Sign Up’ and follow the steps from there.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Username: Don’t use weird symbols (e.g. ‘_’ or ‘@’ instead of ‘a’) as it doesn’t help with search/SEO
Display name: You can change your display name later on without affecting the URL. If you want to change the username that will also change the slug of every show URL and so the links you previously shared on other sites won’t work any longer.
Photo: Use an attractive image at a good quality (we will compress it so it doesn’t have to be high resolution). Note: the picture should be an expression of your brand identity, whether you’re an individual or a brand/collective
Description: Add a short blurb that describes who you are plus links to your other channels so that people know where else to find you on the web.
Connections: Connect your Mixcloud profile to Twitter / Facebook / G+ to let your listeners know where to find you. This is a really important part – social media integration will help maximise your reach and keep track of it every time someone who is connected on Twitter ‘favorites’ one of your shows your Twitter ID will automatically be mentioned). Facebook page connection will automatically post a new upload on your page.