Every week Gavin will be presenting a guide to basic notions of common sense he feels are sometimes lacking from various aspects of the world of music. Also, he's British, and they're polite, right?
Social media. It's pretty great for bands. They can list their gigs, share updates, and connect with fans. So why are so many of them so utterly shit at it that they cross over into the dangerous territory known as "more annoying than Pitbull?" Here are some common band mistakes of social media etiquette, that most important unspoken social contract between us all.
• Don't over-promote. This is probably the most important thing. If you tell me to come to your next gig six times in one day, or go "listen to our album! It's really great!" five days in a row, then it makes me far less likely to do either of those things. Just tell me about your new album maybe once a week for a few weeks, and each gig one time only. Don't brag.
• On the other hand, do something. Don't just leave your social media presence a wasteland. It's a pretty awesome opportunity. If you can strike a content balance and remain self-aware and self-deprecating at the same time as being funny and engaging, you can win endless new fans who are bored of bland exhortations to listen to new music for no reason. That's pretty difficult though. Good luck with that.
• Bland updates are boring. "Here's a picture of the band eating food!" Not unless you're a reformed Led Zeppelin sharing a burger. "How excited are you about our new album?" Your 36 fans, all of whom are your doting, polite friends, are not very excited. They just want you to be happy. "Share this status and win two tickets to our upcoming gig!" $10 of tickets for the low, low price of annoying everyone I know? Where do I sign?
• Tell me something exciting. It doesn't have to be about the band. Act like interesting friends I have on Facebook who I enjoy interacting with. If you're at a loss, post cute animal pictures with capital letters. That is a universal success.
• Have some self-awareness. If you tell me your new single is "THE ONLY THING I SHOULD BE LISTENING TO TODAY" then it almost certainly isn't.
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• On Twitter, don't send me private messages using hashtags. You can't trend private message content, and this does not make me feel compelled to respect the intellect behind the music. If you must use hashtags, make them slightly better than "#music."
• Don't invite everyone on your goddamn friends list to the Facebook event by way of promoting your gig. I'm still getting invited to gigs back in the UK with mass invites. Just post the event in your timeline! That way, people can choose whether or not to get spammed with notifications from you posting in the event "this gig's going to be great!"
• Direct bothering is the worst. Posting right on people's walls and tweeting at them to hassle them into interacting with you is not what civilized people do. Would you do that with your personal social media account? Yes? Then deactivate it immediately. You are fired from the internet.