If you’ve still not got an account on one of the social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Mixx, Stumbleupon or Digg then… well just get with the times, musician. The reasons why are numerous but for this blog post I’m just going to stick with eight reasons for why you should be a part of Reddit, which is my personal favourite social book marking site for music related content as the people who use Reddit are generally a little bit better at writing great content and interacting with other users. (Feel free to add other reasons why you think Reddit is good for musicians in the comments below, thanks).
The Reddit music page isn’t clogged up with young teenagers posting rants and suggesting we should all ‘listen to this hot new track’ – there is actually a lot of really useful information posted mostly by record labels, music journalists and music bloggers, so by hanging out in the same virtual bars as these influential news writers you can really up your chances of networking with those all important contacts.
The music industry moves rapidly as we all know and as a result there is so much great content that the majority of us miss out on because lets face it, we’ve got better things to get on with most of the time. With Reddit you can scan over the latest topics whilst interacting with other musicians and posting content yourself.
There are almost 300,000 users on Reddit, which is a lot but no where near the number of people using Digg or StumbleUpon. However, to get to the homepage of Digg generally takes a vast number of votes (100’s) that is very difficult to obtain, Reddit on the other hand generally takes between 5 – 10 up votes to get on the home page if they’re from the right people!
One of the reasons musicians seek record deals is because record labels supposedly have the ability to promote their music to the masses. Well what if Reddit cut out the middle man and gave you an advantage over the record deal? Surely that will up your bargaining power when record labels start to show interest.
How do you gain respect? One way would be to gain the respect of well-respected individuals who publicly show their respect for you – with Reddit it is easy to get in contact with influential members and build a community of like minded people.
Ok so you could just ask your friends on MSN, or you could submit your songs to Garageband and Slice The Pie to be reviewed but I like to think that Social Media sites are a better place in some ways because the people are freely reviewing your music – they’re not being paid to review your song nor are they only reviewing your music so that they can submit a song of their own (naturally most people would try and use generic and quick reviews based on the minimum amount of duration that the website allows them to review after).
I do not advocate posting ‘check out my Myspace page’ on Reddit. You are almost certainly going to be down voted to the depths of Reddit hell if you try this spammy tactic. However, an indirect approach can be work very effectively – you can use Reddit to build awareness of your songs and your artist name (by writing interesting unique content) and allow people to find you themselves at their convenience.
What we as musicians sometimes forget is the people we are constantly trying to get on the right side of are business people – they talk dollar. The more money you can get them, the more inclined they will be to accept your pitch. If Band X can promote a live music event to 10,000 more people in the local area than Band Y it becomes a no brainer for the club manager.
Image Credit: Neil Crosby