Enough! Stop Spamming Your Music and Your Band, It Does Not Work

Stop SpamI have written many articles about what you should do online to promote your music. This time I am writing about what you should NOT do to promote your band or music.

Do not spam your music.

Do not spam your shows.

Do not spam your videos.

Get it, do not spam! Spam is when is you send someone a message without them asking to be contacted, without them knowing you, without you knowing if they are interested.

Technical Definition of Spam

An electronic message is “spam” if (A) the recipient’s personal identity and context are irrelevant because the message is equally applicable to many other potential recipients; AND (B) the recipient has not verifiably granted deliberate, explicit, and still-revocable permission for it to be sent.

Here are some common examples to avoid.

Facebook

  1. If you have a Group do not add anyone to the group without first asking if they would like to be added. Even if they are already a friend or have liked your page. Ask permission first.
  2. Do not make a post on someone’s wall promoting your music, show or video without first asking if it is ok to post. Just because you are a friend does not mean they are interested in your music or band, ask first.
  3. Do not make a post on your wall and tag someone in that post without first knowing if they are ok with you tagging them. If someone is not in that post, do not tag them.
  4. Do not send messages promoting your music, shows or videos without first getting permission. This is no different than sending a spam email.
  5. Do not invite people to a event who can’t attend. This means if you have a show in Italy do not invite all your friends in the United States.

Twitter

  1. Just because someone is following you does not mean you can send them a Direct Message with links to music or a video. First send a message asking if they would like to review your music. Again, this is just like spam email.
  2. Do not @mention someone in a post just to get it to show up on their Twitter feed. Especially if the person does not follow you back first. Ask them first if they would be interested in receiving a link.
  3. Here is a link to Twitter which explains exactly what Twitter considers spam.

Soundcloud

  1. Read the article I posted earlier about Soundcloud spam, Proper Etiquette On How To Solicit Your Music Online.

Do these things and you seriously risk getting reported as a spammer to both Facebook and Twitter. This means you will be blocked and you won’t be able to talk to anyone.

Treat your online connections with respect. Nobody is going to take anything you say seriously if you are seen spamming the same message out to everyone or are seen pushing your product on someone you have never had a conversation with or you have no idea even has interest in your music. Respect gets respect.

23 thoughts on “Enough! Stop Spamming Your Music and Your Band, It Does Not Work

  1. What a bout the Reverbnation gig finder? It is a premium service that allows you to send out up to 100 avails per week to clubs whose emails are in the reverberation database. You select the radius and city. It has a generic message, “hi, we’d like to play your club, check out our songs and videos and schedule” which can be modified. Musicians are looking for some efficient way to solicit gigs, as opposed to calling booker Joe on the phone, who only books the second tuesday of the month between 1-3, except he’s not here this month, and his phone was constantly busy last month on the second tuesday between 1 and 3. If you ever get ahold of Joe, he’s going to want to know if you have a following and where you’re playing, so it seems like an email with link is the most efficient use of everybody’s time, but I am finding it is harder and harder to get an email opened. But would the gig finder be considered spam?

      • The venues didn’t sign up. As a band, when you post your schedule on your Reverbnation page, you are not allowed to post a schedule date with incomplete information. In order to list your show, you MUST enter an email and website for the venue. In this way Reverbnation is using it’s member bands to assemble a huge database. Access to that database via the gig finder is then offered to all the bands as a premium service for a few dollars extra each month. I got a few gigs from it last year, but in my past two hundred emails to clubs, not one of the emails was even opened, let alone responded to.

        • That is kind of in the middle IMO. If their email address is publicly available on the their website then they are expecting to get blind emails. But at the same time I would not expect much success in reaching out like that. Would be hard to justify paying extra for that service. Success is going to come from establishing a relationship and then through referalls.

          • Just for clarification, our gig finder feature is not a premium service. It is a free service that artist’s can use to locate venues in virtually any city across the globe they wish to play. If an Artist elects to send a digital press kit to a venue via our system, they must have a subscription to our digital press kit (costs about as much as Venti cup of coffee – $5.95/month). Very glad to hear that you got a few gigs from the system last year. That sounds like a good return on the small investment. With regard to the open rates on the booking inquiry emails, we have not seen any material change to those over the last year, so I’m not sure why the response rate for you has dropped.

  2. Another awesome post. I would add that you be careful about such things as ReverbNation’s automated posting function. I’m afraid that I violated several of these rules unknowingly.

    Ignorance is no excuse, but since the “Voices In My Head” things is passe, it’s the best one I have.

  3. Pingback: Enough! Stop Spamming Your Music and Your Band, It Does Not Work | Simply Boundless Entertainment

  4. Thanks for the post. I think on twitter mentioning people is ok IF you don’t do that to 1,000 people in a row and it doesn’t come out of the blue.
    I get mentions a lot asking me to check music but looking at their profile they send the same message to everyone!
    But if someone politely says ‘hey, would you mind watching my new video’ or something I sometimes do.

    • I would disagree. If I don’t know you, even though I am following you, to mention my name to say go watch a video or listen to music is spam. If we have been chatting and you then ask that is different.

      • Well, I am a music blogger, too so I guess that makes a difference. While most of the time it is spam a fair number are “targeted spam”. lol

        Email spam and tagged facebook photos really irritate me, though.

      • I agree with Michael…

        This constitutes as spam. Now if the song is produced by that specific follow then it makes sense.

        Something let this will not work…

        Check out my new song, @michaelsb stated that it was awesome…

        False advertising!

        Patrick

  5. I think this is and will continue to be a tricky issue, and the reason is this: there are very conflicting signals being broadcast throughout internetland as the exactly what amateur musicians/songwriters/beat makers/promoters/mangers are supposed to do to get noticed in what has quickly evolved into an almost immeasurably huge oceanic mass of amateur musicians/songwriters/beat makers/promoters/mangers trying to get noticed and supported via internet avenues.

    Consider this: labels by and large no longer do “development work” (unless it is done very much on the cheap and with minimal commitment). They have moved into the area in which their model is less about venture capital type investment and tends more towards a model similar to the big fish/little fish corporate buy-out scenario. In other words, they want someone to deliver an already vetted and sales-proven product to them before they will even consider negotiation for investment. This leaves Joe and Jane Blow musician (or whatever) a bit like babes in the media culture woods, left entirely to fend for themselves to the point of being able to convince someone at a label that they come pre-configured with a massive likelihood of sales success, should the label choose to opt in. So they are stuck, alone, looking at the vast, jumbled, multiple-personality-syndrome-inflicted internet, and wondering what they might be able to do in order to suit these kinds of preconceived demands.

    Enter novel services like Tunecore, which blog on a weekly basis about how tasty online networking and distribution pie can descend from the sky at any moment and free the hapless-yet-genuinely-talented musical artist from the longstanding tyranny of the Corporate Oppressor. And there are a host of others touting similar neo-creative commerce ideologies.

    The upshot: all of this is a massive recipe for spam. Why? Because spam seems like the only real option to many of these babes who wander alone through the vast pop-culture virtual woods called the internet. They know most of it will get (angrily) rejected and ignored (which is the way I myself almost always react to it), but they are essentially desperate and feel they have no choice. In other words, they are grasping at straws, and this is far from being entirely their own fault. The music industry began writing its own death sentence roughly 25 years ago, and, while it hasn’t been fully carried out yet and the gallows may still be unfinished, the momentum has become sufficient such that many of the effects of commercial music culture death are already being felt, and the seemingly senseless, obnoxious, and flailing attempts of the masses of would-be professional musicians to be noticed via the internet are but one example.

    • Great comment David, thank you. I think a source of all the problems is the desire bands have to still get signed, or even thinking that getting signed is a option. The sooner they realize that is not going to happen and that they have to make their own career the better off they will be. They can then focus on learning the skills needed and working with the people able to assist them.

      • Good points here, and believe me, our positions are exactly the same on spamming. It’s simply bad etiquette in any situation. As far as no one getting signed, well some still do get signed, but the labels want to wake up and find a beautiful baby wrapped in a blanket on their doorstep, and they are expecting someone else—the artists themselves, or a production/development company to drop it off.

        To some extent this has always been true (The Beatles were virtually worshipped in Liverpool yet were virtually ignored by everyone in the label system in London). But there has in the past been an on-again-off-again willingness to throw money at artists/bands who seem to have real potential, but aren’t quite there yet, and that is mostly off now.

        I’m a freelance composer/producer, and I know that the possibilities are there for me to make a good living, but the expectations are extremely high, and most won’t make it. A multi-platinum producer with a development company recently tweeted “We need 10′s, not 9′s” Well that’s equivalent to a university where everyone who gets 90% on a test fails the class. That’s about as demanding as you can get.

        All this means that artists and independent songwriters/producers have to know that you can’t just do something that gets applause from friends and family or some nice comments on Soundcloud.

        You can’t even be the proverbial “needle in a haystack”. It’s a better metaphor to say you must be the rare gold needle in a stack of silver needles. THIS is what the industry will respond to, and only this. Anything short of that would be like winning the lottery—it may happen for you, but you won’t be controlling your own artistic/professional destiny through real excellence. That has to be the basis of your approach, and that requires extreme dedication.

  6. Excellent post!

    I get really frustrated with how so many artists use Twitter. If you Tweet the same message to everyone who has just followed you, or everyone you have just followed, I won’t listen to your track. Simple as that.

    I could go on, but I would just be repeating what you’ve already said and/or praising you extensively. N0-one wants to read that ;)

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