Social Media Etiquette for the Musician

Posted on Posted in Music Business, Music Career Advice

I often wonder about this today. For better or worse, our lives are surrounded with social media. Facebook is the new phonebook. Everybody uses these platforms to share something about themselves, rather it be a project, performance or what they ate for dinner. As a musician, promoting and networking is really hard work, especially for us who are behind the scene sidemen or composers. I’ve always contemplated on frequency of posts and not being overbearing. After all, these outlets can be useful tools if used effectively.

For me it always comes back to developing authentic relationships with people. Definitely the long way, but that’s what makes it work. You can’t just walk up to somebody on the street and say, “Be my friend.” So what makes people think they can click “add friend” to automatically befriend someone? Currently, it’s a hard concept for people to wrap their fingers around because we do live in instant gratification society. Relationships are still relationships though.

Here are some more thoughts I have on this subject. Feel free to chime in.

On performing, promoting, etc.:

1.) Be careful about inviting people to your gig that live out of the area on Facebook, especially if you don’t really know them or haven’t communicated with them in awhile.

2.) Seek out other sources such as newspaper listings or inquire with the local paper about the possibility of a feature article.

3.) Develop an email list (that people knowingly and willingly sign) and send the announcement via this medium. In other words, develop a fan base.

4.) Post the engagement on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn for everyone to see. However, this doesn’t mean that you must re-post every hour. Just use good judgement on how frequent you post it. This would actually make for a good discussion.

On networking:

1.) Develop a relationship with the person you’re connecting with before you send them links to your stuff.

2.) Give praise or tell why you want to connect with this person. Make sure you check out their stuff first before you click the “follow”, “like”, or “add friend” button. Make yourself authentic.

3.) If possible, see if you can connect in person to discuss collaborating or your networking goals. Make this a beneficial meeting.

4.) Don’t make it all about you.

5.) Be careful on adding too many people you don’t know at once. Again, if you do your research and strive to build a potential relationship with someone, you shouldn’t have this problem.

6.) When you add somebody you don’t know, be sure to send an introduction about yourself! It kills me that this doesn’t happen often. When you email someone for the first time, you have to write something before you click send, right? Sometimes I think by not writing something, you’re essentially sending a blank email to somebody. Again, develop authenticity and work towards developing relationships.

Lastly, I’d welcome any thoughts on social media etiquette these days since this is relatively new ground to explore. I’m definitely not an expert on this and I can probably name ten people out of the air who know more than I do.

Useful posts: Seth Godin: Trading Favors | How to send a personal email | Email checklist | James Clear: How to Email Important People (5 Tips You Need to Know) |


About Nick Grinlinton

Nick Grinlinton has written 113 entries on this blog.

Nick Grinlinton is a guitarist, composer and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. He is a two-time ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award finalist and has composed and played music for Jerry Seinfeld's web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee". A speedy runner, Nick currently focuses on racing distances from the mile all the way to the marathon. As he continues to train daily, he is currently examining what effect music has towards running. To learn more and to contact Nick, visit his website.

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