Social media is a powerful force. As a DJ, you’re now able to create a mix in the morning and have people tweeting about it by lunchtime. If they’re up yet. The human network is a magnificent array of channels and traffic flow, and as a content creator of any kind, you’ll want to harness some of the flow. Here are a few tips for using social media to further advance your reputation as a DJ.
Reputation is all you have
The word ‘reputation’ should be treated with more respect. Using social media, it is indeed possible to convince some people that you’re a happening act right now. Import the top track on the Beatport Charts, copy it with a little modification and release it as your own. You’re guaranteed to get likes, because you’re tapping into the current culture. But you’re also gaining a reputation for being derivative, and not really having a voice of your own. It’s tempting to get the quick round of applause. But you’ll need to manage your short and long term goals better than that if you aim to build a reputation of real value.
Brands are people, too
Instabook (Instagram and Facebook) is a controversial beast. They’re really effective advertising platforms if your aim is to create hype around your work by convincing gatekeepers that you’re into buying popularity. The music industry is mostly powerful people finding and tapping into the eagerness of younger people desperate to be noticed. The quickest cut for the artist is to buy fan engagement by boosting posts (or outright buying likes). But just be warned! So much online engagement is automated that you run the risk of creating a brand that is hugely popular online, but doesn’t sell any tickets because it doesn’t exist.
A real moment beats a post about it
If there is one message to get tattooed on your forehead in mirror writing, it’s this: social media captures -- not creates -- awesome events. Those photos of your West Coast tour on Instagram are popular because you actually got it together to DJ in California. The party is lively because you actually got some people there. The beats are fresh because you spent the time collecting and prepping them. None of these things happen automatically because of the photo filter you chose while uploading. A winning moment with even poor production quality still kicks the pants off yet another ‘high-quality’ model selfie. When there’s nothing awesome going on, resist the urge to post for the sake of your social media schedule. There’s enough rubbish out there already. Be real by creating life moments, not just posts about them. That way, you attract real people.
So get your act together! DJing is a particularly hard skill to capture on social media for a few reasons, loud audio and poor lighting among them. As you continue your DJing career as a ‘vibe curator’ keep thinking about how you’re able to effectively create and then capture good moments for your social audience. Not the other way around.
John Bartmann is a music producer and DJ.