You’re just going to have to deal with it: as a Hip Hop artist, it’s imperative that you have at least somewhat of a respectable social media presence if you’re going to succeed in the music business. Whether Tweeting, Retweeting and Favoriting on Twitter, Liking and Sharing on Facebook, Blogging on Blogger, Tumblr or WordPress, Stumbling on Stumbleupon, Posting and Recording on YouTube, Instagram or Vine, Pinning on Pinterest, or doing everything at the same damn time, Hip Hop is a social networking sport nowadays. And you can bet top dollar that your favorite rappers favorite rapper has built a strong following to help them sell units, get shows and connect with the people. You can literally be your own online street team…if you know what you’re doing. So here are a few tips for every aspiring Hip Hop artist out there that’s still not on the bandwagon of social media (and why wouldn’t you be?) Break out those laptops, smartphones and tablets…it’s time for your rap career to get social!
BUILD YOUR LOCAL FANBASE
If you don’t have the ear of your local Hip Hop fans, you’re already losing. Twitter and Facebook alone allow you to find people in your local area that might be feeling your flows. Use these tools to your advantage.
INTERACT POSITIVELY YET HONESTLY WITH FANS
Twitter allows you to connect with fans right where you stand (or sit). But even the biggest Hip Hop artist can get caught up in unnecessary beef with a regular person and screw up their whole PR game. That being said, be cordial, thank people for following, humble yourself, and always seek the high ground, especially on the good ole’ Twitter machine.
Don’t create a Twitter, Instagram or YouTube account and then let it fester, or make it hard for fans to find you or your music. Find a fine line between the mysterious and the annoying. You are your own marketing company, so make yourself available.
USE PHOTOS AND VIDEO TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
It can’t just be about text. People love visuals, especially when it comes to Hip Hop music. Record yourself at concerts and festivals, post photos of your album artwork and make yourself a visual feast for the eyes AND good for the ears.
GIVE KUDOS TO MORE ESTABLISHED ARTISTS
Lots of established Hip Hop artists are extremely active on Twitter and Instagram. Give them props for a new album or mixtape or praise them if you’ve been a long time fan.
SHARE, DON’T SPAM
Social media is filled with so-called rappers spamming the crap out of fellow artists and fans. Don’t be that guy or girl. Again, find a balance. Be generous, but not overbearing with your music
DO SOMETHING SURPRISING
You have to think outside of the box. The truth is, Hip Hop has become flooded with way too many thinking they can be artists as it is. If you want to get noticed, step outside of your comfort zone and do something you wouldn’t think to do, and that your potential fans wouldn’t think you’d do. Hip Hop needs a challenge, anyway.
TAKE A STAND/HAVE AN OPINION
If you feel a certain way about something, good or bad, it doesn’t mean you’re being a suck up or a hater. Don’t be afraid to have your own educated opinion on the state of the industry, the music, or anything else. Again, Hip Hop needs to be challenged!
USE THE NEWORKS THAT YOU LIKE THE MOST
If you’re not feeling a specific social network, don’t use it! Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you have to. Besides, you want to have fun with what you’re doing. Pick the networks that are best and most engaging for you and ride them like a stallion.
It’s not enough to just have good music. It’s called social “networking” for a reason. Talk to people and develop interests in what they have to say or feel. Participate in online discussions. Don’t confine yourself to one train of thought or one idea, either. It’s people that will get you far in this business. Google+