Top 5 things musicians and bands do on the internet that are wrong
I'm going to say up front that I am not a master of knowledge when it comes to how musicians and bands conduct themselves on the internet. However I don't think anyone will disagree with my list below of things musicians and bands do on the internet that are flat out wrong.
1. Making fun of fans
This is wrong on so many levels. If a fan likes your stuff, posts a comment on your YouTube channel, Facebook page, @replies you on Twitter or whatever, and the post is something positive, but you reply back with something negative and make fun of the guy or girl, you're just an idiot, plain and simple.
Of course anyone who plays music would say, "I would never do that!" Oh, yeah? I've seen a bunch of you out there do it without even knowing it.
It's like the old saying goes. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.
The only exception to the rule is when someone spams your channel or Facebook page. That's not cool. But even then it's just better to delete and block the spammer rather than try to get the last word. Consider a silent ban/block of the spammer to be your last word instead. It's just as effective and nobody has to watch you complaining to someone, which nobody wants to see anyway.
2. Having no videos
Do you play? Do you want to get noticed? Sure you do.
But if you don't have any videos, nobody will know you exist on the internet.
The kid who posts crappy videos with his cell phone on YouTube is getting more exposure than you are because he has videos online and you don't.
3. Being political
Fans want to hear your music and don't want to hear you talk about government in any way, so don't do it. The moment you go political, even just briefly, you lose fans.
4. Making it difficult to contact
There's a reason my email address is plastered all over the place - it's so people can reach me easily. Not only in email, but by YouTube message, Facebook message, Twitter, etc. If someone wants to get in touch with me, I make it easy to do. But I've seen some bands and artists that make it difficult for basically no reason.
The worst thing is when a band/artist forces someone to fill out a stupid form just to contact them. That's just stupid. What if a major record label wanted to contact you? Businesses do use email a lot, you know. And they don't take kindly to web forms. In fact, most of the time if there's no email address, they just won't contact you at all even if they are interested in you. Business runs by email. Use it.
"But I don't want spam!" Deal with the spam. It's a fact of life when using email. Get used to it.
Oh, and one other thing. Don't post any "rules about emailing" you either, like "your email must have subject line [blah blah blah]" or some other stupid crap like that. Just put your email address out there and be done with it. People do this all the time and it's a normal thing. Yes, it does mean you'll get spammed every so often, but like I said, if you use email, you get spam sometimes and that's just the way it is.
5. Not having a web site (or at least a blog)
I have a blog (what you're reading right now) on a real-deal domain (meaning dot-com/net/org/whatever), and - surprise surprise - my email address is listed so I can be contacted easily.
I strongly suggest having a blog because some people just don't like Facebook and won't go anywhere near it. I can use my own fan base as an example here. I've been told more than once by certain YouTube fans of mine that they absolutely will not use Facebook, but consider YouTube OK. And then there are those who don't even like YouTube because it's Google-owned and will only keep up on what I'm doing by just my blog alone. Yes, really.
Get a web site. If you can't afford one, get a free blog instead. You'll have to deal with the your-name-here.wordpress.com or like web address, but hey, it's free so you really can't complain. And in case you're wondering, blogs are really easy to maintain. If you know how to send and receive emails, you pretty much already know how to write on a blog. After writing some posts on there, as long as your name, your artist name or your band name is on the blog, it should be indexed by Google quickly so your blog can be found. You can also let your fans know where your blog is by posting it on your YouTube channel and Facebook page or both.