If I only had 140-characters to write this post with, I’d write… Don’t do this:
Yo @you @yourmom @youruncle peep my ish & RSVP the release party! Free entry b4 11, $1 PBR. www.facebook… #WOHMgoeshard #badbitches RT PLS
Specifically, don’t do these:
1. Sending group tweets and Facebook statuses
Group tweets are the mass text of social networking. If you’ve ever received a mass text message before (if you live in Portland, Ore., then I know you have), then you know how annoying, spammy, awkward, etc. they are. If you think that being annoying, spammy, or awkward (either IRL or online) will help you make friends and fans…it won’t. Likewise, tagging the maximum number of people allowed in a Facebook status or photo is a no-no that calls for a quick “untag” and “report as spam.”
2. RT PLS
The only thing worse than sending group tweets and Facebook statuses? Asking the innocent tweeters to RT PLS. No shit—as a recording artist trying to make it big in the industry—you’d like a RT. Asking (read: begging) for a RT is not the way to get one.
3. Having fliers for profile pics
“You look great in your new flier profile pic,” said no one ever because your face isn’t even in your new flier profile pic! You want to promote your next show, we get it; but how are we supposed to recognize that you’re performing at that show if you remove yourself from your profile pic?! Instead, make the filer your Facebook Cover pic; keep your grill as your profile pic.
4. Email blasts
If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s listed in 10 THINGS: PR 101 (For Rappers). I’m glad it sounds familiar, that means you paid attention. Now, go ahead and give the other nine another read.
5. Inviting EVERYONE to a Facebook event
Dear Portland rappers, promoters, and the like,
I do not live in Portland. I don’t live in the NW at all, actually. Born and raised; and I still love it…BUT I LIVE IN THE BAY NOW. Please do not invite me to your album release (or any) party via Facebook. If you really want me there, think I’d really fly up for it, and can guarantee me table service, then send me a text message.
Swag and thanks,
6. Tweeting at strangers
Do you remember being a Bro Scout? And going door-to-door selling stuff? Do you remember ever seeing a “NO SOLICITORS” sign? Do you know what that sign meant? If rappers keep marketing themselves to strangers via Twiiter, people are going to start putting “NO SOLICITORS” in their bios. At that point, if rappers continue to tweet at strangers, they’ll be violating Twitter’s Terms of Service, the same way IRL, you’d be trespassing. Are either felonies? No. But are they proven-successful ways to earn fans? No!
7. Portraying a bad image
There’s nothing wrong with snapping and Instagramming a pic of your fatty 3-Swisher blunt; but snapping and IGing ONLY pics of you being #greenteamofficial is a bit much. Portray you and your artist image, but don’t go out of your way to be someone you’re not. Shout out to #greenteamofficial who is just that: Green team official, literally. They aren’t posing with their pics. They’re the real deal, portraying a good image all day, everyday, whether they’re sharing #greenteamofficial pics or not.
8. Instagramming other stupid shit
I really (really!) saw a rapper IG his credit card the other day. News flash: If you’re not ballin’ now, you definitely won’t be ballin’ after someone maxes out your card with gas station charges. Don’t post pictures of ignorant shit, including but not limited to: Your credit card or credit card statement, your Social Security Number or card, your address, your phone number, any of this same info., but for your wife, your bitch, or your girl (to quote Tech N9ne). On the contrary, DO post your tax return, that’s ratchet…in a good way. (Just be sure to use the blur filter over your SSN.)
9. Using random hashtags
Don’t make up your own hashtag—no one will use it and thus no one will find you in the Twitter search feed. But famous rappers make up their own hashtags…? That’s right, they can do that because they’re FAMOUS. A better way to use hashtags to market yourself is to use already popular hashtags, for example: #np #newmusic or #outhere. All of these are still creative and will place you in the hashtag feeds ya wanna be in. #trust
10. Paying for the wrong things
Don’t pay for: Blog posts, performances, to print an abundance of physical album copies or other swag. Do pay: Your bills. Should you flip a few albums and swag? Yes. Should you try to flip thousands because it was more cost-efficient? No. (We live in a digital world; flip thumb drives with an .mp3 version of your album loaded on it!) Don’t believe me? Talk to WOHM Veteran The Kid Espi… He’ll tell you he has thousands of leftover albums, lighters, and stickers spread throughout his house, his mom’s house, his car, you get the point.
We have made every single one of the mistakes on this list. Learn from us.