Social Media: Independent artists’ friend or foe?

Apple iPhone 7 on wooden table with icons of social media facebook, instagram, twitter, snapchat application on screen

Image: Aleksei. (2017, November 11). Apple iPhone 7 on wooden table with icons of social media facebook, instagram, twitter, snapchat application on screen. Smartphone Starting social media app. Retrieved from https://stock.adobe.com/images/sankt-petersburg-russia-november-11-2017-apple-iphone-7-on-wooden-table-with-icons-of-social-media-facebook-instagram-twitter-snapchat-application-on-screen-smartphone-starting-social-media-app/283452126

The heat of social media platforms is on. Many important music business professionals believe in social media as an essential tool for promoting music. At the same time, Independent artists have taken the initiative to describe how social media has helped launch their music career. But their essential argument is what they’ve learned about connecting to fans through social media.

Social media marketing is full of tricks. And many music business professional badvice independent artists about learning how to use these platforms and measure results. James Cortes, author of Streaming music and the music social media landscape (2019), talks about collecting data from social media and streaming music platforms to shape marketing strategies.

Collecting Data and Knowing your Social Media Fans

I chose to discuss James Cortes’ blog journal. It relates to social media and music business, the digital media topic I am researching. Cortes (2019) writes formal blogs published under Cogswell Polytechnical College from Silicon Valley, California. The college offers degrees in audio and music production, business administration, digital arts and gaming design (Cogswell Polytechnical College, 2019).

I am confident that this article is a reliable source of information based on Cogswell’s reputation in the music and entertainment business industry. Cortes (2019) discusses data metrics’ collection from multiple social media and music streaming platforms. Analyzing data let artists learn about their fans, think of a social media strategy and write a plan of action that better fits their short and long-term goals. The blog describes data-gathering under marketing principles to understand which social media platforms work best for a specific artist. Last, Cortes (2019) briefly explains music streaming and its alliance to social media.

Reliable Sources for the Independent Artist

Many readers, especially independent musicians learning about social media, find it difficult to rely on a single source to learn about music promotion. Readers and writers must work together to verify information and compare different sources to define reliable content. Readers often trust writers but often fail to correct them if some information isn’t accurate. At the same time, most readers do not verify information or lack having enough media literacy’s skills to verify.

After all, a writer is a community leader that’s often trusted. But during an NPR interview with report and radio show host, David Folkenflik (2019), he emphasizes that journalism finds “an incredible fragmentation of information” (NPR, 2013) and believes that the audience’s expectations of facts “[must shift] a little bit” (2013). Although I’d like to disagree with Folkenflik (2019), the vast amount of fake and fragmented information in social media leaves doubts. The audience must give content some wiggle room and take the initiative to verify and revise articles, wiki and blogs when possible.

Journalist and reporters understand the risk of publishing unverified information on social media. Often, they rely on fragmented information that leads unclear conclusions. These carry unexpected reactions from an emotionally charged audience that’s saturated with fake news (Yigal, 2017). A journalist can verify as much information as possible before posting on social media and follow-up on the subject after verifying more sources on a second post.

I believe it is an inexcusable offense to journalism as a reputable professional and to the audience if a journalist posts unverified information on social media (Yigal, 2017). Retrieving erroneous reporting is almost impossible, especially when the original post had already spread and done the damage.


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Written by Mario Campani
An entrepreneur and visionary, Campani merges the Old and New Music Business models through synergy. This principle nurtures a dominant trend for independent artists to succeed.