Let’s talk a bit about etiquette in the music world. Now we’ve all grown up hearing what is appropriate and to mind our manners from our parents and family. How we behave in public and how we treat other people are the focus of these norms and respect is normally at the centre of them.
The world is a vastly more globalised place then when many of us were growing up and a huge part of that globalisation centres around the internet. When we all have access to the same information, news, movies and culture, this shapes the entire world we live in. This shapes our brains and the way we think, our ideas of what is culturally acceptable and how we behave towards others in real life and online.
Social Media is in my opinion one of the places you can very clearly see a play between international norms and mores, manners, ideas and personalities. Especially when you are involved in an international industry or hobby, such as music production or the running of a music label. I have acquaintances on every continent and in several dozen countries. With this, I have learned a huge amount about the differences in many cultures spanning the globe and the similarities that define us all as human beings.
Time and again, respect is something I see people talk about as lost, as something they miss and wish there was more of. We all want to be respected, treated with respect and have other people follow some general set of rules that would allow for respect to be the norm instead of the rarity online.
With that in mind I sat down and gave some thought to what I consider to be some important rules of etiquette when it comes to online interaction, in particular on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Especially while working in the international and rather small music world.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Interaction
Don’t tag everyone and anyone in your latest status update that has NOTHING to do with them. Great you have a new release, am I on it? Did I give feedback on it? Does it have anything to do with me personally? No? Then don’t tag me in it. Don’t abuse your network, as people get tired of it fast.
Do tag me when you’ve played a track from my label or from me as an artist. Or if I left some awesome feedback you are really happy with and want to share, and of course if I was involved in the release in some way as a producer, artist, ect. If you want me to hear what you’re latest project is or what you’re working on, take the time to message me or email me personally.
Don’t ask me for my email and then add me to your mailing list. I might very well want to be on it but I really don’t appreciate being added without my consent, and honestly no one else does either.
Do invite me to join your mailing list. If I like what you’re doing, chances are I’ll be happy to join and support whatever you’ve got your fingers in.
Don’t walk into a new scene and act like you know everything or that you are better than everyone else. Having a bit of respect for those that came before you will go a long way. Read on here to find out how to not come off so arrogant and be more likeable.
Do seek out advice and opinions from people you hold in high regard in your scene. You are entitled to your own ideas but listening to those that came before you can give you a big leg up in the business.
Don’t waste people’s time. It is one of our most precious possessions in our fast paced world and people will not appreciate it. Don’t type me “hi” trying to lure me into conversation or send me random links to music (or whatever) and say nothing about it. I ain’t got time for that. On a side note, this is part of the reason I believe in track listings and consider them so important. You can read about that here.
Do say please and thank you. Having manners and being nice will get you oh so very far.
Don’t add me as your friend just to try to sell me things. Need some advice on how to approach other labels and artists? Then check out this post.
Do add me if you think we have something in common such as the music, you would like to work with me or you think I seem like a pretty awesome person. Maybe I’ll think you’re awesome too and want to buy your stuff without you having to do a thing, other than be yourself.
Don’t steal other peoples works. Don’t use others artwork, vocals, or idea’s without their permission. Oh and ya, it is also illegal.
Do reach out to the artist, producer, label, you want to use something from and ask their permission. You might be surprised how happy people are to oblige you.
Don’t spam people. This includes the first rule of not tagging people needlessly but also don’t post to their timelines or post the same thing a thousand times a day to try to get attention. You can read about what Spam is in this blog post.
Do support what other people are doing in your scene. Chart their music, play it in your mixes, share their soundcloud or buy links. Most people are happy to reciprocate the love if you are yourself putting out good products. And those that don’t? Their loss.
The golden rule is to treat others as you, yourself would want them to treat you.