Things to Learn from Hawaii Musicians Using Social Media

Last night I facilitated a panel discussion at the Hawaii Chapter of the Social Media Club, featuring three Hawaii musicians: Jenn Wright, Kenneth Makuakane, and Shawn Moseley Livingston. They represent what we call here “mixed plate” in several ways. Male and female, native and haole, classical, funky, and Hawaiian style music, and each person sings, writes, plays multiple instruments, and produces!

Although they were talking as musical artists, many of their ideas are relevant to all of us. Their biases and perspectives are quite different though, and that makes for a good panel that keeps us from drinking just one brand of social media koolaid!

Here are some highlights from my notes I wanted to share with you.
The best social site for musicians currently: Reverb Nation. (Unanimous!)
Love your fans, respond to their comments, give them stuff! (For example, free downloads)
Beware of perfectionism – though do put some effort into making your music come from your heart. People can tell when you are just a copycat versus really committing something to your art.
Ken and Jenn recommended getting a presence on several social networks.
Jenn is using YouTube a lot and getting results.
Ken is using Facebook a lot and getting results.
Shawn uses his website and email list, and keeps his social web contacts truly personal.
Use the tools! Tagging, commenting, sharing your schedule and your samples. Give people links to share with their friends to your music, to your gigs, etc.
Make a really good demo! You will instantly stand out from the crowd.
We can’t rely on mainstream radio – we have to market ourselves.
Use the podsafe music communities to share your music with podcasters. This is a way to share networks and offer mutual support. Try these: Ioda PromoNet, Ariel Publicity, Music Alley (formerly known as the Podsafe Music Network).
Search for podcasters who have radio shows that play your style of music (or cover your type of services) for interest.

Now for some plugs!
Welcome to our Canadian visitors! Jake Bergen, of TractorBeam, was there visiting us from Alberta, Canada with his Dad Rod Bergen.

Many thanks to Fresh Cafe for hosting our event. There back room warehouse space is perfect for our meetings, and the staff is so supportive. Please check out the many other happenings there, especially the fine jazz from Fresh Standards (Bruce Hamada and Jim Howard) every Tuesday night starting at 8 pm.

For our event, awesome live music was provided by Yoza Allen. Please check her out around town and on her web site. Read this review of her at the Honolulu Weekly.

Go Waimanalo! And visit the East Honolulu Clothing Company. They shared their postcards with us so it’s easy to share their info with you!

Yes it takes a village to host these events and I have tremendous gratitude for Tara Coomans, Judi Clark, Angie Blaisdell, and Rob Bertholf – my co-leaders at Social Media Club – for helping produce this event. You can watch the recorded live stream at