Sometimes it’s more than just the music. It’s a conversation. Are you following any well-known artists on Facebook or Twitter? Big names are not just sharing music, they’re sharing their lives. You might not be at the stage where fans are fawning over your every move -- that often takes somewhat of a celebrity status in your niche to achieve that sort of following -- but that doesn’t mean you can’t create value outside of just promoting your music.
As much as everyone might love your music, if all you do is PUSH PUSH PUSH your song embeds, your profile links, and other “me-oriented activities,” then soon enough your following will be ignoring your updates if not outright unfollowing you. Instead, create value by starting a conversation. Whether directly or indirectly related to your music, point out interesting topics about music, art, or media that will inspire. If people trust your voice and opinion, they will most likely give your music more thought and feel closer to you as an artist.
What are some ways to make things interesting? If you make music, why not attach music to a visual? Album cover art is becoming less relevant in the digital age, so start an Instagram or Flickr profile where you can create a tone of visual aesthetics that match your music and gets you in front of a new audience. Like sharing a mixture of videos, photos, and short writing snippets that appeal to you? Start a Tumblr blog that others in the community can reblog and share. Are your lyrics political or controversial in nature? Start a Posterous blog describing your stance on issues that are important to you. Whatever it is, start it now.
There are dozens of sites that have already hit critical mass or a meaningful enough scale where you can help build an audience for your content (with the end goal of creating new fans and opportunities). You can do this by being a voice for a certain segment of the community that matches your artistic message or sound. At the very least, your content will all link back to your main website or online profile, thus creating more link juice for you to appear higher up in Google search results. Just remember to be authentic and mean what you say, what you share, and what you believe in. The rest will follow (and hopefully so will the fans).