In today’s digital climate, promoting your music on social media can be a huge opportunity. As an artist you don’t have to rely on industry gatekeepers deciding whether your music is worthy of getting air time.
With social media you have a direct link to your fans and you’re in complete control of what you put out to the world.
Many artists find themselves hoping they’ll go viral as the quickest way to success, but it’s important not to focus on just being successful. That’s out of your control. What you can control however is using social media to start building a loyal fanbase.
It’s these current and soon-to-be followers who will share your content and exponentially your audience.
But before you get started, it’s useful know a few ways of how to use social media to promote your music.
1. Choose the right social media platforms
It can be tempting to immediately jump on all of the major platforms, but this can quickly drain your time without providing much return since not every platform will serve your needs.
Best practice is to simply create placeholder accounts on all the platforms in order to save your username, but start out only using one or two of them.
Each social media platform has its own unique pros and cons, so it’s up to you to decide which is the best option for you.
Before you get started, consider the following:
Of all the current social media platforms, Instagram is the easiest to build an audience and arguably the most popular.
You can keep your fans engaged with so many different types of content—static content like photos, Instagram stories for more dynamic content, and IGTV for live videos.
One big drawback however is that it can be difficult to lead fans to your website, or wherever you’d like to link them back to. A common way around this is to add the link to your bio and direct people there.
Facebook offers a lot of flexibility in what kind of content you post but it’s recent algorithm changes have made it very difficult to reach your existing audience, even if they’re following your page.
The upside, Facebook does still have an incredibly powerful advertising functionality. It’s easy to use if you have the money to spend.
Twitter is great for engaging one-on-one with your audience and having conversations with potential fans.
You can also leverage its quick-paced nature by sharing brief thoughts and updates here and there that may not warrant a Facebook or Instagram post.
But, it can be a double edged sword as its Twitter’s quick paced nature that can make it challenging to keep an audience engaged and linking back to you content.
There’s no doubt that YouTube has become the hub for online videos—it’s likely where you’ll be uploading your music videos.
The dark underbelly to YouTube which many artists overlook is that it can be difficult to build an audience when you’re just starting out, especially with YouTube’s algorithm favouring ‘YouTubers’ who post videos frequently.
However, once you do have a core audience, it’ll be a great place to attract a larger following of new fans who will easily be able to discover your music.Case and point—The Justin Bieber success story.
2. Be authentic and make it personal
If you’re going to be using social media, you’ll need to be authentic. It’s the nature of social media, and part of what it makes it so great.
Feel free to speak as yourself, as if you were having a conversation with a friend. For some that means they’ll use five exclamation points, but for others that means they’ll use none. Be yourself!
It’s important to keep your personal. Fortunately for you there are tons of ways to do that.
You can share anecdotes about how you wrote a song and what it means to you or take your fans through a backstage tour or show them behind the scene footage of you in the studio recording a track.
You could even share something as seemingly mundane as grabbing lunch. It’s the little things that’ll keep your content genuine and your audience engaged. Any chance you can take to make your fans feel more connected to you, use it! That’s ultimately what’ll create a loyal fan base that will keep on growing.
3. Don’t just post, interact!
Most of your posts will be “one-way” content, as in it’s you sharing something with your fans like gig details or song previews. It’s important however to also post “two-way” content that creates opportunities for your audience to share something with you.
This could be asking your fans to submit artwork for your next EP or create a poll where fans could on a song for you to cover.
The possibilities are endless and it’s these types of engagement tactics that’ll truly go a long way when it comes to making your fans feel more connected to you.
4. Create a consistent look & feel
Just like how your music has a general feel to it, so should your social media profiles.
The first step is to use the same profile images across all your channels so that your updates are recognizable when fans are quickly scrolling through their feeds.
Continue that consistency with your content by making sure your channels reflect the vibe you’re looking to give off. This can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like it to be, and it depends how you want everything to look. For example, you can set up a DIY photoshoot that has a more of a low key feeling or you could hire a professional photographer for a more polished look.
5. Post consistently
The more you post on social media, the more each platform’s algorithms will favour you and serve your content up to a wider audience.
This means you’ll have more eyes on your content more quickly, and your following will grow faster. It definitely takes time to create posts though, and can be frustrating when creating music is your priority.
The key is to simply use what you have and post consistently, keeping in mind that quality is always more important than quantity.
Here are some general guidelines as to how often to post on the larger social media platforms that are still doable:
Instagram: 1-3 times a week
Facebook: 3-5 times a week
Twitter: 1-3 times a day
You can start out by using what you have, such as song snippets or behind-the-scenes photos, and see which posts your audience engages with the most. You’ll then have a better idea of what they like, and can continue posting more of that type of content.
The wrap up
Promoting your music on social media might be the ticket to building an audience you might not even have known existed.
By using this guide as your building blocks to growing your fans, you’re sure to be a success!
Play MPE offers a direct link to promoting your music to radio, media, press and beyond! To start promoting your music with the same tools used by Universal Music Group and Beggars Group, get in touch!