Social media is a crucial channel for any aspiring musician, but unless you have a label doing it all for you, you’re going to need to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. The good news? It’s not that hard, and besides, labels don’t do it particularly well anyway, so with a few of these tips you’ll be well ahead.
Ever since big brands got on to social media, it’s become corporatized. Every tweet, post, and pin is scrutinized and sent to the top before ‘sign off’. If you’re Nestle, it makes absolute business sense, as one slightly off tweet can hit the bottom line of your company. As a musician, the shackles are off. You can be you. Sure, you still need to exercise common sense about what you share, but you have a lot more freedom. Your audience wants to see the real you too.
Get the Balance Right
There’s no bigger turn off for an audience than to share promotional stuff all the time. Of course, you want them to buy your new EP, but ramming it down their thoughts won’t help. Use the rule of thirds to make sure you get a decent mix of engagement and promotion.
Maximize the Eyeballs
Here’s a Twitter-specific trick that works like a charm. If you want to get the maximum amount of engagement for every tweet, you need to put it in front of as many people as possible. How to do this? Simply. Find out what the top performing hashtags are related to your tweet, and tag your tweet with them. This way, all the people following that hashtag will see your post along with all the other tweets with that hashtag.
Another way to increase the chances of your post going viral is to tag people. Just think about it. If someone tagged you with something you were interested in, how much more likely would you be to retweet it or give it a like? Way more likely. When you use this tactic, its important not just to tag any old person. You need to be strategic and think ‘who would respond well to this post’ and then tag them. It works like a charm when you get it right.
As your brand grows you might want to consider social media listening tools like Brandwatch. These platforms trawl social media looking for mentions of your brand or whatever you think is of relevance. If it’s a mention of your company, you can jump in and respond, or if there’s a conversion that’s closely aligned to what you do, you can insert yourself into the discussion. Big brands, like we mentioned above, use these tools to be ‘always on’. As your presence grows, why not benefit from them yourself?
Another superb time saver is to use schedulers. Platforms such as Buffer let you stack up a load of posts to share and release at a rate of your choosing. They’re no good for anything time-sensitive, but for evergreen posts that are not time sensitive, they let you keep your engagement levels up while you spend time in the studio, undistracted. If you’re into sharing quotes, for example, you could load up your scheduler with quotes of lyrics you like, and set it to share them a couple of times a week.
Here are just a few ideas, there are plenty more. You need to walk the fine line of being a real person while taking advantage of all the automation tools out there, so you free up your time to make your ‘product’: which is your music.
Go make a ruckus.
Ged is Founder and Editor-in-chief at Zing Instruments. He’s a guitarist for London based gypsy jazz band ‘Django Mango’ and a lover of all things music. When he’s not ripping up and down the fretboard, he’s tinkering with his ’79 Campervan.