As a musician, you want maximum visibility for your music, and social media is the best free platform to make that a possibility.
And it isn’t just for reach; social media gives musicians a way to directly connect and converse with the people who listen to their music. This access can be used for instant feedback, PR or to build a community of enthusiastic listeners.
But everyone’s on social media; from Beyonce to The Beatles, whose Twitter account is still being run by their record label by feeding off of the tweets of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, with contributions from the posthumous accounts of George Harrison and John Lennon.
How does one create an identity amongst popular giants and local competition?
This post is a run through of social media marketing tips and tools for musicians who want to make a splash on social media.
1. Be genuine
Outsourcing your communication to an agency isn’t always a great idea.
While the agency can manage your official tweets, it’s unlikely that they can speak in your voice. It’s amazing how much engagement you can generate by sharing a funny picture of your pet.
Post about your life, what excites you, concerns you and what you believe in, and people will begin to invest in the person who you are. Many musicians have fans who go through difficult and life-changing journeys with them, both in their personal and professional lives.
Sharing yours with the music community could be a great way to make your mark and give people insight into the context of your music.
2. Respect the 80/20 rule
When marketing your music on social media, it’s important to maintain a balance between promotional content and personal/interesting content.
The general rule is to share 80% personal and entertaining posts and 20% marketing material. The ratio can be reversed when you want to share new music or launch an album.
It’s a good idea to schedule marketing posts in advance so you can make time for spontaneous posts in the present. You could use social media management tool DrumUp to store posts in the tool’s libraries and set them on an automatic posting schedule.
3. Listen & converse
Relationship building is a two-way street; If you want people to respond to you, it’s important to make time to respond to them.
Community building begins by joining the right conversations. Figure out where your target audience is, what they’re listening to and what they’re talking about so you can join the right conversations and grow your community. When you have a community, you will find that they often volunteer feedback on your music and live shows.
If you can’t be tuned in to Twitter and Facebook at all times, try using a social media monitoring tool like BrandWatch to manage and respond to your mentions and important conversations.
4. Focus on website traffic
Websites are critical in online marketing, and the better your set-up for website traffic generation, the easier you will find it to expand your fanbase. Social media is one of top sources of website traffic for most web properties. By focusing on maximizing your traffic from social media, you can drive your traffic stats and purchase rates way up.
You can’t maximize traffic without understanding what drives it and what doesn’t, and to do that you need a social media analytics tool like SimplyMeasured. This particular tool reports basic engagement stats and insights for your social media accounts.
You don’t have to rely on this strategy to boost your social media visibility, but before you post something, you could run a quick check on what’s trending on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
By using hashtags to join trending conversations, you can get your posts extra mileage while being seen as a sporty participant in community conversations.
When you use trending hashtags, ensure that the subject of your tweets also points to your music/brand in a way, so you not only get visibility for your account, but also for your music right off the bat.
Hashtag analysis tools like Hashtagify will tell you the popularity of the hashtags you intend to use, so you can judge which ones or which versions fit your requirements best.
6. Use Twitter lists
Twitter lists are useful in managing relationships, especially if you are an independent musician who has to run PR, marketing and sales for yourself. If you can’t keep track of producers, music blogs, labels, journalists in your mind (and my guess is that you can’t), you could use Twitter lists to do that.
When you encounter important people’s profiles on Twitter, quickly add them to Twitter lists with the right labels. Once you have, you can revisit them on a daily basis and make an impression by interacting with tweets sent out by each of the people on the lists. You could also create a list of top fans to return some love from time to time.
7. Tag everyone relevant
According to one of Facebook’s latest algorithm updates, your posts are likely to rise higher in feeds if people are actively engaging with you. One great way to get people to engage while also increasing post reach is by tagging everyone relevant to your posts.
If you attend a lot of events, tag the people you meet. If you recognize people at your shows, ensure that you include them in your post-show dialogues. Many musicians these days take post-show selfies and share them while tagging organizers, venues and super-fans.
There’s a lot that you can do on social media to grow your fanbase and get the attention of important people in the music industry. It all begins with understanding how each social media platform works and which tools you can use to maximize your reach and impact.
Thanks to Disha Dinesh, Content Writer at Godot Media, for submitting this piece.
Ged is Founder and Editor-in-chief at Zing Instruments. He’s a guitarist for London based gypsy jazz band ‘Djangology’ and when he’s not ripping up and down the fretboard, he’s tinkering with his Campervan.