Creating an excellent social media presence as a musician is about turning total strangers into die-hard fans. Of course, it begins and ends with the music, but a solid social media presence separates the barriers between your music and your audience.
Groovy Beginnings: The Platform
As an artist, it’s important to adopt an educated approach on how you handle your marketing strategy on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
How do you find your “social voice” and build your audience?
First, look to other musicians you groove with for inspiration. If you think you have a similar potential fanbase as another artist on your radar, go through their social media. Germinate there for a while. Get a feel for their social presence.
To begin, it’s smart to have a presence on as many platforms as possible.
At the end of the day, your image should be consistent across the platforms. That said, different platforms offer different advantages, and you can take advantage of the differences in media to showcase your three-dimensionality.
You never want your Facebook presence to “run dry.” That is, you should always have events lined up. Use the cover photo and profile pictures to your advantage; if you’re not good with visual art, you might even hire a graphic design artist to optimize the look of your photographs.
As an artist, you may tend to recoil at the thought of wasting words promoting yourself. I say everything I need to in the lyrics, you might say. This is an absolutely valid argument, which is why many musicians love Instagram.
Instagram shows, rather than tells. Many bands use Instagram to show pictures from tours or photos from behind the scenes! You can use Instagram to show your fans what you’re like behind the mask. Fans love seeing what you’re recording at the studio or even how you are outside of music. Social media makes musicians seem more human, and humans love other humans.
To maximize your potential, make sure your bio promos your most recent drop or your next gig, either with a YouTube link, a click to your Bandcamp, or a hyperlink straight to your band’s website dot com.
If Instagram is a visual medium, Twitter is a verbal one. Use Twitter to remind fans of upcoming dates or your latest releases. Depending on your temperament, you might use Twitter to show off your indefatigable wit.
Tik Tok’s here, it’s staying, and if you’re not used to it, you’d better get acquainted. Actually, the groundbreaking thing about TikTok is that, in a sense, the app is completely decentralized. Many more clicks come from the for you page (FYP) than from follows and user likes.
For that reason, TikTok can be an awesome way to grow your fanbase. If your content is truly stellar, there’s nothing stopping you from going straight to the #fyp and going viral. You can set challenges for your fans (as famously demonstrated by Rudebone) or simply drop a sweet acoustic gem.
Strictly speaking, the lines are blurred today between media and social media. From traditional social media like Instagram to video games and movie streaming services, almost all aspects of internet life have become socialized. While this may be a headache of added complexity for those of us who aren’t tech-savvy, it’s excellent news for the musician.
YouTube, Spotify, Bandcamp: all of these music streaming services have social media aspects; as such, when considering your social media imprint, you need to consider the platforms that your actual music is available on.
Can you guess what the most famous music streaming service in the world is? Would you be surprised to learn that it’s YouTube? Yes: in the United States, YouTube outstrips its nearest competitor, Spotify, by almost 20 points.
That said, it’s important to have a presence on as many sites as possible, and although 20 percent fewer people get their music on Spotify than on YouTube, there are still millions of people who’d be put off by an artist with no Spotify presence.
The place to begin with social media is to get a lay of the land. Look at other artists with similar music to your own to understand their success.
Let’s imagine we’re a folk duo from the United States. We’re inspired by the Avett Brothers: let’s look at their posts to see what they’ve done.
Examining their Instagram profile, we see first and foremost that they’re advertising their latest EP. They’ve linked their blog/website, and as we can see by the colorful circle around their band picture, they’re making active use of the story feature.
It brings up a good lesson: use all the aspects of the social medium that are available to you. If a story option exists, use it: show what you’re eating for lunch, send a picture of your cat; it doesn’t matter! Social media is all about revealing the person behind the post.
Now we look at their Facebook. Notice anything? The picture is consistent, but this band is using the cover photo aspect of Facebook to actually promo the look and feel of their new album. See, too, that both Facebook and Insta bios promo their latest album.
Social Media Guide For Musicians
We hope we’ve given you some thoughts on how to start your online social media presence. Remember, the key to social media is activity above all! Post as often as possible, and spread yourself over all the various platforms. Put your music for streaming online, and drop links to it on your social media profiles.
Last of all, remember that though social media is important in this day and age, the most important thing is your music. Never compromise your heart and soul for the artistry behind the dream.