The truth is: marketing, especially as a new artist, is not an easy task. You have to constantly put yourself out there in order to get fans, gigs, and promote your new songs. You have a million things to do on each given day. The good news is, marketing is easier in the 21st century than it was in the 20th century.
Back in the 20th century, when radio was the only marketing medium, musicians would take their discs to radio DJs. These ‘gatekeepers’ would then decide which songs to give airplay. Thankfully, with the age of the internet, you don’t have to deal with these gatekeepers. In this guide we discuss the tactics that top marketing agencies use to promote music on social media. Let’s get started.
How to use social media to promote music? The best way to promote your music on social media is by creating profiles on the right platforms, creating content that shows you in action or behind the scenes, engaging with your audience, and then promoting your new songs and tours.
One of the most important things in a musician’s life is promoting music. And though you might be busy on Bandcamp or Soundcloud, it is important to build a following on social media. You have to take advantage of the over 2 billion Facebook users or the over 1 billion Instagram users. Here are some tips to help you promote your music like a marketing pro.
Pick the right social media networking platform
By the end of 2018, there were more than 20 social media sites. But, not all of them are ideal for music promotion. The first thing you should do is choose the right platforms. Here are some platforms you sign up on:
Twitter is a great platform to get you started. It allows you to have real-time conversations with fans. You can discuss current happenings in the music industry or your latest songs. However, it is important to note that because Twitter is a ‘right now’ sort of platform; it is the worst platform for click throughs and engagements.
For example, when you post your latest songs, chances are you will get a few click-throughs at that moment from fans online at that particular time of day. But, by the end of the day, your tweet will be long buried and you won’t get any click through.
Use Twitter to keep your ears on the ground for what is happening on the music scene. Follow and retweet tweets from artists you admire in the industry. Create great content to get valuable followers.
What goodies does Facebook offer to the music industry? Well for starters it has over 2 billion active users. This powerful platform has more advertising options for artists than other social media platforms. Your next step is to create a Facebook account.
With Facebook you can share anything from live videos to photos to text posts. Once the content is live you can pay to advertise. Facebook advertising allows you to pick your target audience by age, profession and more.
On the downside, this platform can be quite distracting. Several times I have caught myself going through profiles of my friend friends. Facepalm. Remember, you have a million things on your to-do list. Focus!
Most artists use YouTube as their primary platform for uploading their music. To build a following on YouTube, you need to create a professional account. Your subscribers will get a notification every time you upload a new video.
It is important to note that YouTube uses an algorithm to determine which videos to rank high. If you want this algorithm to favor your channel you have to create and upload quality videos constantly.
The last platform on the big 4 social media platforms for music promotion is Instagram. It is one of the best and easiest platforms to promote music. Instagram has over 1 billion users. You can engage your potential fans through live videos, hashtags, and Instagram stories. Use hashtag research tools to find the right hashtag related to your genre of music. Create stories around these hashtags and engage with your audience.
Optimize your profiles
Today, 90% of musicians are online. Surprisingly, only a few have optimized their profiles. Don’t make this dumb mistake. When potential fans look you up, they are likely to find all your social media profiles. Having an optimized profile on each network is of utmost importance. To optimize your profiles do the following
- Use the correctly sized profile picture. Yes, I said it, profile picture. One professionally shot picture across multiple social media platforms. See, there is a problem in using different images on different platforms. It lacks professionalism and makes you look messy. Plus you want fans on one platform to recognize your profile immediately they use another platform. The only platform that you can use a different profile picture is Facebook.
- With Facebook use the cover video feature. This awesome feature allows you to upload a clip of your music video, use the latest, as your profile picture.
- Fill out your bio. Yes, your bio is important. Make sure you use the right keywords. Also you can highlight your tour dates, latest singles and albums.
- Keep your profile update. Regular updates helps to keep your fans engaged.
The next step is to decide the content ideal for each platform. Before creating content, you need to understand your audience. There are over 4 billion social media users. So, who are you singing to? Who is your target audience? What is their age and profession? By defining this, you will be able to come up with the right content. The types of content you can create include:
Video content: If you want to convert potential fans fast, then create video content. People find it easier to scroll and watch videos than read a long article. Though videos are great at converting, it is also the hardest content to create. You need to have a compelling storyline, great shooting equipment and lots of energy.
If you are new, you can start a video series documenting your journey as a new artist. People appreciate reality TV; otherwise we would not have shows such as the Survivor series or Keeping up with the Kardashians. Document your successes and failures. Also remember to regularly upload and share your music videos.
Text content: This content type revolves around creating articles. People love learning about new things. You can create various articles that aim to educate your audience. For example, if you are a great piano player, you can write articles on pianos. Make sure the articles are at least 1000 words long. Google loves in depth articles. Also include keywords.
Once you’ve created a post, upload it on your blog. Then share it across text-based social platforms such as Reddit, Medium, and LinkedIn. Let’s be honest: the traffic from these sites won’t be much but sharing on these sites helps build your brand’s credibility.
Image content: This content is the easiest to create. Your need to share high-quality images. Tell your stories through images.
Engage your audience
Next, let people know about your new content. There are two strategies you can use to reach your target audience; organic and paid.
This is the best method for artists starting their music career. It involves self-promotion using the available tools.
Facebook: As we stated earlier, Facebook is one of the best social media platforms to promote music. For this platform you need to create a page. A Facebook page will give your brand a profession look plus you get access to awesome marketing features. To successfully promote your music on this platform, you need to use the rule of 3:1; 3 funny videos or informational posts and 1 promotional post. This important rule helps you not be overly self promotional.
You can engage your audience through contest. For example; create a contest asking people to upload themselves singing your latest song. Giveaway tickets to your next show to the most liked videos. With such a contest you will find your fans sharing this contest with their friends which in the end will bring you new fans.
YouTube: For this platform, experts recommend that one should upload videos regularly. This helps to keep your account active and Google loves to rank active accounts. Also, make sure to upload the same day of the week, this way your subscribers know when to expect new content. Also use YouTube SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This means you use keywords (words and phrases) that people look for.
It is also important to engage with other YouTubers. You can do this by commenting on their videos or channels. You can also reach out to them on other social sites. Other YouTubers can help you gain new fans by sharing your content on their pages.
Another strategy you can use on YouTube is by using the music channels. These channels are used to post music of similar genres. For example, if your genre is soul music, look for soul music channels on YouTube. This strategy will give you instant access to your target audience. Remember to check on your analytics. This will help understand your audience better.
Twitter: As we said earlier, Twitter is best for engaging in current trends. You can use this platform to show yourself in action. Post photos of yourself before, during, and after a show. The best way to get user engagement is by sending shoutouts to attendees tweeting about your performance during your break. This idea may seem simple but many artists have used it to engage their audience during their shows. This creates an even stronger bond.
To get user-generated content, encourage your fans to tag you with photos of the event and then repost the images. These unique tips will gain you a mass following within a short period.
Newsletters: Oh yes, newsletters still work like a charm! Many business owners, especially artists, ignore the power of newsletters. Studies show that people who use newsletter make more money than those who don’t. On all your platforms, before giving your fans any frees stuff, have an email widget for them to sign up for your newsletters. Every time you release a new song, send out an email notifying people on your list. Chances are 70% of them will buy your music.
Once you start earning from your organic strategy, you can set aside some money for paid marketing. This strategy involves
After several months of organic reaches, you now have some loyal fans. These are your brand ambassadors. The truth is, you don’t want to use Facebook advertising too early into your music career. No one knows your brand. It won’t work.
When starting with Facebook advertising, use short content. Remember, these people are new to your brand and most people often snub new artists. Your intention on the first marketing campaign is just to raise awareness of your brand. On the second campaign create longer content than the first campaign.
By now, people are a bit familiar with your brand. You will find that people will watch your videos for more than three seconds and a huge percentage will like your page. They are now aware of your existence and ready for your next campaign.
On the third campaign, promote your music. A majority of your new fans are likely to share it on their walls and pages. Every few months, rinse and repeat this Facebook advertising strategy to promote music.
Social media influencers are people with a huge number of followers. You can find influencers in your music genre by using sites such as inzpire.me, FameBit, and Dovetale. The influencer will charge to share your content with their audience based on two factors. One, the size of their audience and two the engagement level.
How often should you post on your social pages?
Moderation is key. You don’t want to overwhelm your fans. Remember, frequent, annoying ads can make them unfollow or unlike you. Here are social media best practices for posting.
Facebook: Three to seven times a week
Twitter: Three times a day (unless it is a thread)
YouTube: At least once a week
Instagram: Two times a week
What other online forums are ideal to promote music?
Some of the best music forums to promote music include The Coli, KTT (Kanye To The), Reddit, Genius, and Snapchat.