Believe it or not, there is actually a wrong way to use your social media pages. Social media is a big driving force behind what can make a musicians successful. Using it correctly means being smart and knowing how to promote your music in the right way. You need a musician’s guide to social media.
Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, here’s a guide to what you should and shouldn’t be doing social media as a musician.
Do: Get Personal
Share your life in addition to your music. This doesn’t mean giving away every single personal detail online – we all know the dangers that can come with that. But, it does mean showing yourself to be human.
Whether it’s touring, recording, partying or even eating, your social media should give your fans a glimpse into your everyday life. Professional shots of playing live are great, you need to promote your music after all. But showing behind the scenes of making your music is what people want to see the most. Use your social media to give everyone a backstage pass and make yourself more relatable.
Never spam your audience with hundreds of self-promotion and annoying ‘buy my music’ posts. We’re bombarded with ads on an hourly basis already. Plus, Facebook notices what you’re doing and will make your posts less visible on people’s news feeds.
Your long-term trust will slowly dwindle, which is the opposite of what you want to achieve.
Use the 80/20 rule – 80% of what you post should be about other people/companies/news and only 20% should be directly about you and promoting your music. This boosts engagement and makes you come across more human rather than a spam machine.
Do: Be Social
Other musicians in your genre aren’t your enemy – they’re part of the community that you’re a part of too. Follow them and get involved in discussions. It’s a great first step for planning gigs, events or tours. If you see that a band in your community is playing live, go to their show! Make connections in real life and in turn, this can make things happen for you.
If you support other musicians, they’ll support you back. Build the scene you want to be a part of. If there is a band in your community that has a bigger following than you, it is beneficial to see this as an opportunity rather than competition. These are the bands that could offer you support slots on their tours… but only if you communicate.
Don’t: Buy Your Followers
Keep your following organic. Sure, having a ton of followers looks good on the surface, but when you post something and your 40,000 “followers” are only giving you two likes, it is obvious that these are not organic followers.
Buying followers will hurt your brand in the long run. Keep your followers real and protect your brand in every way that you can. Buying followers looks bad to potential real followers and also looks bad to labels, managers, publishers and other key players in the industry that you would normally want on board!
Do: Follow Back
If someone took the time to follow your account, chances are they came across your profile and like your music or brand. Check out the profiles of those that follow you, and as long as they don’t seem spammy, give them a follow back. It’s just good manners.
Don’t: Be Hard to Find
Funny account names are great, but they make you hard to find.
Name your accounts after yourself or your band / project and keep the name consistent across all your social media accounts. If the exact username is taken, then find an account name as close to it as possible. This will make you much easier to find online and makes you seem a lot more professional and established.
Do: Market Yourself
There are loads of ways you can spend a little bit of money to extend your reach.
Boost a post on Facebook, hire a photographer to take some press shots, invest in your hard work. It’ll pay off down the road.
Don’t: Let Someone Else Control your Account
It’s simple: post your own content. You don’t need a social media manager, or a PR agent, or anyone else to post for you. You want people to get to know you, to have your own voice. People will be able to tell if it isn’t authentic and this can hurt you in the long-run.
Make yourself available to your followers. If someone comments on your content, answer them personally. Being open and approachable means happier followers, and happier followers will mean way more engagement with what you’re doing. Your fans are important. So be there for them.
Do: Be Involved
Start discussions. Keep in touch with what’s going on around you and comment on it. Maybe it’s a new release by an artist you like, or an issue you feel strongly about, or a big piece of news in the music world. It can really set you apart if you show what you believe in, what you like and what you dislike. It gives you a personality and makes you more human.
Sharing and being open about your thoughts builds trust and establishes you as a tastemaker. You can’t be a trend setter if you don’t know what’s trending.