Previously we talked about having a digital “home base” that you own, a website and the importance of constantly collecting interested fans to add to your email list. Another communication layer to add is social media.
This is important because using social media for musicians’ careers offers a method of quick communications that can either be narrowly targeted or widely distributed online, on a regular (daily) basis. Staying seen and heard via text, audio, video, and image posts helps keep you top-of-mind with your fans and increases your ability to be discovered by new potential fans.
How to Promote Your Music on Social Media: Start With Your Content
Post things on social media that are on-brand for your music career. Share things that are relevant to you as an artist as well as your creative process, and do this through the lens of what your fans might find interesting.
A good way to approach this is to think of your favorite artist and what you would think is interesting to see/read/hear from them in terms of social posts that the artist puts out. Likely the same things that you get excited to see in social media, from your favorite artists, will get your own fans excited about your posts.
The things you post need to provide free value to your audience — insight into your creative process, how fans can maximize their playlist listening experience with a few tricks, or even where to get the best deal on concert tickets for your, or others’ shows. In every 4th or 5th post, perhaps you could directly ask your audience to listen to your new track and share it with friends, or pre-order your new album on your website, or sign up on your email list if they’re not already on it.
Take Action: Start Your Music Social Media Accounts
If you’re not already active on social media, get active today.
There are several social media platforms to use, however, if thinking about multiple platforms is initially overwhelming, simply start with one.
Choose the platform that you feel most comfortable with. At the very least, set up an account for yourself or your group in various social media platforms to simply capture the same name/handle for each platform, even if you don’t use those platforms right away. Consistent branding on social media is important.
Once you have a social platform or a few of them to start sharing content on, tell your current friends and fans to go follow you on those social channels.
Then find at least one thing to post each day that will be of value to your fans (or if that seems too much to start with posting every other day). Then pay attention to reactions and comments so you can respond and begin to build a rapport with your social media following. It’s primarily about building relationships online at scale with those who have interest in the kind of music you make to hopefully convert them into a true fan of you and your music.
As you get started promoting your music endeavors on social media think about how you’ll attract new potential fans to discover you and your music, how you’ll help those who follow you on social media get to know you better as a music creator, all with the goal to eventually convert those followers to become true fans who join your email list.
Your email list is where you can more directly communicate with your fans without the other distractions that accompany social media platforms.
Using Instagram to Promote Your Music on Social Media
So, how do you get people to:
- discover you on social media
- hopefully follow you
- and then eventually join your email list?
The answer is in understanding the communication features of the social media platform you’re using.
Let’s use Instagram as an example, which is a really common social media platform for music creators to use.
To get new people to discover you/your music on Instagram, a good strategy is to produce regular content multiple times a week using Instagram’s Reels, Stories, and Posts features.
Let’s break this down…
Instagram Reels = Discovery
Using Instagram Reels (which are short videos often set to music – HINT: you could use your music). The algorithm for Reels goes out to a wide audience beyond your Instagram followers.
That means new people who aren’t yet following you have an opportunity to see and interact with your Reel, and that means more of those people may click through to your Instagram profile to learn more about you and/or even follow your profile.
Reels are an opportunity to reach potential new followers so making a great first impression is key. Reels are the sizzle that will grab peoples’ attention and draw them into your profile. That means your Reels should be thought out and produced with intent to share your music brand in an intriguing and entertaining way.
Instagram Stories = Relationship Building
Next, Instagram Stories are typically also short videos like Reels, but these primarily go to your followers.
Stories are a good way for your followers to get to know you more. This might be where you share short behind-the-scenes videos of your recording session or songwriting session or backstage before or after a performance.
Instagram Posts = Rapid Follower Communications
Finally, Instagram Posts are great for day-to-day thoughts, announcements, and/or various promotions of shows, or other such things.
It’s beneficial to share some of these promotional posts as Reels and Stories periodically to maximize each feature’s algorithmic benefits, but think of Posts as a way to get a quick message or idea out to your current followers.
Your Ultimate Goal on Social Media: To Attract Email List Subscribers
Periodically, you will want to ask in your social media posts for those who follow you to become email list subscribers because once your fan has given you their email address, they’ve signaled to you that they’re interested in hearing directly from you.
That’s where the strategy of having an email newsletter can be useful. In your email newsletter you can provide exclusive content that your social media followers can’t get unless they subscribe to your newsletter. That can be a draw and help your true fans to feel like a part of the inner circle community surrounding you and your music brand.
Because those email list subscribers are more than likely your true fans, they’re most likely to support your music career not only with their attention, but their wallet as well – email list subscribers often are the first to buy your new album or products when you share them in your newsletter.
So that’s how to promote your music on social media. Now get out there and start growing your followers. The sooner you do, the better chance you’ll have of growing your email subscribers too.