There’s no doubt social media is an important tool for anyone building a brand or any sort of social presence. No matter which genre space they exist in, a musician is building a brand and selling it to fans. Social media is vital for any musician looking to market themselves and grow a relevant fanbase. In a world where nearly everyone, especially creators, use social media, it can be far too easy to get lost in the shuffle if you aren’t using social media.
Unfortunately, social media can just as quickly become your enemy as your friend. It’s crucial to understand social media and its different platforms and how to use those platforms to your advantage. And of course, there are some guidelines on how not to use social media.
Connecting With Fans on Social Media
First and foremost, social media is a way musicians can connect with their fans. For most artists, the day-to-day looks like brainstorming, writing and releasing music, consulting with other team members, and performing. It’s easy to meet fans at in-person events, but time and energy are often limited, and names and faces are easily forgotten. YouTube and Twitch make it a bit easier to connect with fans by way of a chat feature, but social media is a comfortable place to fall back on during the times you aren’t streaming.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter create spaces for discourse that may have more permanence. Sharing photos of yourself outside of your life as a musician helps your fans better relate to you. Through social media, you have the opportunity to share unique aspects about yourself that aren’t necessarily related to the music you create.
Who knows? Your fans might end up loving your dog more than you, but that’s not always a bad thing! These are the types of things people remember and even talk about amongst each other.
Using Social Media to Network With Other Professionals
Social media is also an excellent tool for networking with other professionals in the music industry. If you don’t connect much outside of your circle and have a hard time finding the resources you need to grow your career, you may be able to use social media to your advantage.
Platforms like Facebook and Twitter make it easy to connect with friends of friends, or mutuals. If one of your friends can’t help you with what you’re looking for, chances are one of their friends might be able to. Twitter especially is an easy place to connect with mutuals about your professional interests.
Have Control Over The Image of Your Brand
If you haven’t hired a PR agency to help with career growth, you are acting as your own PR person. Therefore, it’s critical to have a firm grasp of your public presence. Think of it this way–if you aren’t carefully writing and sharing your story, someone else is.
Don’t put faith in your fans and followers to give you the reputation you envision for yourself in the music industry. Use social media to push your narrative and tell your story exactly how you want to.
Without a PR professional in your corner, you, unfortunately, risk things getting taken out of context. However, social media is an excellent tool for gathering feedback and using it to define your online presence further.
Having Easy Access to Paid Advertising Tools
Advertising on social media might come in handy for a variety of things. For many, it’s a great way to promote events (both in-person and virtual).
Both Facebook and Instagram ads are managed through Facebook Ads Manager. Running ads has never been so easy with these tools.
Although it would help, getting started with Facebook Ads doesn’t require any previous marketing experience. Not all toolings are intuitive; however, there are plenty of simple, low-level marketing mechanisms that anyone can understand to get started. And for those who would like to take advantage of some of Facebook’s more advanced tools, there are dozens of free courses, guides, and YouTube videos that explain exactly how to do so.
Using Social Media to Showcase Your Work
Putting your music on SoundCloud, Spotify, and Apple Music isn’t enough. You need to use every platform possible to reach your potential listeners. Although fans cannot stream music on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, they can indeed discover it there.
Many musicians will share short clips of new songs as teasers to redirect fans to streaming services. You can use any social media platform that supports video uploads to do so.
Should You Buy Followers?
There comes a time during many people’s social media journies when they consider buying followers. Maybe your friends are doing it, perhaps you got a random DM from someone promising thousands of followers for a small payout, or maybe you’ve gotten so desperate you think it’s all you have left.
We’re not going to tell you not to buy followers because it’s wrong or cheating. There’s genuinely nothing wrong with investing in your brand and paying whatever that price tag looks like. However, buying followers in most cases is a bad investment and will actually hurt you in the long run.
Social media platforms, especially Instagram, are infamous for the algorithms they use to promote some content and shut down others. This algorithm is constantly changing and can be difficult to pindown; however, it’s a fact that having fake followers will turn Instagram’s algorithm against you.
Generally, Instagram pushes content with high engagement rates. The engagement rate is calculated by the ratio of interaction from followers to the total follower count. So, an account with many comments and few followers would have higher engagement than someone with a lot of followers and few comments. Fake followers are guaranteed not to engage with your content, deeming your account to have low engagement rates. Instagram will not prioritize your content over content that has better engagement.
It might look great to have a massive following on social media, but quality is much more important than quantity in terms of growth when it comes down to it.
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