Social media is now our morning newspaper so if you want to make it big in music, you gotta do social media music marketing right.
If you want news about you or about your music to reach the front page, in this case people’s feeds or timelines, you will have to do some posting!
But posting’s never really enough.
You’ve got to have some strategy too, if you want it to be successful and not a waste of your time and effort (and money!).
If you want to brush up your social media marketing skills this 2023, then you better follow these tips we’ve compiled for people like you.
Table of Contents
#1. BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF
If you want people to follow your music, it’s not enough that they like your music—they gotta like YOU!
And the best way to do this is by letting them into your personal life and showing your authentic self.
There will always be a room for authenticity and I’m pretty sure that’ll be a big one. You see, most people prefer it and they welcome it so don’t be afraid to be yourself.
If you’ve got a bad attitude then that’s something to really hide, though, because no one wants an A-hole.
Here are some basic ways you can show your authentic self to your audience through your social media platform
Text: Tweet or post what you’re feeling or what’s on your mind.
Photo: Post yourself doing your hobbies or just your day-to-day activities.
Video: Upload a vlog or post a short TikTok video participating on a challenge you want to participate in.
You can also show your ideologies and beliefs as well as share your opinions on things. Just make sure that you don’t step on any boundaries and keep the respect.
It’s a great way to create a long-lasting connection with your fans and would also encourage them to engage with your posts.
You can show them your different sides outside of your musician self but remember to still draw a line. You’re still human and you have the right to have things to be privy of.
Here are some musicians who’ve shared a part of themselves to fans:
- Katy Perry on Twitter urging fans and fellow Americans to vote.
- Beyonce on instagram sharing pictures of her moments with her kids.
#2. DROP HOT ITEMS ONLINE!
You can drop your singles like a hot potato and make the fans go wild like what Beyonce did.
That was cray-cray and only Queen Bey can pull it off.
Us mere mortals can make it less risky by just dropping fun and intriguing custom merch items instead.
#3. GET TO KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
When you post things, you will also have to weigh your audience’ taste.
Blindly posting things without knowing what your audience want to and not want to see, will be detrimental to your image.
So aside from being authentic, you have to be tactful too.
There are things that might offend a big part of your audience so you have to know them too. Of course, it won’t be possible to know them individually, so you can draw out a general result from those you’ve interacted with.
First, you have to know the demographic of your fans. Knowing from what age range they come from or from what country, will help you to not just know them but also understand them.
Try looking at the people or pages your fans like or are following. This way you get to know what they might want to see from you too and you can then incorporate it on your socials.
You can also try monitoring the engagements your posts have. The metrics from it would be a great way to indicate what posts are fans more willing to engage with and which are those that should not be repeated.
You can use Social Blade to track your statistics for commonly used social media platforms.
You can also try the engagement monitoring on Twitter by opening one of your tweets and clicking “View Tweet Analytics” and it will you show you these:
#4. UTILIZE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES WELL
The thing with social media platforms is that it becomes another way for you to showcase yourself and your music.
A good way to use the platform is to optimize everything that a social media platform offers for account profiles.
Your profile account sometimes is all that you need to catch the attention of the audience. It can also be your new board to attach a spoiler or promotion to. Here are examples of musician’s profile accounts from popular social media platforms.
For TikTok you can add text as well as a link so you can promote your release like what Meghan Trainor did and also add a link to your website.
Just like TikTok, you can add a text and a link on your profile. You can be more subtle with your promotion like what she did.
So instead of saying “(album title) OUT NOW!” you can go with the lyrics of your song. You can also add another link for where your fans can buy your albums and merch.
Same with the others above, you are allowed to add some text and links. An addition to all these is the highlights on the lower part of your profile.
Your past instagram stories can be added into your highlights and you can even sort them out like the one above. You can sort them by era if you want to or maybe by member if you’re a band.
Texts and a link can also be added on a twitter profile, and you can even add a general location and even your birthday or debut day if you want to on your profile.
What separates this from the other more trendier platforms like Instagram and TikTok is the header where you are allowed to add another photo aside from your profile picture.
Lastly, we have YouTube where you can choose to highlight a video, preferably your latest music video to promote it.
You can also add hyperlinked icons where you can lead your fans to your online store and your other social media accounts.
#5. KEEP YOUR CONTENT SHORT
Now, we’re on to the content.
The simplest way to go with this is to keep your posts simple and short. People, generally, have short attention spans, and this is most especially true in this generation where a lot of distractions are within the eyes’ line of vision.
TikTok is a very good platform for this however, not everyone’s on there, though most would probably be.
So for other fans from other socials to keep up, you have to post it there too, like reels on Instagram or youtube shorts on YouTube.
You also have to keep your words short. When you post a picture on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, the caption should not be too long. Make it simple, but memorable.
There’s no need for a long one, except if you type in the same words in a different language.
I recommend you do this too if you’re learning a new language. Fans love when artists make the effort of communicating with them through their own language.
#6. ENGAGE WITH FANS
Engaging with fans is another way to market yourself and your music.
Fans love interacting with their idols and you should too. It’s a great place for you to get some encouragement and support.
Remember to not make this as a chore or duty to them, do it because you are thankful for having them and that you love talking to them. Keeping that in mind will make this experience fun for you instead of burdensome.
There are a lot of ways you can engage with your fans. The easiest one would be asking them a question. If you do this through Twitter you can also add a poll if you have choices for your question.
You can also do this on Instagram using the story feature. You can also ask them to ask you questions and from there you can answer and interact with them.
Another engagement you can do is to comment on your fans’ posts, like it or react to it, as well as retweet or quote retweet their tweets.
You can even start following fans if you want to, they’ll surely be thrilled about it.
#7. DO LIVES OR SPACES
Another way to interact is to do a live on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok or spaces on Twitter.
Doing a live is like streaming so you get the gist. You go on live and do the talking while your fans do the watching and chatting.
You can however, give some of your fans the chance to be on live with you if you are doing it on Instagram with a limit of only four accounts. This is another thing you can opt to do, it’s like a mini meet and greet online.
With spaces though, it’s a little different. It’s like listening to a podcast or radio.
To make it more interactive, you can invite other people to be a speaker for your space, just like on instagram the difference is that it’s just yours and their voices plus more accounts are allowed to speak.
Aside from just talking, you can also do lives where you go and show your fans how you spend your day, how you work on songs, or how you record them. It’s a good way for you to show your fans your musician side.
They’ll find it cool for sure.
#8. CELEBRATE YOUR MILESTONES WITH YOUR FANS
You can also try and celebrate your milestones as a musician on the platform.
Let’s say you just signed a contract with your new agency, that’s a big step as a musician so why not have a small live party to celebrate it.
Another thing to celebrate would be anniversaries in the music industry.
Just like how Louis Tomlinson from the popular boy band One Direction went on Instagram to commemorate the boy band’s ten year anniversary by posting their very first picture together as a band.
#9. ADVERTISE YOUR OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
When you advertise your social media account, it doesn’t have to be an all out advertising you know.
You can just, maybe, mention it and then post a link to it. It’ll help you gain more followers on the new account for sure.
Here’s how Taylor Swift did it:
Another more subtle way is to just tweet or post something with the link to your account.
An example would be Johnny Orlando linking his new music video uploaded on YouTube on his Instagram story.
#10. USE THE TAG FEATURE WHEN YOU HAVE COLLABORATIONS
Collaborations in itself are already a promotion for both parties involved since both are being exposed to each other’s audience.
However, with tons of collaborations out there people are bound to miss some of them.
To market it, it takes a lot more than just announcing it and posting a picture of you and your collaborator.
For your posts to reach their side of the audience, especially those that are not closely following them, you will have to tag their social media accounts.
The social media platforms with this special tagging feature are Instagram and Facebook but you can still tag them on Twitter through mentioning their username just like what Mayzin did below.
Another great way to utilize this tagging feature on Instagram is when you are wearing a piece from a clothing brand, when you’re featuring in a magazine or when you are promoting a product.
#11. MAKE USE OF HASHTAGS
Another way for you to reach people outside of your usual audience circle is to use hashtags.
This is actually the OG strategy for social media marketing. But for it to be effective you have to make sure to follow these three rules:
- It should be relevant
The hashtags you use must be relevant to the media you are going to post. Don’t add a hashtag that’s got nothing to do with it.
Don’t try hijacking trending hashtags too, that’ll look bad on you.
- Make it specific
For Instagram, it would be best to be more specific and not the usual general terms like #love #music because those will surely be over saturated now.
You will not be seen under these hashtags for sure, try more specific hashtags that not many people are using.
- Don’t oversaturate your post with it
When using hashtags, the maximum should be three. Going beyond that, will make your post look like spam.
If you’ve got a lot of hashtags, cut it to three. Filter them according to the two other rules.
Here’s an example from Pink Sweat$ where he used #pinkplanet which is a hashtag for his album.
#12. BE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR POSTS
Last is to be consistent with the content of your posts.
If you’re promoting your new release on your Instagram account, you have to do it on all your platforms. This way, every audience from every platform will be informed.
Here’s Mark Tuan posting about his new merch and vinyl at three different social media platforms namely, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
And there you have it, folks!
Good luck with your marketing on social media.
And if you need help with your CD, vinyl, or merch, we’re here all the way!
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA