As a career musician, you know how much hard work goes into keeping up with the daily grind — creating music, playing gigs, booking your next move, and more. Among these moving parts is a very important element that may not be getting enough of your attention: social media marketing.
Marketing initiatives run through social media channels can be incredibly effective for increasing your fanbase, networking for future gig opportunities, and marketing your latest work. And, building a presence on multiple platforms can work wonders for your visibility and grow your reach exponentially.
Roughly 3.6 billion people were active on social media in 2020 — and that number projected to increase by another billion over the next five years. The statistic shows that social media marketing is an unparalleled way to gain exposure to new fans and listeners. And with YouTube being a proven mainstay in today’s music streaming industry, a solid presence across social media platforms is also now a necessity for the modern musician.
Ready to learn more about social media marketing for musicians? This article will cover essential strategies for maximizing your social media presence, such as:
- Finding your audience
- Creating a bold and unique visual presentation
- Optimizing your social media sites
- Using each platform the right way
- Interacting with fans on your social platforms
- Sharing important details with your audience
- Taking the next steps in online marketing
While it may seem like constant work, social media marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can create a social media marketing routine that’s efficient and makes the most of your time spent on it — as long as you take it seriously. Remember, curating a polished social media presence can set you apart from amateur musicians as a bona fide professional.
Finding your audience
In terms of social media marketing strategies, identifying your audience is an essential first step. It is vital to consider who your fans are — and what type of people you hope to reach and convert into fans in the future. Consider the characteristics of your audience.
You can be most effective in your social media marketing by focusing on local customers. Use local hashtags, geotags, and more to start connecting with people who live in the areas that you gig. Remember that as a musician, reaching a wide listenership is the goal.
What makes your city or region unique? If you feel a strong connection to your hometown or your roots, share that feeling with your audience.
Marketing strategies can be dramatically impacted by the age of your audience. Social media is the key to reaching a broad audience — but especially the young, modern listener.
Music genre preference
While you don’t have to stick to making music for just one genre, building a strong identity around a specific genre can garner loyal fans and draw in pre-existing fans of the style. Consider what genre you appeal to now, and how you hope to evolve moving forward.
Creating a bold and unique visual presentation
When it comes to social media marketing for musicians, remember that it’s not just about the music. As a musician, you are marketing not only your distinctive sound but also your unique identity.
Fans love you for your music, your vision, and your brand. One way to ensure you are maximizing your online presence is by creating a visual identity that captures your musical persona. Consider how to use the visual style elements below.
When choosing a font, consider how it will appear across your social media headers — such as on Twitter and Facebook. Ensure that your chosen font is consistent and matches across your various platforms and content marketing materials.
Attention to details like this is especially important when posting excerpts of your lyrics or engaging quotes from you or your fellow artists. When it comes to fonts, consistency is key.
As a musician, the imagery in your marketing materials tells your fans a distinct story. Using quality photography to capture your performances, aesthetic, and promotional images is an important investment.
Polished images matter. Adding them to your social media marketing and website can instantly give your aesthetic a professional boost and make your face more recognizable to potential fans.
As a performance artist, your logo may not be the first element of your marketing that comes to mind. However, it is a key part of crafting your visual presentation. Variations of your logo will appear on your album artwork, promotional material, merchandise, and across your social media profiles. In short, your logo will be highly visible.
Create a logo that is recognizable and reflects you as a musician.
Carefully curating the color of your brand is an impactful way to stand out. Choose colors by considering what palettes best symbolize you and your musical sound. For example, Ariana Grande uses a soft and neutral palette across her platforms, while Billie Eilish prefers a more moody palette with bright pops of electric color.
Social media platforms offer you a way to interact and build connections with fans beyond your work. Your visual aesthetic should be an extension of your genuine self as an artist.
Optimizing your social media sites
Once you’ve found your audience and your visual identity as an artist, you’ll have the tools to start making changes to ensure that your social media reflects your identity, fully.
Time spent on social media marketing for musicians can feel like a waste if you’re not seeing the results you want. But optimizing your social media sites will help attract new followers and drive engagement across your platforms.
Below are some elements to consider when developing your social media presence.
Timing and frequency
Consider when your audience will be most active on social media. Posting in the middle of the night may be convenient for you, but nailing down the perfect time to post on each platform is important.
Your goal is to stay at the front of your follower’s thoughts whenever possible. To stay relevant, it’s also important to post consistently. If you’re not sure how often to post, set up a schedule and track your engagement throughout the day.
Content and themes
Creating a content strategy for your social media platforms is a great way to ensure that you are reflecting yourself effectively to your followers. Consider separating posts into themes and rotating your content to keep things fresh.
For example, Lady Gaga is known for posting about her music and fashion as much as she is posting about caring for her fans and for causes that are near to her heart.
Authenticity and vulnerability
Social media offers a special opportunity to connect with fans. To encourage loyalty from those fans, though, you must be prepared to show not just genuine content but also some vulnerability in sharing details of your life. Consider the level of vulnerability you are comfortable with or that you aspire to maintain.
Using each platform the right way
Once you have a strategy for the type of content you plan to post, you should figure out where to post it. Think about the different qualities of each social media platform. When scheduling content, consider what type of content will do best on each respective platform — and how these platforms might interact with one another.
Instagram is a visually-driven platform and the perfect place to show off the visible elements of your branding. It is an excellent platform for:
- Teasing new music releases by showing off related artwork
- Sharing content to create buzz around new work or tours
- Posting professional updates and behind-the-scenes content
- Sharing your personality with fans and your website link in your profile bio
- Interacting with followers through comments and direct messages
- Engaging with potential fans through contests
For example, Glass Animals uses their Instagram as a way to dive deeper into the nostalgic themes of their new album. Their feed features a cohesive color palette, promotional material for their album, shots of the band, and reposts that reflect their personality.
Facebook is a powerful tool for drumming up buzz around your music and connecting with fans. It is a great newsfeed-driven platform for:
- Creating longer, more wordy posts about upcoming events
- Providing lengthy details about your work, merchandise, and more
- Telling potential followers about upcoming promotions
- Interacting with fans by responding to their comments
- Engaging your fan base by creating content that calls for likes, comments, and shares
On Glass Animal’s Facebook page, the band expands on their visual branding and offers behind-the-scenes information about their latest album and related events. All posts are written in a distinct and familiar tone.
Twitter is a platform designed for fast-paced public conversation. Though it is much less visual, it is a powerful tool for cultivating meaningful interactions with your fans. Twitter is best used for:
- Retweeting fans, artists, and media outlets that tag you in posts
- Interacting with fans via short comments
- Linking to your mobile-responsive website in your profile bio
Glass Animals has a Twitter account featuring visual content that is consistent with what’s seen on their Facebook and Instagram. Glass Animals also uses their Twitter to repost fan tweets and interact with them via short conversations.
YouTube is a dynamic platform that provides you the space to show off your work as a musician. It is a great platform for posting:
- Your music videos
- Exclusive acoustic or recording studio sessions
- Visual content from events
- Long-form and behind-the-scenes content
Glass Animals takes advantage of the artistic space on their YouTube channel to display their latest official music videos.
Interacting with fans on your social platforms
Once you’ve got everything else sorted out, it’s time to focus on the key element of social media marketing: interaction. Developing a back-and-forth rapport with your fans is perhaps one of the most valuable benefits of social media marketing for musicians.
You can find interaction cues everywhere. Rise to the occasion when your loyal fans express enthusiasm for your new work, when new fans eagerly ask about your next tour, or when casual listeners tweet your lyrics.
Take the time to respond or retweet them, as this can have a massive impact on fan loyalty. When interacting with fans, it is important to:
- Create an actionable schedule and follow it consistently
- Choose to interact with questions or comments that lead to ticket or merchandise sales
- Be genuine and always use your true voice
Show your audience that you are listening to them and appreciate their support. This give-and-take relationship can help cultivate a loyal fanbase.
Sharing important details with your audience
Social media is rich with opportunities for connection and brand building. But it is important to use social media platforms for marketing in the classic sense, too. Remember to use social media content to provide important details such as:
- Music release dates
- Free concerts
- Musician merchandise
Ultimately, the goal of social media marketing for musicians is not only to gain more fans and followers. You want to lead them to your website — where they can purchase tickets, music, and merchandise. Much like your social media presence, all purchasing portals should be well-constructed and easy to use.
Once you’ve gained fans who interact with your social media accounts and your website, you can continue to keep them informed about upcoming events more formally through email marketing.
Taking the next steps in online marketing
Now that you understand the fundamentals of social media marketing for musicians, are you ready to get started? Successful usage of social media platforms should earn you new followers that then become loyal fans. This segment of your audience can drive music, ticket, and merchandise sales — and inspire you to keep creating music.