For many of us, social media presents itself as somewhat of an escape; an easy “go-to” for whenever we feel like the world around us isn’t as stimulating as whatever awaits us within our tiny tablet of infinite possibilities. A boredom suppressor and dopamine enhancer – the quick fix for whenever we’re in need of a little mental engagement and visual entertainment; in other words, many, many videos of dogs.
For musicians, it’s a great way to keep up with the industry, find potential collaborators, listen to inspirational music and discover new and exciting opportunities. From a marketing perspective, social apps are an incredibly useful tool to promote yourself as an artist. It elevates your brand, increases your exposure and helps you to establish a relationship with fans. Here at ACM we see great importance in supporting your creative ventures by making sure you get the best out of your artistic potential as taught in our music business course. So, here are some tips on how to do exactly that; this is how to market yourself on social media as a musical artist (and appear as the best you, you can be!).
Present yourself on social media in a way that reflects yourself in an honest light. Does your appearance and manner correspond to the way you are in reality? Authenticity is important to fans – being down to earth, approachable and emotional are all things to remember. (Basically, appearing human!) These are traits that are respected in everyday life, and as such, are vital characteristics to make yourself into a notable and followable online presence.
Monitor Your Content
In key with being authentic, make sure there is a balanced level of personal and professional content. Examples of this might be:
- Memorable Moments – Keeping your fans up to date with your life – experience a funny/inspirational/memorable moment? Tell your fans about it.
- Selfies – although professional photoshoots are ideal, fans love to keep up to date with you “face to face!”. Selfies are a great way to personalise your account.
- Behind The Scenes – In the studio? Capture you (and/or your band) hanging out and having fun producing your music. This will not only promote your sound, but will also make your music more exciting on release – the public will want to see the end product of your “behind the scenes” content.
- Promotional photoshoots – Glam up! (Or down, whatever your style…) Although the public enjoys seeing artists within a personal context, professional photo shoots are the key to displaying your brand exactly how you want it. Aesthetically, it’ll draw followers onto your account and as a result, to your music.
- Album Covers – Self explanatory, professionalise your page with snaps of your work and album covers.
- Live Shots – Show your audience you’re a real working musician with shots of you performing and connecting with audiences in the real world. These will usually be shot by a professional photographer, which will emphasise your involvement within the industry.
- Countdowns – Up the excitement of any new releases you have in store by increasing your promotional activity. This could be in the form of posting a new picture or un-seen-before images every day before your initial release.
Be Concise – Think about how much you are writing. Images and videos attract more traffic to your account than written posts. People usually need something visual to keep them engaged – this is why Instagram is so effective. Within your Instagram descriptions on your photo posts, again, keep them short. Don’t reach the point where your followers have to press the “See More” option to read it all (unless you know your post is interesting enough to get your followers full attention).
Feed Aesthetic – This tip is more relevant to the visual formats of social media such as Instagram. Typically, higher follower counts are associated with users who have an aesthetically attractive feed. This means taking clear and nicely edited photos. Make sure your edits are bright, highly contrasted and creative. Stay away from Instagram’s built-in filters, and use apps which give you a wider range of editing options such as VSCO or Afterlight – they offer well-balanced and visually appealing filters which will guarantee your feed is kept looking professional and well-thought out. Or, if you’re serious about photo editing, edit your images on Photoshop on a computer and then simply send them to your phone!
Before Editing App Filter App Black & White Filter
Low Exposure High Exposure High Exposure
Low Contrast Nicely Contrasted Nicely Contrasted
Gloomy Bright Edgy
Think About When You’re Posting
To achieve maximum reach (the amount of people who view your post on social media), it’s important to analyse the prime activity time on your chosen platform. For example, according to studies, the best time to post on Facebook to receive optimum engagement is Wednesday at noon or 2 p.m. and Thursday at 1 and 2 p.m. The worst point in the week to post on Facebook is Saturday, so make sure you limit your Facebook use on that day. For more information, take a look at Sprout Social’s article!
Best Times: Wednesday at 3pm, Thursday at 5am, 11am and 3 – 4pm. Friday at 5am.
Worst Times: Sunday
Best Times: Friday 9 to 10am.
Worst Times: Sunday mornings
Think About Hashtags
There are plenty of resources out there to help you become a hashtagging hero. Firstly Sprout Social has written a useful article on the optimal number of hashtags for engagement; while only 1 hashtag is recommended for Facebook and Twitter, 9 hashtags are optimal for Instagram engagement! Find out more from Sproutsocial.
Also remember to thoroughly research your hashtags using free hashtag marketing tools such as Hashtagify or Ritetag! This will enable you to ascertain what works and is most popular by different metrics. Instagram also offer their own in-built ‘most popular’ hashtag tool when you input “#” followed by any key word relating to the hashtag. Food for thought!
Keep your followers interested by keeping up the “social” to your social media platform. Ask your audience questions, comment on other pages, like images; just make sure your name keeps popping up as often as possible! Keep your tone friendly and approachable, and ask the right questions to get the comments flowing.
One thing to note…
In spite of this, it is important to point out that excessive use of social media can be harmful to your mental health and wellbeing, distorting your perception of human behaviour, whilst potentially leading to feelings of self-doubt, jealousy and anxiety. It’s therefore paramount that you find a healthy balance between online and offline activity, ensuring you’re not comparing and brooding over the illusion of prosperity and success that everyone around you perhaps presents themselves with online. Keep it authentic, down-to-earth and make sure to focus on your own achievements.