10 top tips for musicians using social media (2021)

Image Credit: Micaela Parente

Check out these quick tips for artists to get the most out of social media, grow your audience, promote your music and stay happy online.

Even if you absolutely hate it, being active on social media is vital for success as a musician in 2021. It’s free PR for your band and releases, an easy way to market and network.

Have a look at these ten tips and tricks for using social media platforms as a musician, to help get the very best out of the brilliant and infuriating world of social media.

What’s the point of musicians being online?

Think of the objective for each social media post. Got a debut release or gig to promote? Want to up your follower count to impress the press? You need to have a plan in mind for every post and campaign you start, and be flexible as time goes on to switch focus as need be.

Engage with other artists online

Other musicians are your community, not your rivals! Follow them, communicate with them, and hopefully they’ll support you back. Think of it as growing a wider team who can help to raise each other up, gig together, and promote each other’s music.

Be organised

Use the same profile picture across all platforms, try and post at least once a day, and work SEO into your posts. Promote your latest release using tools like PUSH.fm, which among other features lets you create a Fanlink to have all your social media in one handy link to show listeners exactly where to find your music online.

Be patient

Try not to worry about becoming an overnight viral sensation. Focus on the building blocks to gain a loyal dedicated audience over chasing viral fame – it’s more sustainable and will better for your mental health, too.

Don’t ignore your fans

So your fans are chatting to you, asking you questions, complimenting you on your cosy new scarf? Nice! Now fight off any feelings of self-consciousness and REPLY. Reaching out personally – not just by liking comments – helps build a solid relationship with your fans, even if it’s through screens.

Twitter is a particularly useful place to talk about anything that interests you, and your fans too. And make sure you ask questions back, because replies boost your algorithm.

Use each social media channel separately as the overlords intended

Don’t just link up all your profiles and churn out the same content on each one – posting a YouTube video on Facebook for example won’t do as well as posting a Facebook video. Also, engagement is far higher on video posts than images or text. And make sure you play with whatever new toy the platform has rolled out in its latest update. The algorithm loves it.

Be honest

Social media is about sharing, and that means telling the story of your music. So share whatever you’d like, music related or not. You can go as deep as you’re comfortable with, thank your fans and explain why you’re so grateful. Facebook for example is a natural place for more emotional content.

Once you know what your fans react well to, you can build a strategy around that for further posts.

Stories are built to be stupid

Make the most of the short, vanishing stories feature on apps like Instagram by making them fun and goofy. Film everything and anything; whatever stupid but hilarious thing is happening behind the scenes of your recording session. Your fans would love to have a peek at what you’re up to, however everyday it might seem to you.

Always know your analytics

Watch your analytics and learn your high engagement times. What time of day is best to post? What kinds of posts did well? Learn from each success and replicate them in new, still engaging ways.

Know your social media limits

Recognise when social media starts to grate on your soul. Most people feel this way – no, really. It’s designed to make you feel inadequate, tapping into our competitive and jealous natures to encourage us to keep posting. So switch off your phone when you can tell that counting other artist’s likes is beginning to feel obsessive.

Social media is incredibly versatile for musicians: with everyday posts try not to overthink things – just post whatever comes naturally – and then you can turn on your marketing brain when it comes to promotion.

Social media platforms can feel like time and attention-sucking places, but once you work out a rhythm the rewards can be great, and just being present online is a good look for your music brand. And the best bit is, it’s all free.

We do social media, too! Find RouteNote on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

I write about music for RouteNote, sharing fun stuff, news, and tips and tricks for musicians and producers. Also a saxophonist and hater of marmalade.

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