Social networking for musicians

Social media is the best free marketing tool you have as an artist. Start with these ideas for social media music promotion.

Like it or not, we all spend a huge slice of our lives online, and a big portion of that time on social media apps like Instagram and TikTok. How musicians use social media massively affects how many fans they manage to reach.

Social media sites, for musicians, are where you make connections and find new work opportunities online. Even the most technologically terrified artist needs to spend time social networking. The unfortunate truth is that in these uncertain times of the pandemic, having a strong online presence has never been so important.


What are the best social media platforms for artists?

All of them! On that note, make sure your profile picture is the same across all your accounts. A presence across the social media spectrum is good so that fans can always find you whatever their app of choice.

But as tempting as it is to schedule the same posts across all your social media accounts, their algorithms won’t thank you – an Instagram Reel with a TikTok watermark won’t do as well as making a Reel from scratch, for example.

Social media platforms like it when you use whatever new feature has just been rolled out. The reward? Better exposure. So put up a mixture of different posts, always looking at your analytics to see what reached the most people at what time.


What should musicians post about online?

Social media users can smell a promotional post a mile off, so try and keep your content natural. Behind-the-scenes content always does well – fans want to see the real you off the stage.

Posts don’t have to take a lot of time to plan. Whack up a TikTok about the sandwich you had for lunch. Try a live stream of a jam session, or Q&A’s and polls on Instagram Stories.


Get in the social networking mindset

What do listeners do when they hear your release on Spotify? Look you up on Instagram. Or TikTok. Even if they Google you, the first thing that comes up should be linked to your social pages. Promoters, booking agents, your future record label – they’re going to want to see your online presence.

Think of social networking as networking, just like you would be doing at a live event. Connect online with other bands and follow industry professionals, so you’re always in the loop. That can be as simple as sharing, liking or commenting on other artists’ posts – they might well return the favour, and when you meet them in the real world they’ll feel like they know you.


Think about your brand

As an artist in 2021, you need to have an online brand. That sounds pretty corporate for an independent artist, but it doesn’t have to be a restricting thing. Spend a little time thinking about what kind of artist you want to be. Little things like cultivating an aesthetic on Instagram by posting using the same filter make you seem more professional online.

Branding is a chance to pull everything back to the music. You’ve got to promote your product at every turn. Don’t forget hashtags, make sure handles are correct, and in the run up to a release strike a balance between putting up a lot of promo content and everyday posts.


Be yourself and play to your strengths

So you’re set up across all your socials. If you find that you naturally gravitate towards a particular app, that’s okay. More theatrical artists might prefer TikTok, the current affairs-engaged might like Twitter, an artist with a big local following might favour Facebook. If your analytics show you’re doing particularly well on one app, then it’s fine to spend most of your time online there.


TikTok is big for musicians right now

TikTok is having a crazy effect on music charts and music discovery – it’s fast becoming the top place for people to find new music.

Join in the fun and get yourself a TikTok account. Then use RouteNote to get your songs on the TikTok sound library for free, and people can use your song in their videos. You’ll even collect royalties each time someone makes a new post using your sound.

But don’t rely on being discovered and your song going viral. Why not start your own trend by using your song in your own TikToks. Just have some fun with it – try not to focus on the amount of likes and shares. TikTok is all about organic, random content.


Know your boundaries

When you use social media you give a little bit of yourself to complete strangers, and that can feel draining and overwhelming. Recognise when it’s time to stop sharing.

There’s a delicate balance between being yourself on social media and being your brand. We all adopt an online persona on social apps – constantly thinking about what the reaction will be, even with the most off-hand posts.

Lastly – don’t over-rely on social media. Remember the Great Facebook Down Day of October 4th 2021? How could we forget.

Have a backup plan in case of outages. Set up an email account to send out newsletters so you have a ready made fanlist to still be able to contact people. This will also help if you ever find yourself being hacked. While we’re on that subject – get two-factor authentication on your accounts.


Make your music available on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok with RouteNote for free and promote your music easily online. Every time your music is used in posts on the social apps, you’ll earn royalties. Find out more about RouteNote’s free distribution and sign up here to get your music online.

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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