There are some social media essentials you need to know as an emerging artist who is looking to build a career in music. Well-written songs speak for themselves, and a really killer live show will go a long way. Having a strong social media presence is important as well; it’s easy to be a band that has a Facebook page, but are you utilizing it to its full potential? Let’s have a look at some basics of the main social media platforms, so you have a good starting foundation to build off.
Since Facebook was the first site to really break through in popularity, they’ve become synonymous with the term social media. Despite it being older, and apparently “not cool" with teens
, it is still the most important social media for the general public, and is more often than not the very first place people go to see what your online presence is like.
It’s very important to keep your Facebook page clean and updated. An under-utilized tool is the feature to pin posts to the top of the page; if you have something to share such a tour announcement or a music video, make sure it’s the first thing people see when they visit your page. It’s also good to have a show-tracker app such as BandsInTown so fans can keep track of when they can see you live. Another important thing to make note of is that if you are looking to share video content, upload it via Facebook, so it shows in their video player. Do not link from YouTube, as Facebook is trying to compete with them and you will get substantially less views
Twitter is a community. Getting an idea or concept across in just 140 characters is always a good exercise in making sure you get straight to the point. Don’t link Facebook to twitter. It might seem like an easy solution to get content across multiple platforms, but it comes across as lazy. Study artists who have successful Twitter accounts, see what they do and how effective it works for them, and apply it to yourself. The most important thing about Twitter is having enough of a presence that you can be interacted with. You don’t need to post what you’re having for breakfast, but if you have a voice, Twitter is a great platform for that to be expressed.
Instagram has surpassed Twitter with more than 400 million monthly active users, and nearly 90% of its users are under the age of 35
. These are very important numbers, as there is a good chance that you are also in that demographic, so you would be tapping directly into an audience that is very similar to yourself. As an artist, Instagram is a good tool for promoting snippets of new music or music videos through the 14-second video clip, as well as showcasing life on the road or in the studio. It’s also good to showcase day-to-day normal life as well, because at the end of the day, artists are people too and fans can connect with them more if they don’t seem outrageously larger than life.
The big question with any social media platform is “how do I gain followers so everything I post actually has an impact?” Well, the answer is through gaining fans from music and directing people to your respective pages. However, imagine if you could tap into that fanbase and talk to them directly and not have to pay for sponsored posts to bypass pre-set algorithms?
Enter mailing list.
It’s as simple as putting a sign up sheet on your merch table or website, and getting fans to write their email in exchange for a pin, sticker, or free song download. From here, you put the email into a mailing list service such as MailChimp
and then you have a list of fans that you can email at any time with artist updates. This allows you to communicate directly to fans about upcoming events and general happenings, which is an invaluable tool in maintaining a diehard fanbase.
Connecting with a fanbase is one of the many jobs of a musician, and the existence of social media makes it even easier. Much like the music industry itself, there isn’t a step-by-step guide on how to be successful on social media, but hopefully with a starting foundation to build on, it won’t be as daunting as it can appear to be.
Mike Noble is the Program Administrator for Music BC, a BCIT Broadcast and Communications grad and all around nice guy. If you have any questions about this particular article, or a suggestion for a topic in the future, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.