Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media: A Musician’s Guide
The essential guide to posting for success.
When it comes to social media for musicians there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.
The myth that social media will be your one stop shop for success couldn’t be less true.
Successful social media means being smart and knowing how to promote your music right.
Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, here’s the musician’s Do’s and Don’ts guide to social media. Memorize it and watch the strength of your following grow.
Do: Tell your whole story
Share your life in addition to your music.
Whether it’s touring, recording, partying, even eating, your social media should give your fans a glimpse into your everyday.
If you make music then your life is cool. And who doesn’t wanna look at cool things all day?
Professional shots of playing live are fine. But the behind the scenes of making music is what people wanna see the most.
Use your social media to give everyone a backstage pass.
Never spam your audience with hundreds of shady self-promotion tactics and annoying ‘buy my music’ posts. There’s enough of that already.
You might get a short term spike in traffic, but your long-term trust will slowly dwindle until you’re all alone on spammer island.
Do: Put the ‘Social’ in Social Media
Other musicians in your niche aren’t your enemy. They’re part of the community that you’re a part of too.
So follow them and get involved in discussions. It’s a great first step for planning gigs, events or tours.
If you see that a band in your community is playing live go to their show! Make connections in real life and make things happen.
If you support musicians in your niche, they’ll support you back.
Build the scene you want to be a part of.
Don’t: Buy followers
Keep your following organic.
Sure, having a ton of followers looks good on the surface.
But when you post something and your 40,000 “followers” are only giving you two likes, people gonna know what’s up pretty quickly.
Buying followers will hurt your brand in the long run. Keep your followers real and protect your brand in every way that you can.
Do: Follow back!
If someone took the time to follow your account, chances are they came across your profile and like your music or brand.
Check out the profiles of those that follow you, and as long as they don’t seem spammy, give ‘em a follow back. It’s just good manners.
Don’t: Have a hundred different names
Funny account names are great. But if you’re a musician they make you hard to find.
Name your accounts after your project. If the exact username is taken, then find an account name as close to it as possible.
If a potential fan can’t find you, then they’ll stay a potential fan forever.
Do: Link your accounts
If you post to Instagram, share the post on Facebook. If you post to Facebook, link to the post in a tweet.
Make sure your audience can find you wherever they want to.
It will make your posts count to all of your audiences.
Get more exposure by doing less work.
I bet you don’t get to do that very often.
Don’t: DM tastemakers to ‘check out your SoundCloud’
If you want someone to listen, start a conversation first.
Blog writers, media outlets, and record labels get the ‘listen to my SoundCloud’ bit all the time.
But the bottom line is: they often don’t listen.
Be polite before you push your music on someone.
Ask about their label, reference an article they wrote or tell them what you like about their publication. Do your research and show that you’re interested.
If someone likes what you have to say first, there’s a better chance they’ll check out your music later.
Do: Spend a little cash on marketing yourself
There is bags of ways you can spend a little bit of money to extend your reach.
Even a hundred bucks will go a long way.
Boost a post on Facebook, hire a photographer to take some press shots, or take advantage of music mastering to make your sound stand out on streaming platforms.
No matter what you do, invest in your hard work. It’ll pay off down the road.
Don’t: let someone else be you
It’s simple: post your own content. You don’t need a social media manager, or a PR agent, or anyone else to post for you.
Craft your own posts and BE YOU. Make yourself available to your followers. If someone comments on your content, answer them personally.
Being open and approachable means happier followers. And happier followers will be way more engaged with what you’re doing.
Your fans are important. So be there for them.
Do: Stay Informed
Start discussions. Keep in touch with what’s going on around you and comment on it.
Maybe it’s a new release by an artist you like, or an issue you feel strongly about, or a big piece of news in the music world.
Tell people what you think! Sharing and being open about your thoughts builds trust and establishes you as a tastemaker.
You can’t be a trend setter if you don’t know what’s trending.
If you make EDM then you should KNOW about EDM!
So stay informed on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and be the source for relevant and engaging opinions.
Don’t: Forget about your profiles
Before you launch your project on any platform, make sure that you will be able to stay committed to it.
Successful social media takes time and hard work to maintain. Don’t expect your first post to sky-rocket you to stardom.
Post often and monitor all your platforms. Check it like you check your email and stay in touch with what is going on on each profile.
Social media platforms aren’t automatic success machines. They are resources that have to be used properly to work. So stay dedicated to your brand for best results.
The best way to build a following
No matter what your social media strategy is the one thing you can always do to keep your following growing:
Make good music everyday.
No amount of social media exposure will help if you don’t have good music to share. So hone your craft and push yourself to be better.
Because your biggest fan should be yourself.
Rory Seydel is a musician, writer and father who takes pleasure in touring the world and making records. Creative Director at LANDR.
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