If you're reading this, you're most likely one of the 3.8 billion people who are on a social media platform of some kind. There is no better tool to grow your music audience than the likes of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and the rest.
Social media is an amazing tool to build a fanbase around your music, but if you're posting regularly and your fanbase isn't growing, you most likely are doing something wrong on the platform.
I'm often asked how to use social media properly in order to grow an audience, so that's what I will discuss in this post. But remember, no matter the method, there is always a cost associated with growing a fanbase. That cost could be monetary through the use of paid advertising. Or the cost could be your time through the creation of content and organic growth.
Think about which cost makes the most sense for you in your current situation. As for me, I often remind myself that I can always make more money, but I'll never get back my time.
Okay enough philosophy, let's dive into what NOT to do on social media.
When posting on social media, you need to remember that you're interacting with real people. Albeit virtually.
But even though the virtual interaction could feel removed, unimportant, or impersonal, the opposite is entirely true.
The same social and relational rules apply when building a fanbase on social media and you'll want to keep in mind not to create "out of order experiences" for your fans.
You need to build a relationship and history with them.
If you haven't invested time doing that, you should NOT skip ahead in the "relationship" by posting your streaming links, saying "check out my music" and other demands.
It's a mistake because it doesn't work.
It doesn't take your fans on a Fan Journey to discover who you are as an artist.
And you'll be hardpressed to find results ordering your fans around if they are not ready to receive instruction from you.
Another thing that I see out of time that is not an effective use of social media is posting your music on Reddit or Facebook groups asking for "Feedback" or for a cold click to your streaming platform.
This devaluation of your music, especially with people who have probably never heard of you before, is not setting listeners out on your Fan Journey.
It's tempting to do this because you might actually get responses and comments, but this is not the same as a listener actually being interested in your music. More often than not, the commenter is finding satisfaction in sharing their opinion rather than finding satisfaction in your music.
This is not the type of interaction that creates a memorable experience around your music. You need to try harder than that.
And lastly, seriously don't do this. Don't just DM people your links completely cold. Cold means that it's completely out of the blue and you haven't had any prior conversation to "warm-up" the conversation before sending links to your music.
Without an introduction, context, and expectation, no one is going to be receptive to your music links and definitely won't appreciate the gesture.
It's also a huge waste of your time because it will feel like you're doing a lot of "marketing" and getting a lot done when you're really just turning people off from your music.
Now let's talk about what you DO need to do on Social Media to grow your following and to get real engagement with your music.
The first step is to create regular content and to take advantage of what each platform has to offer.
This means on Instagram, you're sharing content through Instagram Stories because it's extremely effective in getting a lot of content seen.
If you're using YouTube, you should be utilizing a content strategy that gets your videos into the YouTube search results. More about that here.
And the common thread with all of this is that it will cost you either time or money.
The fastest way to grow is to use paid advertising to get your content seen quicker by more potential fans (this is the paid strategy).
But if you don't have the funds to run exposure campaigns, you can get the same results by spending time on daily content.
If you feel you would rather go this route, I highly recommend picking up my 365 Day Content Calendar for Musicians so that you can dive into content creation immediately instead of wondering "what type of content should I make?"
But whether you use a daily content strategy, or use paid advertising to promote just a few pieces of content, you need to get your story and message out there via video. There is no way around this on Social Media.
Next, you'll want to make sure that the content you're creating fits within the culture and medium of the platform. What I mean by this is that: RAW unedited videos and LIVE videos will win every time over a polished, over-produced music video.
It's because over-produced content sticks out like a sore thumb and screams "advertisement" on social media platforms. Your content should meet the expectations of what users usually see on the platform: phone videos that are most likely taken in selfie mode.
It's surprising, but short Facebook Live updates usually perform better than documentary style behind the scenes.
And unplugged, in-home concerts perform better than highly produced cinematic music videos.
I'm not saying that there isn't a place for those other pieces of content, but the data shows that social media is not the place.
Lastly, in order to find new fans and grow on social media, you're going to want to make sure that you understand how to story tell over the internet.
You need to share your wins, express your struggles, relay gratitude, and all the other emotions that exist as an artist climbs the ladder of success.
That means if you get on a Spotify playlist, screenshot it and share it on Instagram.
If you get a feature or land a great collab, go Live and share with everyone how excited you are for the opportunity.
Staying humble and connecting on a human level is the key to growing strong bonds with your fans.
Telling stories is the most powerful marketing tool and if you don't know how to do that, I again highly recommend picking up my 365 Day Content Calendar for Musicians.
Imagine hitting record and having the confidence that you are connecting with your fans deeper than you ever had before.
That's why I made this. I want you to:
I know this is what you need as a musician because I've been asked hundreds of times for help with this. Now I have a product that will help.