Having a strong presence on social media is essential in successfully promoting yourself as an artist and expanding your fanbase. It’s not only a tool to promote yourself, but a platform to build relationships and network. It’s also a chance to show personality, and remember, promoters buy into personality as much as your music.
So whether you’re just starting out, or are already a pro, there’s always room to grow. Read on for tips on how to utilize your social media successfully, from content ideas to scheduling tools.
Firstly, understand your audience
The first step to marketing yourself effectively is understanding your audience. Ensure you’re on the right platforms sharing content that your fans will find valuable.
How can I get a better understanding of my audience?
Use analytics such as Facebook Insights to view what demographic your audience fits into from the city their from, to their age to their page likes.
When you sign into your Spinnup Artist Area, you can view who’s listening to your music on which platforms, where they’re listening from and what the most used streaming services are.
You can connect your Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud and YouTube accounts in your settings (this will also help you to get noticed by our scouts!).
Look to other accounts for inspiration
Identifying similar artists to you will be valuable to you as they are likely to share a similar target audience. Research what strategies have worked for them and how they do their marketing campaigns. What hashtags do they use? What do they post in their stories? Which posts of theirs have had the most engagement, for example?
If you’re just starting out, the idea of posting content every day may be daunting. We’ve made life easier by putting together a list of some good content ideas:
• Behind-the-scenes content such as rehearsal photos and videos
• Music videos
• Tour/release dates
• Competitions/guestlist giveaways
• Press coverage – reviews, interviews
• Polls for your audience to answer
• Live stream Q&A’s
• Tour diaries
• Links to stream/download your new music
• Links to buy tickets and merchandise
• Music from other artists you like or support
• Playlists that include your tracks
• Articles or podcasts
• Weekly themed post types
• Using trends such as #throwbackthursday or creating your own
Your content may vary per platform, including the way your word your posts, for example, Facebook allows you to write longer posts and Twitter is more limited, so should be shorter, snappier posts.
Content ideas and features per platform
With over 2.38 billion active users worldwide, Facebook is the most used social platform out there. Therefore, you’ll want this to be a key platform to showcase your content. Due to a hefty 63,206 character limit, you can write longer posts, but also don’t overdo it!
Facebook is a great platform to share articles, videos, photos, announce competitions, create polls, events, and Facebook Live is an ideal platform for live fan Q & A’s or acoustic videos.
Facebook is also a great place to find networking groups where you can share your music, and get feedback from fans and other musicians and make contacts. Be sure to read the group rules first though, as some will only allow you to upload original songs for example.
With 321 million monthly users, Twitter is another top one to use. With a 140 character limit, Twitter is for shorter updates and mainly useful for interaction between fans and other music business personnel. Although it will always have the odd troll, it is a supportive community.
You should take a more personal tone of voice on Twitter. Post images and utilize Twitter’s features by using hashtags, polls, and questions and always tag people in your posts, which will help with reach and engagement.
Also, there’s no cost to supporting other’s work, you can post links and reply as much as you want without hurting your reach. Equally, don’t overload it too much; no-one likes spam.
Use Twitter Analytics to look at useful stats like the number of times a post was seen, engagement rate and how many likes you get per day, for example. This will help you to see what’s working for you.
Instagram is a visual platform, which means it’s especially ideal for promoting visuals such as photo shoots, album art, and music videos.
Use Instagram Stories to post quick and easy visual updates and extra content without overloading your feed. You can also use Instagram Live, in a similar way to Facebook Live and Instagram TV to upload short videos. Read here for more info on uploading videos to Instagram TV.
Let’s not forget that Instagram has a music feature in their stories, which they’ve now even added a lyric feature to! So you can create user-generated content by reposting to your own stories, posts that your fans have created.
Make sure that your profile type is a business one so that you have access to Instagram Insights to view your fan demographics such as when they are most active and the top cities they’re from.
With the launch of YouTube Music last year, it has become one of the biggest music streaming services on the web. But the fact that it is a video platform means it’s great for promoting your music videos and the free version of YouTube Music usually plays your songs in its music video format.
On your YouTube Channel, you’ll want to be uploading videos of any sort from stripped back to professional video content. Upload music videos, tour diaries, behind the scenes cover songs and even tutorials.
Read our complete musicians guide to YouTube for more info.
You may think of SoundCloud as primarily a streaming service, which it is, but first and foremost it’s a social media site. And it’s not just about uploading tracks, there are so many more things you can do, such as tour announcements, promo new videos or post unheard content such as old demos.
One of the most exciting features of SoundCloud is the ability to get instant feedback on your tracks!
Read here for more info on SoundCloud.
Snapchat is used primarily by the younger generations (Gen Y – Millennials and Gen Z), and that’s not the only good reason to use it in this day and age.
Give your fans fast, fun and creative content using filters and geotags. Give them exclusive access with behind-the-scenes sort of content, such as teasers and general day to day goings-on. This is the sort of content your fans will LOVE.
You can now add links to your posts such as your other social profiles or website, to drive traffic.
Still be mindful of what you post, because although stories are only up for 24 hours, people will still screenshot! So bear that in mind.
Snapchat is also a good platform to post user-generated content.
LinkedIn is the ideal platform for business-related goings-on. You’ll want to remain as professional as possible, so leave all the memes and fun posts to your other sites. LinkedIn is a great place to make music industry contacts and find people to work with such as designers, journalists, photographers, promoters and more.
Scheduling – creating and devising a social schedule
Scheduling your posts is a super way to keep your social networks organized, with everything easily manageable and monitorable in one place.
Scheduling tools will save you valuable writing time. Ideal for the busy musician, those away on tour a lot or just those who want to stay super organized! Scheduling your social guarantees content, which means you’ll always be active on your socials.
We recommend looking at your stats to when your fans are least active and spend this time planning your social content for the week or month. Set aside a time to do it per week, and get ahead of the game!
Here are some great social scheduling sites:
Hootsuite has both free and premium versions. It gives you the ability to schedule content in bulk. You can easily manage and view the performance of multiple social networks, which is handy if you’re on lots of different platforms. Hootsuite allows you to connect: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress, YouTube, and Instagram.
Tip: Use Bit.ly instead of Hootsuite’s URL shortener.
Buffer is another scheduling tool also great for uploading bulk content. It has a drag-and-drop calendar and stats on individual post-performance. Features of Buffer include rescheduling popular posts and making your own posting schedule with set times to post.
Buffer is also free or paid. The free version allows you to use up to 5 social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+ with 3 accounts, which is a perfect amount for an artist or band.
Later is a fantastic tool for managing your Instagram posts. The free version allows you to post 30 photos per month, which is not bad at all, as you probably don’t need to post more than once a day on Instagram. One handy thing about this is that you can use it on your Desktop, which makes life a little easier!
Plan a month at a time if you like, which is useful for marketing campaigns. A handy tip is to download an Instagram feed template, and set out your images to see how they fit together. You can also preview how your feed is going to look on the app.
If you get the paid version, you can auto-schedule posts to go out and have access to a feature called Later’s Best Time to Post, which automatically calculates your top 7 posting times.
Tweetdeck is free to use and is a handy tool to organize your Twitter-sphere and schedule tweets. It’s very user-friendly and has organised columns for all twitter aspects from hashtags you are following, to mentions and messages.
Last but definitely not least, Crowdfire is particularly great for musicians wanting to increase followers and fans quickly. Maximize your engagement with tailored posts for every social platform. You can also pick topics relevant to you and your audience, which Crowdfire will use to recommend articles and images to you.
If you’re in a band, communicate with your other members about your social plan
If you don’t already have a social plan in place, then organize a meeting to establish who is going to oversee the social media content, how you will split up the planning and posting and important factors such as your tone of voice and brand you want to convey online!
Finding the best times to post
So you’ve sorted out your social schedule, you know what content you’re posting, but when is the best time for it to go out?
In short, there is no ONE best time to post. We have looked through the stats, and they vary per source, but there’s a general pattern that Sunday’s have the lowest engagement.
According to social media management and optimization platform Sprout Social, these are the best times to post in 2019:
• The best day to post is Wednesday.
• The safest times to post are weekdays 9am-3pm.
• The best times to post are Wednesday and Friday at 9 am.
• The best days to post are Tuesday and Wednesday.
• The safest times to post are Mon-Fri 8am-4pm.
• The best times to post are Wednesday at 11 am and Friday 10am-11am.
• The safest times to post are Tuesday-Friday, 10am-3pm.
• The best times to post are Wednesday 9am-10am and 12 pm.
• The safest are Tue-Fri 8 am – 2 pm.
You could use these times as a guide, but to really maximize your engagement, you will need to rely on your own data and insights to find YOUR personalized best time to post.
It’s all about analyzing your audience’s social habits and when they are most likely to engage and testing these times to see if it works. Look on your Facebook Insights page for trends in your published posts and view when your fans are most active. It’s also important to consider factors such as how many of your fans work 9-5 jobs or are on a different sort of work schedule altogether.
Comment and reply to as much as you can, especially when you’re starting out. Be humble and show gratitude to your fans, as it will pay off!
Keep your socials accurate and up-to-date
Make sure you have your latest promo, (release, video, tour diary, etc.) in your bios or as a pinned Tweet, for example. Make sure all events and biographical information is accurate and up-to-date. Attention to detail is key – make sure to proof-read your content! There’s nothing more unprofessional looking than pesky spelling mistakes. Download Grammarly for sure-fire proof-reading! And it’s not just useful for social, but for things such as those important emails and festival applications.
Be visually consistent/optimize your content
You should optimize all of your social profiles so that they follow a consistent brand image, it also makes them look super professional. Social visuals should always be up-to-date and represent your current image and sound.
If you’re stuck making a header or need some visual inspiration for a post then head over to Canva. They have templates for a lot of social platforms such as: Instagram Story, YouTube Channel Art, and SoundCloud Banner and many more. Canva is super easy to use and user-friendly, and you don’t have to be technically minded to use it to make effective and visually appealing graphics to make your socials pop.
If you’re making these images on PhotoShop or InDesign, just make sure you are using the right dimensions. Here are a few useful ones:
Facebook cover photos:
• 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall on desktop.
• 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on phones.
• 1500 pixels wide by 500 pixels tall. Make sure you account for your profile picture and the invisible area.
YouTube Channel Art:
• 2560 pixels wide x 1440 pixels tall.
• 2480 x 520 pixels and the files must be a JPEG or PNG, and remain under 2 MB,.
Instagram story dimensions:
• 1080px wide x 1920px tall (aspect ratio 9:16)
Want more on branding? Read here for a complete guide to branding yourself as a musical artist, and read our Independent Artist’s Guide to Self-Promotion for more tips on boosting your profile on social media and wider online.