we’ve been working with some fabulous musicians as a marketing consultant, helping them develop their marketing plans, define their music career business goals, and then execute against those goals.
AND we’ve also been trying to keep up with the fast paced and ever changing worlds of both social media and music.
So here is what we would tell you to do in 2018 with your social media if you were our music marketing client:
- Understand your primary social media business goals. Don’t jump into social media just because you feel you “need to be on social media.” Are you promoting a new album release, an event or tour? Is your primary goal to increase followers or Likes? Or are you trying to get the attention of bloggers, press or industry influencers? Are you trying to win a music contest or raise money via Kickstarter or Pledgemusic or some other platform? Is your goal to promote coupons or discounts to encourage fans to buy your music or merchandise directly from your website? Your goals will help determine both what social media channels to focus on, and what kinds of activities (posts) to engage in. Set some reasonable, concrete, realistic, numerical social media goals for 6 months and for a year from now – goals with numbers and a timeline. It’s easy to get lost, sidetracked and overwhelmed in social media. If you’re not aiming at something, you won’t know if you’ve succeeded.
It’s easy to get lost, sidetracked and overwhelmed in social media.
- Know who your target market is. What are the basic demographics (age, sex, location, artists they like) for your super fans? If you don’t have a big fan base, research the demographics of bands you consider your competition.
- While you’re at it, check out your competition’s social media presence and best practices and copy them. The best artists steal the best ideas and make them their own – even in social media. Where does your competition post most often on social media? What kinds of content do they create regularly and share on social media?
The best artists steal the best ideas and make them their own – even in social media.
- Don’t try to be everywhere. If you have not yet begun using social media consistently to advance your music career (or even if you have), pick 1-2 social media channels to focus your efforts on, depending on where your target market hangs out. The ones I tell my clients to focus on are YouTube, Facebook and either Twitter or Instagram. First, make sure your social media bio rocks. Make it the same across all your social media channels. Next, have a music video strategy and get your YouTube channel organized. Having a YouTube channel is necessary for musicians, since YouTube is the number two search engine after Google, and the number one search engine for music. Facebook continues to be the dominant social media platform for reaching fans and for advertising, and especially for reaching an increasingly mature demographic (Baby Boomers). But having fans like a page doesn’t mean they see your posts anymore –It’s a pay-to-play world on Facebook now. Learn how to create events and promote posts, as these are the two most effective means of using Facebook to drive people to your events and promote your music. Instagram continues to grow, and is especially prominent in the 18-29 year old demographic. Google+ is a good place to publish links to blogs and howto videos. Twitter is great for musicians as well, but you need to commit to learning how to use it effectively and grow your following, or your presence will languish at a few hundred followers.
- Make sure social media is integrated into all your offline marketing activities. For example, have a business card with your Facebook page URL (create a friendly one!) or your Twitter or Instagram handle, add “Like [bandname] on Twitter for band news, concert updates and special offers” to your show banner, and make sure all your social media links are at the bottom of every newsletter you send out. Announce that you are on social media at shows.
- Always bring people back to your website when you share. Don’t share tweets on Facebook or Facebook posts on Twitter – share a blog entry you wrote, or an album review summary on your website on Twitter and on Facebook. If you don’t have a website, create an artist profile and electronic press kit on Tunetrax.– it’s far too cheap and easy to create a good-looking music EPK these days. Include social media links, your latest bio, audio and video tracks, and your latest blog posts, as well as all your upcoming shows. You can also create your own store, if interest in selling merchs and your music thru your own Tunetrax’ artist profile.
Learn more about tools and services Tunetrax provides to artists
Make sure you are active on the social media channels you put on your Tunetrax’ Artist profile.
- Your social media content is mobile-ready and your Tunetrax’s profile is mobile-enabled. People access social media via mobile in an increasing percentage. Access to Facebook and Twitter was over 60% via mobile devices in 2016, and obviously Instagram has been a mobile platform from the beginning. It doesn’t do you any good if you create great content, distribute it via social media, and link back to your artist profile – but no one can access it from their smartphone or it looks crappy.
- Content marketing (posting useful, entertaining or informative information in the form of music, photos, blogs, podcasts, videos, newsletters, Vines, etc.) is the heart of good social media in the 21st century for any business, and promoting music is a business. Content marketing is the best way to reach out to fans who might not be familiar with your music and bring them into your fan base. First, figure out what content you LIKE to create, and have the skills and equipment to create regularly. Like, regularly. On an actual schedule. (In social media academia, we call this a content calendar, but you don’t need to be fancy about it). If you like writing, write a blog. If you like taking pictures, get them up on Facebook and Instagram. If you like witty quips or inspirational quotes, try Twitter or Facebook. If your show posters are super awesomely beautiful and creative, feature those regularly on your social media channels. The bottom line is, if you enjoy creating something, you will keep doing it, and social media requires consistency and persistence. Fans respond best to content that is created on a regular schedule, and in a manner they come to expect and appreciate. Make sure you give your fans a way to comment on your content or respond to you, too – don’t post pictures on Instagram or tweet pithy quotes and then never reply when someone comments on it!
Social media requires consistency and persistence.
- Be visual. Video and images are one of the big growth areas for marketing, especially micro-videos and video blogging. Make candid videos or something artsy with your smartphone. Native video is growing on Facebook, and tweets that have images are more likely to be shared. Create Vines. Make sure your blog posts all have multiple images included. Don’t feel like you need to do all of these things – just pick one or two at the most and enjoy them.
- Don’t go it alone. Join some music-specific Facebook groups and Twitter chats. They’re great places to share and receive information and support with other musicians, and network for ideas, business contacts, and even recording or touring collaboration.
Few ideas of social media activities I will recommend for artists:
- Snapchat scavenger hunt for free tickets to the show
- Instagram videos leading up to the event to promote
- Facebook live to announce details of a contest to win tickets
- Twitter Live Chat with the band to promote the show
- Instagram Takeover with the band
- Facebook advertising targeting listeners who can enter to win a contest. Have it drive traffic to your website, capture their email address and put it in your database. Use email marketing to further advertise the event to your listeners.