We live in a digital age, so it won’t come as a surprise that social media plays a powerful role in everything we do. As a musician or artist trying to make a name for yourself, your social media presence can be an effective tool for building your image and putting your music out there. It’s important to implement it effectively, so we’ve pulled together some top tips and music hosting sites to help get your name known online, and everywhere else.
While YouTube continues to be the most effective and popular way for aspiring musicians to share tracks as well as music videos – (it’s technically the most popular music streaming service beating both Spotify and Apple Music!) – there are many ways to get your name out there and build an identity for yourself in the online music world.
Platforms like SoundCloud, Mixcloud and Bandcamp are great for sharing your work and getting feedback, but don’t forget to try other platforms like Instagram and Twitter to build an attractive artist profile for yourself (check out Instagram’s business tools to attract more inquires and connect people straight to your email or phone for gig bookings). Link your music and connect to like-minded artists, promoters and bands – don’t be afraid to reach out, comment and connect to people wherever relevant.
Social Spout says that “a smart social presence is undoubtedly the best way to grow your audience and fill space at your gigs”, after-all every music audience is glued to social media, regardless of genre. They also have some great tips on navigating social media marketing for artists.
“Fans demand a deeper connection to the artist. They need regularly reminding of your existence and for a fan base to grow, potential fans will look to similar others (existing fans) for approval. No engagement on social media means no growth”
– The Unsigned Guide
If you’re an artist with an additional skill set – you may have experience in producing, event management, music journalism, or teaching – create LinkedIn account and show off your multifaceted experiences. Check out this post from Digital Music News on why LinkedIn is a useful and underused tool for musicians.
What about content? Aside from obviously getting your music out there and sharing it across platforms, it’s a good idea to try and build something of a “brand image” for yourself – or what your might call a “band image” (ha ha). Posting clear, quality photograph from gigs is a great way to build a consistent status online, but don’t forget behind the scenes stuff, clips from rehearsals and any posters you can grab from events or gigs you are playing or involved in can really build the versatility of your band’s image. Make events on Facebook for your gigs and invite EVERYONE. Get to know the local promoters, venues and collectives and build online relationships with them. Optimize the “networking” in social networking.
“If you’re taking your music-making seriously, then chances are, you have an idea of the type of band or artist you want to be, both in sound and vision. That, is your brand, whether you like that word or not” – The Unsigned Guide
While it is important to network online, and tag any relevant organizers or other artists in posts, avoid being annoying or over-posting.
Always point to your latest promotion or event in your bio or profile – make it the first thing people see when they view your profile. Whether this is in your bio itself (e.g. a link in an Insta bio) or a pinned Tweet or Facebook post at the top of your page, these are great and simple ways to sell your band.
To maximize the engagements of your products or posts you can try things like promoted posts. But before you try this it is key to try and make your posts as organically engaging as possible. A well shot video would be a good post to boost, a poster from a event or gig you’re playing (tag EVERY band or organisation involved or mentioned!), or a simple graphic with key info on. You can create your own images and graphics really easily with image making apps like CANVA – they’re free and so easy to use to create some simple wording for your Insta or cover photo.
An optimized and synergized social media presence is a great way to fill empty spaces at gigs, get the word out there about your sound and signal your status as a professional. Use your time online wisely, and don’t forget, your band is your brand, whether you like it or not.
Words: Izzy Trott