Social media can be exhausting and overwhelming to many people, especially musicians. When you are spending most of your time writing songs, working in the studio, and trying to stay sane with a social life, updating your Instagram profile can easily be put on the back burner. But here’s the reality: social media isn’t going away any time soon. In fact, the value of having an attractive social media presence will only continue to grow as a key piece in any entertainer’s career.
Sure, getting into a consistent routine of gathering content and staying active on social media can seem extremely time consuming, but it doesn’t actually have to be as hard as it looks. The most important thing to remember as an artist is that your audience wants to learn more about you - not your manager or marketing team.
Whether or not you have someone to help get your content out there, it is crucial that you, the artist, are the leading force of presenting your content in the way that you envision.
Let’s go over why and how artists should have a hand (or two) in their social media strategy and execution.
Your Social Presence is the Leading Force in Promoting Your Music
In the not-so-distant past of music promotion, hard-core fanbases existed in street teams and fan clubs. Nowadays, those fans are still there - they just live as followers of your Twitter and Instagram account, waiting to engage and share your posts with friends. And because of social media, it’s so much easier to express your personality and connect with that audience with just a few clicks on your phone. Staying in a consistent cycle of posting live updates and chatting with your followers will create the personal connection that will later be incredibly valuable to the promotion of your music. As soon as your new single drops, who will be the first to listen to it on Spotify? That’s right - your followers. But only if they feel like they’re following you. If, during the months or even years that unfold in between music releases, your social profiles go dark or they’re just a place for your manager to post random promotional graphics every so often - your fans will check out. And they won’t be there when you need them.
So - host a livestream, do a countdown, repost stories of fans sharing the song, etc. Make it fun, and make it come from YOU! Your fans will appreciate your gratitude and willingness to recognize their support, and will feel encouraged to stick with you in the long-run.
Your Social Media Represents You
It’s fairly easy for artists to get caught up in a busy work schedule and let a week or two go by without updating their social media. For that reason, I want to remind you that it is not a crime to ask for help with maintaining your social platforms. Actually, I encourage it! However, it is crucial to keep in mind that your social media is a reflection of you as an artist - not the person or team assisting you in the background.
If you are an artist and aren’t at least 50% plugged into your online engagement, now is the time to get more involved. It is nearly impossible to reach your full potential online if you are not connecting with your followers with native and personal content, which can only come from you. An emphasis on personal, native content is one of the biggest reasons that TikTok has become one of the most popular platforms during 2020. (If you’re not on TikTok yet, use this guide to help you get started). Unlike most of the other big platforms, TikTok’s entire service is focused on feeding people content that comes directly from the creator. There’s less promotion, less manipulation, and what most users would say - less bullshit. Take this into consideration when planning your general social media strategy. People want to see you in your truest form, whether you’re just chatting about your day, playing a quick cover on the piano for fun, or showing off a photo of the dinner you made!
Nobody can showcase who you are better than you, so make sure that you are in the driver’s seat of your online presence.
The Younger Generation Is Just as Interested in Your Personality as They Are in Your Music
There’s a reason why “social media influencer” has exploded as a viable career option in the past few years. People across the world, especially teens, tend to grow attachments and become heavily influenced by creators online because of their personality, style, and looks. As the competition for the attention of the typical consumer continues to grow, artists are now being thrown into the same ring as every influencer to fight for their fans’ loyalty. Even if you have some of the best music out there, you are still fighting for the same attention from those who are spending hours of their time swiping through Instagram and TikTok, consuming endless content from influencers and other artists. In order to cut through the noise, you must create a personal connection with your audience by giving them insight to who you are and what you’re about.
For example, if you’re feeling down or need some new song suggestions to get you through the day, take that perfect opportunity to share your thoughts and get some helpful feedback from your fans. Your followers want to know who you are, what your hobbies consist of, and what you’re up to throughout the week.
Balancing Your Personality and Your Music
Now that we’ve discussed the need for native and personality-type content on an artist’s social media, let’s address the question you’re about to ask: how should I balance my music-focused content with my personality-focused content? My suggestion is to keep it 50/50. Make sure that if a potential fan finds your video talking about something unrelated to your music career, they can click on your profile and easily recognize you as an artist (and vice-versa). Don’t be afraid to post that photo of you on vacation or the TikTok you made for fun with your friends! Just make sure that when new people find your content, they are a click away from finding more interesting content from you - including your music.
Need some examples? Here are a few artists that we find do a great job at balancing their music and personal content on social media:
Managing a Consistent Schedule
So, you’re convinced that you need to step it up. But you’re still overwhelmed by how much time you need to invest. Luckily, there’s an app for that. Or rather, many. There are a variety of third-party services on the market that offer scheduling posts ahead of time, which can be extremely beneficial for artists and brands who’d like to save some time. This is a smart way to ensure that you are getting a consistent number of posts up week-to-week, plus it’ll allow you to create a visible layout during heavier post periods around release weeks.
You’ll want to make sure that you are plugging in general ideas to your calendar a few weeks ahead of time, then work on gathering all of the content to plug in once it’s there. Of course, there will be times when you have the opportunity to post on the whim (such as a timely Instagram story post), but using a service to manage your general posting schedule could help guarantee that your social media is generally active and nothing is slipping through the cracks.
Here’s a few services that we recommend:
No matter how you manage it, whether it’s through a software or hiring someone to help - remember that your social media is an extension of your art and who you are. No one can do that as well as you can. So, when considering your social media strategy - lean into that! Connect with your fans and give them the thing that only you can provide - access to you.