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Social media has proven to be a valuable tool for musicians and people in the music industry.

A strong social media presence on the right platforms is essential for promoting your music, engaging with fans, increasing your fan base, and connecting with others in the music industry, including potential band mates, producers and music business leaders, and influencers. It’s an awesome way to find new opportunities.

Social media marketing for musicians can seem challenging. So we’ve collected expert tips from the musicians in our network to make the process easier.

1. Understand your audience.

Ask yourself:

  • Who are your fans?
  • What are their interests?
  • What made them connect with you?

Understanding the people in your fan base will help you figure out the type of social media content they will respond to and in what channels. Younger fans may prefer videos shared through YouTube or Instagram stories. Older ones may prefer blog posts distributed through Facebook.

If you already have a social media following, use the analytic tools offered by most social media networks that can help you better understand your followers and find out which content they’re engaging with. Most social media platforms allow you to see where your followers are located, their age, gender, and what they’re interested in. Understanding these things is a fundamental part of developing an effective social media strategy for you and your music.

Amp it up: Use your social media platforms to promote your other channels. It’s a great way to augment your social media presence.

2. Post regularly and consistently.

Keeping your followers and fans engaged is central to social media success for musicians. Having active social media profiles is critical. Post consistently to stay relevant to your fans and provide value to them. This is particularly important for musicians who don’t release new music or play gigs often.

Even if you are a busy musician, it’s important to create and share new content for your followers even when you’re working in the studio or practicing for shows. Develop a rhythm with your posting and posts, so people know what to expect and look forward to. For example, post a performance of a fun novelty song every Friday afternoon as a launch to the weekend.

Amp it up: Post regularly, but don’t get carried away. Fans will unfollow you or stop engaging with your posts if you overwhelm them with low-value content.

3. Schedule your posts.

Musicians are busy. It can seem impossible to stay active constantly on social. We get it. We’re musicians, as well.

The solution: Scheduling your posts ahead of time can be a good way to keep engaging with followers without having to stay online all day. You can also select when you post based on the insights you have about your followers and their habits.

Extra credit: Create twitter lists that include fans, companies, venues, music industry peers, and others you want to regularly interact with. Lists bring discipline and ensure you never forget anyone.

4. Use images to get closer to your fans.

Visual content usually generates more engagement than plain text posts, even on Twitter. Sharing photos and videos is a fast and easy way to make a big impression. Here are our top visual content ideas based on the successful things some of the musicians we follow do regularly:

  • Photos from your gigs.
  • Pictures of your music gear, home studio, DJ equipment, fans, and more.
  • Photo announcements of upcoming performance dates or a new single or album.
  • Photos or videos of shows you attend.
  • Photos or videos of you making music in unusual places, such as the seashore or at the top of a building.
  • A short video explaining the meaning behind a song.
  • Livestream yourself attending events, working in the studio, interacting with fans, offering performance tips, hosting a Q&A, or teaching.
  • Photos or video of favorite moments from your personal life, including holidays, birthdays, and special everyday events.
  • Photos featuring inspirational quotes about music or from other musicians.
  • Animated music based GIF images and memes.
  • Media interviews.
  • Music videos.

You don’t have to be a Photoshop expert to create professional images. Use simple online tools like Canva to make things look good. Or you might have a fan, friend, or relative who is able to help you out.

Extra credit:  Host livestreams featuring an AMA (ask me anything), offer feedback on a project created by a fan, teach music, show off your disk jockey skills, demonstrate music production techniques, and more.

5. Share engaging text content.

Not everyone responds to images and videos. It’s likely you have readers in your follower base. It’s important to include some high quality written content for them. It will help you on Google search, as well. Some ideas for musicians include:

  • Updates about your latest songs, upcoming albums, and gigs.
  • Inspirational quotes from musicians.
  • Educational tips.
  • Music related polls, questions, fill-in-the-blanks, and “caption this photo” posts that engage your fans and help you learn more about them.
  • Ask your fans for feedback or their opinion about your latest song, what they want to hear in your next set, or other things that will allow you to engage with them and find out about their musical preferences.
  • Tell stories. For example, share what’s on your mind, a personal experience, what happened to you on a given day, and more.
  • Share lists of things like your favorite songs, artists, and music videos.
  • Explain the meaning behind your music, brand, or personal style.
  • Share positive reviews and news about your music.
  • Educate your followers about your music.

Extra credit: Invite people to shows you’re playing in private messages. It seems more personal and intimate.

6. Optimize your social media profiles and ensure they’re up to date.

The first or second time people encounter you could be through your social media profiles. That’s why it’s important to ensure they send out the right message. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  • Check that all your personal info is accurate and current. This includes performance dates, links to your music, bio, press coverage, link to website, and more.
  • Select memorable profile images. Check that all of them are the correct size and optimized for the social media channel. For example, your Facebook profile image could be more “newsy” while your Instagram one might be more “artsy.”
  • Make it easy to find links to buy and download your music, your website, bio, press coverage, and anything your fans may find interesting or valuable.
  • Use Facebook cover videos. These are particularly valuable for musicians because they allow you to introduce your music to new fans.
  • Change your profile and cover images regularly so your most avid fans have something new to check out whenever they visit.
  • Pin your most popular post to the top of your page. It will help ensure that new fans will encounter something they’ll find engaging when they come to your social sites.
  • Use tags to increase engagement with your posts. Tag all the people in your images and videos along with sponsors, venues, and more. Tagging increases the reach of your posts because they’ll appear in the feeds of the people and businesses you’ve tagged.
  • Ensure all your social media platforms have a similar look and feel. You should create posts that are right for the platforms, but they must all represent your unique brand in a consistent way.

Extra credit: Post messages expressing gratitude when your song receives a lot of plays or after a successful show. Also, tag other acts, the venue, the promoters, sponsors, and any fans you interacted with.

7. Always be personal and open.

Social media should be just that: social. Your platforms should be places where you develop personal connections with your fans. It will help solidify your relationship with them. Think about it: Where do you most closely connect with musical celebrities you are a fan of? It’s more likely through social media than at concerts or other in-person experiences.

Here are some ways you can be more personal and approachable with your fans and followers in social media:

  • Write like you speak. Make sure your content comes across as genuine and personal. If you’re not sure, have someone who knows you check your drafts for you.
  • Never post anything that isn’t meaningful to you.
  • Share your passions, including pictures you love, content you enjoy, and music from performers you admire.
  • Post about both the good times and your struggles. Doing so will help fans view you as a genuine, three-dimensional person.
  • Tell people where you’ve been and hope to be going next.

Check out the social profiles of your favorite celebrities to see how they present themselves.

Extra credit: Take a photo with your fans at concerts and other live events. Tell them when and where you will post it and ask them to tag themselves. It will extend its reach to their followers and expose you to a new audience.

8. Engage with your fans and followers.

This should be a number one priority for musicians. However, it often goes overlooked. It’s critical that you connect with your fans and followers and consistently demonstrate to them that you care. Don’t use social media for promotion only. Use these platforms to interact with your fans. Some examples of how to do this include:

  • Always reply to comments, messages, and mentions. Your fans will like the fact that you’re open to having discussions with them and want to have a personal connection.
  • Ask questions, get involved in post comment discussions and anywhere you are able to keep conversations going and make them lively. Always take time to come up with good responses that reflect your personality. For example, if someone compliments your music, say more than “thanks!” It shows you really are thankful.
  • Ask followers to share or retweet your posts and return the favor.
  • Encourage fans to post photos from your shows or remixes of your songs and ask them to tag you.
  • Come up with weekly themes or promotions to keep your fans engaged. Think Super Fan Friday or Music Club Monday.
  • Monitor your social media accounts frequently. Don’t create posts and forget to check on them. Developing and maintaining a fan base requires your full commitment. Or at least the commitment of a personal assistant.

Extra credit: Put together images of the best moments from a performance or event. Post them as a story on Instagram or Facebook. Reserve your best material for these limited-time posts.

9. Share content from your fans.

Demonstrate interest in your fans by sharing and retweeting their posts. It’s a great way to show you’re paying attention to them and are interested in what they have to say. While you’re at it, comment on fan posts you find interesting.

Leveraging these proven tactics is a great way to take your social media to the next level. Don’t limit yourself to these ideas. Never be afraid to get creative. Think outside the box. Figure out what appeals to your fans and followers and see where you can go with it.