Resources

7 Points on Social Media for Musicians

Social media is so ubiquitous as a tool for marketing music these days, so we’ve collected some useful points to keep in mind when you’re using varying platforms to spread your music, gigs and your brand. Distilling down, we think the important things to do with social media are:

1. Schedule ahead
2. Use live-streaming
3. Videos go further
4. Know your parameters
5. Tag, tag, tag
6. Let the audience do the work for you
7. Keep track - OR - Is this all a waste of time?

1. Schedule Ahead

  • We know how difficult it is to put out social media posts while you’re busy with gigs, but virtually everything can be scheduled in advance these days.
    • On your Page on Facebook you can use Publishing Tools to schedule posts in advance.
    • For Twitter and Instagram, Hootsuite is a free tool that does the same job, allowing you to schedule posts to go out across your social media platforms while you’re busy.
    • Remember - you have more content than you think. Audiences may be interested in tour diaries, musical works-in-progress, recent reviews, videos, your reflections on the music. Any of this can be doled out in the approach to a gig to attract your audience.

2. Use live-streaming

  • You can add value to your performances by streaming live on Facebook or Instagram Live, even with a phone on a tripod.
    • It’ll fly to the top of feeds on social media.
    • While funding bodies generally don’t care how many likes your page has, streaming counts as a broadcast, meaning views of these count as broadcast audience numbers, for far less effort than getting a radio performance slot.

3. Videos go further

  • Statistically, videos are more effective at engaging people than images or text - you can create videos from images and text that will feed your audience the info you need them to get, decreasing the number of times they need to click to find out when your gig is.
  • Quik is a GoPro-connected app that allows you to create attractive promo videos from images and text.
  • Use your rehearsals - Facebook or Instagram live-streaming of a rehearsal snippet will go to the top of your followers’ feeds, and is usually popular content.

4. Know your parameters

  • It’s incredibly annoying when the poster image you spent ages working on doesn’t show up properly on a platform because of dimensions. Take a moment to check image dimensions for different platforms.
  • THIS is a good resource from sproutsocial.com
  • Instagram images are best at 180x180 pixels
    • Instagram videos cannot be longer than 45s
    • Twitter videos can’t be longer than 1 minute.
  • Facebook Profile Picture - try and make sure this is clearly your band even if it’s a thumbnail of 32 pixels high. A logo, something with strong colours, or a headshot are better than a wide shot of the whole band.
    • Why? People (venues, organisations, festivals, other artists) may want to tag you but stop if they’re not sure it’s you. This is particularly an issue if there are other groups/people with similar names, have a quick search and check!

5. Tag, tag, tag!

  • Tag the venue where you’re performing, other musicians, people you think might be interested, as well as promoting organisations like for example IMC, First Music Contact, Contemporary Music Centre etc.
    • Everyone who reposts you increases your reach exponentially. People can’t get to your gig if they don’t know it’s on!
    • If you post an image on Twitter, you can tag up to 10 people in the image without using up any of your character count. 

6. Let the audience do the work for you

  • Project a hashtag or include it on posters. You may get back some videos/photos from your audience members, or even comments that you can use to promote future gigs or in funding applications.

7. Is this all a waste of time?

  • Hopefully not! If you use a link shortening platform like bitly.com you can check whether anybody is actually clicking the links you promote on your social media, the shortening is particularly useful for platforms like Twitter - if you find that a platform seems to be shouting into the abyss you might want to rethink your strategies.
  • Linktree or similar platforms will give you an indication of what's happening on your Instagram - this allows you to have a number of links coming off your ‘link-in-bio’, e.g. to different pages on your website, different upcoming gigs. It will track how many clicks each page gets.
  • With eventbrite you can email your audience post-event to thank them. Audience surveys can help you track where they are coming from and therefore where to focus your attention and time.
  • If a post gets significant attention on Facebook, you can invite people who like it to like your Page and ensure they see your things in the future.
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