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Social Media and Digital Presence for Improvising Musicians

Smartphone screen hand with social media icons 2022 12 16 00 26 00 utc 1

Social Media is so much more than vanity metrics, used well social media is about audience development and engagement, sales, bookings and building a sustainable career as an improvising artist.

Use Social Media for:

  • Audience Development & Engagement
  • Building Trust with your Audience
  • 6 Ps in Marketing - product, price, place, promotion, people & presentation
  • Rule of 7 (Points of Contact) - audience needs to hear/see advertiser's message 7 times before they'll take action (buy)
  • Growing 1000 True Fans & hence a sustainable income
  • Marketing & Promotion
  • Selling Music & Tickets
  • Booking More Gigs
  • Selling Subscriptions/ Lessons/ Courses/ Merch
  • Creating an archive/track record for bookers/new fans
  • Creating Accountability (e.g. album pre-sales or #100daysofpractice)
  • Being your own Media Outlet
  • Tapping into the Audiences of others (e.g. utilising pre-existing hashtags, following the followers of others)

Platform Overview:

  • Websites are essential, especially for bookers looking to book you. Bandzoogle is a purpose-made platform for musicians and very user-friendly.
  • Newsletters are the most effective social media (send quarterly at a minimum) and can become a paid subscription like Ethan Iverson's (his go far beyond his own music, with anecdotes and interviews with his colleagues and mentors). Mailchimp is a much-used and user-friendly platform. Ethan Iverson uses substack. Add a newsletter sign-up landing page to your website and incentivise it.
  • Facebook - multi-modal platform - great for creating event pages (which have become something of a social calendar) and ads.
  • Twitter - great for audience engagement (ask the public questions and keep threads going) and interacting with media outlets.
  • Instagram - reels and images. Consider adding split screen musical parts to the music of internet strangers or #100daysofpractice . The insta grid gives an instant overview to audiences and bookers - capitalise on that.
  • Youtube - 'Viral Jazz' incorporating internet culture was both born and has dominated the jazz space here.
  • Patreon - in general, this is a space to bring your existing audience to. Sell subscriptions while engaging your audience on a much deeper level.
  • Hootsuite - social media post scheduler. Batch/block your work - schedule 2hrs a month for this and knock out a month's worth of pre-scheduled posts. Once you're in the momentum it's easier - much easier and more effective than working up the momentum and time to post everyday.
  • Graphic Design made easy: utilise Canva App, outsource inexpensively on, can do a reasonable amount directly on instagram reels and stories (can download without/before sharing), consider building a graphic designer into your funding application budget.

Put the most effort into that platform and pitch accordingly (e.g. Gen Zs are not on facebook - they are on TikTok). Investigate, analyse metrics, evaluate.

Where to start?

  • Up-to-date website, newsletter (minimum quarterly) plus 1-2 minimum social media platforms
  • Break it down into small, incremental steps and targets
  • Post consistently

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