Social Media and Digital Presence for Improvising Musicians
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)
In general, advertising/ticket sales is both the responsibility of the booker/venue AND the band/-leader
- 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 fiverr.com, 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