When starting out as a singer, you should consider the need to build a fan base to follow you as early as possible. Through social media, your followers will be the people to support your gigs and releases. Without them, you will struggle to go far.
Learn how to make social media work as a singer and musician so you can build a fan base for new releases, events and gigs. The emergence of social media makes it a lot easier to reach out but the challenge comes with keeping a fan base engaged and connected.
Looking to get the most out of your social media as a singer and musician? Here are some useful pointers on social media use and how to best go about building a fan base from the ground up.
How to make social media work as a singer and musician
Social media has been an incredible development, not least for those who work on a freelance, self-employed basis, in the growing gig economy. Now, promotion doesn’t need to cost a penny and you can reach more individuals who might like your music, faster than ever before. But it’s not enough to just make a few posts and expect people to find you. Musicians use social media to share their work, especially if it’s new material.
It’s the perfect platform for launches and releases and by creating events, you can invite people along to hear what you’re doing.
How do musicians use social media to collaborate and network?
As a musician, you need to find other people to work with, be it, vocalists, instrumentalists or techies. Perhaps you’ve met someone at a gig, jam night or audition and would love to chat about playing, singing or writing together. As long as you know their name, social media makes that possible. Almost everyone in the business is easily traceable online and you can send a message.
They can then choose whether to read and reply to it, meaning there’s less pressure than a face to face request, and some time to think it through. If someone contacts you, you can check them out first by seeing if they have any mutual friends or connections with people you know in the industry.
Musician social media strategy
Your strategy is the way you go about doing something. As a musician, you – or your band – are your own business. You have to think about yourself in those terms, taking every opportunity to market and PR your work. And this means having a game plan. It can help to write it down and work methodically through your social media strategy for success.
Create the accounts
There are many kinds of accounts you can use and create to suit your purpose – one of the benefits of social media. The first step is to decide upon and set up your social media accounts. Facebook and Twitter are the essentials. If you are uploading video content consider creating a YouTube account so you can have your own channel on there.
The key is always remembering to keep your social media posts interesting and engaging.
Ensure all themes, display pictures and such are synchronised across all social media platforms. You need to be sure people will look at each profile and know they are on your official page.
Understand your audience to post at the right time
Beware of generic social media tips that may be largely based at commercial companies and startups. A common piece of advice to those using social media is to post at peak commuter times, and lunch breaks, as this is when most people are on their phones scrolling through feeds. But this may not work best for you if your target audience doesn’t work 9 to 5. It’s likelier that you’ll be wanting to catch the attention of teens and students, so mid-afternoon once classes finish, after tea and early evening may be better options.
Do a little research first to work out who your fan base is. Who is following you or liking your stuff? Who comes to your gigs and watches your videos? Identifying this will help you move forward.
Create your own website
Create your own website. This is where you want to direct online traffic to from your social media pages. This will be your main hub and centre of activity. This should have everything about your act and should be accessible to the public. It should contain information such as: a biography, photo galleries, videos, contact information, an option to sign up to a mailing list etc.
Social media management for artists
Connect with peer musicians on social media, as well as those who play different instruments to you, or are in contrasting musical genres. It’s often really fun to team up with someone who has a totally different style – a rap section in a pop song can make for a fantastic breakdown for example (think of Ghetto Gospel). Keep up to date with industry news and what others are doing through your news feed and if you do experience any trolling, it’s easy to block and if necessary, report the individuals concerned.
If you start to find you’re just too busy gigging, writing and recording to keep on top of it, you can hire a social media manager to do the job for you. This is well worth it if your budget allows, as they know how to target the right audience in terms of ads, as well as tricks of the trade – like the best times to post and hashtags to use.
Social media campaigns for musicians
Rather than just randomly posting (although that is fine too), launch a campaign every time you have something important coming up, be it a gig, or a launch. During your campaign you should schedule posts at regular intervals, piquing the interest of your followers and relating to the event in question. Taylor Swift likes to post hints on Insta before releasing an album and recently had fans going crazy with photos containing a subtle suggestion of a release date. Anything quirky and intriguing is more likely to stand out from the crowd.
How to build your fan base from the ground up with a personal blog
You could consider writing blogs as this can gain interest and attention when linked through different social media channels. Sites such as Tumblr or WordPress allow you to do this. Write about your personal experiences or give tips you have picked up to try and help out other singers/musicians.
You can also ask to be featured on other people’s blogs. If you have a fair amount of followers and promise to promote and share their finished ice on your social, a blogger will be much more interested. It’s great to find opportunities like these where you can help someone else, at the same time as them helping you.
People will read it and take an interest in you and can share it on other social media platforms. Ensure you link back to your website. There are lots of bloggers out there, so do try and make the content really relevant and relatable. Think carefully about your topics. What do you and your friends like to read about? What do you wish you’d known when you started out?
Know how to use social media properly
The most important thing when building a fan base is to know how to use each different social media platform properly. Each site has its own help section, ‘how to’ guides and usually an orientation for new users. Use these to get clued up on using each platform to its full potential. You can also sign up to social media courses online, or check out video tutorials.
Best social media for musicians 2020
Below are some of the most popular social media platforms for singers and musicians at the moment.
Aside from your website, Facebook for many acts can be the hub of all major activity on social media, just because so many people have accounts and use it on a regular basis. It is where news gets posted, where gig dates are announced and the longer, more important stories are posted.
This is where you post updates on smaller activities; for example, something funny that has just happened or what instrument is being recorded in the studio as you type. Twitter is about more frequent, smaller stories than Facebook.
YouTube is one of the most interactive ways of promoting yourself. Videos of yourself can easily get spread around the Internet and you can gain fans from all across the world not just your area.
Instagram is great for sharing snapshots of what’s happening in your world visually. Share things such as the new EP artwork reveal, latest photo shoot and gig pictures. This is where they are better off being posted compared to other social media.
Find some great tips for promoting your music on Instagram here.
Tumblr is mainly used for blog writing. This is the site where readers will want to read the longer, more informative posts as opposed to short statements.
Be warned though; avoid spamming your social media. Fans dislike spam and it could have a negative impact on your following. If fans get annoyed with your posts, they will un-follow you. Keep it professional and don’t post the same thing over and over.
This one must be used a little differently, as you won’t have followers or fans. You need a mobile number to contact someone via this app, but it’s especially useful for its group messaging functions. If you have a bunch of musicians with whom you run or take part in regular gigs, why not create a group? This enables you to keep each other in the know with info, dates and requests (like borrowing equipment). Whatsapp can also be used as a form of a mailing list. If you do have fans phone numbers and they’re happy to receive updates this way, you can send a group text over WiFi or 4G.
Play to your strengths in social media. Are you good at making quirky, creative short videos? Then this is a platform for you. TikTok is all about the joy, so the more fun it is, the better. It also tends to attract a younger audience perfect for pop artists. Check out what’s trending – especially hashtags and themes – to get an idea of the sort of things that are popular and likely to get you views and follows. Keep videos on here short – YouTube is the place for your long-form work.
Which social media is best for musicians writing their own material?
Facebook and YouTube tend to lead in the music business because they are so widely used and can host videos and events. Make it work for you by going live on Facebook and recording videos. Let your followers into your writing process and keep them informed at every stage. Invite them to launches both online and at physical locations. Post all your new work on a streaming service, then share it on every social media channel you have.
Benefits of social media when building a fan base
Make sure your act is sorted before you start posting music and videos! Really think through whether you have the right sound, the right image and that any recorded material is up to scratch. You have to be the complete package worth promoting. Promoting and marketing are so much easier when the product is good.
Social media and music – Fan engagement
Make sure you connect with your fans through interaction. If you answer fan queries and engage with them, it will draw people to you. They will see you are in touch with treating fans how you would want to be treated by artists you like and this will paint you in a good light.
Establishing a connection with fans on social media and showing an interest in them will grow your fan base and introduce more people to your music. It’s not always about the music; some fans will want to know about you as a person too!
One of the best ways to get fans engaged is through competitions on your social media. Ask them to post parodies of your songs or design some kind of artwork for you that you will use in the future. And encourage them to share these posts too.
Little things like this will generate a lot of interest in you especially if they get shared via other people’s news feeds and thus to a broader audience. They can also spark useful ideas and potential material that you can use, along with making fans feel a part of something.
- How do you promote a musician?
Musicians can be promoted through agencies (talent, PR and marketing – all of which are usually separate), through targeted advertising on social media, or advertising campaigns in magazines, on the radio or even TV.
- How do musicians get followers on Instagram?
A great way to get followers on Insta is to follow other people. It helps them and in turn, their followers know you exist. Also, use hashtags as people search on these and post great visual content that gets lots of likes.
- How does social media promotion work?
The idea behind social media promotion is to raise awareness of your brand – be that a group or individual. It involves putting your content forward with the intention of engaging current and future audiences. It retains and increases your fan base.
Do you have your social media strategy perfected? How do you make social media work as a singer and musician? Leave a link in the comments, we’ve love to see them.