The Ultimate Social Media Guide for Artists [draft]
Internal note: this article is an overview of how to use social media and it’s the “hub” of all the other social media guides.
Social Media - most have a love/hate relationship with it.
Those who hate it usually just don’t understand how to use it to their advantage.
If you’re one of those people who can’t seem to fully grasp how to grow an audience on social media, you’re in the perfect place.
In this social media series, we’re going to make sure you understand how to go about using social media to your advantage.
Although there are many new social networks that have begun to pop up (such as Tik Tok), we’re going to focus on the main networks that most start with (which are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube).
By the time you’re done getting through these articles, social media will be a piece of cake!
Let’s dig right in shall we…
The Personalities of Each Network
Growing your audience on social media first starts with understanding how each network operates.
As crazy as it may sound, each social network has it’s own personality.
You don’t use facebook the same way you use twitter and you don’t use twitter the same way you use instagram. And youtube is a whole other ballgame.
Once you understand these differences, you’ll understand how to use each network to grow your audience.
So let’s break it down:
Twitter is where conversations happen and messages get spread (quickly).
You can reach people directly via all social networks, but for some reason Twitter has a more personal feel. It’s usually easier to get a response to a tweet than it is to get someone to reply to your Facebook or Instagram comment. Maybe it’s because on Twitter you’re basically sending text messages (which everyone is well accustomed to doing on a regular basis).
You have 280 characters to get your point across, so whatever you say, make it quick and make it impactful. Tweet things that others will want to respond to or retweet for their audience. Use twitter threads if you have a lot to say on a certain topic or if you want to tell a story.
Twitter happens in real time. It’s a network that you’ll want to be on for longer periods of time. You don’t want to just post a tweet and go on about your day; instead spend some time on the app, post and respond to multiple tweet’s.
Hashtags are used on Twitter but be careful not to overload your tweets with a bunch of hashtags because they’re typically used one at a time (vs instagram where the use of many hashtags in posts is encouraged).
Twitter is text-heavy however photos and videos also do well on Twitter. You probably shouldn’t upload a photo or video to every single tweet, but don’t be afraid to attach song cover art, video snippets, event flyers, etc. Uploading videos to tweets can work wonders when promoting a music video, and Twitter lets you upload 2 minutes and 20 seconds of video in a tweet, so don’t be afraid to upload your entire music video to a tweet from time to time.
You can also go live on Twitter just like you can on Facebook and Instagram, so you may want to test this out too.
You can do paid ads on Twitter, however you should probably try ads on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube first, as you may get more engagement on those platforms.
If you’re not a Twitter expert yet and want to dig deeper into how use it to grow your audience and market your music, check out our ultimate guide to using Twitter [hyperlink].
Whereas Twitter is very text heavy, Instagram is very visual.
Twitter can be considered where you talk about what you’re doing, Instagram is where you can show it.
Instagram has many ways for you to interact with your audience. While Twitter has tweets that show up on your feed, DMs for you to communicate privately, and a feature that lets you go live; Instagram lets you post to your timeline, your instagram story, IGTV, private DMs, plus the live stream.
In a way, you can think of your instagram feed as being a preview to what’s on your Youtube channel. For instance, you can post 60 second previews of music videos, behind the scenes vlogs, performance footage etc. and lead people to your Youtube channel to watch the full videos.
You can also use your instagram feed to post photos from your performances, photos of you in the studio, photos of you getting interviewed on a podcast, inspiring quotes, funny clips etc. The possibilities are endless. Your instagram timeline doesn’t have to be in chronological order either. It can be whatever you want it to be.
You can use your Instagram stories to document the things that go on throughout your day, repost fans that say awesome things about you, and you can also get really creative and visual using an app like Unfold for instance.
Although Instagram is mostly visual, don’t be afraid to write longer, more meaningful captions for your posts (people will read them and it will get you more engagement on your posts).
Hashtag use is highly encouraged on Instagram. You should find hashtags that are used by the audience you’re trying to reach [hyperlink to hashtag article] and use as many hashtags as you can in each of your posts.
You should try to post at least once per day on your feed and 5-10 times a day on your story in order to grow your audience consistently and keep the engagement up. And also find some time to use your IGTV and live features in the midst of using your story and feed.
Promoted posts on Instagram can be very helpful for promoting everything from music and videos to live shows and merch. You can either boost a post directly from instagram, or you can use Facebook’s ad manager to create awesome Instagram ads (since Facebook now owns Instagram).
If you’re not an Instagram expert yet and want to dig deeper into how use it to grow your audience and market your music, check out our ultimate guide to using Instagram [hyperlink].
While many artists apparently enjoy Instagram and Twitter more than Facebook nowadays (unless your Facebook fan page was already poppin’ before the algorithm change), Facebook is still the largest social network there is, therefore you should definitely utilize it.
And by utilize it we mean, make sure you have a fan page that people can ‘like’ (not a personal page where you accept friend requests). Why? Because you can only have up to 5000 friends (and the goal is to eventually have more than 5000 fans right?) plus you can’t boost a post or do any kind of paid ads on a personal page (and ads are extremely useful in getting the word out there about you). So create a fan page and invite all of your friends to ‘like’ it.
And speaking of algorithm change, that’s just a fancy way of saying that Facebook now shows your posts to less people than it used to (unless your post is already getting a lot of engagement, which is kind of a contradiction in itself if you ask me). They did this so that people will pay for ads. While we’re all about sticking it to the man, Facebook ads actually work great for getting the word out there about your music (so as much as we hate Facebook, we love it. they won).
In order to get your posts seen by more people, you should use Facebook ads (promoted posts). You can boost posts or create an ad using their ad manager [hyperlink to how to create an ad article] to promote everything from music videos to upcoming shows.
You don’t have to post all day everyday, but you should definitely keep your Facebook page updated so that people who find your page will have a reason to ‘like’ it.
If you’re not a Facebook expert yet and want to dig deeper into how use it to grow your audience and market your music, check out our ultimate guide to using Facebook [hyperlink].
You can look at Youtube as the worlds largest tv network. It’s also the number one place people go to look for music [find source].
Therefore if you’re not using Youtube, you’re truly missing out on such a huge audience you could be tapping into.
Although Youtube is all video based, you can and should also upload your audio tracks. This can be done via your distributor [hyperlink distributor article] or you can do it on your own (for songs that you may not be putting on iTunes) by creating a lyric video or simply your cover art with the song playing.
Youtube is also where you’ll post your music videos, but don’t let music videos and audio tracks be the only thing you post!
As explained in the section about Instagram, Instagram is essentially a preview of your youtube - so you should post the longer versions of your videos on youtube