Social Media for Musicians: Our Top Choices
Your website is your front door on the internet but when it comes to engaging fans, and promoting yourself and your creative abilities any additional presence on the web is helpful. This is why social media platforms are making their way into the art world, helping creatives make their work more accessible to the public. Social media allows for a new means of connection between musicians, fellow musicians, their fans, peers, and potential sponsors. These platforms create a new potential to reach the eyes of viewers who may have never seen you perform but just happened to have your particular page pop up on their social media account because of a friend, similar interest, search or suggestion. With all the available social media platforms available for free and vying for you to join it becomes difficult to decide where to begin. The following 5 social media platforms are some of the best for musicians to present and share their work to the public. We capped our list at 5, but there are of course many other platforms that could be included on this list that are just as successful, so your picks might be different.
Not only is YouTube very user friendly but it’s compatible with most other social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. YouTube is meant for uploading video of any type and is meant for the viewer to like or comment on, and hopefully influence them to subscribe to the page you created. Subscribers are how you get your video seen. Although there is a search engine in place, often the only way you will get a lot of hits on your video is if you have subscribers. Another way to increase the hits or views on your videos to share or have others share that video on a variety of social media platforms, such as Facebook. Within YouTube you also have the ability to get your videos posted on channels other than your own. Channels with large numbers of subscribers will look for good musicians to post on their page to better their viewings, and help get lesser known YouTube artists noticed. Within YouTube you can also send private messages to other accounts if you want to network with musicians that you enjoy or wish to work with.
SoundCloud’s main purpose is to unmute the web, and to give access to original music and audio as well as create a platform in which you can record your music and spread it across the internet at the click of a button. These recordings can also be done straight from your phone and uploaded through SoundCloud’s app, which is great for spontaneous jam sessions on the go. It also features a creative commons option which allows you to collaborate with other SoundCloud musicians as well as let other musicians use your music in another production. This is an amazing way to start growing your musical network, and connecting with other musicians who have similar passions and goals to you. It is also a great tool for new musicians because they have the ability to easily upload their recordings and create samples to send around to prospective fans and producers. Any and all audio, text, photos, pictures, graphics, comments, and other content, data or information that you upload, store, transmit, submit, exchange or make available to or via the Platform is generated, owned and controlled solely by you, and not by SoundCloud.
Facebook is a great platform for almost anyone to get their message across and known, so how can it be used for musicians in particular? Facebook allows for the musician to showcase themselves through images, posts, videos, as well as gives them the ability to create events that they can make public or private and can invite anyone within the Facebook system to. The ability to create these events makes Facebook much different from the other social media platforms because it allows for direct personal interaction with your followers. These events can be created at anytime for any event. Anything from a small gig to opening at some type of music festival can be created and shared with the fans of the page as well as their friends and other music Facebook pages. With a public event anyone can see it so anytime one of your fans states that they are going to your event all of their friends will most likely see a post about it. It is important to realize that a fan page is different from a personal page and it really benefits to have both. By creating this fan page you can request people to join it which is much more efficient than requesting a bunch of random people who you do not know, which is not advised.
Instagram is the perfect social media platform for quick and easy interaction on the go. For musicians it is extremely important to interact with fans, other bands, as well as brands that you enjoy, and actively be commenting on and recognizing anything that has to do with you and your musical talents. This interaction will not only make you seem friendly and more approachable but it will help increase your fan base because you do not just care about yourself and getting followers, you show interest in others as well. Whether you post images or videos of you at a gig or images of you eating a sandwich, if you have fans they will be interested in what you are doing and why you are doing it. Posting images with fans backstage or outside of a venue will also make you more approachable. If you have a band, allow the entire band access to the account, the more fun images the better. Although it is important to make these images unique and fun remember to keep things tasteful to keep a good image. You can also gain more followers by sharing your Instagram posts publicly with a geo-tag or hashtag. These allow for there to be more context to your image as well as increased visibility and awareness of if you are actively performing, recording, et cetera.
Promoting yourself is huge when it comes to the world of music. Individuals will often never find you on their own, which means it is up to you to get your name out to them. Millions and millions of people use Twitter everyday which means it is the perfect place to send out a quick 140 character or less tweet about a performance that you may have coming up or a link to a Youtube video of a performance, or in studio recording. Twitter is all about compelling tweets, so really gaining your audience’s attention and interacting with them is the best way to use twitter as a promotional resource.Musician, Chris Robley, states that musicians should attempt to make their tweets, “sing, screech, punch, and dance.” This just means that the more fun your tweets are the more followers you will get which will also result in more fans and more people attending your gigs and spreading your name.
It is important to remember to not expect to gain thousands of fans right off the top. As with everything else in life, practice makes perfect and experimentation is a big part of gaining a large following. So don’t be afraid to make multiple social media accounts and see which one works best for you and what you have to offer. Each of these accounts can be linked into one another creating for a great resource to have your name in multiple areas of the internet without having to update each one. It is also important to create a clear and concise username on any platform that will both make you known as well as easily searched and matches any of your other accounts, websites, or blogs, in order to keep your brand the same.