About a decade ago, the odds of becoming an artist were astronomical. Equipment cost and music publishers were only two of the enormous challenges musicians had to face. But technology has shifted the landscape of the music industry. You now have lots of opportunities to produce and promote your music whenever and however you want.
The internet has made it possible for us to reach a global audience through social media marketing. And, while this comprises a major component in social media marketing, social media postings alone are not an effective way to promote your music.
We’ll leave music production to you, but you’ll find five steps below that you can follow to help you effectively promote your music on social media.
1. Start With An Objective
Let this be a marketing 101 tip. Every marketing campaign needs to begin with a goal.
If you attempt to promote your music without setting a goal first, it will be a struggle to succeed. A common metaphor for this in online marketing is “shooting an arrow in multiple directions.” You won’t hit your target.
So here are just a few examples of marketing objectives:
• Create a fanbase
• Hit your first $50,000
• Create a buzz around your first concert
2. Identify The Tools That You Will Need
Focus on creating just one objective for the promotion and then identify the tools that you can use to make it happen.
Let’s say that you’re new to the industry and your first objective is to create a fanbase. We can recommend the following as the most effective tools to promote your music through social media:
Social media is an excellent way to promote your music. Still, it will hardly be an effective marketing initiative if your website doesn’t properly showcase your music. Consider your website as an extension of your artistic expression.
And what happens after you’ve used social media to find people who will be interested in your music? Well, your website needs to be a place where you can invite fans to act upon a CTA. The CTA could be to register for your newsletter on upcoming events or to purchase a ticket to your concert, or buy some of your merchandise.
Even if you have a YouTube channel or Spotify profile that people can follow, at the end of the day, you’d still want to direct people to your website. Otherwise, you won’t be able to monetize your music as much as you should be able to.
Every well-known musician has a website. It is where their fans come to see what future production to look forward to, learn more about their idols, and find merchandise to add to their collection. You can think of your website as the foundation of your music brand.
A YouTube channel is one of the must-haves of every artist of our generation. People don’t want to just listen to you play the guitar or hit a high note. They also want to see you perform. You can upload cover songs or maybe an entire concert.
But ultimately, one should own a YouTube channel because the video is the single most popular media to date. And while videos exist on almost every social media platform, YouTube continues to be the most-watched platform.
YouTube is labelled as the most popular video property of Google with approximately 1.68 billion users as of 2019, according to Statistica.
Let’s say that someone wants to see The Vamps’ latest music video. He won’t go to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even Vimeo. He would head straight to YouTube to check out new music.
Because the majority of music lovers spend most of their time discovering new artists and songs on YouTube, it is certainly a place you would want to be.
So, this is something to keep in mind:
YouTube is where you showcase your music. Other channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) are where you invite people who are not currently using YouTube to check out your channel
The great thing about social media marketing is you’ll be able to reach out to people outside of your fanbase and try to convert them into loyal listeners.
Keep in mind that Facebook isn’t YouTube. It was not built for music or video consumption. When people go to Facebook, it is usually to connect with people or to find out what’s happening in the world. Still, Facebook remains the biggest social network worldwide.
Eight out of ten people are bound to have a Facebook account which they use daily. If someone wants to get in touch with a friend or a sibling, he goes to Facebook. The same thing is true if he wants to reach customer service about a product that he recently purchased. Sometimes, people even go to Facebook for world news.
Aside from social networking, Facebook has also become an excellent avenue for both digital marketing and advertising. This is due to its immense and varied number of users.
So, yes, having a Facebook page not only allows you to expand your fanbase but can also give you valuable information about your target market that you can utilize in future marketing campaigns.
Spotify is an excellent way for new artists to promote their music and it’s free. All you have to do is claim your artist profile and then you can start releasing songs on the platform.
Since almost every music lover has a Spotify app on his phone, releasing your music on this platform means that your music will have increased exposure to your fanbase and potential new fans. And not only can it serve as an initial boost for artist discovery, but there is a monetary drive as well. You get paid for how many times your music gets played.
Once you’ve successfully marketed your music, Spotify could feature you on their Discovery Weekly page. A massive boost in traffic and popularity could ensue!
As far as social media marketing is concerned, Spotify can be an excellent CTA. You can direct your Facebook “likers” to follow your Spotify account.
Giving free access to your music offers a diverse group of people a sampling of what you’re all about as an artist. It’s an investment in your future fanbase.
3. Prepare Your Tools One Step At A Time
We don’t advise you to start marketing your music everywhere all at once. While the pace may be slow, launching your platforms one by one will help you better attain your goals.
Once your website has the right aesthetic and is functional, here are the next steps that you need to do, and in the right order:
• Create a blog page/events page
• Make a pop-up sign up page for your newsletter
• Do email marketing
• Sell merchandise on your website
Plan on taking at least six months to a year before you start selling merchandise. The key in online marketing is to always provide value first before selling your products or services.
Once you’ve built the foundation for your email marketing, you can begin emailing your subscribers with merchandise suggestions as a way to entice them to make a purchase.
Pro Tip: You can host a contest in which customers who have purchased your merchandise post a photo of the item on Facebook. To join the contest, they will be required to tag your Facebook page and use your hashtag along with the post.
The winner of the contest will win a limited-time merch T-Shirt and one ticket to your next performance. Contests provide some free music promotion and brand awareness. Woorise is a marketing tool that you can use to create powerful branded giveaways. You’ll be able to create giveaways and contests instantly by adding and dropping elements into the workspace that you can fully customize.
Before you market your music on Facebook, you need to have products to promote. So it’s a good idea to publish some videos on YouTube first.
Complete the following tasks:
• Set your profile picture
• Select your cover photo
• Customize your YouTube name
• Publish at least 5 videos
Pro Tip: Do not release original music just yet. Release cover songs of your favorite artists. This is the best way to gain traction. Since you haven’t yet made a name for yourself compared to other, more renowned artists, aligning yourself with their branding is a way to introduce people to your music.
Some artists prefer to open a Spotify account only when they’ve started producing original music. But we highly recommend that you work on cover songs in the beginning, for similar reasons to those mentioned above on YouTube. We will explain in more detail when we discuss your Facebook marketing strategy in the next section.
As a new artist, you want to target as many people as possible. When you start Facebook marketing, you’d want both YouTube and Spotify as part of your CTA strategy.
Take care of the basics. Upload your logo or an on-brand photo of you/your bandmates as a profile picture. You also need to do the same for your Facebook cover photo. For the latter, make sure that the cover photo is personal to your brand as an artist. It could be a photo of your band set against the perfect backdrop. Get the mood right.
To get your first Facebook followers, you can simply ask for support from people you connect with on Facebook. But before you do that, your page must have at least five posts. Otherwise, when someone visits your page, they’ll be inclined to leave without following or liking your page first. This is due to two things:
1. An empty Facebook page signifies inactivity
2. It looks unprofessional
To follow your page, people will want value. If your potential followers get a bad first impression, it will take longer for you to grow your page.
For your Facebook posts, below are some recommendations:
• Personal and candid shots in the studio–alone or with the entire band
• A draft image of what you are working on
• A repost of recent candid images of popular artists in your same genre
• Facebook contests
• Bloopers of behind-the-scenes work
• Announcements of future releases or concerts
4. Start Promoting Your Music
We repeat. Do not showcase your original music just yet. But before the start date of your marketing campaigns, make sure that your cover songs have already been made public both through YouTube and Spotify.
The first thing you need to do is to share them on Facebook. When you create these posts, always remember the following:
• Use hashtags
• Mention and tag popular artists especially when you are doing a cover
• The caption needs to be short but memorable
As we mentioned above, your Facebook page should have at least five posts. You’ll also need to accomplish the following:
• Start by inviting your contacts to follow your page.
• Join Facebook groups related to the music niche and then ask for support.
• You can also share your cover songs. Make sure that you share your cover songs as a post from your Facebook page.
• Share your Facebook posts on your personal Facebook profile.
The next phase of your Facebook marketing is to host a Facebook contest. From your five initial posts, select one that has received the most engagement and make this the subject of your contest.
To join the contest, people simply need to share the post with as many people and Facebook groups as possible. And the person who shares the post the most will be the winner.
A winning prize example can be T-shirt merchandise with free shipping to anywhere in the world. This will help your Facebook page and your brand gain traction.
For more effective Facebook marketing, you need to have a specific and targeted audience. Unfortunately, you won’t have this yet at the beginning of your campaign. You need to run a Facebook ad directed at a broad audience to get the specifics of the audience that has shown interest in your content.
The Facebook contest, aside from helping you gain traction, was also a test for you to identify a post that has the most potential for a Facebook ad.
For this phase of the Facebook marketing strategy, simply do the following:
• Run a Facebook ad
• Create a custom audience based on the data you get from the ad
• Remarket to this custom audience
Remarketing simply means that people who have engaged with your website or whatever landing page you have will see your remarketing ad on Facebook until they click the ad and finally take action on your CTA.
Once your Facebook remarketing ad has been set in place, it is time for you to produce original music. If you already have music, we recommend that you set a release date and then create a teaser post on your Facebook page.
Afterwards, do the following:
• Share it on your profile
• Share it on your Facebook groups (only Facebook groups related to your niche)
• Boost your Facebook post
• Release the music on YouTube and Spotify
5. Instagram and Twitter
We recommend that you create these profiles once you’ve gained a certain level of followers on your Facebook page. Let’s aim for 1,000 followers.
To gain followers on Twitter and Instagram, you have to utilize your Facebook audience one more time.
Post on your Facebook page regarding your Twitter and Instagram accounts. If you already have existing fans, they will most likely be interested in connecting via other social media channels as well. A simple post will do, but a short video clip would be more effective in getting people’s attention.
• Cross-post your Facebook marketing into Instagram
• Posts must be accompanied by graphics
• Post videos and images of candid moments with your production team
• Run photos with fans and create a hashtag for it
• Create a photo contest (applicable when you are already performing in public places)
• Cross-post your Facebook marketing here as well
• Content should be focused on who you are as a person. Fans love to get to know their favorite artists.
• You can get more personal with your views either on the music industry or some other topic
• Take the time to share posts of other musicians as well
• You can set a foundation for your Twitter account so that you can collaborate with other musicians in the future
Social media marketing is the foundation of your music promotion. The final step would be to start collaborating with other indie artists who have been in the industry for much longer than you but still haven’t reached an optimum fanbase.
You can go for platforms specially made for free music promotion for independent artists like HUDL Music. On this platform, you’ll be able to share your music with listeners and other artists as well. You can interact with them and increasing your chances to find opportunities for collaborations.
If you’re already playing in public venues, you could set one concert to perform as a duo with an artist of your choice.
Both of you will have individual marketing strategies in place. For instance, you could stream the event live on your Facebook page and your YouTube channel.
Your collaborator could do the same or he could try out something else like a press release or a viral social media post.
The purpose of this kind of collaboration is to increase exposure to a new audience for each of you. You both have the potential to increase your fanbase. This helps you to not only become a more sought-after artist but it also expands your network making you more eligible for bigger collaborations in the future.
One thing to love about collaboration is that it is free music promotion. There are free platforms that you can use to meet artists for potential collaboration, and social media sites that are specifically targeted to musicians. You may want to step up your game by interacting with fans through these media for greater accessibility.
In these modern times, we are more than amply equipped with the means to not only make music but also market it from the comfort of our own homes. The music industry has certainly become more accessible and cost-effective these days for both budding and accomplished musicians.
Yet, the most important ingredient of all is the right marketing strategy. We hope we’ve helped you build a solid foundation for your social marketing strategy so that your music can reach an audience worthy of your talent!