How to Use Social Media Effectively for Musicians

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If you were a musician back in the seventies or eighties, you would never have to think about the way you use the internet. But you’re not a musician of the past. You’re a musician in the twenty-first century, and the culture and expectations have changed – especially when it comes to the way bands and solo artists promote and distribute their music.

In today’s increasingly digital world, the internet is immensely important to the music industry and the people who work within it. (After all, you’re reading a website right now, aren’t you?) Whether you’re dealing with music blogs, web zines, album reviews, tech reviews, downloadable files, artist interviews, promotional giveaways, festival submissions, or other aspects of the industry, the internet reigns supreme when it comes to sharing information, interacting with fans, and expressing yourself as an artist.

Regardless of whether you’re a solo performer or part of a group, one of the most important parts of the internet for musicians is social media. Every type of business imaginable has a social media presence, and as a professional musician trying to build a career, you should have one, too. Some of the most popular platforms for musicians include Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, but there are countless other websites where artists can showcase their talent.

While there isn’t necessarily a “perfect” way to present your music online, there are a few basic do’s, don’ts, and pointers you should follow if you’re a DJ, singer, rapper, or any other type of musician on social media.  To help you get the most out of your social networking strategy, Planetary Group offers some helpful social media tips, including a list of 17 of the best social media sites for musicians.

The Top 17 Best Social Media Platforms and Apps for Musicians

There are tons of social media platforms out there, some designed specifically with musicians in mind. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through the hassle of picking and choosing between them, because you should ideally make a profile on all of them (or at least as many as you can realistically spend time maintaining).

That being said, some social media platforms definitely have more clout than others. Facebook, for example, boasts a user base of nearly 2 billion people – about a quarter of the world population. At the same time, it’s also important to keep in mind that size isn’t everything. SoundCloud, for instance, is much smaller than Facebook, but it exists specifically for the purpose of sharing music, which is obviously a major benefit for indie musicians. A good social media strategy is to start by making profiles on the most popular or relevant websites – beginning with Facebook – and work your way toward the smaller websites that get less traffic.

17 Websites for Musicians to Upload Music or Share Content

There are numerous websites where you can sell or upload your album or single, interact with fans and followers, and share the latest news about your tour schedule, band, or solo act. To help you get started, here are 17 social media platforms that have either been designed for musicians, or are useful for musicians despite having a more generalized user base.

We’ve included the approximate numbers of users or artists for each platform in order to give you a clearer idea of the website or app’s overall size or popularity.  Platforms are listed in order of roughly how many users each has.

  1. Facebook – 1.86 billion users
  2. YouTube– 1.3 billion users
  3. Instagram – 600 million monthly active users
  4. Tumblr – 550 million monthly active users
  5. LinkedIn – 467 million users
  6. Twitter – 319 million monthly active users
  7. Snapchat – 301 million monthly active users
  8. SoundCloud – 175 million monthly listeners (40 million registered users)
  9. Pinterest – 150 million monthly active users
  10. Google+ – 111 million active users
  11. Spotify – 50 million paid users (over 30 million tracks)
  12. Last.fm – 44 million users (over 12 million tracks)
  13. Musical.ly – 40 million monthly active users
  14. Periscope – 10 million active users
  15. ReverbNation – 3.8 million users
  16. Bandcamp– Approximately 350,000 artists
  17. Twitmusic – Over 50,000 registered artists

Musician Social Media Strategies for Facebook, Twitter, and Other Websites

There are do’s and don’t for using social media effectively, and that applies to musicians, too. Here’s some basic advice to get the most out of social media as a hip hop artist, DJ, folk artist, or any other type of independent musician.

  • Keep your content varied. From a user’s perspective, nothing is more boring (and eventually, annoying) than seeing repetitive posts over and over. You’ll get more followers by mixing up your content to contain all sorts of material. Don’t just blast your followers with requests for likes or retweets – give back! Upload videos, share photos, make creative use of hashtags, offer giveaways, share sneak peeks, discuss albums or equipment you enjoy, and don’t forget to interact with your fans.
  • Don’t post too often – or too little. Different sources give different recommendations for the optimal posting frequency depending on factors like which website or app you’re using and how many followers you have. Generally speaking, two posts per day is recommended for artists with large followings (10,000 or more), while a lower posting frequency is typically advised for musicians with smaller followings. Planetary Group can help you find an effective social media strategy for maximizing your visibility and outreach to listeners.
  • Offer rewards for fans. Who doesn’t love being rewarded? You can make free downloads available to fans, or offer other simple, low-cost treats and exclusives, in exchange for liking your page or sharing a certain hashtag.
  • Get creative with interactive features. Artists often fixate on the “media” aspect of social media and forget about the “social” part; but the beauty of social media is that it creates a two-way street. Not only can you share content with fans, they can share content with you – which also happens to be a great (and cost-free) way to make an impression and forge a connection. For example, you can invite fans to submit their art, upload videos, or simply share their opinions.
  • Use a personal tone. You’re not the spokesperson for a multi-national corporation, so you shouldn’t write like one on Facebook (or, for that matter, on any other social media site you’re using). While you should definitely give your posts a once-over for basic grammar and readability, you should write like you speak so that your content has a genuine tone.

If you’d like to learn more about using social media as a musician, you can also head over to our social media tips page for some extra reading – or, simply give Planetary Group a call at (323) 952-5050 for a consultation.

Are you looking for tips on how to effectively use a specific social media platform? We’ve got you covered there, too. You can check out our pages on:

Online Publicity and Marketing for Bands, Singers, DJs, and Hip Hop Artists

Planetary Group was founded in 1996 to help up-and-coming bands and solo performers reach bigger audiences, book better gigs, enter music festivals, get their music played on the radio, and score record deals with major labels and independent labels.  With over 20 years of experience in the music industry in the U.S. and abroad, Planetary Group has worked with some of the world’s biggest artists, including Beastie Boys, David Bowie, Katy Perry, Foo Fighters, Moby, Nine Inch Nails, and Yoko Ono. Though based in L.A., Planetary Group takes clients from all over the country, including Atlanta, Houston, Austin, Memphis, New Orleans, Nashville, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Seattle, and throughout the world.

We work with singer-songwriters, folk musicians, rappers and hip hop artists, DJs and electronic musicians, punk bands, and many types of eclectic styles and genres. No matter what stage of your career you’ve reached, we can help you take it to the next level. To learn more about how Planetary Group can widen your audience and gain exposure for you, give us a call today at (323) 952-5050.