As all things slowly start to hop aboard the digital train, music promotion has already boarded and is finding its seat. Music streaming and digital sales are edging out physical merchandising and advertising more and more each day, and having an online presence for your music is now a must-have. But it doesn’t have to be so hard! We’ve put together a list of what we believe to be 5 of The Best Social Media Sites for Musicians to get you started. Let’s dive in.
Soundcloud is an enormous community of artists and one of the best platforms to share tracks, receive feedback, build a fan base, and find other musicians. Many artists such as Post Malone and Bryson Tiller actually started their careers off the backbone of Soundcloud and were discovered straight from the site itself. With the music scene shifting more towards streaming rather than direct physical sales, this is a great platform to be taking advantage of.
Some of the great features of Soundcloud are:
- Users can like and repost your tracks. Similar to Twitter, when someone reposts your track, it will show up on their personal stream and allow their followers to see it, ultimately putting your music in front of more sets of eyes – Score!
- Comments on tracks are time stamped at the specific time in the song in which they were posted, giving you a neat way of seeing what specific part of your track made people want to comment.
- Statistics on when your tracks are getting plays, reposts, likes and comments are free with any basic account. Paid accounts can offer more valuable statistics such as plays by country & city, the names of the users who are playing your music the most, and which social networks and websites people are coming from to get to your songs.
Just like Soundcloud, Bandcamp is another one of the best social media sites for musicians, labels and fans to get together and share music. While Soundcloud is more social media based with commenting and reposting, Bandcamp is skewed towards creating a more well-rounded sales platform for your music and brand, and is home to more full length albums, merch sales, and more.
Some interesting features offered by Bandcamp include:
- Setting a price or a “pay what you think is fair” option for your music so that you can start making money off of your track instantly. You can even create your own discount and promo codes!
- New artist recommendations that can automatically put your music in front of new fans, ultimately growing your potential follower base without having to lift a finger.
- In depth statistics showing what’s being purchased and when, where fans are coming from and more. A paid account can even link your Bandcamp statistics with Google Analytics for some serious data collection.
- The ability to sell merchandise! You can bundle together your music and merch to make different packages available at different price points.
Although not directly related to music promotion, Facebook is an excellent platform to build a central hub for fans to reach out and have discussions, learn about upcoming shows, singles and more. With over 2 BILLION active users every month, it is also a great place to share content that has the potential to go viral.
Facebook offers many great page management tools that make it easy for you to highlight important info and find new fans;
- The use of a strong header image that shows upcoming singles, gig dates etc. is a great way to advertise important events without actually showing people an advertisement.
- The ability to pin posts allows you to pin popular content that is performing well to the top of your page where it can stay until you decide otherwise (perhaps a new video or single?)
- Pro Tip: Previous posts that have performed well can be used to grow your fan base by simply clicking on the ‘likes’ button to see who has liked the post, then clicking the ‘invite’ button to invite those likers directly to become fans of your page.
When it comes to directly communicating with fans, fellow musicians, and even labels, Twitter is absolutely one of the best social media sites for musicians to be on. Creating a dialogue and engaging with those that are most important to you is an amazing way to build your fan base, get in touch with other artists for potential collaborations, and even get discovered by labels (fingers crossed!)
In order to get on top of the Twitter game, knowing how to get the most out of the platform as well as it’s features is crucial;
- Start utilizing Twitter Lists. This feature allows you to categorize people/accounts into specific groups of your choosing. Make a group for labels of interest, number one fans, music blogs, favourite artists etc. so that certain people of interest can be found in one place with ease.
- Pay attention to trending hashtags! Stay current and be aware if any of the content you are uploading will naturally relate to trending topics.
- Reach out to other artists to build relationships, music blogs for possible features, and stay up to date on what your competition is doing.
- Insert links at the beginning of your tweets rather than the end; they are more likely to get clicked on that way. Also be sure to use calls to action! If you ask for a retweet, there’s a better chance you’ll get it.
Instagram is one of the most popular and active platforms today, so not taking advantage of it would be a huge missed opportunity. Being the major platform for photo and video content, creating a brand for music on this platform and showing off behind the scenes footage of new song development, musician life, live performances and more is a great way to get your music heard.
Some important tips for using Instagram are to:
- Use relevant hashtags. Up to 30 hashtags can be included in a post and can easily be hidden in the first comment of your post instead of the caption to avoid the look of being too ‘hashtag-crazy’.
- Use the ‘story’ feature located at the top of the app to post a photo or video that lasts 24 hours and shows people what you’re up to in the moment. You can also start live videos from here!
- Follow other artists, labels, and music blogs. By now I’m sure you’re seeing a pattern. Building relationships is CRUCIAL on every platform and is one of the most important aspects of ALL kinds of marketing!
The world of digital music promotion can sometimes be a little overwhelming, especially when it seems like there is an endless number of websites and apps claiming to be the “be all and end all” for selling your work. But realistically, there is no one platform that is best to use, and instead you’ll find that creating a consistent presence across multiple platforms is the best method for successful music marketing. Hopefully this list gets you started off in the right direction, but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send us an email :).