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Social Media For Musicians: 14 Key Tips For 2022

  • Damian Keyes
    Damian Keyes
  • Apr 19th 2022

If you are looking to grow your fanbase as a musician, social media is simply one of the best tools you can have for reaching a worldwide audience.

You might think you can do without focusing on social media marketing in your music career, but in 2022 it's pretty much non-negotiable.

If you want to reach a wider audience, you need to understand how social media for musicians works.

The incredible positives of being able to reach out to anyone in the world, no matter how far away they are cannot be ignored.

Social media in the music industry is necessary for 2022 because you need the build the leverage.

And it's very rare that music alone builds that leverage anymore. Attention is everything. Building and maintaining a strong social media presence is how you can get your new music in front of more followers.

For me, it's all about structuring the processes for creating content so you don't burn out as easily and it's manageable. When you start seeing growth on social media platforms, it becomes much easier to continue and promote your music online.

So what are you actually supposed to do to grow on social media as a musician? Here are my top social media marketing tips for musicians in 2022.


1. Take Social Media Marketing Seriously

If you haven't already been converted from the introduction to this social media for musicians guide, I'll say it one more time.

You have to take this seriously. Yes, as seriously as your job.

If you don't, you will get left behind whilst you see others getting the reach you want.

To be honest, 99% of musicians are aware that they need to adopt modern social media strategies if they want their music career to take off.

But there's a difference between being aware of it and actually taking action.

One of the biggest reasons why musicians fail is because they don't take music marketing seriously and see it as an afterthought.

The music business is way too competitive to operate this way.

The foundations of incredible music and talent just aren't enough if you are going to competing with other musicians online.

Of course, these things are important but without putting your energy into social media marketing should be a top priority for building your music empire.

2. Understand How The Algorithm Works On Social Media Sites

Okay, it's time to talk about the algorithm on social media platforms.

It's not as complicated as you might think.

But it's really important that you really understand what a given social media platform looks for when deciding what content to show, and what content not to show.

Remember, our timelines and feeds on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other social media platforms aren't shown chronologically.

Here's the short story:

An algorithm chooses to show your content over other people's down to historical data of previous posts and the retention and engagement of the current post.

So what does this mean?

It can sometimes help to play a little game. Load up Instagram now. Have a look at the top 3 posts on your feed, and maybe even what stories are showing up first.

Why are you seeing them? Really analyze what it is about that content and your own behavior that has caused this content to be pushed in front of your own eyes.

When you next post your content on social media, the platform will decide how far it will push this piece of content by how much engagement it is getting, as well as who has engaged with your previous content.

Not only do you need great music. You need incredible content and consistency.

We can also look at this from a deeper level.

Social media platforms make money by selling advertising space. But more specifically they sell two things:

  • Our DATA.
  • Our ATTENTION.

If you’re not paying for the product, the product is you. They collect as much data as possible about us and retain our attention as much as possible so they can sell more ads.

The more time people spend on the platform, the more valuable they are to the platform's bottom line.

So yes we can talk about making good content, making content that gets engagement, encouraging comments, and loads of different things.

If there is ONE thing that social media platforms want from you more than anything, it’s this:

KEEP PEOPLE ON THE PLATFORM.

That’s it. That’s how they make money.

This is why they reward posts, pages, and content that people engage with, life event posts, anything that will keep someone scrolling, consuming, scrolling, consuming, scrolling, consuming.

This is why they PUNISH the hell out of bad content and absolutely crush its potential reach.

Play the game and create content that people can engage with!

Musician recording

3. Focus On Short-Form Video Content

So we know that social media for musicians is a necessity and that social media content needs good engagement in order to perform well - what content are you supposed to post?

Micro-content and short-form video content is a music industry trend that is here to stay.

Look at the rise of TikTok.

We can't keep calling it a new platform. It's been here for a while and it's dominating for a reason.

It's no coincidence that Instagram has been pushing its reels feature so hard either.

Upload videos in short-form instead of sharing longer videos.

You need to find ways of attaching your music to other content.

It's not enough to just post entire music videos and hope for the best.

Social media is about consumption and when you utilise social media right, it's the most powerful tool you have.

Right now, visuals are king for music TikTok content. Attach your music to video and break this down into smaller clips for your socials.

These smaller short-form videos are how you build engagement. When you are just starting out, your follower's consumptions habits aren't quite there yet to want to consume an entire movie about you.

Get them interested enough to watch 10 seconds of you first. Once you've cracked that, you can start moving on to longer-form pieces of content.

Get creative and think of different short-form social media content ideas you can use with your music.

4. Demand Attention With Your Content

Make sure your music gets heard, every time.

Meet the three-second rule.

That’s the amount of time that people give you before deciding whether to continue watching or listening (sometimes less too).

You need to be aware of this with everything you make.

Yes, you might love that 45-second intro of a storm, but it isn’t going to help your retention which then leads to more Spotify streams and more fans.

Same for your content too, if something doesn’t grab straight away, it won’t get looked at or watched.

Instant gratification. What can you do to demand attention? Instead of playing in your bedroom, go somewhere scenic and do something CRAZY.

We talk a lot about 'scroll stopping' when considering social media for musicians.

Your job is to do something that is going to DEMAND that someone stops scrolling through their feed and consumes your visual content over someone else's.

Young contemporary musician in front of drumset on 2021 09 24 03 19 30 utc

5. Choose Which Social Media Platforms You Will Focus On

A big mistake that solo artists and musicians make is spreading themselves too thin and trying and tackle ALL platforms at once when in reality it’s much better to tackle 1 or 2 platforms properly instead of 6 or 7 poorly.

It also helps if your audience is focused in one or two key locations instead of spread out.

Using fewer platforms will give you much more breathing room, stop you from feeling burnt out, allow you to spend less time overall managing social media, and more time creating music.

The best social media platforms for musicians are the ones that you are the most comfortable with and where your ideal audience is hanging out.

Choose MAX one or two platforms. You don't have the time to dedicate to more properly. Research Instagram for musicians, TikTok, and YouTube and work out what works best for you.

Those are the three best social media platforms for musicians that I recommend you focus on in 2022.

Facebook has a rapidly decreasing organic reach and Twitter isn't really that great for musicians.

I would focus your energy on visual social platforms like TikTok and Instagram as that's where you can win.

YouTube takes a lot of effort as a content creator and your content output is going to be lower, to begin with. It can be fruitful though as a video sharing platform if you can crack search engine optimization and the YouTube algorithm. If you are going to publish cover songs as part of your strategy, you can get great organic reach on YouTube.

The same goes for Instagram and TikTok. Be sure to use the right music hashtags when you upload videos!

6. Know Your Demographic

Everyone says you have to know your demographic.

But what does this really mean? It means you know EXACTLY the type of person who will be into your music.

This means you cut out a lot of the fluff of targetting the wrong people, which wastes both time and money and can hinder momentum.

This does develop through your releases so don't panic if you don't have this straight away.

The better you know your predicted audience, the better you can create music and content that they'll love. If they love it, you build faster. It's that simple.

Music fans

7. Take Time To Interact With Your Fans And Spread Your Message

If there is ONE thing you need to remember it’s this...

All of your fans are going to be strangers before they are fans.

We don't just find fans. We create them.

Give more than you take. It's a two-way street. You can't just share content over and over again, shouting into the endless void hoping that someone will take notice.

Create real connections with real people. That's how you really grow on social media as a musician.

Don't underestimate the power of 1-1 communication.

It's completely free and is still the best form of marketing.

Start conversations, take a genuine interest in others and develop relationships.

I can't stress how important this is!

Audio and video messages are super personal and create a real connection with fans. Go above and beyond and show that you actually care about your followers, not just music promotion.

This is one of the main mentality switches that most musicians need to make in order to be successful on social media.

Bands and musicians are often asking for way too much without offering anything of value in return.

8. Use The Pillar System To Show Up More Often

We’re all busy, I get it.

So what’s the best way to grow on socials when you can’t spend 24/7 on socials organically?

The time ISNT in the social media platform. The time is in the creation.

All social media is, is connecting with your fanbase and getting what you’ve created into the world.

The Pillar System helps you break down your content so when you create something - you’re not just creating one part, you’re creating 50 pieces of content.

The thought of making 50 pieces of content for social media networks feels overwhelming.

When you make one piece of content and break it down, it's less so.

Create clips from your master content and tell the story around it so you don't have to rely on making new content every time!

How to motivate your bandmates

9. Plan When You Create, Not When You Post Content

Here’s the most valuable thing you will learn today about creating content to scale your social media accounts.

I bet today you’re thinking today “I have to post at 5 pm”.

Then 4.55 pm comes around and you’re scrolling through your phone looking for old pictures or videos that will do for a post.

This is wrong.

If you do this, all you do is put out substandard content that doesn’t reflect what you can actually do. Then your social profiles don’t build and then it’s a cycle where you put in even less effort because you can’t see the return.

It’s not about the deadline, it’s about the parameters of the creative.

We stop saying “at 5 pm I post” and start saying “between 3 pm-5 pm I create”.

This is about stopping saying when we post and putting the emphasis on what we create.

10. Show Up Consistently

Musicians need to build consistent value every single day to start to build momentum on any social network.

If you post on day 1, day 5, and day 17 that is going to have nowhere near the same impact as day 1, day 2, and day 3.

It's a no-brainer.

To get the most out of social media platforms for musicians it's about little hits every day, not big swings.

This is why we break down our big single releases into smaller content to make sure we’re giving it in a digestible way to cause the most momentum.

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Are you posting on a daily basis?
  • Are you replying to every comment on your posts with something meaningful? ⠀
  • Do you share content on impulse or are you scheduling your music content ahead of time?
  • Is your audience returning? Or just liking and leaving?
  • If this wasn’t your post or your feed, would you like and engage?

You need to be brutally honest with all of these questions. If you’re not putting in the time and effort to put out something meaningful on a social network, it won’t grow.

Female singer with microphone

11. Optimize Your Music Social Media Profiles

Be honest, how does your profile look?

As artists, it's all about the visual.

Remember, fans will only spend a few seconds deciding whether they want to enter your world and come along for the ride or not.

For them to decide to listen to your new song, become one of your new Instagram followers, interact with your posts or become a full-fledged fan, they need to know who you are and what you stand for instantly.

Your profile picture and banner need to be attention-grabbing and on-brand.

Check out your favorite artists on any social media site.

Their imagery and messages are clear as day.

What is your message? What do you stand for?

A good place to focus on, to begin with, is your music bio on Instagram or TikTok.

As a professional musician, it's important to say more than just your genre and location.

For example:

"23/London/Guitarist"

Doesn't really tell me much...

What about:

"I tear people's faces off with riffs 🤘🔥".

This gets me excited. It gives me an idea of what kind of musician you are. What kind of content you post. What your personality is.

Think hard about this and don't skip this step.

The best social media platforms for musicians will allow you the opportunity to place a bio link.

This is important as a call to action. You can use this to promote a music show, push future tour dates, stream your new song, and more.

12. Don't Play It Safe

As creatives, there is no rulebook.

I know we want a blueprint and exact step-by-step guide on what to post, when to post it, and where to post it, but it's not that simple.

If you really want to stand out in the music industry, you need to stand for something and commit.

This is about taking risks and doing something different and exciting. Too many artists just play it safe and expect incredible results.

Do something crazy and rip the door off with your content.

Getting more people to listen to your original music online begins isn't going to happen unless you can do something crazy to get people to take notice.

The internet is a big place.

Millions of content creators are vying for attention every single day.

You can't just share photos or upload music every now and then and expect people to buy into your journey.

Always do more!

Stage presence band interaction

13. Share Behind The Scenes Photos or Videos

A key way of connecting with your fans is the sharing of behind-the-scenes content.

If you're at band practice or on your way to a show, all of this can be documented and published online.

Make your content personal and tell your story.

Remember to think about documenting the process.

Instead of just posting your finished song online, why not share the process of you making the song?

The lyric writing process, recording, mistakes, and more.

This allows you to build a real connection over time.

Musicians often focus on the big piece of content. Their finished videos, their album, and more. But the beauty and real connection come with the behind-the-scenes content.

This is the content that fans interact with and the content that allows them to get to know you as a musician and person!

14. Use Analytics To Understand What Works and What Doesn't

A lot of honing social media marketing for musicians is in the review.

When posting content after a period of time, you need to take a look at what's working and what isn't.

I want you to take a look at your own analytics and see if your content has been hitting the mark with your fans.

We all want to grow faster, but when you don't know what you're looking for, it's like you're working blind.

After this, it becomes simple.

Look through your previous posts on your main platform and outline which have the most interaction.

What is it about these videos and pictures that made people want to interact?

If you are able to continually review your process, you can double down on what's working and spend less time on what's not working.