Creating and publishing social media content on a regular basis can sometimes feel like an endless line of tasks with little reward. While it’s no secret that social media usage continues to grow, for artists and bands looking to stand out in a crowded market tapping into your creativity should be seen as an ace up your sleeve.
When it comes to new music releases, thinking outside the boundaries of simply promoting products is crucial to success, especially if you’re hoping to build your fanbase. The rise of social media and the accessibility of a vast array of entertainment means that musicians should consider that it’s not just other music artists and bands competing for people's time.
Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, podcasts, blogs and many other on demand digital platforms are consumed at a highly rapid rate and, with streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music offering “all you can eat sonic buffets”, it can seem like a daunting challenge when preparing social media content for publication vs the outcome.
The good news is that with a healthy dose of imagination, creativity, preparation and knowhow, there are plenty of ways for musicians to differentiate themselves with their social and digital online presence. Reaching wider audiences who, as a result become new fans is a gamechanger for musicians looking to build and sustain a career in music.
Two starting points when approaching a different social media content process is to look at the big brand media platforms I’ve mentioned previously and embrace what media actually is. For example:
Consider your social media platform to be a television station. TV uses a variety of informative, entertaining, and educational programming. Advertising makes up a smaller part of the schedule. Consider your music products as the advertising arm of your media presence and then look at your current social media content. If the majority of your output is “ Watch this new music video”, “stream our new song”, “pre-order the new ep / album” etc, essentially your social media is predominantly made up of advertising. These types of posts might serve to inform your audience about your music but if you’re not allowing for engaging posts that encourage fans to participate, it’s likely social media algorithms are squeezing the reach on the visibility of your posts.
Take the time to research resources such as tv channels and on-demand services like Netflix, and consider how you could adopt different ways to produce and deliver unique, interesting content that might resonate with a wider audience.
Here are six key ingredients to help make your social media pop out:
R = RECREATIONAL: Funny, popular culture, films, tv, music, jokes, memes, gifs, holidays.
E = EDUCATIONAL: Trivia, facts, tips, tricks, hacks, trends, research, case studies, history, on this day.
C = CONVERSATIONAL: Surveys, polls, fill in the blanks, Ask a question, this vs that, featured of the week/month.
I = INSPIRATIONAL: Quotes, reviews, success stories, achievements, before and after, images of people and events that inspire your music.
P = PROMOTIONAL: Discounts, buy one get one free, customer reviews, FB/IG Live, webinars, workshops, playthroughs.
E = ENTREPRENEURIAL: Behind the scenes stories about your music, featured band members, personal life, mission and vision statements, values, story of the band and people involved with it. Involve your fans and their stories.
Make sure your social media bio, header, avatar and website clearly showcase your latest music, as well as how to buy it. Divide your content into percentages. Remember to give your audience value and variety, this will be gamechanger for you and your music releases:
Informative = 30%
Entertainment = 30%
Educational = 30%
Advertising = 10%
If you use the above points as a new foundation for your social media strategy, there are a number of options available to produce high quality content. While getting your music noticed is the primary concern, consider other popular cultures and hobbies that you can tap into via different media platforms that makes your audience want to get involved in.
Try exploring the ten suggestions below and find ways to blend these seamlessly into your social media management. (Tip: devise a social media calendar for your media delivery to optimise productivity and regularity so that your audience are notified in advance).
4. Online Live Events (tip: find ways to get your band members and fans involved)
5. Virtual ‘Pub style’ Quiz (tip: get your fans involved with popular culture)
6. Tik Tok (tip: check out ‘Duets’)
There is no magic formula when it comes to achieving high reach with every post. Research your social media options and diversify your content accordingly. Because of this change in formula you will be noticed and reach a wider audience.
Try something different today and embrace your creativity. Don’t be afraid to try new things, even if they don’t always work.