Social media is a necessary evil for every independent artist and band. The self-promo can be soul-crushing when you drive up minimal engagement at the start of your career, but if you’ve got music that deserves the hype, it’s up to you to bring it – until you’ve got the funds to hand your PR over to a pro.
1. Find the Right Platform for You
We advise independent artists to try and make an impact on all social media platforms. There is no telling which one you will be most successful on until you put the arduous work in.
Contrary to popular belief, TikTok isn’t just for annoying and narcissistic teens lip-syncing to music they didn’t create. Many artists of all genres have gone viral on the platform and sustained their success and popularity afterwards. You might need to master the art of viral-worthy content for TikTok, but there are plenty of tools that can help you to do exactly that for free. Share clips of your latest music video, make videos of the catchiest part of your songs and show TikTok what they missed out on when they didn’t come to see you live.
Other platforms that you will want to make a part of your social media marketing strategy include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and, of course, all of the main streaming platforms. Yes, Spotify is one of the most awful symptoms of late-stage capitalism, but that doesn’t mean it can’t transform independent artists’ careers. Just take the Australian singer-songwriter, Jacob Lee as the perfect example.
2. Create a Social Media Strategy
Creating a social media strategy is especially important in the run-up to big single, EP and album launches. Yet, don’t allow the momentum to slip between releases and tours. For the best use of your time, schedule posts in advance and consider syncing your posts across platforms.
When creating your social media strategy, be mindful that you are using the quality over quantity approach, and always keep up to date with new developments in algorithms. In 2022, here is what you need to know in regards to appeasing algorithms on each platform.
Instagram – use tags that are currently trending, only if they are relevant. Try to drive up your number of followers by finding accounts that follow similar accounts to yours and by posting engaging content. Once you get an engaged audience, reply to comments, or at least like them. Additionally, keep your post frequency consistent. Push for two Instagram posts each week.
Follow suggested accounts and Tweet regularly to stay visible – up to four posts a day is advisable. However, you will want to keep your self-promo posts to a minimum. Instead, show your followers what you’re all about. Weigh in on social and political trending topics or moves in the music industry. Twitter is one of the best places to showcase your personality and share values to help your fans connect with you instead of just through your music. Always Tweet when your audience is likely to be active and use keywords or industry influencer names to attract the right attention. Perhaps most importantly, mix up your tweets with images, bite-sized videos and GIFs.
Refrain from posting anything that may be flagged as misinformation or spam. Only share the type of content that seems to get your audience engaged; this will be a process of trial and error until you find out which content works best for you. Typically, aim to post at least four times a week.
On TikTok, it doesn’t matter if it is your first post or your 1000th; it has the same chance of going viral with the right keywords in captions.
Once again, only post when your audience is likely to be online and always find new ways to drive engagement.
3. Be Authentic & Engaging
There is no denying that the music industry has changed since 2020. People are less concerned about connecting with egos and more eager to connect with authentic up and coming music artists.
The trick to promoting your band via social media is to aim for genuine connections – not just to have a collection of sycophants at your disposal. Always stay humble and authentic. If people connect with your lyrics, they will connect with your posts, and vice versa. Most importantly, make posts that people want to engage with. Ask for input, spark a friendly debate, or start a merch giveaway on your social media feeds.