You’ve gotten a few tracks released and now you’re ready to promote them.
You’ve created a Soundcloud, a Twitter, and even a Facebook page and now all you need is an audience.
With the insane amount of new music being promoted on social media every single day, how do you stand out?
The last thing you want to look like is the cliche broke rapper trying to promote your mixtape by spamming their followers.
Today, we’ll be talking all about cutting through the noise and what it takes to build a real, authentic following via social media.
What you can expect to learn from this article:
- Why “shortcuts” don’t work
- What strategies are at your disposal
- How often should you post?
- Final Notes
Why “shortcuts” don’t work
I’ve run into many quick ways to get followers. If you asked me a year ago what I thought of them, I’d say they were great.
Now, my whole social media philosophy has changed. After reading the book, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, by Gary Vaynerchuk, I learned that follower numbers don’t matter at all.
Yeah, that’s right; Follower numbers don’t matter at all.
Let’s say you had 100 followers but 80% of them were super engaged, liking, reposting, and commenting on all of your music.
Then let’s say your friend had 10,000 followers and only 3 of them engaged with his content.
Obviously your 100 followers are providing more value than his 10,000 followers.
The #1 spam method I disagree with:
Many artists on Twitter do what is called the follow/unfollow method. They basically find a famous artist with 10s of thousands of followers and they follow a few hundred of the famous artist’s followers.
Then, the next day they unfollow all the people who haven’t followed them back.
I used to love this method and it gave great numbers, but the problem was few of the people that followed you back actually engaged with your content.
I recently came across a user who has 100k followers and is also following 90k people. It’s clear that he was using this method. I took a look at their tweets and noticed that they had no engagement. Every once in a while they would get a retweet or a like, but that was it. On the other hand, I have noticed many people with only a few thousand followers, that build their following organically, who get a crazy amount of engagement.
The moral of this story? Stick with building your following organically. You want have the sexy numbers that spammers have but you will have a quality fanbase.
What strategies are at your disposal?
Twitter is one of the best platforms for getting organic discovery.
I’ve already gone over ways that you SHOULDN’T use Twitter to promote your music, so here are some ways you should.
Spammers on Twitter never engage in other users’ content. For this reason, there is tremendous opportunity for you to get some new followers.
Go to Search.Twitter.com and search terms that are related to what you do.
For example, if you’re a Tropical House producer, search “Tropical House”, if you make Trap, search “Trap”.
Now, when searching genres you’ll find plenty of music networks an artists posting their songs. We can use search operators to filter out links.
Make sure to also click the “Live” link and not the “Top” link when using this method!
If you were a Tropical House producer, you could search “Tropical House -http -www -.com -.ly“.
Adding a minus is how you tell Twitter to not include any tweets that have those certain words. I added “-.ly” because I noticed some Bit.ly links that slipped past the filter. This solved it.
Now you’ll finally experience Twitter for what it was made for. Joining conversations with people from around the world.
Start responding authentically to what others are saying. Don’t get impatient and say something like “Enjoy Tropical House? Check out my Soundcloud!” Of course, you can share your music with them down the road, but first start up a conversation with them.
The best analogy I have heard about Twitter is that it is like a giant cocktail party. You’re not going to initiate a conversion by blasting your brand in their face; you’re going to start off with talking about something more relevant.
Tip: Don’t limit yourself to genre-based searches.
You’ll find that a lot of the people interested in your music will be fellow producers.
You can always try to help out newcomer artists. They will always come back to your music for inspiration and will be happy to share what you create.
Some music-production/musician related search terms are:
- “Music Production”
- “#Ableton” (or whatever DAW you’re experienced in)
Tip: Using Twitter to find artists who need help
On Search.Twitter.com, click the advanced search link.
Input the search term just like we would otherwise.
Now click on the question button.
You’ll be able to find people that are looking for a solution! So many people ask questions on Twitter only to sadly get no response. You can be their hero by helping them out.
It also helps to set the language to your native language to avoid a lot of unnecessary Tweets.
Summary of Twitter:
This platform alone is very powerful (and my favorite one out there!) I recommend any musician to take time and engage on this platform. Help other users out and you’ll have a great time building up a following.
Remember, the size of your follower count means nothing when you get no interaction.
Facebook is the largest website on planet earth so it’s hard to ignore.
Having a Facebook page used to be a lot easier to get interaction.
A while ago, Facebook needed a solution to display relevant content to its users.
When you create a post on your Facebook page, not everyone will receive it on their timelines. That is because Facebook deployed an algorithm that displays everyone their own content based pages they most interact with.
In other words, if your content is getting likes, shares, and comments, it will be displayed most often to the people that are liking, sharing, and commenting.
Facebook is nothing like Twitter where you can easily get followers(likes) within the platform.
Here are your options for getting likes:
- Cross promotion
- Facebook ads
- Facebook groups
By this I mean asking people to like your page on other platforms such as your website and Twitter.
For a few dollars a day, you can get some pretty good results. I recommend doing some research on creating effective Facebook ads before jumping into this.
There are a lot of groups created in similar topics towards what you do. You’ll find a lot of music-sharing groups as well as music production and music composition groups.
In these groups, of course I wouldn’t recommend blasting your links. Try to actually join the conversation (just as you would with Twitter) and more subtly ask people to check out your music.
Video: Facebook Marketing Strategies by Jerry Banfield
If you have 53 minutes and 56 seconds to spare, definitely check out Jerry’s tutorial on marketing with Facebook.
There’s a lot of great tips in it. He talks about his course in it, which is probably high value, but he already provides so much on his Youtube channel for free.
Soundcloud is similar to Facebook where it is hard to gain a following organically within the platform.
I recommend cross-promotion (as discussed in the Facebook section) to build up your following.
Another strategy you can use is “cold-calling“ popular accounts to ask if you can get your music featured on their Soundcloud account.
You’ll find plenty of genre-based accounts with large followings. Either direct message them on Soundcloud or try to find their email/contact-page on their website and hit them up!
Instagram is insane when it comes to organic reach.
The above video does a good job talking about hashtag strategies.
I’m not going to talk too much about Instagram here, but here are the main steps to getting more exposure to your images:
- Post a nice-looking image/video
- Comment on your own image with 5–30 relevant hashtags.
- Wait about 2–5 minutes and watch the likes/comments/followers roll in.
I’d say this strategy is borderline gray-hat, but it seems to work really nicely. I might change my mind about this strategy a few months to 1 year from now, but for now I think it’s a great way to get exposure without really spamming.
Whether you use Snapchat for your music or not, it’s a huge platform that is only getting larger.
You can only get followers via cross-promotion on your other networks/website.
The engagement rate is really high here, allowing you to quickly connect with your fans.
How often should you post?
Based on my experience and what other pros in the social arena are saying, here are some estimates of how much you should post for Facebook and Twitter:
- Facebook Page – 1–4 times a day
- Twitter – As much as possible (at least 3 a day)
Of course it can take a lot of your time to post this much. For this reason, I’d recommend a tool like Hootsuite.
It allows you to manage all your social accounts in one place and you can schedule posts ahead of time.
Remember that it’s important to focus on a few social networks when starting out.
It can easily get overwhelming if you go too crazy and sign up for 10+ networks.
I hope you have enjoyed this article!
Make sure to share it to show your support!
Thank you for reading.