5 Ways to Leverage Social Media for Your Band

Music is synonymous with sharing. Chances are, your fondest memories with a friend or loved one are inextricably linked with a soundtrack – a song that played during your first kiss, the score to you and your best friend’s favorite movie, or a melody your parents often hummed throughout your childhood.

Today, music is more widely shareable than ever. Countless outlets have exploded online over the last decade specifically dedicated to bringing musicians and their listeners closer. Artists are not only able to instantly share their brand new song, but are also able to share insights into the process of writing and recording that song. They can share a photos of their backstage warmup to their fans, both in the audience and at home, or short video teasers from their midnight jam session. More than a simple commodity, you’re either on social or you don’t exist.

Social media offers a band or artist the chance to bring a performance or an announcement to fans all over the world simultaneously. This opens the door for your audience to convene in one place for updates from you. And while the amount of options, apps and gadgets to do so can leave your head spinning, there are some very basic practices, platforms and tools (most of which you are probably already using) that can help keep your band in front of your audience even when you're off the road.

1. Plan ahead.

Schedule your content in advance so that you don’t have to deal with it on a day-to-day basis. It can be daunting to seek out something to share with your followers if you leave it for the last minute. This may result in sharing poor quality content – bad photos, irrelevant articles, and other poorly thought out media that negatively represents your band.

An easy example of image-based content that can always be scheduled in advance is the famous “#TBT” or, “Throwback Thursday.”

Avoid wasting the precious Wednesday night practice time you’ve already paid for trying to remember your Myspace password and scrolling through hundreds of old photos of your band. Instead, take the time to seek out the best, funniest, and most engaging old pictures at the beginning of each month. Set up a schedule, and spread the photos out over each of the four Thursdays.

A great tool for this is Hootsuite, where you can schedule an unlimited amount of posts to be shared on different social platforms. The free version has all of the resources you need to do so. Using a service like this will not only help you stay organized, but leave you with extra time to focus on what you should be doing: playing music!


2. Don’t oversell it.

“Everyone likes to buy, but nobody likes to be sold.” I first learned that phrase during training for one of the many jobs I’ve held to earn enough money to tour. That same phrase directly applies to what you share under your band’s name.

As a general rule, you want 80% of what you post to be lifestyle content: updates on a project, a glance into your practice studio, some new piece of gear, articles, and anything else your audience may be interested in. This allows your followers to feel like they’re genuinely getting to know you and your bandmates through the glimpses of what you’re all into.

Contrarily, if the majority of your posts are about offers on your web store and general sales talk, people will eventually get tired of seeing it and stop following you. Less followers means less eyes on your band and fewer opportunities for you.

Luckily, there is no shortage of engaging, shareable content to keep your followers interested. Curate content that your audience can relate to. While you’re browsing the web, reading all of your favorite music blogs and news sources, keep your audience in mind. Are you reading an article about how to best set up your practice space? Or how to get your band booked? Share it! More often than not, the majority of your audience will benefit from it, and they’ll remember that.

3. Share quality content. Please.

Use the best material you can. I’m sure that at least one person in your band has a smartphone with a decent camera. There’s no need to share the blurry photo of your drummer sleeping in the back of the van. Instead, share the clear image of the prank you played on him while he slept.

If you’re posting a video teaser for a new song straight from the practice studio, try recording the band through an interface and synching that to the video. Nobody wants to be scrolling across their feed and click on your video only to have their eardrums shot by your unrecognizable noise.

Using rich images and clear audio and video on a consistent basis will let your audience know that they can expect quality content from you. It also makes your band look a whole lot more professional.

The advancement of technology and the ubiquitous popularity of social media has made easy-to-use editing tools more accessible than ever. Oftentimes, apps and software that allow you to manipulate photos, videos, and audio are available completely free or at a very low cost. Take the time to learn how to use some basic tools, like a mobile photo/video editing app for your phone, a DAW, and a video editing platform for your computer.


4. Not every platform is created equally. Don’t treat them as such.

One of the hardest things for me to figure out when I started running my band’s social accounts was what and how to post on each platform. For the longest time, I had our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts all synced. With one click, I would post the same thing to all three accounts with complete disregard for Twitter’s character count, Instagram’s hashtags or Facebook’s targeting features. I was wrong. Don’t be like me.

The types of people who use each platform vary. The way that you communicate on each platform with these people varies, as well. Learning who is on which platform and what content best suits each of them is crucial to healthy engagement.

For example, 50% of Snapchat users are under age 24, while the average age of a Twitter user is 39. The average age of a Facebook user, however, varies by country with 40-years-old being the United State’s average. Take the time to consider this information and use it to tailor your posting habits for each platform.

You'll also want to think about how best to communicate through your accounts. On Twitter, for example, your content is limited to 140 characters. How are you going to fit your latest 200 word Facebook rant into Twitter while still getting the point across? While it may not seem so easy at first, consistent trial and error will help you figure it out.

5. Mix it up.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when using social media is to always be testing and monitoring the reach of each of your posts. If it seems the same kind of post is getting less and less engagement week after week, try something different.

Maybe your #MusicMonday posts aren't getting a lot of attention. Try sharing a genre different from what your band plays and explaining to your audience how it influences your sound. Not getting much buzz out of a short opinion post? Maybe there’s a funny and relevant meme that gets the point across more cleverly. Anything that stays true to your vision and is also appealing is worth a shot.

It’s not only about what you try – the most important thing is that you keep trying. Mix up the content until you find something that works. Even then, never stop testing. Social trends are highly volatile, and you never know which post will be the one to put your band name in front of 100,000 people.

These tips can help you stay organized, allowing you more time to focus on your music while still maintaining a strong presence with your audience. And while it definitely helps to establish a game plan and stick to it, it’s always important to allow room for the random. A lot of times it’s the unplanned and unexpected that garners the most traction.

Regardless of whether your posts are planned or impromptu, remember to always be genuine with your audience. Your followers will recognize your honesty and respect you more for it.


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