Guest blog for Creative Entertainment Network
Let’s be honest: making it as a musician is tough. Not only do you have to write songs, twist up a catchy beat, hire a manager, and push for tour dates - you have to be “on” in the limelight 24/7.
As if that wasn’t enough, it’s almost 2019, so you also have to sell your soul on social media.
Okay, that’s dramatic, but I promise once you get the hang of it, it’s very rewarding.
Feeling lost on where to start? Or too exhausted to figure it out? That’s why I’m here to help guide you.
Let’s dive in!
FIRST: SELLING YOU ON THE “WHY”
Gone be the days of telegraphs and newspaper ads. You have to imagine all of your fans are glued to their cell phones; so Social Media is your ticket to reaching them.
Facebook has 1.8 billion monthly users, YouTube 1.3 billion, Instagram 600 million, and Twitter 300 million. The potential reach with these numbers is undeniable.
While touring is still the leading way to secure new fans, Social Media will help pull them in, and fill the room.
In the outline below I highlighted a step-by-step process for getting you into the Social Media mood. Consider it a checklist to covering all your basis.
Then, most importantly, have fun with it.
PILLARS OF PERSONA
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” - Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
Theoretically, we encourage you to build a house for your fans to live in, grow with, and eagerly engage. This means being personal and relatable with your audience.
I recommend making a list of 3-5 “pillars of your persona.” These are your umbrellas of content. Then, list all the sub-topics that fit under these pillars. Lastly, which of these are you going to have the most access to? And how will you design the conversation around these persona points? This is your guide to content style.
You want to control the conversation your audience is going to be verbally and socially using when talking about your brand. Guide them by providing content and text copy that fits.
Think you want to *only* focus on music? Then flip this guide and write-out 10 adjectives that will drive your content’s vibe. Use this to delicately maneuver through conversation in your captions, while wowing them with photos and video.
VISUALLY BRANDING AND SEO OPTIMIZING
Be the part, look the part, get discovered.
Polish up the look of your profiles by:
Ensuring all bios (long and snippet), links, and profile information are up-to-date
Keeping the main profile and cover images alike on all platforms - use promotion value where needed
URLs and Usernames all match so it’s easier to find you in search
Creative assets should be in-plenty as a musician. But, in case you are design challenged, I recommend using canva.com. They have layout dimensions and visual guidelines already intact.
“What we call originality relies on a good deal of imagination, and even a bit of theft.” - James Polchin
This quote is pulled from one my favorite books, “Steal Like An Artist” by Austin Kleon. It claims that original ideas have already been done, and now it’s your job to use the process of full stacking to re-imagine them as your own.
Do your research!
Pull out Spotify or Apple Music and start listening to like-artists, make a full list - these are your ad targets. This is the fan base you want to be engaging with.
Hop on Instagram and Twitter. How are artists whom you admire presenting to and communicating with their audience? These are your potential fan targets, too.
Research hashtags, curated and user-generated profiles to tag, brands you’d love to work with; write them down! These are your organic marketing tips, and potential influencer connections.
You already have your Pillars in place, this plan is your jumping-off-point when it comes to who you should be engaging with.
KEEP YOUR CONTENT FRESH
There are two types of content:
Social Lifestyle: The example of what your day-to-day looks like behind the scenes
Social Selling: The “watch my video”, “listen to my song”, “come to my show” promotional points
My rule is 90/10. 90% of your content should reflect the lifestyle. This is the most relatable and personal pieces of your visual. Once you snag followers that enjoy tuning into your personal network, they will be more inclined to take action on the 10% - your Social Selling.
Don’t forget to check off these boxes:
Don’t post too often - or too little. Quality over quantity. Read analytics to find out when your audience is most engaged, and also schedule posts to go out when other brands are quiet. You’ll be sure to stand out.
Interact back. You want the ROI, so do the other 1 billion users. Like other’s content, comment, reply back, say thank you. These won’t be forgotten. This is how you create real connection.
Tease with variety. Use a personal tone. Take your followers on along for the process.
HAVE A CONTENT SCHEDULE
All that time you spend worrying about finding the time organize your Social Media campaign, could be put into writing out a content schedule.
If you know which visual piece, caption, and platform you will be sharing on any given day, a month in advance - you and your team will never drop the ball.
This will also help you think more “Social Media” forward when on the road. More of “oh crap, I need to take a lifestyle photo today” rather than “oh crap, I haven’t connected with my audience in over a week.”
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, HAVE AN AD BUDGET
You are putting in countless hours of taking and editing photos/videos, coming up with clever captions, setting a “branded mood” on your profiles, engaging with the right audience; but you are 1 of a million accounts posting daily - so you need to have an edge.
Use the market research plan to set up ad testing. Going on a 15 city tour? Run an ad geo-targeting those cities toward fans who like a similar sound to yours.
Have a budget to promote that new music video you emptied your piggy bank to produce.
Nowadays, it’s a fight to the top of the newsfeed, make sure you are ranked by boosting the content that deserves to be seen.
If you’re even more stressed reading this blog, I recommend therapy. Kidding - maybe just a Social Media Consultant.
Ant Colony has competitive prices, and personalized plans to help you reach your online growth goals. Give me a holler, send me your biggest challenges. I have your back!