10 Essential Social Media Tips For Music Producers

10 Essential Social Media Tips For Music Producers
The truth is, you cannot ignore the fact that you must use social media to emerge as an artist anymore.

Before, you were able to put out a track, and it might have gotten picked up by a record label if you were really good.

But now, it seems that you not only need good music, but you must also stand out on social media.

That’s because as of this year, 81% of the U.S. population has a profile on social media.There are even over 2 billion monthly active users on Facebook worldwide alone!

cymatics-social media tips-fb users

(Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide from 2008 to 2017)

This is both good and bad news for you.

It’s good, because you can broadcast your content to billions of people all around the world. And you can do this all from the comfort of your own home using your laptop or smartphone.

It’s bad news because the amount of people competing  for attention on social media is through the roof. There are now millions of posts that are being published daily that you are essentially competing against.

This might be hard to do since, on average, post engagement is under 5% on Facebook and less than 2% on Twitter.

But if you work extra hard and use the right tricks to win the attention of potential fans of your music, you’ll still be able to succeed as a producer using social media.

And according to the founder of Wired Magazine, Kevin Kelly, you really only need about 1,000 true fans to make a living in creative industries.

These true fans are the ones who will not only help you survive, but thrive as an artist in today’s economy.

The road from the first listener to thousands of true fans is not easy though, and requires a lot of  interaction and patience.

But once you achieve this, you’ll not only be able to succeed as a producer, but there will be no limit on how big of an artist you can become.

And to help you  get there, we put together a list of 10 Essential Social Media Tips!

It all starts with a vision and establishing who you are as an artist.

1. Establish Your Artist Brand

Creating amazing music is not the only task you need to do to become a successful music producer.

You also need to develop your image, show the world who you are, and foster relationships with other artists and fans.

And you can do all this by simply giving people something they can relate to, which is why you need to establish a strong, original brand, and let your personality shine through.

We all know Dillon Francis for his bass-heavy bangers, extravagant and hilarious personality, and his alter ego, DJ Hanzel. He curates his socials to show the world his personality, and by doing so, and this allows us to relate to him as a person.

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(Instagram: @dillonfrancis)

Deadmau5 is another example of an artist who is very vocal on social media about his opinions and beliefs.

Known as the industry’s “troll” because of his many feuds on Twitter, he has still secured a strong fan base, and even some haters along the way.

And, while being vocal about other people’s music and beliefs will definitely help you gain attention, it’s not the only way (nor is it the best way) to showcase who you really are.

Future House producer Don Diablo, for example, has adopted a more positive and professional approach. He focuses on the love for his fans, the beautiful relationship he has with his mother, and shares his thoughts on the road to success.

He is loved by many industry professionals and has always avoided altercations with other artists.

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So, before you learn how to attract enough followers to become an influencer, you must first set up your social media accounts correctly.

This means giving the right first impression to the people who land on your page.

You want them to get a sense of who you are just by looking at your social media.

To get who you are across to others and stand out from the crowd, we recommend following these steps when creating your artist brand:

    • Have a unique artist name: Avoid any names that already exist in other industries. But do make it easy to remember and easy to search. Avoid any complicated characters.

    • Create a logo: We recommend asking somebody with experience to make you one. Study which kind of logos are easy to remember and are effective. Go for easy, minimalistic styles that have something in common with your artist name or what you represent.

    • Be consistent across your profiles: When setting up your Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, and Instagram page, make sure to use a consistent style. If a person jumps from one social to another, they need to identify that it’s you immediately. This means having the same banner, color scheme, and correct links.

    • Have a bulk of content available: if somebody new lands on your page, most of the time they scroll through your pictures and videos to get an idea of who you are. If there’s only a couple of pictures, they’ll most likely think you’re not serious or that your page is inactive. So, make sure you have enough quality content for them to consume and convince them that you’re worth the follow.

2. Diversify Your Posts

Every social media outlet has a different purpose and is meant to be used in a specific way.

For example, Instagram is where you should show your artistic side, while Facebook is moreso where you can really connect with people.

Therefore, your posts need to carry a different kind of value for each platform. Mixing up your content is key to keeping your fans interested and engaged.

If you do have to post the same content (considering it’s your track on Soundcloud), a smart way to do this is to vary your captions.

Here’s an example:

    • Personal Excitement: “I’m so excited to finally share this track with you. I’ve never worked so hard on a track like this one. Hope you enjoy (L)”

    • Quote of the track: “Even if it makes me blind, I just wanna see the light” new song out now! [link to track]

    • Ask a question: “Have you checked out my new track yet? Let me know how it makes you feel in the comments :)”

    • Cite a Fact: “It hasn’t even been 24 hours, and “Light” already reached 10k plays! Thanks for the love”

cymatics-social media tips-san holo

Here’s an example of how the same content is presented on Twitter (left) and Facebook (right).

That’s a good way to share the same content across multiple platforms with a different light.

And speaking of San Holo, our friends over at Heroic shared a case study of their artist, showcasing how he uses the different platforms.

    • Facebook: Mainly used for show announcements, new music, and support other artists.

    • Twitter: used to share his thoughts and reflections, reply to comments and questions.

    • Instagram: he keeps it intimate; sharing images that capture his emotions, experiences, and things that inspire him.

    • Snapchat: used to capture things he finds funny and moments in the studio or on tour.

This is a great starting template to follow to make sure you differentiate your content.

Also, make sure your presence on social media doesn’t only exist during every few months or so. Fill in the social media gap that exists in between your song releases.

Don’t get us wrong, you should definitely still be releasing songs as much as possible. In fact, as a good rule of thumb, you should be putting out new music every month (at least at the beginning of your career.)

This way you can build a strong fan base much quicker, that will give you more flexibility down the road.

But in between releases, you should evenly mix promotional material with personal content.

For example, you could publish your track one day and then talk about another artist’s album the next day.

And don’t worry, promoting others won’t take away the attention from you. Instead, by expressing your opinion on what others are doing, you’ll be able to show more of your personality.

3. Plan Your Posts Ahead

You may ask, how do I manage my time correctly with making music and managing my social media accounts?

Well, a great way to keep your primary focus on music is to set aside some time every week to schedule your posts for the week.

cymatics-social media tips-schedule posts

We suggest you dedicate 30 minutes on Sunday to schedule your posts for the week and another 30 minutes during the week to prepare content, pictures, new ideas for the following week.

Let me give you an example:

Your new single is planned to drop on Friday, December 1st.

On Sunday, November 26th, you should sit down and plan the posts leading up to the release.

Here’s a good timeline to follow for the week:

    • Monday: Post a 15 seconds preview video teasing the track and create anticipation. This can go on all social medias as a native video.

    • Tuesday: Share a personal picture of past concerts/personal situations stating how excited you are for this upcoming release.

    • Wednesday: Post a story on Instagram and Snapchat and tease a few parts of the track.

    • Thursday: Preview the cover of the single/EP and share the blog post of the website which hosted the premiere of the track

    • Friday: Post links to the track and announce a live stream later that day to play the track live, answer questions and give special insights into the creation of the track.

    • Saturday: Follow up posting the link to the track on another platform in case some of your fans missed it (Spotify for example, if the day before you posted the link to Soundcloud)

It’s a smart idea to keep a calendar and set up reminders for the platforms where you can’t schedule the posts.

4. Nail Your Hashtags

Hashtags represent a very powerful tool for music producers.

These simple # are a way to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate the search for it.

So when you add a hashtag to your post, other users of that social will be able to discover your post. It’s a great way to expand your reach and deliver your content to other people that are interested in that topic.

Sweet, so more hashtags equals more views and engagement. Right?

Not really, actually. It’s quite the opposite.

You need to be able to use hashtags correctly and efficiently in order to gain traction.

Here’s the basics:

    • Don’t connect too many words together with a single hashtag

    • Avoid over-tagging a post and don’t spam with hashtags

    • Use both popular hashtags and come up with your own unique ones

    • Learn which hashtags the influencers are using

In music, this would mean using hashtags related to your #genre, #studiogear, #relatedartists, and #location.

But again, make sure you’re not overdoing your hashtags! Some artists like Flume or DJ Snake even abstain from using any of them, as they try to portray a “cleaner” brand. Often, the only reason they use them is for either a joke or an important event.

Cleaner branding tends to do better in the long run but to achieve that you need to have incredible content.

cymatics-social media tips-flume

In the early stages of your music project, we do recommend using hashtags. So if you do, make sure to follow these rules to help you maximize your post engagement:

    • Facebook: 1, max 2 Hashtags per post

    • Twitter: 1-2 Hashtags per post

    • Instagram: 9-12 Hashtags per post

cymatics-social media tips-social stats

In the above graphs, you can see the relationship between the number of hashtags used in different socials, and how they perform based on engagement.

Here’s also a few interesting tools that you can use to your advantage to pick the right hashtags:

    • Hashtagify.me is a free tool you can use to find the right hashtags in relation to the topic.

    • RiteTag is a great hashtag search tool for Facebook and Twitter. It also gives you insight on how your hashtags are performing.

    • Sprout Social is very powerful to discover the most relevant hashtags around your brand and also a hashtag finder across networks.

5. Follow The Trends

The social media world is constantly evolving.

Facebook algorithms are changing daily, and new features are being implemented weekly.

Your job is not to copy all the trends out there, but to make sure you’re not missing out on the ones that actually matter.

Let me give you an example.

A few years ago download gates were the best way to gain new followers. Most of us downloaded songs every day to carry around with us on our iPods.

However, downloading is slowly dying, and streaming is taking over.

By the end of 2016, there were over 112 million users of paid music streaming platforms. This boosted a growth in streaming revenue of 60.4%.

For the first time, digital income accounted for half the global recorded music industry’s annual revenue.

cymatics-social media tips-market

Does this mean you should only focus on Spotify? Absolutely not.

You must capitalize on Download Gates until they’re no longer effective. We don’t see them dying for at least 1-2 more years.

This means, you can still use them to increase your Soundcloud fan base by putting out tracks as free downloads!

And one of the most effective ways to use them is by setting up your download gate so that it asks your fans to leave a comment on your track in order to get the free download.

This is because comments give you social proof, which is extremely important. It’s a written statement that somebody likes your product and can influence how other people view you as an artist.

While you take advantage of this tool, it’s also essential to have all your music accessible on most streaming platforms, primarily on Spotify.

This is because platforms of all kinds can be flaky, so you shouldn’t rely on just one streaming platform to build your fan base.

Producers witnessed this firsthand when Soundcloud announced that they might be going bankrupt and might have to shut down their site soon.

Thankfully, they’re now saying Soundcloud is here to stay. But the point is, you should diversity which streaming platforms you use, so you can be resilient towards change and grow your fanbase even bigger.

And the good news is, it has become very simple to upload your music on these platforms.

To make the job even easier, we’ve listed some independent distributors that you can use to publish your original music on Spotify and all other platforms:

    • Distrokid: $19.99/yr flat fee. Upload unlimited songs. Instant access to Spotify for Artists when you request access through DistroKid, takes 0% of your royalties.

    • TuneCore: Flat fee, 10$ for single, 30$ for album (first year, then $50 per year), takes 9% of your royalties.

    • CD Baby: Flat fee, $13 per single, $49 per album. Takes 9% of your royalties.

    • SongFlow: Flat fee, $6 per single, takes 0% of your royalties,

    • AWAL: No flat fee, keeps 15% or royalties.

For more information about how to properly upload your music onto Spotify, click here.

With download gates and streaming platforms, you should be able to build a strong fanbase based on the current trends.

But what about for the future? What is the next trend that will take over in the next few years?

Well, we’re already starting to see that video content and streaming is slowly taking over, and experts and influencers seem to agree that this is the next big thing.

cymatics-social media tips-video

But you don’t have to take our word for it.

Simply by opening up Facebook, you’ll see that most of the top contents on your timeline are native videos (videos uploaded directly to Facebook) or live streams.

That’s because Facebook’s new algorithm dictates which content gets prioritized, and right now videos are dominating.

Even if you open up Instagram, live streams are on the top left before any story.

This is because Instagram is striving to create more of a community-type platform by introducing live content that you can interact with.

But it’s not just Instagram. All major social media platforms have a live feature, since 80% of people would now rather watch a video than read a post. So take advantage of it!

Do a livestream of a studio session, a Q&A with your fans, and show them something about your daily life that they might not know. Even if only a few people join in, you’ll be able to truly connect with those people, since you’ll be interacting with them in real time.

By trying some of these trends out, you’ll be able to truly take advantage of the latest and greatest tools the internet has to offer right now.

6. The Power of Images

While videos are the future of social media, pictures are the present.

On Instagram alone, there are over 95 million photos uploaded each day.

What we noticed amongst popular Instagrammers is the quality of their pictures. They look professional and stand out as soon as you scroll past them.

Yes, most of these have a crew following them taking glamorous shots, but you don’t need all that to have a pristine set of pictures.

Here are a few tools that will help you step up your Instagram game.

    • Afterlight: This is an image editing app for quick and straightforward editing. They have  simple design, paired with powerful and snappy tools to make you achieve the look you want in seconds.

    • Enlight: “The best all-in-one photo editor provides powerful tools that are easy to use." - Apple, Inc.

    • Canvas: This is a free design website. It’s useful for creating custom banners for all social media platforms.

cymatics-social media tips-nike

(Instagram: @nikelab)

7. Post at the Right Time

To make sure your content doesn’t get lost in the dark lands of the web, you must post at the right time of the day.

If you don’t, you throw away an opportunity for your post to be viewed by a broader audience and lose potential new fans.

Fortunately, many studies give us concrete results and tips on when the best time to release your content is. Considering that 80% of the U.S. population is in the Eastern or Central Time Zones, you should base the following times off either one of them.

    • Facebook: Sunday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the days with the highest engagement. You can either post at 9am, 1pm or 3pm.

    • Instagram: Monday and Thursday are the days with the highest engagement. Post at 2am, between 8-9am or at 5pm.

    • Twitter: Wednesday is the day with the highest engagement. You can chose to post either at 12pm, 3pm, 5pm or 6pm.

Make sure to save the picture below and keep it with you when scheduling the posts for the week.

cymatics-social media tips-social times

8. Find your Community

Music producers make up one big family.

What’s even better is that many smaller groups form around certain genres, just like small niches.

That’s why we highly recommend you join these communities and get to know the people in them.

You should also make it a point to share useful tips and feedback or help them in anyway you can. That way these people will be more than happy to share your music or help you out down the road.

And keep in mind, the more active you are in these groups, the more connections you will make.

Some great places to find communities are Reddit, Facebook, and private Discord groups.

Certain labels also have secret communities and groups that you can join. So, make sure you keep your eyes open for those, especially if you dream of releasing on such platforms!

Bitbird for example, has a private Facebook group for their closest fans. This was created by the label itself, and is managed by San Holo and other artists on the roster.

cymatics-social media tips-bitbird

The connections you make in these groups will be vital to your career, but don’t forget that your current followers and friends also make up one big community.

So make sure you’re also interacting with these people as well. Respond to every single comment and private message. Prove to them that you care and that they are able to get to know you on a more personal level.

Another way you can make strong connections is by asking more experienced producers for advice. They’ll more than likely be willing to dedicate some of their free time to you, since they have been in the same situation before.

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9. Check Your Stats

To understand how to focus your social media efforts effectively, you need to figure out who your fans are.

Are your fans primarily in the U.S.? Are they evenly spread throughout Europe?

This insight will be key to selecting where to target your sponsored posts on Facebook and Instagram, as well as knowing where to look for booking opportunities!

The most important stats will come from the listeners of your music. They are the ones who listen to your tracks and would come to your show.

Soundcloud offers stats for all your releases when you have a pro account.

You can also download their Soundcloud Pulse App, so you can access all your stats on the go.

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Spotify does the same thing, with Spotify for Artists.

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Once you have a good idea of where your audience is coming from, you’ll be able to cater towards them better.

For example, if most of your audience is from the US, you may want to post around the most popular time zones in the US.

Another thing you can do is try to relate to them based on what’s going on in their country. You don’t necessarily have to be an expert on everything that’s going on, but if there’s a big music festival going on in that specific country, for example, you may want to comment on it.

This alone will help you relate better to your specific fan base.

10. Be Creative

You need to be the artist people WANT to follow. Give them something unique that they can’t find elsewhere.

In order to achieve this, you need to be creative. Easy to say, hard to do, we know. But there’s a lot of different ways to do so.

To connect and give back to the music production community, you could put out free guides on production or video tutorials. However, this will only be picked up by those who are into your passion.

You could also interview other rising talents in a unique way.

For example, Lauren Engel, a youtube blogger who created “Sidewalk Talk,” interviews artists while walking down the streets of LA. They don’t just talk about music, so it’s a great way to speak to a wider audience.

cymatics-social media tips-sidewalk talk

junk-E-cat, on the other hand, got famous by showcasing his skills on Maschine. He regularly posts short videos of him playing on top of buildings and other unique locations. He also does live shows on top of his van while travelling! How cool is that?

Nevertheless, you shouldn't limit yourself to just growing your fan base through music. Find something that makes you unique.

If you’re low on ideas and want to get an idea of what your audience wants, why not do a poll on Twitter?

For example, here’s what Starbucks did:

cymatics-social media tips-starbucks

Using this simple questions, they got free feedback for possible slogans and promotion on their Chai Latte ahead of the holiday season.

What if you used this tactic to ask your fans what your music reminds them of or whom you should work with or remix next?

This will give you valuable information on what to work on next or how to promote your releases with specific images. This will also show your audience that you care.

Polls give you instant feedback if you’re doing something right and help you out with the upcoming decisions you have to make as an artist.

Especially at the beginning, they will make you learn what works with your fans and get an idea of what they would like to see more.

It’s always smart to keep the fans happy!

Recap: Social Media Tips

Managing social media is just as hard as producing a full track.

However, without it, it would be hard for any artist to make it to the next stage.

The great thing is, you know where to start and how to make it.

Just pour your personality into social media, and don’t be afraid to show the world who you are. Be creative, build a unique personal brand, interact, give back to the community, and use the new trends to your advantage.

You never know who will be on the other side of the screen!

This could all lead to your favorite artist or a label manager releasing your next track!

What are some other tricks you’re using on social media? Let us know in the comments below!

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