Social media has become one of the top ways that an indie artist can get their music heard by established fans and new ones alike. It’s easy to upload a song to a Soundcloud or Audiomack account and tweet it to your followers. You can take this link and post it on every social media channel you’re signed up for as well. Not long after artists started to realize they could use social media to market their music, spam became an issue. Spamming is when an artist takes their music links and sends them to people they don’t know without previously having a conversation. You could be talking about something completely different on your timeline and they respond with a link to their music. Most of the time these links are sent to multiple people in the same tweet or if it’s on Facebook you’ll be tagged with 90 other people (most of them you won’t know).
Spamming Is Ineffective!
Ask yourself this question: when was the last time you opened anything out of your spam email folder? Or how about this; When was the last time you didn’t throw away the junk mail immediately after realizing it was junk mail? Spamming your music to unsolicited people on social media is not only annoying but not a good way to build relationships. If your timeline is nothing but you sending links to people you’ve never met before, it looks tacky and unprofessional. There is a way that you can market your music on social media and it starts with building relationships with your fans and strangers. As I stated in the last article, this is a BUSINESS. It needs to be treated as such when marketing your music. Just because Soulja Boy became famous for labeling his songs on YouTube as music from popular artists doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. The goal is to obtain a following, which won’t likely be achieved in this manner.
“One thing that has worked for me is engaging with my followers.”
How You Can Build A Fanbase On Social Media
Everyone who follows you on social media is not going to check out your music. If it isn’t marketed properly those followers will scroll over your music and keep going. One thing that has worked for me is engaging with my followers. My biggest platform is on Twitter so I decided to use this to my advantage and start positive conversations. The topics I discuss most frequently are career goals or how to progress on your craft. It’s fun getting to know the people who follow you and it shows them you’re willing to build a relationship with them. You have to market to people the way they want to be marketed to, not how it’s been done in the past. You’re not going to keep watching the ad on a YouTube video if you can skip it after five seconds unless it’s something you’re 100% interested in.
As an indie artist, what would you say is one of the most frustrating things you have to deal with?
— Joe Hova (@JoeHovasMF) November 8, 2016
Just because you make music doesn’t mean people have to listen to it. Like I said above, not everyone who follows you will be there for the music. I’ll use myself as an example: I have 2,130 Twitter followers and only a small fraction of those people visit this site or watch the content I create. That’s ok: I’m more focused on connecting with the small percentage that care enough to see what I have to say. This is the way you should start thinking when you’re looking to find new fans of your craft.
Social media is an excellent tool if you’re using it right. If you have a dedicated fanbase, whether it’s ten fans or 100 fans, they will engage if you show you want to know more about them. Fans want to feel like they are part of the experience. It’s the same reason you feel entitled to an artist’s life or their music that you listened to as a kid. This is why it’s important to care about your supporters. Shoving a link down someone’s throat isn’t going to do this for you. Would you listen to someone’s music who shoved a mixtape in your face while you’re walking down the street? This is the online equivalent of doing that. If you’ve been to SXSW in Austin, TX then you’ve seen 6th St. and how it’s littered with tons of flyers and mixtapes. This particular street is an indie artist graveyard mainly because these people aren’t marketing their music the right way. If you treat fans like they’re human and as if you want their support, they will support you for the rest of their lives. They’ll be the ones promoting your music for you in the future.
Thanks for reading again this week! These will be posted every Monday so make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see when the next one appears. You can also watch Periscope chats on related topics while you wait for the next article. If you have a topic you want me to address, feel free to contact me and I’ll be more than happy to talk about it. Email questions/topics to: firstname.lastname@example.org with “Indie Artist Advice” in the subject line.