Converting Likes To Plays: A Social Media Guide To The Music Industry

Updated: Sep 13

Why you need to start taking social media more seriously as an artist -- Part 2

If you haven’t read part 1, which covers the evolution of social media, from MySpace to TikTok, and analyze its role in the careers of some of today’s most successful musicians, click here to check it out!


It is not uncommon for an up-and-coming artist to have a song go viral on social media. In the day and age of TikTok and micro-syncs, landing a track on the Spotify Viral Chart is more achievable than ever -- the tough part is harnessing virality to encourage streams. This blog post will provide tips and tricks for artists to hone their social media presence across a variety of platforms.


Instagram

Growth is the goal when it comes to Instagram. One way to accomplish this is by following recent followers of similar popular artists and bands. Take caution when utilizing this approach, because too much activity at once can result in getting banned as a bot or for spam. Another approach is to use engagement groups. Gather a group of friends to create a group chat where everyone likes and comments on each others’ posts. Simply post an emoji in the group chat to notify everyone that content has been posted. Hashtags are another way to increase engagement, ultimately leading to growth. Use local hashtags and comment on relevant posts to become a part of a community. It is important for Instagram grid posts to contribute to a cohesive brand. Don’t have branding? Our creative overlord can fix that! You can check out examples of Brain Candy’s work here.


Aside from static grid posts, Instagram offers livestreams, 24-hour stories, up to 60-second reels, 60+ second IGTV videos, and guides. Going live on Instagram is a great way to show what it’s like behind the scenes or to have a jam session with and get feedback from fans. Because stories expire after 24 hours, they are great for polls and Q&A sessions with fans. Don’t want your story to disappear? Add it to highlights to feature it on your profile! Reels are a great way to recycle TikTok content, and IGTV is the place for full-length YouTube-esque content. Guides are an awesome way to share what you know! Create a guide featuring your favorite places and why you love them or utilize a guide to feature and direct traffic to some of your favorite posts on your own profile, as well as others.


Facebook

Facebook Pages are a great way to post updates and make announcements to fans and followers. Fully customizable profile photos, cover photos, and bios allow for cohesive branding. Full-length videos can also be uploaded, and links to other platforms can easily be embedded. Enable Facebook sharing to have Instagram stories automatically upload to Facebook stories, as well. Facebook’s photo albums feature is a fun way to share and organize entire photoshoots with fans. Like Instagram, Facebook has a Live feature that allows you to connect with fans directly in real-time. It is a powerful tool that lets fans contribute to their favorite musicians' artistry.


Twitter

While Instagram and Facebook have a put-together, professional feel, Twitter can be more spontaneous and personal. While the platform can be used for promotional purposes utilizing features like “pinning” important tweets to the top of your profile, it is meant to be fun! Use the retweet feature to re-post tweets from fans to your own feed. It can also be used to re-share artwork, song lyrics, poetry, jokes, news, etc. that may appear on your timeline. To comment on another user’s tweet, use the “quote” tool. To respond to tweets from fans and other artists, use the “reply” feature. Polls are a fun way to engage fans, and they can be as serious as asking for input on a song title, or as random as asking for pizza topping recommendations. Tweets can also be scheduled to be posted in advance (hint: the best time to post is 3 pm!). Twitter is notorious for having random jokes spread like wildfire, so don’t be afraid to be yourself and have fun!


TikTok

The “For You Page” is the heart and soul of TikTok -- its algorithm is spot-on, and no two profiles will see the same content while scrolling their FYP. The two main sides of TikTok are straight TikTok, including dance videos and POVs, and Alt TikTok, which can be further broken down into WitchTok, FoodieTok, CottageCore, Medical Mystery TikTok, Cleaning and Restock TikTok, FrogTok, Paranormal TikTok, Conspiracy TikTok, Mental Health TikTok, Dog TikTok, etc. Using hashtags that correlate to the dozens of sides of TikTok helps to increase engagement. Feel free to use the weird and oddly specific hashtags that pop up, but always use #fyp or #foryoupage! Consistency is key -- try to post at least once every other day. Out of content ideas? Check out the trending hashtags on the Discover Page!


Audios are just as important as the content itself -- sounds frequently go viral, and using trending audio can drive traffic to your videos. Don’t love the current trends? Try to start a trend using your own song. If it can easily be replicated by others, it will catch attention! Whenever possible, show your face (or a nice view) -- the algorithm favors that. Seamless loops also do well, so don’t be afraid to show off your editing skills.

Going viral on TikTok can even make you money if you join the Creator Fund. Eligible TikTokers should be at least 18 years old with a minimum of 10,000 followers and 100,000 views in the three months prior to applying. Fans can also give TikTok creators points when going live, but to do so, TikTokers must be 18 years or older and have at least 1,000 followers.


Social Media and the Artist

When it comes to social media for artists, the overall goal is to connect with fans and direct traffic to streaming platforms. Social media is a conversation, not constant promotion. Creating value is key to increasing engagement. You can do this by being genuine and vulnerable -- give fans a window into your life and don’t be afraid to show off your personality. Consistency in posting is incredibly important. To stay on top of things, allocate 10 to 20 minutes a day to post and engage on social media, and utilize scheduled posting tools. Post about what excites you! That excitement will become contagious and help you form real, lasting connections.


Looking for more tips? Let Brain Candy help!


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