Promoting yourself on social media

For many people, social media is now a regular aspect of modern life. For those working in the music sector it is a vital networking tool and can be used to make valuable contacts, promote yourself and develop a fan base.

It is important to be consistent across your social media platforms so that you create an online presence that is unique to you. Try and use the same name, profi e photo and ‘handle’ when you can. Keep your biography boxes brief and include the link for either your website, ticket link for your upcoming gig or your profile on a streaming site. Also, make sure you mention your profession and location. If you’re a piano teacher based in Harrogate, mention this; if you’re a freelance trumpeter looking for opportunities and collaborations in Edinburgh this should also be included. Always maintain your personal tone throughout all your posts across all your social media platforms.

There are many available social media platforms and each platform is unique in its own way; it is important to be aware of the differences between them. Three of the main social media platforms are Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We will briefly look at each in turn.

Twitter

Twitter provides the opportunity to communicate with a global audience and make valuable contacts. It is an important tool for musicians, as it is the social media platform where most people network. It is easy for you to reach out to promoters, festivals and other industry contacts using this platform.

To develop a Twitter following, musicians need to interact with others. Follow fellow musicians and accounts relevant to your style, and engage in conversation. Regularly posting engaging tweets (messages), pictures or short video clips of what you are doing, sharing interesting information and asking and answering questions are good ways to develop a following. It is important to use hashtags (links to larger groups discussing the same topic) to expand the number of people you reach. But don’t overdo it – try to keep it to a maximum of three hashtags in one post. Always try to tag (directly connect with) people in your posts, for example, if you’ve just played a gig at a venue, be sure to tag the venue in your tweet, they might retweet you to their followers.

Facebook

Facebook is another major platform that musicians choose to advertise their work. We recommend that you keep your personal account separate from your professional page. Facebook business pages are a powerful marketing tool for musicians and they have an advertising system built into them, which can be used to target the type of audience you need to reach.

Facebook is a visual medium; great photos and videos can be powerful and should be the focus for this platform. Unlike Twitter, the Facebook algorithm does not like multiple posting, so it is important to keep your posts to one a day.

Create Facebook listings for your performances and invite your friends. Events are unique to Facebook and a great way for people to know when and where your performances will be.

Facebook business pages have a host of analytics tools to help you understand your audience. Use Facebook analytics to view the demographics of your followers, the reach of your posts and engagement from your followers. This will then help you understand who your audience is and what they are interested in. You can then think about how to retain this audience or what you need to do to attract other people.

Instagram

Instagram is designed to be visual, so keep this in mind when posting professionally. Try to think of Facebook as the more professional network and Instagram as a more personal and 'behind-the-scenes' platform. For Instagram, as the image or video clip is the main attraction, keep your captions short and catchy. Like Twitter, hashtags are very common on Instagram so use them as much as possible, so that new followers can ‘discover you’. Like and comment on other people’s posts, as this is the most natural way to gain new followers.

Final thoughts

Remember, you don’t need to post the same thing on every platform. What you post on Instagram does not need to go on Facebook or Twitter and vice versa.

You also don’t need all three platforms if you do not think it is relevant, but each one has specific features you can use. If you are new to social media, especially social media as a tool for marketing yourself, try starting with one network and once you are comfortable, move on to the others.

For more information on how to market yourself, watch the ISM Trust
webinar which is available below.