Social Media Platforms for Music Creatives to Use to Increase Online Presence
A lot of creatives tend to shy away from implementing social media strategies. But, if a creative wants to gain an audience and monetize off of their talent, social media is one of the most important marketing strategies to place emphasis on in increasing an artist's fanbase. Artists like Chance the Rapper and Cardi B have maximized off of a strong (and interesting) social media presence.
I've never been big on having many different social media accounts, but I try to be active on them, especially as a music blogger. I participated in a former Twitter chat hosted by GoGirlsMusic (that I've mentioned here) on this exact topic a few months ago and they shared a lot of different responses on the best social media platforms to be on. Just like me, most of the participants honed in on using a few platforms based on their likes. However, a response from W. Tyler Allen, who I have mentioned in a previous post, stood out. Essentially, he said that creatives should maximize their visibility by having some presence on each platform, including two that many creatives don't use enough. Even though I don't want to be on every platform, I understand why Allen encourages a presence essentially everywhere: everyone isn't on the same social media platform. More online presence means a bigger reach.
Because of Allen's comment, I'd like to share some social media platforms that a creative should have a presence on and some suggestions as to how to best utilize them.
I truly dread Facebook. However, Facebook houses the most users on a social media platform, has a high number of active users, and has kept its popularity by recreating a lot of the same functions that other platforms are based on. If it's not used for anything else than general announcements or news, that's fine. But, to maximize the fanbase and artist connections, including a Facebook Live event on the artist's Facebook fan page once every few months for a live performance or chat (or, like Esperanza Spalding, create and record your whole album on Facebook Live) can be a great way to increase engagement. Joining Facebook groups and being involved in their conversations can help in its growth as well. (That doesn't mean spamming the group with links to your song, album, website, or other social media accounts either.)
Twitter quickly became one of my favorite social media platforms. Twitter chats (like the one I mentioned in this article), hashtags, Twitter moments, and the simplicity of searching a name or phrase will keep you up to date on what is going on in the world. It's probably the quickest place to find out when something is going on because stories spread quickly there. I have also seen some very organic creative relationships come from the platform amongst artists and between artists and fans. It may seem difficult to use at first, but it is one of the best platforms for artists to connect on. Read this article from SonicBids for some useful tips on Twitter engagement.
Instagram is my other favorite social media platform. I think it's one of the best platforms for all creatives to use when sharing pictures and video. Instagram Stories (which I prefer over Snapchat because of the convenience) and Instagram Live can be really great ways to let fans know what the artist is working on. Some of the best artist pages tell a strong creative story. One of my favorite curated Instagram pages comes from Anderson .Paak. When it comes across your timeline, it looks weird, but when you look at it in its entirety, it's a beautiful page that is engaging, that shares what he's up to, and that shares music. Beyoncé's page also does very well in that regard. Every artist's page doesn’t have to look like that, but a well thought out profile does a lot to increase engagement.
I was a part of the Google+ crew when it first launched, but I stopped using it because I didn't think that I had enough engagement and didn't see the importance of it. I also didn't understand the importance of SEO, or search engine optimization, and how a higher SEO leads to more views and engagement. Since Google+ is a Google product, Google+ posts will appear higher in Google's search results, which means more views and engagement for an artist's music or for their blog posts on their website. Check out more useful information about Google+ from this Buffer article.
I've never thought about using Pinterest as a tool to help increase brand engagement for music creatives until multiple social media influencers pointed it out. Because Pinterest is surging in social media influence as a board of ideas, it's become a search engine. The platform focuses a lot on fashion and home ideas, but with the increasing number of users in different demographics, Pinterest could be an interesting place to share music, interviews, and more about music creatives. An image that links to an article, video, or song from an artist can lead to more views and engagement, and possibly build a wider fan base that may not use other platforms. Plus, according to this article, Pinterest users are most likely to purchase items, especially clothing, that they have seen on the site. This can be useful for creatives selling merchandise.
LinkedIn is an online resume and job search platform that can be a beneficial platform for creatives, especially for an artist's team members. LinkedIn is really best for an artist's manager or assistant(s) because many record label executives and brand executives are active on the platform that could help elevate an artist to the next level. Allen has been able to make industry connections for artists from conversations on LinkedIn. There are also networking groups on the site that could be beneficial as well. It's best to make sure that the LinkedIn profile is complete, professional, and active before making moves on the platform. Read more tips about LinkedIn via HypeBot here.
An artist should have a social media strategy and that the strategy is as creative as they are. If you are confused about how to develop a social media strategy, an article like this one or a simple Google search can help. Remember that a strategy for one platform may not work for another. Also, remember that having a good social media presence doesn't mean that you should neglect the importance of a website (I share why here) as well as human interaction offline.
If there are any other sites that I've failed to mention, please help a creative by leaving a comment below.