Whether we like it or not, social media has become an intrinsic part of our lives and a primary vehicle for artists, producers and DJs to promote themselves and their music. If you've been wondering how you can harness social media to promote your music, we have 8 professional tips and tricks to get you started.
Social media has become a bit of a cultural dividing line. There are some who use it religiously, scrolling until their thumbs grind to dust and those who see it as a polluted wasteland to be avoided at all costs. Whatever side of the divide you fall on, it's here to stay. Whether we like it or not, social media is the primary tool for artists, DJs, label owners and almost everyone working in the music industry to promote themselves and their music. However, the best ways to harness social media are not always clear-cut.
If you're an upcoming artist, producer, or one of our Electronic Music Production or Music Production and Sound Engineering students, and you know you should be using social media to promote your music more, we can help. We've collated 8 tips and tricks on how to promote yourself and your music from label owners, radio DJs and dBs students who have already been there and done it. Read on for advice on how to use social media to promote your music from Hooversound and Apple Music's Naina Sethi, KISS FM's SHOSH, Invicta Audio's Anton Bailey and dBs' very own TikTok sensation Jayden Cary.
Naina Sethi: I would definitely use your network and speak to your network… I am not a big social media fan, but you have to use it for your music and your career… People in dance music are friendly. They will reach out to you and want to gas about working together. Don't be scared to reach out to people. Put it out to the world that this is what you want to do. Privately message people if you don't have much of a presence online yet... When I was working at Reprezent, a huge focus of that job was helping other people. Mentorships are growing all around the world and I think it's super important. I always want to be able to help the next generation of people because some of us didn't have that. I had Reprezent, but before that, I didn't really have anything when it came to music and mentoring. People always want to help the next generation of people who are trying to do something cool [in music].
Anton Bailey: Build the right connections and always be networking. If you don’t have many followers, follow other artists in the genre you’re interested in and try and work with people you’re interested in and believe in... Comment on their stuff online and send them nice messages. Nothing too pushy, but just showing support. A lot of the artists that we worked with right at the beginning, it was literally just through those sorts of methods. I think people thought we were nice, we know where we want to go. Because we fully believe in where we can take Invicta and what we can do for these artists and their tracks, even when we had a small number of followers, they still didn't mind working with us… you can really make yourself stand out just by paying attention to the little things. That way, people will want to work with you.
Reflect who you are as an artist
Shosh Albrecht: If you're good at TikTok, make that TikTok about your understanding of your genre of music. Direct your socials so that they reflect what you can bring to the table. For me, my socials were all about the lineups that I was doing… I was promoting the fact that we had all these amazing artists, and we were supporting people from the old school and new school of garage and that Garage Girls were supporting the forefront of the music that was being created. Have your socials reflect who you are [as an artist] as much as possible.
Harness the power of humour
SA: It can be so hard to know what to do with social media. The boundaries, the expectations and the algorithms change all the time. The things that worked for me a few years ago, may not be relevant now. One thing I would say to students, in particular, is that you're young. There's nothing more powerful than being young, fresh, being a new name on the scene and being unheard of. You're only a new artist once. People love that. They eat up that freshness. I don't think you realise it when you're young. But it's so powerful. So, if you're a young person and you get TikTok and you know how to make cute videos. How to make them engaging and funny, then I really feel like that is your strength right now. Market yourself in a really fun way and get the engagement levels really high so that when people think of you, they think, ‘That person knows how to talk to people, they know how to make it fun, they know how to make it engaging, and they know what they're talking about.’ That's the best that you can possibly do right now.
SA: I was talking to a much older artist about this and he was like, ‘I can't do TikToks, I'm not someone who dances around, it feels a bit muggy to me.’ I was like, ‘I don't think anyone wants to see a 40-year-old geezer doing TikTok dances. That's not being yourself. That's following a trend.’ There are ways to be a forty-year-old geezer on Tik Tok. I see people do it. It's just about finding out what makes you special, embracing it, loving it, and then finding a really interesting, fun way to put that across.
Unique and consistent branding
AB: Social media, in today's age, is the most important thing when it comes to promoting tracks and promoting events. Your social media needs to look clean and have the same consistent branding across all of it. That is something which is really important for us - that our logo always stays the same place. The artwork and everything else around it will change, but the logo and theme always stay the same. That attention to detail is something which can really help to create a strong brand image that people will believe in and focus on.
Grow your following creatively
AB: We use Hypeddit which is a really, really useful platform for startup labels. It’s essentially a platform that allows people to download your tunes for free, but in exchange for following your social media platforms. That is the whole reason we've got any of our social media following today. If anyone downloads your track, they have to follow you on either your Instagram, your YouTube or your TikTok. For every free download we have ever done, we said that they had to follow our Instagram or YouTube and then that is where pretty much our whole following came from.
Create engaging content to keep your audience
AB: Once we got our following, it was just about keeping them in by creating engaging content. We had one video of a seal flapping about on the side of a swimming pool with the bass of one of our tracks going at the same time and the video got downloaded and put onto pages with 5 million followers. It racked up so many streams and that then all spilt onto our social media and spilt on to the actual release itself. Looking back, I probably wouldn't have even released it, but because of that meme, it blew up and is now one of our best-selling tracks. I think it's just about really just getting that engaging content and keeping all of the followers in once you get them and that will just come with your brand identity and what sort of audience you want to attract.
The value of TikTok
Jayden Cary: The power of TikTok now is crazy. You make a tune, post on Instagram and then do a couple of TikToks and then TikTok can rapidly grow it. TikTok is the pirate radio of today. It spreads everything so fast. So, as a producer now, I feel like you have to use it. For all of my next releases, I'll be looking to spread them through TikTok.
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