There are never enough hours in the day. That adage rings particularly true when it comes to finding the time to consistently feed the growing number of "essential' social media channels. Dave Kusek of New Artist Model has some concrete suggestions that will ease your pain.
By Dave Kusek of New Artist Model
Let’s talk about promoting your music on social media.
More specifically making the task of promoting your music not suck (and take all your time away from music). I mean, who has time to spend hours coming up with social media posts?
The secret is NOT doing more to promote your music. It’s about working SMARTER - making the most out of everything you create.
So today, I’m going to walk you through a quick approach to making your social media efforts more efficient and more productive (so you can save time and get more attention for your music).
Keep in mind that implementing a strategy on social media like the one I’m going to give you today takes TIME. There is going to be very little instant gratification here, so get yourself in that mindset.
True success on social media is like a relationship (a relationship with each of the hundreds of thousands of fans you have on the platform). And like any relationship, it will take some time to develop.
So think long term with these tips, be consistent, and after a few months, you’ll start seeing some more activity.
1. Use What You Already Have
If you’re thinking you need to create a whole new set of content to post on social media, you’re wasting a lot of time and effort (time that could be spent playing gigs, practicing, recording, writing…).
Instead, think about how you can repurpose and adapt all the stuff you already have.
As artists, we create A LOT of stuff. You know, riffs, songs, lyrics, covers, jams, live performances, albums, tones, beats, effects, and the list goes on and on.
BUT, a lot of musicians I see out there promoting their music online don’t actually use half of the stuff they create. And that’s a missed opportunity.
I know, there is a bit of a balance to find here. Especially if you’re working you way up to a big album launch you don’t want to give everything away before the actual release date. But giving away little pieces here and there can actually get fans more excited for the release as you build up the anticipation.
Today, take a few minutes to look at all the creative work you do every day. How much of it are you actually sharing with your fans?
2. Focus on Frequency and Consistency
Okay, one quick aside before we get into how to actually create your social posts…
A lot of musicians have this mindset that their work can’t be released until it’s 100% perfect and finished (and it needs to be released in its entirety or not at all). And the result is often long periods of radio silence on social media followed by frantic promotion of the new thing.
At the most basic level, success on social media is all about balancing frequency and consistency. The more you post (as long as it’s quality, interesting posts), the more of a response you will get over time. Fans will start to expect and anticipate your posts.
Which means that radio silence is actually hurting you when you get around to promoting your next big thing. (Especially on Facebook where the algorithm favors posts that get more engagement.) Less fans will see your promotions, less fans will respond to your promotions, and you’ll start feeling that social media is a waste of time.
So try to focus on getting some kind of posting rhythm down. After some time you’ll be in a much better place to promote your music (and have your fans actually notice your posts and respond).
Before you move on, look at your social accounts and figure out how often you’re posting. What does your schedule look like? Are there any gaps?
3. Splinter Your Content
Now we’ll move a little deeper and start talking about how you can actually take something like a new song, a new video, or a live performance, and turn it into multiple social media posts.
I like to call this “splintering” your content. Think of it like taking a big thing - like a song - and breaking it down into smaller pieces that you can post on social. Each of those smaller pieces will lead fans back to the full song.
So for a single song, here are some “splinter” post ideas:
- Take a quote from the lyrics. Post as is or create an image with the quote. You can probably get a lot of quote posts from a single song
- Open up and share the meaning behind the lyrics (you could create a post, a blog post, a short video, a live stream, or all of the above)
- Create a short video (or do a live stream) walking fans through the tones (or beats, or pedal board setup...) you used in the song so they can recreate the sound
- Share photos of the lyric sheet or lead sheet
- Do a playthrough or tutorial of a certain riff or beat
- Create a “making of” video series for the song
- Post a lyric line you’re working on and ask your fans to finish it with their own words
- If any of your fans cover the song you could share that too
See what we did there? That was just one song and we got a ton of social posts. Individually, these posts don’t give away the full picture of the song, so many of these ideas can be used in the days leading up to the song release to create hype.
Try to do this exercise for something you’re working on right now. Make a list and brainstorm everything and anything you could splinter off from that main piece of content. You don’t need to use all the ideas you come up with, but write down everything that comes to mind and proceed from there.
4. Use Automation (in moderation)
Okay, so now we have all these social media post ideas. You probably don’t want to post them all at the same time. (Remember - consistency is key). So that means you need to space things out over time.
And that’s where automation comes in.
Automation tools help you pre-schedule posts on many different social media platforms so you don’t need to be constantly remembering to post on social media. That way, you can get your promotion over with and allow yourself to focus completely on music.
Check out these tools:
- Hootsuite - this will allow you to schedule posts for multiple different social platforms. The free version allows you to post to 3 different social channels
- Facebook (there’s a scheduler built right in. Instead of choosing “post,” choose “schedule” and pick a date and time you’d like it to hit your page)
- Tweetdeck - this is a great free platform for posting, scheduling, and monitoring Twitter
- Buffer - the free version allows you to schedule and manage 1 account from each social platform (so you could have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc). You can schedule up to 10 posts at a time per social account
- SocialOomph - the free version only allows you to schedule and monitor Twitter, but the paid version covers multiple different platforms
A little word of caution. Automation can be overdone. The very purpose of social media is to be able to connect with your fans authentically and in real time. If you’re pre-scheduling all your content out weeks or months in advance, you’re totally missing that real-time connection with your fans.
So, here’s what I suggest… Create your posts by splintering up your content, schedule them out for maybe a week or two, and then make time each day to post something relevant that you’re working on right now and respond to comments and messages.
Don't forget to download your free social media guide and checklist! Here's the link again: