Social media has become an essential part of how artists connect with their fans, as well an easy and efficient avenue through which they can share their work and harness the power of the personal brand. But how? Here we look at five artists crushing it on social media.
Guest post by Carson Yarbrough of Wysidio
As many artists know, social media is key to connect with your followers on a pseudo-personal level, and a powerful avenue for sharing your art, ideas, and appreciation to those who care: the fans who follow you. This is especially true in the music industry, a field with acutely involved, passionate, and engaged fan bases due to the product it’s promoting — music.
Tapping into these massive and passionate fan base platforms is how many artists and musicians go from run-of-the-mill to skyrocketing fame, sometimes quite literally overnight.
Whether you like it or not, a strong social media presence is critical to succeed as a musician in today’s world, providing not only a gateway to connect with fans but also elevated access to major players in the industry who are looking for the next big thing.
So, how can you harness these platforms for your own personal brand?
We could (and likely will) write numerous blogs on this, but for this blog, we will examine some of the biggest artists who are doing it right online. Read: Artists like A$AP Rocky, Griz, Anderson Paak, The Weeknd, DeadMau5, Rihanna — all vastly different artists across genres, but all killing it at the social media game. So, how do they do it?
1. They are authentic
What does it mean to be “authentic” on social media? Believability or authenticity are somewhat ambiguous words, but at their core, we simply mean you should be “real.” Being real with your followers will provide them with a level of transparency and trust, two tenets of human character that attract people and keep them coming back for more.
If your posts are formulated or insincere, people will be able to see right through the illusion. Providing fans with real insight into your life and work is paramount to connecting with them and will prompt fans to engage and relate to what you have to say, and more importantly, to your music. It gives them the feeling of being personally involved, of being an insider into your life.
Musicians with strong social media accounts post their work, but also show followers their personal side, the emotional parts of their life they know will resonate with fans. Artists who utilize tools like Facebook Livestreams and Reddit AMA’s have a more tangible, transparent presence with their fans.
Keeping content balanced is important, and keeps social accounts from being too salesy and pushy, while building trust with your followers. Honestly, no matter how big or small you are, fans just want to be reminded that you too are a mere mortal.
Our favorite example of transparent and honest content: GRiZ’s personal anecdote on his life and its hardships, via the Huffington Post.
2. They foster a community
One artist that’s known for creating a viable and actionable fan community is electronic DJ and producer, GRiZ. The reason for his social media success is that all of his social accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, his web site – have one common theme showcasing his mantra ‘Show Love, Spread Love.’
Through this truism, GRiZ’s content speaks for itself and is connected and easily relatable to his fan base, serving a higher purpose of forming a community fans feel they can be a part of. The community, known as GRiZFam, started out as a way for fans of GRiZ to connect with one another through his music, shows, and other associated art. It grew to be an expansive network (600k+ followers), with super fans known as The Liberators acting as an essential part of the street team for GRiZ, helping spread awareness for his shows and music, as well as supporting efforts for philanthropy and social good.
Giving fans an outlet where they can connect with each other and share their common interests and ideas inspires more loyalty because connectivity and companionship is what every person longs for, going back to the basics of human psychology.
3. They create high-quality content
People follow accounts they get excited about, accounts that post relevant and interesting content in creative and unique ways. In the digital age, artists have to produce high-quality, engaging and interactive content to cut through the sheer amount of media clutter. We can understand that you may not want to spend time doing this; that’s where you can absolutely hire a third-party to help you out if you need some guidance or help (keep reading to learn more).
One example of a musician that masterfully communicates through high-quality content is prominent hip hop artist and producer, Anderson Paak. He keeps his social content current and caters to his loyal fan base by providing meaningful content that benefits them, while also adding to his own success. His Instagram is a badass collage of art representing his music, family, and creativity, while he uses his Twitter to showcase his personality, talk to fans, provide commentary on current events, and promote his own musical heroes.
A$AP Rocky’s social media accounts exhibit another example of original, engaging content. His Instagram captures his musical style while adding insight to his personality, artistry, and social opinions. The key to high-quality content is a perfect balance of relevance, personality (humor can work wonders), heart, and individualism to effectively catch people’s attention and keep them coming back for more.
4. They engage with followers and do so consistently
Social media is an essential way to connect with like-minded people, whether that means fans interested in you or your genre, industry players, and music lovers in general. The best social media accounts belong to artists who engage with their audience, as well as remain consistent in terms of the frequency and content within their posts. Consistency is KEY.
This means you have to engage with fans, respond to questions on social media, and be present to where people can communicate with you. Obviously artists can’t respond to every comment or question their fans have, but it’s important to highlight your interactivity with fans by engaging in the conversation or at least “liking” their comment. It shows your appreciation for their following, and it is a tiny action that can truly earn you a fan for life, simply by acknowledging their existence.
It’s important to prove to your fans that you care about their loyalty and want to communicate WITH them, not simply AT them. How your audience feels about you and your personal brand should be the same feeling that is portrayed on your profiles, through art, colors, media, and personal style.
5. They capitalize on the fundamentals
Artists with prominent social media accounts clearly know the ins-and-outs of each platform and how to use them, especially taking advantage of new features i.e. Instagram Stories.
Though it happens on occasion, most successful social media accounts don’t blow up overnight. To grow your following authentically, meaning REAL, ACTUAL FOLLOWERS, it’s important to make the most of the tools each platform provides. It’s essential to learn the nuances of each channel to maximize your chances of gaining real fans and followers, including learning and defining (and redefining over time) your audience, reaching your fans through targeting tactics, and using social media techniques like hashtags, following, commenting and liking content that relates to you and your audience. This is the more technical aspect of social media success, but it’s critical to the process of gaining a huge social following. There are some great blogs out there with specific tactics to maximize success like these from DIY Musician and Heroic, or check out this in-depth guide we created.
The interesting similarity between music and social media is that they both revolve around the common notion of human connection. Music connects people, and social media is inherently the perfect vehicle for the spread of love for music and the opportunity to discover new sounds.
The most successful, impactful musicians are the artists who know how to leverage their art with the massive fan base in the social sphere — and use it to connect and share their art with the world.
Now that you’ve got the basics down, let Wysidio’s brand and marketing team help you get your socials in a good place. We offer social media ad management as well as content strategy, helping you grow your following authentically, create an aesthetic for your pages and learn more about exactly where your fan base is along the way.