Music Marketing

It’s time for the breadcrumb approach to social media

What can you do when the audience that you spent months building on social media is no longer available to you because an algorithm changed, fans left the platform for a competitor, or even worse, when it went out of business?

Do you remember Vine and MySpace? Both once created new stars. Does the current turmoil at Twitter trouble you, or are you bothered by the audience aging on Facebook and Instagram?

You’re not alone.

There is not much you can do after a platform fails you, but there is one thing you can do while it’s still working that will guarantee most of your audience stays with you, whatever happens.

It’s time for the breadcrumb approach to social media.

Mixed in with the content that is building an audience on TikTok, Twitter, or any social platform should be breadcrumbs leading fans to your website and encouraging them to sign up for your email list, to receive text (SMS) messages, or both.

Breadcrumbs can include contests, downloads, digital gifts, a special online event, early access to tickets, merch discounts, and more. Their common goal is to lead fans to your website – a platform that you have total control over – and capture their email address and mobile number so that you can continue to communicate with them without filters.

Once you’ve “captured” a fan, it’s essential that you keep them interested and coming back.

But that’s no different than on social media.

Need help getting started with email?

Bandsintown For Artists recently launched a 100% free email platform, Bandzoogle includes free email in its monthly website plans, and Mail Chimp allows limited free emails up to 2500 followers.

With all of these, as with most email platforms, you – not a social, streaming, or tech platform – control access to the fans and “own” the email addresses and data.

Need help getting started with Text (SMS) Messaging?

Unlike email, sending text messages to fans is not free, but it can be worth it, Text messaging can deliver open/read rates above 90%, far higher than email.

Here are links to some text messaging services to get you started, Choose the one that fits you, your size fanbase and the frequency of your texts.


Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

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