Keeping up your social media presence across a number of platforms is incredibly important, and it's something that you, as a working, full-time (or even part-time) musician, will need to focus a lot of your promotional efforts on.
There's a lot to stay on top of and make sure you’re handling well, but there are a few opportunities featured right on your profile page that I've personally noticed many musicians missing.
Here are three things that are a part of your Twitter and Instagram pages that you probably don’t update as often as you should.
1. Your bio
On both Twitter and Instagram, you’re allowed a few sentences to talk about who you are. This doesn’t usually add up to a full paragraph, but if you’re smart with how you phrase things, you can fit a lot into these short bios.
Remember, while people are going to look at what you’ve actually tweeted or what photos you’ve posted, these few characters are one of the first things anybody will see, and they can be a great chance to explain who you are and to promote something.
You need to update your bio to reflect whatever product you’re trying to push at the moment. This could be a new song, music video, album, tour, or something else. You don’t have the space to discuss these new items in depth, but you can alert profile visitors that something they likely haven’t heard or seen has arrived.
Also, your bio lets people who might not be familiar with you know what they're getting into. Maybe you’re a “one-man electronic-dance nightmare” or a “five-piece punk-rock outfit from Columbus, OH.” You don’t need to stick with that format, but both of those examples give visitors a pretty good idea of what to expect if they follow you.
2. Your profile photo
The photo you choose to use on your social media profiles is incredibly important, and it’s something you should possibly change more often than you already do. I have personally seen a lot of bands and artists keep the same profile picture for far too long because of the belief that such an image can only be a professionally shot portrait.
It’s always nice to have an excellently composed image, but don’t feel the need to hire a photographer for a full photoshoot every few months. That may have been necessary years ago, but it really is no longer the case.
These days, everybody has a cell phone with an excellent camera, and many people even have high-quality cameras as well. Taking new, fun, high-def photos shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, though you can still treat yourself to a professional photoshoot every once in awhile.
Changing your profile photo gives people a reason to visit your page; when they see a new image in their timeline, they may be intrigued enough to check out what’s going on. Anything you can do to bring eyeballs to your social pages, where you are hopefully promoting your music, shows, and merch quite often, will help you in the end.
On Twitter (and Facebook, but that’s something of a different monster), you also have the option to include a banner image at the top. You should consider swapping that out with something previously unseen as well, though it requires a certain kind of correctly aligned photo, so this spot might require some extra thought and effort.
3. Your #LinkInBio
Just as you’re going to want to change up the wording of your bio to reflect a new album, song, or playlist, you’ll want to switch up the link posted right below that paragraph. On both Instagram and Twitter, you’re allowed to include one outbound link, and you should choose that destination wisely while also altering it from time to time.
For example, if you just released a new music video, link to the YouTube page where it's hosted. Have a new album out? Link to Spotify, and help people start listening. Maybe you have a new T-shirt or an upcoming show in your hometown. You can see sales rise, if only slightly, by making it easier for your fans to navigate the web with a simple, shortened link.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you have the same handle across all social platforms (which is suggested if you can manage it), you don’t need to direct people to your other profiles using this link.
For example, if your band name is, say, Daft Punk (which I think might be taken…), just mention in your bio on Twitter that your Instagram name is the same with something as simple as "IG: DaftPunk." Have Snapchat too? Try “IG & Snap: DaftPunk.” Of course, you can spell it out however you like, but clearly it’s not difficult to get the point across with just a few characters.
Hugh McIntyre is a freelance pop music journalist in NYC by way of Boston. He has written for Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, and MTV, as well as various magazines and blogs around the world. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of the blog Pop! Bang! Boom! which is dedicated to the genre of pop in all of its glory.