It seems as if everyone is in a band these days. We all have that work buddy who plays in a Billy Joel tribute band on Tuesday nights at your favorite daiquiri shop and that former classmate from college who's still pushing that mixtape (way too) hard. In a world where everyone has a musical project, how do you rise above the static and promote your work for the clean, professional, and solid piece of material that it is?
Social media, like everything else in the world, is all about balance. In the world of digital marketing, the 70-20-10 rule wonderfully demonstrates how to perfectly plan a strategy. This is a rule I've used during my time at advertising agencies, as well as my time working with artists and labels. In a nutshell, you want to dedicate most of your social media real estate to developing your brand, another portion sharing articles or co-promoting other artists' work, and the final portion on self-promotion.
But when it comes to that 70 percent of posts that you should be devoting to developing your brand, that could essentially mean anything related to your work, right? Here are some tips on how to ensure that your brand promotion is healthily balanced.
How personal should you get?
Personal posts still build your brand, right? Yes. This is doubly true for solo artists and singer-songwriters. You want to have posts that give insight on your personality but still lead to your music. For instance, you could include photos or videos of you in the studio, but also mention recording or touring in other posts, too. Let's say you're eating with your band after recording. Take some photos and ensure that you caption it and make a mention of your recording session.
The relationship between these two types of posts is crucial. You want fans to see your casual side, but still be reminded of your music. If you post too much music, you can come off as one-dimensional, but here's the reverse, which is arguably worse: you can also make folks forget you're even a musician.
I did a big consultation on an artist's social media profiles a while back. It turns out he was losing lots of followers during a tour. The issue? I went to his page and it was nothing but food photos! If I were to do an ad campaign or try to get him booked, upon visiting his channels, folks would think he was a chef or food critic rather than a musician. It's all about balance.
Posting times matter
When you share your work really does matter. There's a ton of research out there that gives specific times for each platform. For example, Facebook's best times are allegedly 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekdays, but a lot of it will depend on your fanbase and their level of interaction. Try out a variety of time slots and use analytics to find out what works best to reach your audience.
And don't forget to space out your posts nicely! Posts one after the other will either hinder interaction or just come off as spam, which will cause people to unfollow you.
Everything you share is a representation of your brand
A crucial part of social media and networking in music is sharing the work of others, but hey, still know your audience. If you're an artist who appeals to the tween and young adult market, maybe think twice before sharing the work of your best friend, the trap music rapper. You still need to ensure that everything you do is "on brand" – this includes the posts and articles you share, right down to the types of photos and videos you push and promote.
Social media is constantly evolving, but as long as you keep up with it and tweak your game plan accordingly, it's something at which you can easily excel.
As a music marketing strategist, Tyler Allen works with an extensive array of artists, labels, music tech, and music retail entities. Tyler began his music industry career with Sony Music Entertainment and RED Distribution, as well as the advertising industry. He is dedicated to giving veteran artists the tools to preserve their legacy, and new artists the tools to begin theirs (as well as everything in between). Learn more at wtylerconsulting.com.