How to Get Higher Social Media Engagement on Your Music Profile
Whether you join a band, are taking the solo musician route, or are putting your production skills to the test, it is an exciting time. In this digital age we live in, one of the first steps a musician often takes when they want to get their talents "out there" is creating social media profiles.
You can have a great design and excellent music content, but it is always very humbling when you make a post and the only like or favorite you get is from your closest friends (if you're lucky!). This is especially likely if you're not established within your community.
This may cause you to take a peek at competitors' pages to compare yourself and your music to them. When you see the number of followers they have and the number of retweets, likes, and comments they get, your natural instinct may be to acquire as many followers as quickly as possible.
But, does more followers always mean more engagement?
Surprisingly, not really. And getting a ton of followers very quickly by using less than genuine methods can actually do more harm for your social profile than good.
How is this possible? Let's dive into the differences between followers and engagement and how to get more active responses on your social platforms.
Table of Contents:
The Myth About Followers
In the simplest of terms, it would make sense that more followers would equal more engagement, right?
At a certain point, yes, this is true. Technically, the more followers you have, the more people will see your music content when you post it.
However, you have to ask yourself this - are you a valued content provider on their feed or are you just another post they thoughtlessly scroll past?
For those that equate more followers automatically to higher engagement and success, there are typically two approaches they will take:
1. Follow Like Crazy
This is when you just start following other people without discretion and hope some stick and decide to follow back.
At the very least, this is a genuine effort, and there is a chance that the person following you back is doing so because they are interested in your music rather than just hoping if they follow you back you won't unfollow them, but those chances are slim.
If you're going to take this approach, make sure the large list of people you start subscribing to are profiles that are already following a musician or producer your style relates to.
That way, they can at least draw an association between one profile they like and a new one that is adding them. Keep in mind; this tactic will also skew your followers/following ratio in favor of who you are following.
Not that this ratio is "make it or break it," but if you have 100 followers and follow 3,000 accounts, it may not showcase the value of your brand the way you'd like it to.
2. Buy Followers
Under NO circumstances should you consider buying followers. Sure, there are social marketing services that will allow you to cheaply buy followers.
This may be incredibly tempting to beef up your social profile and make it seem like you're highly desired, but there are 3 major drawbacks to this technique.
This is kind of a bait and switch. While you may expect having a ton of followers on your music profile will make you look more legitimate to potential listeners, there is certainly a catch.
Followers you buy typically do not engage. They are merely a hollow number in your follower's list.
So what happens next?
The potential listener you're trying to impress sees that you have 2,500 followers, but then they click on your posts and see you have consistently between 15 - 30 likes. What message does that send?
Plus, after a few months, the followers you bought may even start unfollowing you, which makes it very difficult to genuinely grow and increase your number of followers.
Show promoters will occasionally scour local bands and musician's Facebook pages to fill a bill.
If they stumble upon your page and see you have thousands of likes, chances are they will send you a message with the expectation that you'll have a decent draw for their show.
While it isn't necessarily your fault if the promoter doesn't do their research, it could send mixed signals if you're just starting out and can't bring more than a handful of people to a local show, but have thousands of followers on Facebook.
This could strain your relationship with that promoter or venue that was expecting you to bring in more of an audience.
Impacting the Algorithm
Instead of having your posts show up in front of more people, the algorithm will actually punish you for having more followers and less genuine engagement.
Instagram, for instance, values comments, likes, shares, and views. The fake followers won't be engaged and they won't offer genuine engagement. For more information on the Instagram algorithm, check this out.
In addition to that, it is theorized that having more followers will actually limit your reach based on the hashtags you use since you're viewed as a "more established" account. Talk about getting double burned!
If you take nothing else away from this article, please don't buy followers.
Value Engagement Instead
Have you ever heard someone say they felt alone in a crowded room?
Having a ton of followers is great if they engage with your music content. Otherwise, it's better to have a smaller number of followers that reply, like, and share your posts.
Get Higher Engagement
Okay, we got that down. Followers can be good, but engagement is key. Now, the next question is, how do you get higher engagement on your social profiles?
Let's discuss a few general social media tips that are useful across all platforms; then we'll dive into the specifics.
General Social Media Engagement Tips for Musicians
1. Do Some Engaging Yourself
It's critical to engage with other accounts, which may seem counter-intuitive to your goal, but social media is full of musicians self-promoting their projects. You don't want to get lost in that shadow.
Try to start making connections. This goes beyond just mass-liking tweets on your time-line or favoriting every Instagram post you see.
Take the time to provide thoughtful comments; you can even display your music preferences and expertise in your comments.
In addition to this, always engage when someone responds to one of your tweets or posts. Show that you care and you value other people's opinions on your music.
2. Share Links
NEVER trust that someone will look you up.
If you're using Facebook to build up your YouTube channel, for example, don't post, "If you like this song, check it out on YouTube" without including a link.
Sure, maybe one or two people will be powerfully moved by your post enough to search your name on YouTube and scroll to find the video you were hyping up, but why not just include that link in your original Facebook post?
It's simple, it's fast, and above all, it is convenient for your followers.
Don't want to include a long and unattractive URL in your post? Check out TinyUrl to clean it up!
3. Vary Your Post Type
One way to come off incredibly spammy is just posting the same thing all the time.
Get creative and find new ways to engage your followers. Some variations you can use include:
- A music video
- A clip of a song you're working on
- Behind the scenes of your practice space
- Lyric notes
- Venues you've played at or WILL play at
- Artists that you've worked with
- Your gear/tech
- A story about your best/worst show
- Music industry news you find interesting
With about 321 million monthly users on Twitter, it certainly is a platform ripe for engagement. But, how can you make sure that your post about your music doesn't fall flat?
1. Utilize Hashtags
This could be used for Instagram as well, but we'll discuss it here. What is your music about? What genre of music do you subscribe to?
Hashtags helps funnel and concentrate singular topics. If your music fits into a category or topic, why not use hashtags to your benefit?
2. Ask Questions
A classic engagement-building technique is asking questions. Rather than simply putting out information, asking a question lets the follower get involved, and boy, do people love giving their opinions!
Two areas you want to focus on are:
- Specific to your music
Two approaches you can use are :
- "This or That"
Let's give an example of each:
Topical + Open-Ended - "Who is your favorite guitarist of all time?"
Topical + "This or That" - "Which is better, Fender or Gibson?"
Specific + Open-Ended" - "Which song would you like to see our band cover next?"
Specific + "This or That" - "Which of our two albums do you like best?"
1. Choose a Business Profile
When you sign up on Instagram, you have the choice to opt for a business profile. We strongly recommend doing this. You can label your Instagram as a musician page and you'll receive a ton of awesome insights.
You can see the average age of your followers, when they are most active, how many people your posts are reaching, and the success of your hashtags.
Analytics may seem exhausting, but if you truly want your music's social media engagement to grow, it's best to take a look at some of the data.
2. Don't Ignore Instagram Stories
Stories are a fantastic way to engage your followers, especially with the new tools they've implemented.
The poll, for instance, is a great opportunity to find out what your followers like, similar to the "ask questions" suggestion we had for Twitter.
Want to hear something cool? While you can only have people "swipe up" to a link in stories if you have over 10k followers, if you go to Spotify and choose to share your music on your Instagram story, it will include a direct link in the top left corner of your story post.
For more tips, check out our guide on building an Instagram presence as a musician.
1. Create a Facebook Group
One unfortunate aspect of Facebook is that your musician page cannot message followers until they've messaged you first. This is one area that Twitter and Instagram have Facebook beat by a mile.
Sure, you could add the followers as friends yourself and reach out, but it takes away from your band, music, or producer persona.
One way around this to increase engagement is by creating a Facebook Group. You'll more easily be able to engage with your followers, and you can even post documents, create polls, and sell merch!
For more information on starting a Facebook Group, click here.
2. Go Live
What better way to perpetuate urgency than going live? It creates a sense of, "something is happening RIGHT NOW," which can give your followers FOM, fear of missing out.
You can even hype this for a few days by calling it a virtual concert or maybe you want to use it as an opportunity to drop a new song.
We created an article detailing how to stream a successful online music performance you should check out!
Get a Head Start
So, what is the goal of jumping on social media as a musician?
Obviously, making money is typically the ultimate goal for a musician, but a combination of those four points above are likely the desired outcome for your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram page.
Want to know a better way?
By attending an accredited music college, you have the opportunity to maximize your skills, meet like-minded musicians and producers for collaboration, and even network with industry-leading instructors.
Don't get us wrong, social media is still a fantastic way to get your music out there, but the environment at a music school will help you thrive and continually inspire you to create and elevate your music.
The Atlanta Institute of Music and Media offers the following programs for musicians and producers looking to have a successful career in the music industry:
- Music and Technology Associate Degree with a Concentration in Guitar, Bass, Voice, Drums, or Keyboard
- Online Music and Technology Certificate with a Concentration in Guitar or Bass
- Music Production and Audio for Media Associate Degree
- Certificate in Music Production
Click the button below to discover how AIMM can benefit your music career and put you on a higher path to success faster than any social media platform.