The Ultimate Guide to Improving Online Presence for Artists & Musicians
The strategies artists use to showcase their music and promote their brand on the internet are continually changing. Whether you’re a singer/songwriter, rapper, DJ, or producer, social media plays a big part in raising awareness for your brand. The better your online presence, the more likely you are to achieve your goals, express your artistic talents, and get your music heard! To help you with this endeavor, here are 20 ways to improve your online presence as an artist.
As a recent addition to the PSS team, I’m looking forward to applying many of these principles to our own company!
Reach and Followers
Using keywords in your bio or profile can make it easier for people to find you while looking for relevant content. Having a solid bio can let people know who you are and what you’re doing. Use descriptive keywords so your target market will find you more easily.
Use hashtags to appear in followers’ (and soon-to-be followers’) searches. For example, if you’re a singer, you can hashtag singer, artist, songwriter, pop (or what genre you’re in), vocalist, or basically anything that’s relevant to what you’re posting. You can also create a consistent hashtag that you and all of your followers can use to make it more familiar.
Social media is all about creating relationships! Making sure you have great engagement (which we’ll talk about in a minute) can help you appear on more peoples’ timelines, even if they aren’t currently following you. You should create an environment that fosters relationships between followers.
Post at optimal times of the day
Posting when your target market is online is the best way to get the right people to see your content. Here’s the best times to post for different social media platforms that I researched:
Twitter: The best times to post are 12pm, 5pm, and 6pm. Tweets only have a life of 24 minutes and usually reach 75% of their engagement within the first 3 hours. Try to post at least once a day.
Instagram: The best times to post on Instagram are 1pm, 5pm, and 8pm
Facebook: The best times to post are 9am, 11am-12pm, or 3pm-4pm. The best days to post to have more engagement and reach are Thursday through Sunday.
YouTube: Post between 12pm and 5pm to reach the most people.
Look at successful posts
Take a look at your past posts to see which ones have been successful and why. Look at what day and time they were posted then experiment with a new post to see if it gets a similar result. Think about what your target market is doing during those times (are they working? On lunch? Just getting off work?).
Create a schedule
One of the biggest keys to increasing your online presence is being consistent with your posts. Creating a posting schedule that includes all of the social media platforms you want to use can really help create consistency, which will better your odds in finding new fans. This way, people know what to expect and can even be looking out for your content, which builds anticipation. You can utilize different social media management tools to help create a content calendar.
Post a variety of content
Think about all the different types of posts you can create for each platform. There’s so many kinds of content that work well depending on the platform; don’t just stick with one type of post. For example, Instagram alone has stories, highlights, video posts, boomerangs, multiple photos, single photos, a mix of photos and videos. You could even repost other artists content to show your support for them. Whereas on Twitter, short, concise text posts probably would do a lot better than a bunch of multimedia content. Don’t just share your post to all the social media accounts without thinking about how you can take advantage of each of the platform’s unique strengths.
Use the 80-20 rule
80% of the posts should be to inform, educate, and entertain your followers; 20% should be used to promote the brand. The more you post to inform, educate, or entertain, the more people will begin to trust you and appreciate the content you are creating. When the post comes around to promote your brand, they’ll be more willing to engage with it.
Think about what your target market wants to see
You’ll get more engagement if you’re posting the content that people want to see. Post different types of content like behind the scenes videos/photos, finished product videos/photos, small sound bits of music you’re working on, blog posts, links to more content, or infographics for upcoming shows. Facebook’s algorithm puts posts on people’s timelines that are being shared and liked. The more people are interested in your content, the better placement it will have on the platform.
Social media analytics
Use social media analytic tools to figure out what kind of posts your followers respond to the best. This will give you an idea of what and when to post in the future. It can also show you where you’re lacking in engagement (maybe favorites on Twitter are low but likes on Facebook are through the roof). Then you can readjust your strategy to focus on improving.
Social listening tools
Learn about your followers’ interests and post content created for them. Use social listening tools to see what followers are responding well to. Follow, like, or share content that they’re interested in too so you can get to know them even better. Here are some of the best tools out there.
Use hashtags (again)
Not only can you use hashtags to help people find you, but you can use them to join conversations. If there’s something trending on Twitter that’s relevant to your target market, use the hashtag to join in on the conversation and people will be more likely to respond to your tweet. Hashtags can create a lot of engagement because those who are interested will find and interact with your post.
Think about your goal
Ads should be created and targeted differently depending on the goal you have. If you’re trying to increase engagement, post something enticing and bold. If you’re trying to increase your number of streams, have call-to-actions. Your budget and type of spending will be dependent on your goal and what you want the end result to be.
Retargeting and audience cloning
Retargeting can be one of the best ways to remind people of your content and get them to take that extra step to download that song or purchase that album. You’re basically just reminding someone about something they were interested in and giving them another chance to look more into it. Audience cloning is also a useful tool to reach more people who are similar to your target audience. These may be people that weren’t initially in the target market but as you look to expand, they become involved.
Utilize the tools each platform provides
Each platform has a different way of managing ads along with tools to help people get the most out of their advertisements. Use the tools that Facebook ads manager has to offer to narrow down your target market and make your ads more effective for both Facebook and Instagram. Also remember to add in call-to-actions because regular Instagram posts can’t contain links. For Twitter, promoted posts and profiles are good for increasing reach and followers. Whereas promoted hashtags are good for engagement and joining/creating conversation.
Brand and Tone Consistency
Figure out what you want your voice and tone to be and remain consistent. Post content that are of a similar style so people become familiar with it and you become recognizable. Also, be sure your social media handles are consistent to make it even easier for people to find you across different platforms.
Think about your target market
Think about what your followers want to see and what you want to be known for. Your brand is really where you can let your personality shine. Make sure your tone is something your target market can connect with and feel comfortable interacting with.
Remember, your followers are people too and want to interact with other people! Being human allows you to seem more personable and approachable. Avoid coming off as stiff, especially as an artist, and focus on making everyone feel like they’re a friend. Creating relationships will help improve your overall digital presence.
Your Digital Presence
Optimize, optimize, optimize!
Use SEO to make sure your website is appearing in searches and drawing people to it (hint: if you don’t have an artist website, you should!). Use keywords in your website’s title, header, paragraphs, and alt texts of photos.
There's no use in optimizing your website for search engines if you don't plan on tracking your progress. SEO Expert, Geraldine Convento says, "Measurement is more important than optimization. When you're going somewhere new, how will you know if you're on the right path if you haven't checked your maps?" Install Google Analytics for traffic - so you'll know how many visitors are coming to your website as well as where they are coming from and Google Web Search Console to see which search terms your website is showing up for.
Make sure your website can adjust to any type of device and the user will still get the same experience. Choose a goal (expanding reach or engagement, click through rates, number of downloads, etc.) and utilize the platform to achieve that goal. This will determine the types of posts you create and who you are targeting.
Make sure your different platforms compliment each other
Remaining consistent across your platforms is key; have similar color scheme and personality for your website. This personality should mirror the one on social media posts. Create content that is spread across all the platforms you want to use but make them appear in different forms (videos, links, photos, etc.) that best fit the platform you’re using.
And because I said, “use hashtags,” twice...remember the algorithms
Understanding the algorithms of each platform will give you a better idea of what posts will be successful. The Instagram algorithm is based on relationships, so the more you interact with people, the more you’ll appear on their timelines. Facebook’s algorithm, on the other hand, puts posts on people’s timelines that are being shared and liked; post content that people want to share with others to help grow their relationships too.
Improving your social media and digital presence can seem daunting. But the better you do, the more likely you’ll be able to get your music out to the masses and succeed in the music industry! Be creative with your online presence and do what works best for you!
In an attempt to assist you with developing your online presence, we have created a FREE social media evaluation worksheet.