(noise)letter: The REAL Secret to Social Media

Last week, I had an amazing opportunity to speak on a panel with other music industry professionals. We got to talk to young artists at Stax Music Academy about branding, storytelling, and making music with authenticity.

Before the panel started, we spent an hour speed-networking with different students, answering questions about how to advance their music career. When I saw that I was the designated "social media" speaker I thought, oh boy.

Believe it or not, I'm not the biggest fan of social media. 😬It's a necessary tool of the trade, absolutely, but if it's not navigated carefully, it can be an environment highly-susceptible to escapism and toxicity. And in today's influencer culture, the line between personal and professional use are beginning to blur. It's just a little scary sometimes.

The big question about social media, and the most common question I was asked is: How do I get more followers?

Unfortunately, the answer is not quite as concise...

Getting followers and growing your fan base on social media boils down to having good content. The algorithm is always changing, and currently, it favors content that is engaging, relevant, high-quality, and not self-serving. That means you have to study your fans, understand the psychology behind what they want to see in an image or in your social copy, and know your story backwards and forwards.

You can't tell people to follow you on Spotify and expect it to reach as many people as it used to. There has to be more substance to accompany that call to action:

  • Hi-res photos

  • High-quality video

  • A consistent posting schedule

  • "Face"-time

  • Quality content (grammar and spelling)

  • Questions and stories that engage fans (make them want to comment!)

  • Cross-promotional content

  • Good timing/research

  • Consistent voice

It takes practice and above all, it takes TIME. Don't underestimate how long it takes to strategize, write, schedule, and post social media content across 4 or 5 platforms.

Growth won't always look like 1,000 new followers a day. Sometimes, it's 1 or 2 a week.

But friends, don't get caught in the numbers game. There are so many other important things to invest in your brand. I know social media seems like the king of music marketing, and it can be, if you have money to dump into it. If you have a budget for social ads, you can narrow in on your audience, dig up super valuable data for retargeting, and get your content out much faster.

Even so, there should be a big-picture goal behind your social media strategy. Think about it – what is your goal for your music? Is it to get someone to like your page? Or is it ultimately to get them to listen? Once you determine the real goal behind your post, consider your overall strategy. Where do you want people to end up? On your list of social followers? On your email list? On your Spotify monthly listeners? At your shows?

You have the power to take people on a journey. Social media is a great way to tell that story and introduce fans to the path you want them to take with you. But don't stop there. Keep them moving. Get them where you ultimately want them to go and don't get trapped in the numbers game. Your social media channels should be a reflection of your brand, not the birthplace of it or where it dead-ends.

In the end, would you rather have 100k followers who don't really care about your music, or would you rather have a good 10k that are ready to buy every song, album, merch item, and ticket you release? If you can keep that perspective in mind, your social media presence will serve your fans and push your music career forward.

If you'd like to know more and develop a social media strategy for your band or business, I'd love to work with you. Contact Noise Gate to get started.

To your success, Naø 🖤

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