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6 Reasons Social Media Is Bad For Artists & Musicians + 3 Benefits

By Matthew Vultaggio

August 23, 2021

Although social media can be a useful tool, there are several overlooked reasons that social media can truly be bad for artists and musicians.

I’m writing this article from a place of experience, I’ve tried a bunch of different things to grow my social media presence and I want to share what to watch out for and what works with you.

The 6 reasons that social media is bad for artists are:

  1. Reach throttling
  2. Lifecycle of a post
  3. Little longterm recommendation
  4. Wasted time and energy
  5. Clowning around
  6. Not all social media platforms have scheduling

To learn more about these 6 reasons, the 3 benefits to social media for artists and musicians, and how you can up your social media game, simply keep on reading, my friend. 🙂

The 6 Reasons Social Media Is Bad For Artists & Musicians

If you (like me) aren’t a huge fan of using social media, you may be surprised to find that you are right in realizing that social media can be a bad thing for artists and musicians.

If you hate posting and don’t even use your own personal account to post often, social media can just seem like a necessary evil in music marketing.

..but is it really?

Considering there are so many other things you can be doing instead of social media, let’s go through the 6 reasons that social media isn’t great for artists and musicians:

1. Reach throttling

Reach throttling is when the organic reach (the number of people a post will naturally see without paid promotion) is being limited so that your posts don’t reach as many of your followers or relevant users on a social media platform.

Why do social media platforms do this?

To encourage you to spend money on ads to reach those people (even if they’ve already followed you).

As a platform introduces new features (like Instagram did with Reels), these features may not have throttling at first in order to encourage users to start actually using the new feature.

However, social media platforms will eventually want to monetize (aka make money) off that particular feature and will inevitably introduce reach throttling.

2. Lifecycle of a post

The lifecycle of a post is how long a post will be eligible to gather free views from organic reach.

With Instagram, the lifecycle of a post can be as little as 24 or 48 hours unless it goes viral.

This means that all of that effort that you put into creating a photo or a 30 – 50 clip, only gets shown to people for a few hours.

3. Little longterm recommendation

Because most social media platforms are based on news feeds instead of search results, there is no way for your post to rank in a search engine and continue to get organic traffic for years to come.

In addition to this, social media platforms tend to favor recommending newer content, so your older posts really only work for you in the first 24 – 48 hours.

Compared to YouTube or a blog that ranks in Google search, your views go down over time instead of constantly going up.

What would you rather spend your time creating: a post that goes away in a few hours or an asset that continues to increase views and generate traffic over time?

4. Wasted time and energy

All of this can really add up to wasted time and energy.

If you are trying to post every single day, revolving your world around Instagram or TikTok posts, you get very little in terms of organic and long-term reach and have less time to focus on creating music and marketing music.

Essentially, you are working for the social media platforms instead of creating content that works for you.

5. Clowning around

Let’s get real, real honest here.

Some of the things that people think are what needs to be done in order to get views from platforms like TikTok… straight up make you look like a clown.

Personally, I’m not looking to be the next Charli D’Amilo and I don’t want to feel like a clown making dance videos or skits.

If that’s your thing, then great, you do you!

But I think most musicians and artists don’t want to do things that feel inauthentic just for views and followers.

6. Not all social media platforms have scheduling

Social media scheduling is the act of taking a batch of content and scheduling it to automatically post throughout the week so that you do not have to manually post each piece of content.

In short, this feature can save you a lot of time and energy, since you can post lots of content in one go and from your computer instead of your phone.

However, not every social media platform has the feature which means you need to create the content on your phone or transfer it over from your computer, wake up at the exact time you want to post, and manually post it then and there.

I personally used to do this when I was trying to grow my Instagram account and the scheduling feature was not available and it was draining and really frustrating.

The Top 3 Benefits Of Social Media For Artists

Although it can have its downsides, there are also some clear benefits of using social media as an artist or musician.

The top 3 benefits of social media for artists are that you can test ideas to get feedback, understand the momentum and hype for your project, and share your successes with a community that you are building around your music.

Let’s dive into these 3 benefits in more detail:

1. Testing ideas and getting feedback

Social media can be a great platform to test new ideas and gather feedback.

These can be musical ideas, artwork ideas, content ideas, new release ideas, etc.

You can see how people react in terms of the number of likes, comments, direct messages, and new followers.

Plus – you can also look at what kind of things people are saying as well.

Ultimately, this can help you understand your audience better and give you a good idea of what direction you should go in with your music and content.

2. Understand momentum and hype for your project

Social media can be a great way to tell what kind of momentum and hype is being built up around you and what you are doing.

You can really get a good vibe to see if people are interacting with you more from month to month, getting excited about upcoming releases and if your numbers are growing.

This can be a great feeling and can let you know that you are on the right track and that your fanbase is growing and is engaged.

3. Share successes with your community

As you continue to grow as an artist, you will be hitting neat milestones like hitting higher and higher stream counts on Spotify, getting cool playlist adds, press, interviews, etc.

A great thing about social media is that you can use it to share your successes with your community.

Of course, there is there’s a fine line between bragging and sharing a success but in most cases, your audience wants to see that you are reaching new heights and to have some validation that they were right to back your career and support you!

Your audience’s support is what helped you reach these successes in the first place, so share it with them so you can celebrate together. 🙂

The Best Musician’s Social Media Strategy

The best social media strategy for musicians is to post at least 3 times per week, making sure to post the most effective types of content through ‘experimenting’ and then saving time and frustration through ‘batching’ the creation of content and then ‘scheduling’ that content.

Here is a deeper look into each of the 3 pillars of a solid musician’s social media strategy:

1. Experimentation

Social media experimentation is the act of posting different types of content to find the optimal content for you to post on a regular basis.

Optimal content is any content that strikes a balance between high engagement from your audience (likes, views, comments) and content that you are both proud of and isn’t too overwhelming to create.

Essentially, by experimenting with what type of posts you create, you will confidently know what to post which then makes the next technique even more effective…

2. Batching

Social media batching is the act of creating 5 or 6 pieces of content whenever you sit down to create content, instead of just creating 1 piece of content.

Because it takes time to set everything up and get in the mindset of creating a particular type of content, this technique makes the best use of what is called ‘switching costs’ to save you time and effort.

With a batch of content created and edited, the next technique becomes even easier and more effective…

3. Scheduling

Social media scheduling is the act of taking a batch of content and scheduling it to automatically post throughout the week so that you do not have to manually post each piece of content.

The idea here is that once you have those five or six videos, you schedule them out to go so that you don’t have to worry each day about what you need to post.

Why This Is So Effective

These techniques are incredibly important because it makes social media management very relaxing and stress-free, allowing you the time and energy to focus on more important things like making or marketing your music.

This also allows you to much more easily focus on community-building tasks like replying to messages and comments.

For an even deeper dive into these 3 techniques, check out my article on Social Media For Musicians That HATE Posting To Social Media. 🙂

Marketing your music doesn’t need to drain you of your time or money

It wasn’t too long ago that an artist could not dream of reaching real fans without spending anywhere between $10,000 to $50,000+ on paying a team to promote just 1 release through advertising and PR.

Marketing music in 2021 is much more reasonable… But that doesn’t stop basic website and “automated” Facebook ads tools to charge you at least $720 per year, on top of your monthly marketing and advertising costs.

Thankfully, all you need to successfully market all of the music you make for the rest of your life can easily be learned yourself.

Plus – with an experienced mentor on your side, you’ll save $1,000s of dollars (& 100s of hours) that would have gone completely wasted on mistakes, accidents, and failed experiments that could have been easily avoided.

How To Get Fans To Stream Your Music (By Building A Fanbase)

Finding success on Spotify is more than just increasing stream counts, I’ve found that the best way to increase Spotify streams is by building a fanbase of fans who want to stream your music.

To get fans to stream your music, you need to build a fanbase from scratch by releasing music monthly, tripping the Spotify algorithm to give you more listeners and free streams, and have a place to foster a community for your fans on and off social media platforms.

…the reality is this:

It’s not just about Facebook ads or playlisting promotions.

It’s also about branding, social media, web presence, building momentum (or “buzz”), and most importantly – having an active and growing fanbase of real, genuine music lovers that actually care about you and what you do.

The 4 fundamental components of creating a thriving and active fanbase that you can call upon to stream your new releases and support your latest projects are:

  1. Brand-building and world-building
  2. Respecting the Fan’s Journey
  3. Omni-channel platform presence
  4. Touch points and return paths

Without a fanbase, you have no chance of learning how to find Spotify Success and a music career in general, really.

To learn more about this, check out my article on How To Get Fans To Stream Your Music. 🙂

Facebook & Instagram Ads For Musicians To Grow Spotify Streams

Facebook and Instagram ads are an effective tool for musicians looking to grow Spotify streams and followers because Facebook provides in-depth targeting options, flexible budgeting, and has an algorithm that can optimize itself to get the most results possible for the lowest cost possible.

More specifically, here are 5 key reasons that Facebook ads are so effective for Spotify growth:

  1. There are in-depth targeting options for a very wide variety of interests in addition to basic demographics – interests range from brands to genres to artists to products and beyond
  2. You can “scale” the ads and control your budget – the more you spend the more results you get, in comparison you can only post on social media so many times in 1 day before people get upset
  3. Facebook’s learning algorithm can optimize all by itself to get you the most results possible for the lowest cost possible
  4. You can place people that engage with you into “Custom Audiences” and Retarget them with ads at a lower cost than it took to reach them in the first place
  5. You can leverage the Facebook algorithm to create “Lookalike Audiences” which are 1+ million people that are similar to your fans inside of those Custom Audiences

All this means that:

  • You have the power to send highly targeted listeners over to your Spotify profile
  • Leverage the Facebook algorithm to find more of those fans for less
  • Increase your chances of tripping the Spotify algorithm to find you even more of your fans for free

To learn more about this strategy, check out my article on Facebook & Instagram Ads For Musicians. 🙂

How To Get More Streams With Custom Smart Links

The best alternative to the endless amount of smart links, landing pages, and link-in-bio style pages out there is to simply build your own custom smart links by using WordPress.

I do this myself with my very own WordPress-based website (aka the one you are on right now) and find it to be way more flexible and effective, particularly if you want to do the Spotify algorithm hack by running Facebook and Instagram ads to your smart link pages.

The reasons I’d recommend doing this over using any smart link creator is because:

  • Without paying for these services, you can create smart links that are exactly in the style of Hypeddit, Linktree, Toneden, HyperFollow, etc.
  • Get more streams to your music by using my highly tested and conversion-optimized smart link template
  • Look more professional and credible by having a custom domain and no other company’s branding on them
  • Get your brand and identity across by perfectly customizing your smart links to look exactly how you want them to

On top of this, you’d actually have a legit and professional full-blown website and not just some smart links for promoting your music.

For a free step-by-step course on how to get started with this, check out my free course on smart links for music.

Looking For A Music Distributor

Although my top suggestion for a music distributor is definitely DistroKid, I’ve gone ahead and compared DK to other popular services in case you are in the market for a new digital distributor or are simply just curious.

Popular alternatives to a music distribution service like DistroKid include TuneCore, CdBaby, Ditto, and Amuse.

If you would like to see how DistroKid compares to these services, more closely check out this articles:

Or, if you would like a more detailed look into what DistroKid has to offer, you can check out my big fat DistroKid review. 🙂

P.S. If you also want to learn about music publishing and make sure that you are not leaving any money on the table with your music distribution setup, I’d recommend checking out these 2 articles:

Some of my favorite music marketing tools

Thank you for reading this article, my friend, and I hope you found it helpful as you build your own successful career in music. 🙂

Here is a list of my favorite and most recommended tools and resources that I’ve personally used to get my music streamed over 4,000,000 times on Spotify as an artist.

Any of the paid services or tools listed here are most likely affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a small commission.

But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I personally use, love, and recommend to anyone – including my own friends and family.

Music Distribution

To get your music on Spotify on all the other streaming services, I use DistroKid because you get unlimited song uploads for a low annual price.

If you want to learn more about DistroKid and music distribution, check out the in-depth DistroKid review that I’ve put together.

Or, if you want to get started with DistroKid right now, you can save on your first year with the DistroKid discount.

Music Publishing Royalties Collection

For collecting all of the publishing, mechanical, and live performance royalties owed to me whenever my music gets streamed or played, my go-to is Songtrust.

Songtrust is a publishing administration company which means that in addition to collecting all of those royalties for me, they do it on a global level.

To learn if Songtrust is right for you, I’d recommend checking out this article on Songtrust vs BMI.

And if you want to get started with Songtrust right now, I’d recommend learning about the Songtrust discount code so that you can get the best price. 🙂

Website & Smart Links

I’m personally not a big fan of the link-in-bio and smart links for music pages like ToneDen and Hyppeddit.

Instead, I prefer having a full-blown WordPress website that allows me to have a full website in addition to unlimited music links.

For getting started with this, I really like Bluehost because it is the cheapest and a theme called Thrive Themes because it is the most flexible and easiest to use.

I’ve actually created a free Smart Links Course that you can take to learn how to get set up and start getting more streams with custom smart links (I’ve even included the templates I am using!).

Want more tools and resources for your music career?

If you’d like to see even more of my favorite marketing tools and resources for musicians and music artists, I’ve created an even larger list on this page: Best Marketing Tools & Resources For Musicians (& Music Artists).

P.S. There are even some free tools and resources included on that page as well! 🙂

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