If you are looking for the best social media platforms for you to use as a musician or music artist, I’ve identified the top 5 sites you should consider focusing on.
The best social media platforms for musicians are Youtube for evergreen content & SEO, TikTok for virality & organic reach, Instagram for developing fan relationships, Facebook for its advertising platform, and Twitter for networking and communicating.
Properly using 1 social media platform and consistently publishing content to that platform is a lot of work, so I’d recommend starting with 1 of these and not experimenting with others until you feel ready.
In this article, you will find the best social media platforms to try out as a musician or music artist, what makes them great and what it will take for you to find success with each platform.
1. YouTube – For Evergreen Content & SEO
YouTube is great for musicians because the content you create can easily be discovered months and years after you’ve created it through YouTube’s recommendations algorithm and powerful search engine.
Unlike other social media platforms, the content you create on YouTube doesn’t simply disappear and becomes irrelevant after 24 – 48 hours of posting.
Although YouTube does have a “feed” that shows new content, a big part of YouTube is the fact that it has a recommendation algorithm that can make your content appear to fans who like similar artists and genres as you at any time.
In addition to this, YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world (2nd only to Google search) which means that potential fans and listeners can also discover your content by searching for it.
This means that all of the time and effort that you put into creating content can result in content that serves your music career by finding and nurturing fans for years to come instead of just the first 24 – 48 hours of posting.
Because YouTube focuses on more medium to long-form content, it is also a lot easier to really connect with an audience and develop the artist-to-fan relationship.
Let’s also not forget that it is possible to get monetized on YouTube, meaning that you can actually get directly paid for the content you create by allowing YouTube to place ads with your content.
What It Takes To Grow On YouTube As A Musician
With that said, there are several challenges for musicians and artists that are looking to grow their music on YouTube.
1. It usually takes consistency over a long period of time before YouTube will start recommending your content to potential fans and listeners.
It is best practice on YouTube to upload a new video once per week and you will likely need to maintain this publishing schedule for at least 2 to 3 years before seeing any meaningful results.
2. Coming up with ideas and then filming, editing and uploading video content can be time consuming and challenging.
It can take a lot of time and effort to create video content regardless of what social media platform you are creating that video content for.
Coming up with ideas can be tough on its own not to mention how much work goes into planning, filming, editing, and then uploading your final video.
3. You will likely need to create content that goes beyond just your music.
It is highly unlikely that you will be able to just post your music or even interesting performance videos of your music to YouTube and find success.
Most of the content that does well on YouTube is content that is providing very specific value to the audience which is usually in the form of educational or entertaining content.
The challenge here is to provide education or entertainment that does well on YouTube but also isn’t too unrelated and disconnected from your actual art.
Vlog or lifestyle types of content also don’t perform well unless you already have a large audience that cares about you or if there is some concrete educational or entertainment value baked into it.
2. TikTok – For Virality & Organic Reach
TikTok is great for musicians because it is the social media app that is “in” right now and due to the fact that TikTok is extremely generous with how many people can discover your content organically.
It is very common for songs to go viral on TikTok, resulting in thousands and thousands of TikTok creators repurposing a song for their own content which can expose your music to hundreds of thousands of new fans and listeners.
Going viral on TikTok almost always results in significant upticks in the stream counts for the song used in the video on Spotify and other streaming services.
Even if your content does not go viral, TikTok is currently very generous with its recommendation algorithm and it can be easy for your content to be put in front of thousands of users even when you are just starting out.
What It Takes To Grow On TikTok As A Musician
It is best practice to post on TikTok multiple times per week with at least 2 to 3 times per week being the lower limit and 1 to 2 posts per day being the upper limit.
The main challenge I see for musicians and artists wanting to grow on TikTok is actually creating content for the social media platform.
The most common type of content on TikTok really appears to be ‘entertaining’ content in the form of dances and skits.
Creating this type of content is likely not for everyone and can definitely be a turn-off for a lot of musicians and artists (myself included lol).
In addition to this, TikTok as a company definitely has ambitions of profiting off of ads so it is likely that they will eventually start limiting the organic reach of posts in the future in an effort to get creators to pay for ads to reach users.
3. Instagram – For Developing Fan Relationships
Instagram is great for musicians because of the fan relationships that you can develop through the content you post and from communicating with fans through comments and direct messages.
It is also possible to find new fans and listeners by using Instagram’s hashtags and having your content appear as recommended content in the feeds and discover tab of people that don’t follow you yet.
Because Instagram is a highly visual social media platform, it is great for documenting your journey as an artist and showing off your unique talents.
Instagram is also a key part of the Facebook Advertising platform, meaning you can also send ads to anyone who engages with your Instagram profile organically or use your Instagram content as an ad to find new fans and listeners.
What It Takes To Grow On Instagram As A Musician
The main challenge you will face as a musician on Instagram is that the organic reach of your posts is constantly dropping over time.
Instagram limits the organic reach of your posts in an effort to make it’s content creators pay for ads to reach their followers.
Organic reach on Instagram is constantly declining and at the time of writing this, it is estimated that less than 10% of your followers will see your content when you post it.
This, in hand with the fact that most Instagram posts only appear to users within the first 24 to 48 hours of it being posted, means that it is possible to spend a lot of time and effort creating posts for no one to see them.
In addition to this, it can be challenging to convert someone from someone just chilling on Instagram to an actual fan that wants to engage with you and your music.
4. Facebook – For Digital Advertising
Although it is possible to reach fans and listeners organically with Facebook, this platform is almost only exclusively useful to musicians and artists for its advertising platform.
At the time of writing this, it is estimated that less than 3% of your followers will see your content when you post it on Facebook.
Although this pattern of limiting organic reach happens with any social media platform that has ambitions of profiting through ads (ie: TikTok, Snapchat, etc) it is clear that Facebook almost exclusively wants you to pony up cash to use their platform.
Although it sucks that the trend is that you have to pay for your content to reach people, it is also true that:
Facebook Ads are extremely powerful and can be used to reach people that are likely to enjoy your art far beyond your current followers count.
Why Facebook Ads Are Great For Building A Fanbase
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.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of Facebook ads in more detail:
- 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
- You can “scale” the ads and control your budget – the more you spend the more results you get but you can still spend as little as $1 per day if you want (in comparison you can only post on social media so many times in 1 day before people get upset)
- Facebook’s learning algorithm can optimize all by itself to get you the most results possible for the lowest cost possible
- You can place people that engage with you into “Custom Audiences” and “retarget” them which means showing them your ads at a lower cost than it took to reach them in the first place
- 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 Facebook’s tools and algorithms to find you 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 how you can use ads to grow your music career, check out my free Facebook Ads for musicians course. 🙂
5. Twitter – For Networking & Communicating
Twitter is great for musicians who want to directly communicate with not just fans and listeners but also with other artists, musicians, labels, journalists, and music industry folk.
It can be super easy, quick, and low effort to get out several tweets each day updating fans on your journey as an artist and giving them some precious insight into your thoughts on things and what interests you as a person.
It can also be just as easy to communicate with others on Twitter to start building relationships and getting your name out there.
In particular, Twitter is a fantastic networking tool since so many music industry folks from labels to journalists are usually quite active on the social media platform.
Although it may not be the most effective platform for promoting your music it is a fantastic tool for letting people know what you are up to and for building relationships.
What It Takes To Grow On Twitter As A Musician
It is best practice to post on Twitter multiple times per day with at least 1 to 2 times per day being the lower limit and 3 to 5 times per day being the upper limit.
In addition to this, you will want to be opening the Twitter app frequently so you can look for opportunities to network with other music industry folk or engage with your fans.
How To Build A Fanbase On Social Media With “Recurring Content”
The best way to build a fanbase on social media that wants to support you and your art is to consistently release new content by combining a recurring content strategy with a content calendar.
The main difference between a recurring content strategy and a content calendar is that the strategy is more high level (ie: types of things you will post) and the content calendar is more specific (ie: exactly what you will post and when).
To create a recurring content strategy you will want to follow these steps:
- Clearly define your ultimate goal as an artist or creative
- Look at the content you are already creating
- Brainstorm content types or themes that you want to test
- Look at which content types give you the best bang for your buck
- Create your content and put it onto a calendar
To learn more about how you can build a fanbase on social media with a recurring content strategy and content calendar, check out my free guide called How To Build A Fanbase On Social Media (For Music Artists). 🙂
The 6 Steps To Developing An Online Presence For Independent Musicians
A musician’s online presence is made up of 3 parts: website, social media, and digital ads.
Being active with all 3 helps develop your brand and grow your fanbase by giving potential fans a reason to follow you.
Here is an overview of the 6 steps you will need to go through to develop your online presence:
- Define your ultimate goal as a creative
- Choose your main social media platform
- Commit to a recurring content strategy
- Create a website to future-proof your online presence
- Experiment with digital advertising
- Test and iterate on your strategy
To learn more about these 6 steps in more detail so that you can start seriously developing your online presence as a musician, take a look at my free guide on Online Presence For Musicians. 🙂