The best way for musicians to reach people online in 2019

Shilling your art on social media can be a frustrating and unrewarding task for musicians and bands who have to rally the motivation to self-promote and try to reach fans online only to see tumbleweeds through their profiles and a lack of return on that effort. But we’ve got some quick tips and tricks that will help you get the most as an artist and start connecting with fans.

What’s the best way to reach people online in 2019?

Whether you love, hate or merely tolerate self-promotion of your music online and on social media everyone wants to see they are getting something back for the effort they’re putting in. But it’s seemingly harder than ever to reach people without paying to promote your posts and if you’re not ready or willing to commit a budget, what can you do?

Crossing your fingers and hoping some magic happens is probably not the best plan – but making sure you’re putting the right things out to reach the right people is likely to see you right. That means a little bit of knowing who you’re trying to reach (no, not ‘everyone’) and what they like online (in terms of content types at least). It’s all about doing the right things to reach the people that count to you.

Know your audience

You may want to reach every last person on the planet with your music but chances are, right now, your audience is much smaller. You may have an idea of you think should like what you’re making, but it’s worth checking whether that’s the reality.

If you already have social media profiles you can get some information about the people who like you (not in an overly creepy way, in a general way) from the stats and it’s also worth checking your Spotify for Artists profile for this information.

You’ll get an idea of the age, location, and gender of the people who are listening for you and from this you can work out whether you’re hanging in the right places online to find more of those people. Each social media network has a core demographic so while your fave might be Insta if your audience is all on Twitter you might want to put some effort in over there.

What to put out on social media

You’ll also want to check what the best content is for each platform and audience. Again, while you might love crafting long verbose status updates if everyone is scrolling past them the time you’re spending may not be helping too much toward your success.

Across all platforms video is by far the most popular type of content right now and so making sure you have at least some of this in the mix of how you share stuff online is a good idea. More people will see it, more of those people are likely to engage with it, and that in turn helps it get shown to more people.

And music lends itself to video – you don’t need a grandiose cinematic showcase for you latest single, video can be shot on your phone and behind-the-scenes, live footage, practice room, tour van and more all make interesting and quick videos you can share online.

Work out what’s working

None of this will make it feel less icky if you’re not keen on self-promotion or pushing yourself as an artist online but if you’re going to feel that way, you may as well at least get some good results. Knowing what’s working and not makes all of this easier over time so it’s worth checking to see whether you should do more or less or something according to how people have reacted.

Most social media platforms will give you a few stats to go on without you having to work too hard for it. You can see easily how many people have liked or commented on your posts, but it’s worth also seeing what the engagement rate is. Some platforms do this for you if you look in your insights section and you should be able to get a feel for what’s normal for you. Overall it’s worth bearing in mind that engagement rates are low across the board and 1.6% is average for Instagram, while Facebook and Twitter are much lower (less than 1%).

Distilling your music to an engagement rate percentage probably isn’t what made you start a band but this stuff is important if you want to be independent and have an audience of people ready to buy your music and come to your shows.

Want some help with promotion and PR?

If you’re ready to take control of your career and find success for your music on your terms then we’re here to help.

We can help you plan for your next release through helping you find your audience, create great content and support your social media efforts, gain coverage in the music press and airplay on radio as well as link you in to a national network of independent promoters and help you record and release your music.

Book your free 15 minute discovery call with Noble and Wild founder Sarah Lay where she will find out more about you and the ways we can work together. Book now – no obligation. Or check out other ways we can work together.

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Sarah Lay

I'm the founder of We Are Noble and Wild, co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an artist manager, music journalist, PR and author.
I'm a fan of black coffee, the west coast of Scotland, crows, conversations and connections. I'm in love with possibilities.
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