Independent Artist Growth in the Social Media World

As Facebook has become more of a hub for artists to host their “website”, Facebook has also limited the visibility of these page’s posts. For example, I know of artist pages with around 2,000 ‘likes’ and yet, each one of their posts reaches only around 200-300 people. Why is this? Because Facebook wants these pages to pay for visibility. This can make public relations challenging.

Facebook reach.

Facebook reach.

I am speaking strictly from a social media standpoint. Facebook is the main output for bands to post news and information that they want to reach their fans. Twitter works as well, but a tweet’s lifespan is much shorter than a Facebook post. Also, less people use Twitter than Facebook. For example, I’d say about 95% of my friends use Facebook. I would guess that roughly 50-60% of my friends have Twitter. People spend more time on Facebook than Twitter, thus making Facebook the main hub for posting updates.

To battle this, artists must utilize full blown social media campaigns. Using one or two outlets isn’t going to cut it. You need a hashtag, an Instagram post, a Soundcloud sound that should be getting reposted, a Facebook status that generates shares and comments, the list goes on.

For example, when an artist independently releases a song, he/she must utilize every outlet of the Internet to ensure that their sound is heard where they want it heard. Blogs are the streamline to Internet music success. Having your song blogged is an exponential growth process. One blog post leads to three others, which leads to 9 others, and the growth continues. In addition to having your song blogged, you need your social media outlets within those blog posts so that people know where to find you. Then you need to stay active on all those social medias so that you stay relevant.

Video growth statistics

Video growth statistics

If an artist has a PR team, the team can be doing this for the artist. They can email blogs, post status, tweet, post on Instagram, etc. However for an independent artist, getting a song to catch Internet momentum is a struggle in itself. Even if you have one of your songs trends, if you don’t release another one within two weeks, you’re going to get forgotten rather quickly.

Staying relevant in the Internet music community is literally like staying afloat in a body of water. Just as you begin to sink, you must do something to stay afloat, but that something will only keep you afloat for so long. It is a constant battle against everyone who is trying to stay more relevant than you. But if you utilize a creative PR campaign each time, you can be successful.

For example, there is an EDM production/DJ duo known as “The Chainsmokers”. What is the title of their most recent single? “#SELFIE” How fitting, shortly after ‘selfie’ is added to the dictionary, they name a song #SELFIE. Now whenever someone uses that hashtag their song could potentially come up. They used a trending word, put a hashtag in front of it, and thats how they named their song. Great marketing idea.

It is campaigns like the one that The Chainsmokers used that bring artists to the Internet limelight and keep them relevant. It is a long and grueling process to grow your independent brand in the Internet world.

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One thought on “Independent Artist Growth in the Social Media World

  1. Great post! You raise some great points about the necessity of social media marketing strategies for independent music producers trying to burst into the industry.

    One tactic I’ve seen used lately and that I think its very effective is posting snippets of soon-to-be-released songs on Instagram via its video feature. If the song is a banger, and you post the right 15 second snippet, audiences will get excited about you and your music. When used as a component of a larger overall PR campaign, I think this tactic is even more effective in terms of generating anticipation and demand for music before it is even available.

    That being said, I think the most important thing for emerging artists to keep in mind is to make their body of work readily available online and through social media. People can’t get into your music if they can’t find it. Having a built out Soundcloud account is a must in my opinion.

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