We asked a few artists, managers, and others in the independent music industry space how they’re using social media, and what tips they could give independent artists looking to grow their social channels.  This week, the team from digital marketing company Sneak Attack Media lets us in on some tips when it comes to marketing your music online.

As told by:

Elliot Fox (GM at Sneak Attack Media)
Zach Hinkle (Director of Marketing at Sneak Attack Media)
Marni Wandner (President at Sneak Attack Media)

One key principle that we stress to all of our clients (although it may go without saying) is when it comes to marketing yourself online, “content is king.”  What kind of content that is will vary from artist to artist depending on what it is they like to do or what inspires them.  If it’s video content, set up a YouTube channel and start posting lyric videos, official music videos, behind-the-scenes footage, Vlogs, tour diaries…engaging content that fans can connect to.  Make sure the content is stimulating and consistent—it doesn’t need to all be professional quality but it’s important to pay attention to your aesthetic and what you’re putting out to the world/internet. And make sure to post this content on all of your other platforms as well so your Facebook fans know what’s happening on your YouTube channel.

An often missed opportunity here is not leaving room for your fans to engage with you. Social media isn’t a megaphone, it’s a place to create a conversation, so be sure to involve your fans, engage with them, and listen to what they have to say. It’s important to also include links to your platforms on all of your profiles to encourage fans to subscribe and engage – this could be very helpful for planning your next piece of content!

Continuing with the importance of content, let’s take a quick look at the online success of NYC “tropical grit-pop” duo Ghost Beach (a proud TuneCore artist). The cornerstone to this campaign has been free music.  They’ve spent the last year giving away tracks and remixes for free download via their SoundCloud account and a “Like to Download” app on their Facebook page.  On SoundCloud, it’s important to stay active and engaged within the community. Continuing to upload music, sharing with others, joining groups and commenting on tracks are all useful tactics in helping build your SoundCloud presence.

Along with the SoundCloud promotion, Ghost Beach has been using Facebook as a hub to share music.  They have a fan-gated app that requires a “like” in exchange for a free download, which we run in conjunction with promoted posts. Promoted posts are a low-cost and effective way to target your audience and fans of your audience which will lead to increased likes, engagement and sharing. (Note: Giving away your music for free is a very effective tactic to encourage discovery, however, you should also have a product available for sale, even if it’s what you’re also offering for free. People will buy it if they can find it).

We also advise taking advantage of your own numbers. If you have 15k Facebook fans but only 800 people on your mailing list, that’s a problem, and you should do everything you can to get those fans on your mailing list.  Think about ways to drive that traffic to your other properties (Facebook to Twitter etc), but the driver needs to have purpose. As in the example above with Ghost Beach, it can be a good idea to give fans an incentive to check out your other profiles.

There is no one one way to execute many of these ideas but what we do stress is strategy and having very specific goals behind each promotion. This will not make you famous over night but it will steadily improve your numbers.

Sneak Attack Media is NY-based digital marketing company that combines online PR, social media and creative promotions for a variety of music, entertainment and lifestyle clients. www.sneakattackmedia.com | www.facebook.com/sneakattackmedia | @teamsneakattack

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