Now you have released that smash hit on Spotify and you’re waiting for the money to start rolling in, but on your first report from Spotify you have 5 listeners. Every advice you read says share your music to your friends on Facebook and you’ll go viral. So you share it on Facebook and 5 friends like your post. Apparently, fans don’t show up from the blue and even your friends couldn’t care less. So now you try Instagram and open a Twitter account. A month later you still have only 25 followers. This can be very frustrating. Not only for your bank account but also for your self-esteem. It’s also very common so you’re not alone. Everyday 50 000 songs are uploaded on Spotify so you really have to stand out to be heard. And your 200 Facebook friends are not going to help you do that.
So how do you get any streams?
The easy shortcut would be to buy them. You’ll get 1000 streams for $29. Or 500 followers for $9. Or placement on the that super duper playlist with 50 000 followers. You can also buy followers and likes on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. It’s tempting to go this road. But the listeners and followers aren’t real, they are bots. Well, you say, I don’t care as long as my numbers grow. But the platforms care. Best case is that they’ll remove your likes and followers. Worst case is they’ll ban you from the site. Then you find the sites where you exchange likes as like4like. Now it isn’t bots liking your music, it’s flesh and blood. But these users will never be your fans and many use bogus accounts to like you. You will also be contacted by promotion agencies that say they will help you do this but the truth is the will only give you the same old advice because you have to do the job yourself. The only thing they can help you with is buying streams and likes and we don’t want o that road.
You have to grow your fan base organically on social media
Respond to and engage with your audience. This is the core of growing a loyal audience. Try to see your followers not only as numbers which you’re aiming to grow, but as relationships you need to maintain. People want to be seen and heard, and interaction and meaningful conversation become more and more important. Make it a habit replying to comments and responding to messages. You’ll probably get more out of this than you think.
Be human and authentic
Being human among a sea of filters and facades might be the thing that makes you stand out in the crowd. People want to be able to relate to the influencers and channels they follow. Don’t hide your personality – highlight it. And don’t take yourself too seriously, we could all use a laugh or two.
But still, you need those fans to interact and be human with
When you start a Twitter account you follow 50 people that the sites suggest you to do. Then you post a tweet and wait. Nothing happens. After a week you have 10 followers and no interaction. It seems like a mystery how people who’s name is not Donald Trump can have thousends of followers.
Here is a method you can use on all platforms but it works best on Twitter.
Find a user in your area (like music) with lots of followers and follow a hundred of those followers. It’s likely these users want to follow you. They might be other musicians, but it’s still likely they will follow you. Start interacting right away with the active ones. Login everyday, follow some more users and be active.
What will happen are a few interesting things.
- About half of the people you follow will follow you back after a few days so the number of followers will grow.
- Twitter will suggest other users for you to follow in the same area (music).
- You’ll grow into this community (music) and will be recognized by the community as part of it.
- Eventually Twitter will recognize you as part of this community (music) and you’ll be suggested as a cool user to follow to people you don’t follow.
After a couple of weeks you have a couple of hundred followers and it starts to grow organically without you hunting them down.
But hey, aren’t those followers just other sucker musicians without fans and not likely to be your fans? Yes and no. Some will not become your fans, but some actually will. But you have started organic growth that will get you music fans. (See point 4 above). It will also atract radio dj’s, and other industry people to connect with you.
This method works best on Twitter where it’s easy to find people with specific interests and sub communities like this. On Instagram it’s harder to find peoples’ interests but when you do it works the same way. It’s a little tougher on YouTube and nearly impossible on Facebook but it works there too but with an other strategy.
On Facebook you should have a Facebook page. Here you should interact with your fans as described above. Posting, posting posting. Replying, replying, replying. Here are some tips:
- Post other things than just your latest release because many Facebook users are tired of self promotion.
- Follow other musicians’ Facebook pages. Follow them as your page. Interact with them as your page. They will then follow you and interact with you.
- Join groups in your area (music). There are tons of them. Some will accept pages as members, some will not. Join as your page if allowed. Be active in those groups but don’t self promote. Most groups don’t allow self promotion. The groups who do are flooded with self promotion but zero interaction. This is the biggest problem with Facebook. Self promotion is dead there.
In my opinion buying ads doesn’t work on any platform in an area like music. How often have you pressed a Spotify link on an ad on Facebook? Ads are often used in combination with Conversion funnels. Apps like GrooveFunnel or ClickFunnel that that converts the ad clicks to any actions. In my opninion this work best in other areas and it’s probably the funnels that makes the most.
Last tips: Use images and videos
Your cover photos and profile photos are the elements that get the most exposure on your social profile. In light of this, why not use these to showcase your work or even highlight the products or services that you offer? On platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch, a good rule of thumb is to update your cover images around four times a year. You’d want your followers to recognize your brand and channel, but you still want to get some variety happening.
Videos must not be studio produced. There are several sites like Rotorvideos or Vizy where a music video can be made with your footage or stock footage on the site. Remember to make one version of the video with max length 1 minute so it can be used on Instagram or TikTok. TikTok might be mostly corny dance acts but the number of users are enormous and videos get much more views than on YouTube.