We continue with our deep dive into social media strategies for musicians.

You are reading part 2. If you haven’t already, check out part 1 where we talked about optimizing your profiles and the content you should post.

Trigger engagement

Social media is a two-way street. Your posts might be interesting, educational or simply fun but if the audience isn’t reacting to it, you’re not doing it right. You need to find a way to turn lurkers into active participants who provide instant feedback and potentially serve as micro-influencers.

All we need is likes
Likes, shares and comments welcome…

Tag brands, venues, other musicians, trending topics

A great way to reach out to new audiences is to tag successful brands, other musicians, venues, as well as holidays or other trending topics. This way you will show up in timelines of people who have no previous affiliation with you, especially when it comes to Instagram.

Tagging will immediately increase your reach but no need to go overboard, it's best to keep it relevant. Tag a venue you dream of playing, the brand whose gear you prefer, an artist you aspire to be like, or support musicians you know and love.

Interact with fans

When you engage with your audience on a personal level, it makes them feel special, making them more likely to become fans, talk about you and share your content. Try answering every message you get, that will motivate other listeners to leave comments and reviews, enhancing your organic reach and recognizability.

Without getting into the details of algorithms that decide who sees your post, interacting with your fans is the best way to get honest feedback, suggestions and requests. The better you know your crowd, the easier it will be to create relevant content.

Source content from fans

The natural consequence of positive fan interactions will be fan-made content. Tagged photos from a gig, covers of your songs and remakes are great content to share on your social pages. Creating an Instagram story featuring your fans’ stories from last night’s live show will give everyone a taste of how great your performances are.

Responding, tagging, and re-posting shows your fans you care and creates long-lasting bonds on a personal level. Invite fans to send their photos and videos, it’s a win-win!

Be creative with exclusives, rewards & giveaways

“What are my followers getting from this?” is a question you should ask yourself every day if you're the manager of your social media pages.

Music is the first that comes to mind, obviously, the second part is the (hopefully) relevant and interesting content you share but if you want to create hype, you need to offer them a financial motive. Of course, I’m not saying you should be paying your followers, but occasional giveaways of albums, merchandise or tickets for a show will be greatly appreciated. Make sure you make it a friendly, engaging competition: ask followers to like and share, comment with their own related content, etc. This will motivate engagement, allow your posts to reach new audiences and leave a positive impression on the algorithms that decide what’s popular.

If you don’t have anything concrete to offer for free (maybe your albums are available online and tickets are free), why not reach out to online services your followers might be interested in? Most online platforms, shops and businesses’ will be happy to provide you with a custom-made discount code, as long as the offer is relevant to the audience you built.


Collaborating with fellow musicians is an easy way of reaching out to new audiences. Find an artist you like and try to form a relationship. Artists with a smaller or equal reputation will be happy to combine audiences and more popular ones are always looking for potential support bands. Who knows, you might even get invited to tour with them.

Go live

With ever-changing social media algorithms, it’s getting hard to know how many of your followers actually get to see your post in their feeds. One thing we do know though is everybody gets notified when you go live.

You can share live videos from your practice sessions, live shows, acoustic covers but the most engaging way to go live might be “Ask me anything” (AMA) sessions. You get to speak directly with your fans, find out what they like and dislike and see yourself through their eyes.

How to approach different social media platforms

Different audiences

We already talked about the importance of brand consistency across all platforms but that in no way means you should post the same stuff, at the same time.

Each platform has different audiences with different habits and desires. Facebook users are (relatively) older and seem to be most active during business hours (shocking, right?) so try to be less edgy and keep the content “safe for work”. Twitter’s tempo is much higher than other platforms so your posts usually only have significant value for about 15 minutes. Twitter is also text-based so you don’t need to produce serious content for every post, just a random thought or an interesting scene you just witnessed will do enough to keep followers engaged.

Instagram is expected to overtake Facebook by the end of 2020. Research shows Instagram users are most active during the night hours so post in the evening, ideally after whenever 9 PM is for the majority of your followers.

Different formats (natural fit & ad relevance)

Another quirk in promoting on social media are the different aspect ratios the platforms use. YouTube requires 16:9, Facebook and Instagram feeds ask for 1:1 while stories require 9:16. This may result in your videos and images getting cut-off or even becoming completely useless.

Visualizers in all formats
Music videos for any platform.

For this reason, Videobolt has started to offer most new templates in the 3 most popular formats. The music video you created for YouTube can be reproduced for news feeds and stories, without lowering the quality or losing key features.

Bonus: YouTube

A lot of people may not see YouTube as social media but having already become the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube now wants to attack the social media market.

The rise of other social media and audio-only platforms like Soundcloud has not diminished the importance of YouTube for musicians. It’s still the go-to platform for listening and exploring new music. Everything previously mentioned for other platforms is relevant here as well: your channel needs to be heavily optimized, from cover photos to tags, to merch and tour info, up to the visual identity and the need to interact with your followers.

Your style should be represented in every fiber of your YouTube channel, starting with every video you make. YouTube videos are shared often and they should be the base for all other content so don’t cut corners when it comes to this platform. Transform your music into equally impressive videos and get your fans to recognize your stuff without hearing it, especially in the suggestions feed.

Youtube thumbnail

Something you absolutely have to take into consideration when it comes to YouTube is SEO (search-engine-optimization). Trailing only the behemoth that is Google when it comes to online searches, YouTube’s algorithms read your channel just like Google reads any web-page.

Every word you write in the headline, description or tag in a video gets analyzed and ranked - deciding where your videos appear, either in searches (even Google’s) or suggestions. You need to write engaging and clickable titles but also keep them relevant. When people click on your video but leave the page after a few seconds, the algorithms interpret that as the content not being relevant to the title and rank your videos worse.

Don’t forget to fill your description with industry-related keywords and type in as many tags as the platform allows. Define the category your content falls into to help YouTube understand you and your desired audience better.

While every platform carries a new set of users and rules which can bring something unique to your career, if you’re gonna be active on only one platform, you should strongly consider YouTube.


Every aspect of social media I mentioned can be analyzed to death but there’s no substitute for actual experience. Take all of this advice into consideration and create the first draft of your posting strategy.

Make a list of ideas and see how much content you can prepare upfront. Define your areas of interest and think about what your (potential) followers would find interesting. Try to prepare two or three weeks’ worth of content in advance so you can be free to analyze the response.

Just remember to make it personal, keep it respectful, put your music in the center of it all and use video as much as possible. When you start, remember to arm yourself with patience, it would be too optimistic to expect likes, shares, and comments right from the start. A big number of early posts will not trigger any kind of engagement but don’t just give up, social media is a long-term play, just like your career.

Published on Dec 2, 2019 by
Žare Petkov
Customer Value Growth Manager at Videobolt

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