6 Social Media Practices That Successful Performers Get Right

Do you ever come down with a severe case of social media envy?

You see other performers with huge followings, tons of interaction, and a thriving, vibrant community… while you’re getting sidetracked trying a memorable hashtag for your new project and watching Carpool Karaoke videos (again).

And that, in a nutshell, displays the best and worst of social media for performers.

On the one hand, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat make it possible for you to reach new fans like never before.

On the other, there’s so much noise and chaos that it’s hard to know exactly where to put your energy, let alone how to keep your audience’s attention.

But there are lots of performers who are killing it on social media — and you can be one of them by using our social media tips for musicians and perfmers.

Here are the six social media practices that successful performers get right.

#1 Social as the Stage

Think of your favorite social media platform as its own stage. Here’s what I mean by that…

Just like you tailor your performance to the hall or stage on which you’re performing, you should do the same with social media.

Each social platform is a unique environment with its own rules and type of content that performs better than others. Instead of putting the same message across all platforms, look at each one as its own creative outlet.

That means that what works for you on Instagram might not work for you on Snapchat. And what goes viral on Facebook might not go viral on Twitter.

I can almost hear you now saying, “But Jennifer! Figuring out what works on each platform could take too long!”

It’s true that to get the most out of a social media platform requires lots of trial and error. But instead of approaching it with dread, think of it as a creative project. How can you surprise and delight your audience across platforms? Be creative and learn what works.

#2 Video

There’s no question that video needs to be part of your social media arsenal. And for performers, video is crucial for helping audiences and venues get to know you.

I recommend you use video both to get more performance opportunities and to build your audience.

And remember that not all video is created equal. The musicians who are doing the best see video as an artform. They don’t simply plop a camera at the back of a hall and post their entire recital as a single video (would you want to watch that?).

Instead, they create a special experience like a music video or quick introduction that shows off their personality.

Your videos don’t have to be expensive and time-consuming. The most important thing is to get your content out there. Don’t let perfection hold you back.

#3 Authenticity

So many artists tell us that when they don’t have performances coming up, they don’t know what to talk about. It’s time to change that!

Yes, people want to engage with your art. But they also want to connect with you as a human and get to know the person behind the art.

That means you can talk about more than your latest project or performance. Feel free to talk about your other passions, your background, heritage, or culture, and anything else that makes you stand out.

And one more thing: Because you’re using social to build an audience and get performance opportunities, it’s best to stay professional, even when you get more personal.

A good question to ask yourself is, “Would I be embarrassed if this ended up on the front page of the newspaper?”

#4 Consistency

Social media is a long game. That’s why consistency trumps almost every other tip here. Just like you practice your instrument, you must regularly practice social media.

The first step to staying consistent? Create a schedule that you feel comfortable sticking with. We recommend posting at least once a day.

If you’re one of those people who prefers to work in spurts or who gets lots of ideas at once, try social media scheduling software.

Our team loves Buffer. It’s free! And it syncs up to your social media profiles so that you can pre-schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn, all from one place. (It even has a handy tool that posts at the time that’s most effective in your timezone).

Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking that you have to be present on all platforms. It’s not important that you’re everywhere; it’s important that you’re somewhere consistently.

It’s not important that you’re everywhere; it’s important that you’re somewhere consistently. Click To Tweet

If you’re not sure where to start, check out Twitter. We’ve discovered many new musicians and composers there (check out the #musochat on Sunday nights!).

#5 Iterate and Experiment

Like we just mentioned, social media success doesn’t happen overnight. That’s why it’s important to experiment and learn what works best for your audience.

The biggest mistake performers make is seeing social media as a fixed practice where they do the same thing over and over again.

We suggest you experiment with different content buckets and see which types of content your audience likes most.

Here are a few examples of content to get you started:

  • Video
  • Images
  • Inspirational quotes
  • News articles
  • Questions
  • Polls
  • Your personal opinions
  • Stories and case studies
  • Tips and tricks
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Contests/giveaways
  • Promotional content (telling people about your shows or events)

If you use a tool like Buffer, it will track which of your posts perform the best. Facebook and Twitter also have metrics that you can view to see how well specific content does.

#6 Learn from Others

That envy we talked about earlier? As understandable as it is to feel that way, it’s time to kick those jealous feelings to the curb.

Instead, look at the performers who are succeeding on social media and figure out what you can learn from them.

Essentially, you can become a student of social media which can be fun, creative, and fulfilling.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Lauren Pierce
Chrysanthe Tan
Katie Althen
Eric Whitacre

We encourage you to have fun with social and see it as an outlet for your creative expression. Use it to push the boundaries of who you are as an artist!

You Tell Me…

I want to hear from you!

Who are your favorite performers to follow on social media?

What are they doing that you could learn from?

Tell me in the comments below.

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