In terms of free, organic traffic, social media is a go-to. The challenge is that, because the barriers of entry are so low, everyone is competing for the same attention you’re trying to capture.
Social media is hard, especially if you don’t have killer content ideas to keep your content fresh and relevant. But there are still ways to grab the attention of your prospective fan base if you know how.
Why go through all this effort? Because if you don’t put in the time and work to build a real relationship with your followers, you can’t expect them to take action when they see you promoting your music.
Here are 15 content ideas to help you get more fans on social media.
1. Use platitudes
Platitudes are the new social media quotes! Not that attractive inspirational quote graphics don’t work anymore, but let’s face it – you can only quote Bill Gates, Tony Robbins, or Jim Rohn so many times before your audience gets bored.
But whether it’s on Twitter or Instagram, plenty of artists (including yours truly) are seeing traction with platitudes like this (my own):
“Go a step beyond. Most people don’t and miss out on the rewards.”
Instead of quoting someone else, quote yourself. And if you can create a simple graphic to go with your platitude (include your profile picture), all the better. Also, don’t plagiarize. Create your own quotes.
A framework is a step-by-step process. Does that sound boring? Because it can be a very exciting thing for your audience! People like to learn how to do things, and a framework is like a summary of the steps a person needs to take to get the results you’ve gotten.
One of my most engaged frameworks (shared on Instagram) was an 11-step process on how to crowdfund $15,000 for your next album (yes, I really did this).
You can create frameworks on anything you know and understand well – it could be on songwriting, playing the guitar, how to set yourself up for a successful gig, or otherwise. Frameworks don’t always need to be educational either – they can be inspirational, fun, or even humorous.
3. Anything handwritten or hand drawn
I recently brought analog content to the digital world with great success. Anything handwritten or hand drawn (I use a yellow legal pad and Sharpie) will draw attention on social media, especially if it has your face in it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a picture or a video. As I’ve discovered, it can drive quite a bit of traffic to your music website too.
It’s funny to think that Bob Dylan basically paved the way with music videos like “Subterranean Homesick Blues” (song originally released in 1965) where he held up cards with his lyrics on them. And this still works!
You will also see marketers like Russell Brunson doing this, and he’s a great person to follow if you’re looking for more great ideas.
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4. Polls & surveys
People love to answer polls and surveys. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have this feature built right into them, and it’s easy to set up.
If your engagement has been waning lately, try setting up a poll. You’ll be surprised at the results. Even on profiles with a relatively small following, we’ve seen a significant boost in engagement using this method.
If you want to hit two birds with one stone, combine this with audience research. Ask questions that help you understand your target persona better.
5. Behind-the-scenes posts
To this day, if I find an album I love, I go looking for behind-the-scenes footage, whether it’s a DVD, YouTube video, or anything else the artist or band might have put out.
Serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk is famous for documenting his journey on as many social media channels as possible. This approach can work for artists too. Capture as many moments as you can and share them on social media.
6. Contests & giveaways
The best way to secure your financial future and longevity as an artist is to grow your email list.
The challenge is that getting people to give away their email address and open your email campaigns is getting harder than ever.
A relevant and attractive giveaway – like an album, T-shirt, and sticker bundle – though, is a powerful way to attract quality subscribers that will convert to superfans with a bit of nurturing.
7. Tweet storms
I can’t count the number of artists I’ve met who’ve told me they’re afraid to post too often, treat their Facebook profile as sacred, or otherwise can’t see themselves increasing the frequency of their posts.
If your engagement is lagging, though, posting more frequently is a surefire way to boost results. And there are few social networks as forgiving as Twitter when it comes to posting more often.
I’ve gone on tweet storms (tweeting nonstop in a short period of time) multiple times, and what I’ve found every single time is that:
- It boosts engagement
- It introduces new users to me and my content
- It has never led to backlash or mass unfollows (usually the opposite)
This also works on new, decentralized networks like BitClout, but that’s a whole other sidebar.
8. Facebook videos
It seems like Facebook wants to become the next YouTube. Then again, they now have a horse in the race in dating and classified ads too.
Either way, 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook daily.
Click on “Watch” from the Facebook dashboard, and you will see the kinds of videos people are interacting with.
Brevity is officially overrated. There’s no need to be short anymore. Try a variety of video types, whether it’s vlogs, music videos, podcasts, or otherwise, and see what works for you.
9. TikTok videos
TikTok now allows you to upload videos up to three minutes in length. And the great thing about this is, you don’t even need to create memes or dancing videos to get attention (if you don’t want to)!
The best thing you can do on TikTok is to find a singular focus. I have a vocalist friend who grew his account to over 36,400 followers in just three months using the same basic video format and the same six hashtags for his daily content.
Additionally, if you’ve been having trouble getting engagement on your videos on other platforms like YouTube, you should also upload your videos to TikTok – you should see more views.
10. TikTok LIVEs
Once you’ve attracted your first 1,000 followers on TikTok, they bestow you with the ability to go live on their platform.
These days, going live on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube is a bit of a mixed bag. It seems to work for those who are already established, but the algorithm doesn’t seem to favor those just getting started.
Meanwhile, even ordinary live content on TikTok can get you many views and followers. It’s a great way to grow your following on an ongoing basis. If you’re still grinding it out on other platforms and you aren’t seeing much traction, give TikTok a try.
11. Native videos
When it comes to video content, most people naturally have a strong association with YouTube. But these days, your videos can be uploaded natively to most social networks.
Obviously, it requires a little more time and energy to put your videos everywhere. But what we’ve seen, repeatedly, is that our videos get double, triple, quadruple (even 10x) the views when distributed widely.
And the reality is, you don’t need a ton of views to get results. You just need the right people watching your content to generate new fans, gigs, PR opportunities, and more.
Here are but a few places to experiment with (even if you’re skeptical!):
- Twitter (up to two minutes and 20 seconds)
- TikTok (up to three minutes)
12. Online concerts
Online concerts are still a great way to get your music in front of your fans. But I don’t advocate loyalty to any one platform. There’s nothing as common (and unfortunate) as a Twitch streamer who plays for hours on end to an audience of zero.
As noted earlier, TikTok and StreamYard are both viable options. Be.Live and Restream are also worth checking out if you’re thinking about multi-streaming.
Additionally, you can try pre-recording concerts and premiering them at a set time on Facebook or YouTube (when you can hang out in the chat with your fans).
13. Live Q&As
Live Q&As are still quite powerful. If you want to take a break from your live concert schedule and hang out with your audience for an hour or so, why not go live and answer some questions?
Note that getting traction on one platform, even if you are well-known, can be kind of tough. If you have an active Facebook group, though, this type of content works. You can also take advantage of tools like StreamYard to stream to multiple destinations simultaneously.
14. Fan spotlights
When developing content for social media, it’s altogether too easy to get caught in the content treadmill, generating a never-ending series of videos, graphics, and blog posts. Honestly, you will burn out if you’re not careful.
Recognizing your most active followers is a great way to reward their presence. And because this is so easy to do, it gives you a break from the content hamster wheel.
Note that you can also share press clippings and testimonials (or even user generated content), and this will give you a credibility boost.
15. Personal posts
At times, this might seem backwards. Why would you post about your vacation, what you had for lunch, or the video game your band likes to play, when you could be sharing about your latest release?
Because it works, often better than promotional posts. Personal posts about your weight loss journey, nostalgic and sentimental stories about your childhood, or how the airline broke your guitar will always drive more engagement. Especially if you include candid pictures of yourself.
Connecting the dots to business results might seem an impossible task, but a boost in boost in engagement now usually translates to a boost in engagement on future posts too.
Final thoughts – drive traffic to your website
It’s all well and good to build a social media following, but you also need a way to capture and retain the fans you attract.
So, as awareness grows, focus on driving traffic to your musician website, get visitors to sign up for your email list, and share your merch with them to generate sales.
Convert your casual followers into lifelong fans. That leads to long-term career results.
David Andrew Wiebe is the Founder & CEO of The Music Entrepreneur HQ and author of four books, including the much-praised The New Music Industry: Adapting, Growing and Thriving in The Information Age. Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work and music instruction.
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