Get the most out of your social media marketing.
Written by Leni - 27 December, 2019
Every artist, manager or record label will tell you that the right branding and marketing strategy makes a major difference with the success of your artist project.
But the luxury of massive marketing dollars and strong creative manpower are rare when you’re running things solo as an independent artist - often bootstrapping your career with a small team and an equally small budget.
We asked our social media team to share their hacks for promoting music with social media ads on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat.
The first step of a successful social media campaign is making sure your ad content is A+ quality. Instead of using your track’s cover art to promote the release, consider using assets that are a bit more engaging. This will improve the virality of the ad, and push the ad even further than your budget will take it.
Try recording a behind-the-scenes video while you’re making the track, or giving fans a taste of the song with a preview clip from the studio. Or, if you’ve got a gig coming up, record a video of yourself performing the track live.
Also remember that your fanbase can be a great source of content, so encourage them to share any pics or videos of them listening to your music or watching you perform. Don’t forget to hit them up and ask for their permission before you use their content.
The purpose of targeting your social media ads is pretty straight-forward: you want the right people to see your ads. People that will actually take action and listen to your music. Otherwise, you’ll just be taking a “spray and pray” approach and your money will disappear down a black hole.
Before you start setting up your social media ad targeting, take the time to learn about who — and where — your audience is. Audience insights are available from most social media dashboards, so do some analysis and see who and where your fans are.
Location: Targeting by location will help you hone in on where your fans are geographically, making sure your hitting the right cities and key markets. Location targeting will also help your track get pulled into algorithm-based playlists — try running ads during the week (before New Music Friday) in niche markets with active listeners in your genre. Are you a pop artist? Hit countries with a strong pop-consumer market like the Philippines. Dance producer? Try targeting your ads to Sweden or Israel.
Gender and age: Knowing the age and gender of your fans won’t only help you decide which demographics to target, but will also help you decide which platforms you should be advertising on. If most of your listeners are young females, you may have luck reaching them with Instagram ads. Have an older, more male-focused fanbase? YouTube audience data suggests this could be a good platform for you.
Interests: Facebook lets you target your ads to people who are most likely to listen to (and like!) it. Simply put, if you’re an emcee that sounds like Manu Crook$, it’s dead easy to show your Facebook ad to Manu Crook$ fans. You’ll have way more luck converting these people into long-term, loyal listeners than if you used the other “spray and pray” method we talked about earlier.
Build Your Own Custom Audiences
Social media advertising is not just about targeting based on interests and demographics, it’s also super important to use the fan data you already have. Using Facebook's Custom Audiences builder, you can upload any existing data — like mailing lists (people who’ve purchased merch from you or a ticket to one of your gigs, etc) — and add these people to your target group. If they have a Facebook account associated with the same email address, they’ll start seeing your ads. Trust us, this one will take your marketing to the next level.
Install the Facebook Pixel to Your Website
If you have a website for your artist project (PS, you should!) and intend to advertise your music on Facebook, then you should install the Facebook pixel onto your site. It’s a simple line of code which basically adds a Facebook cookie to your website. This cookie then allows you to display ads for your artist project to anyone who visited your website in the last 30, 60 or 90 days. If you’re advertising in a market bound by GDPR rules, make sure you have all the privacy protection in place. You can read more about that here.
Want more tips from the Amuse team? Download our free 47-page Digital Career Guide for DIY Artists.
Ready to unleash your music? Release your tracks for free with Amuse.