September 02, 2015  

Get Yourself Out There: Part 2 – How to Use Social Media as an Artist

In the second part of our new article series Get Yourself Out There, we’re taking an in-depth look at social media. In the first part of the series, we explored how to go about setting up your own record label. We’re a school that prides itself in teaching everyone from beginners to experts the fundamentals and the advanced concepts behind music production, and we’re just going to come out and say it straight – nowadays, social media is just as important as production itself when it comes to securing gigs. You might be making genre-defying, achingly cool new tracks, but if the right labels and promoters don’t have access to them, where are you?

The problem with social media generally is that it’s like a swimming pool: all the splashing, noise and peeing happens at the shallow end. When we discuss DJs and social media, often the first thing people think about is an EDM act taking selfies with champagne magnums. It works for their market, but it may not suit everyone. We’re going to assume that you already know your way around social media pretty well, so rather than preach the obvious we’re going to lay out a couple of ideas below that will make your social media that bit more engaging.

If you’re looking to raise your skills and profile as an artist, check out our Music Production & Sound Engineering Master Diploma. The Music Business modules contained within the programme cover the fundamentals of all social media platforms, also giving you an understanding of where it fits within today’s music marketplace and how they can be used to your advantage to help build a career within the industry. 

Facebook – Make It Funny

Facebook’s text, photo and video platform lends itself to interesting content, so it’s a mystery why a large chunk of your friends devote it to needy statuses. On your artist page, get funny. Posting random video clips with some obscure link to your track or mix is a good way to get plays. Stanton Warriors do this masterfully.

StantonWarriors1

Another interesting point about Stanton Warriors is that they make use of different mediums – video, photos, memes, texts, keeping things varied for subscribers and it makes their lives easier (rather than having to find a new video every day). Ripping or recording mobile videos is easy – pictures of your mates messing about to a bassline, videos of a horrific dance routine all take a few minutes to make, but are a lot more engaging that just a link to a new track.

Instagram – Move Away from the DJ Booth

Diplo nails his Instagram game by making sure a high percentage of his photos are taken away from the DJ booth. Implementing random bits of internet tomfoolery and stuff he finds on tour all make things more interesting than yet another crowd shot. It’s also easy for emerging bedroom producers to do. If you’re only getting one or two gigs a month at your local bar, get creative on Instagram – the images you post don’t need to be of your gigs.

Diplo4 copy

Twitter – Build a Personality

Twitter is, of all the social networks, the place where most mistakes tend to occur. It’s usually based around people not realising that a social network is public, so private views aren’t necessarily going to fly. That said, the key to follows on Twitter is creating something of a personality. When you’re not promoting your own music – what are you into? What do you find funny? What other musicians do you like? If you’re new to this – try tweeting whatever track you’re listening to that morning, and why (hangover cure? getting you in the zone for drinks tonight?). He may not be an electronic musician, but James Blunt has managed to masterfully create a persona which has almost nothing to do with his music.

JamesBlunt

Snapchat – The Left-field Option

It’s still relatively new to the industrial side of social media, however Snapchat’s easily customisable interface (captions, drawings etc) make it an easy extra option that may be worth a look. Alesso has been using it since around 2014 – not least to drop album teasers.

Alesso

Finally, east European site Top Deejays, a site that specialises in analysing artists’ social media sent us a report. Their conclusion?

Top Deejays said: “You’re promoting yourself in the first place, and then your music.”

In our next Get Yourself Out There article, we’ll cover SoundCloud and YouTube in detail.

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