social media marketing

The independent musician’s guide to social media marketing

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We’ve got posts galore with advice to help you take action and build your online presence and artist brand through social media marketing with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.

social media marketing
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Social media is one of the best promotion tools available to independent musicians. It’s free (mostly); it gives you worldwide reach; and it helps you interact with new and existing fans of your music. But managing half a dozen social profiles can also feel like a full-time job, especially when all you really want to do is pick up your guitar, hit the studio, or play your next show.

Updated June 2020.

Are you ready to produce and promote a podcast?
Preparing to produce a podcast to build your brand and promote your music? This post can help you think through some of the basics of creation and promotion.

How to make money off your social media channels (no matter how many followers you have)
Your social media channels provide more than a platform to reach your fans with new music, there are many ways to make money — and these income sources can start with your very first follower.

Don’t tie all your music marketing to Facebook
Johnny Dwinell and Brent Baxter dig into the pitfalls of social media marketing and not owning your fans’ contact info. You should have alternate and viable means to stay connected and communicate with your fans outside of Facebook.

Piggyback on current trends using hashtags
When it comes to getting free promotion, one of the most effective techniques is piggybacking. With the help of hashtags, you can join conversations and increase your outreach, introducing you and your music to potential new fans and followers.

How to promote on social media when you have zero followers
If you’re just starting out, don’t worry: you already have what you need to promote on social media using some bootstrap strategies outlined in this post.

5 tips to make your mobile music marketing sing
By investing the time in your mobile music marketing now, you’re setting up your brand for the future. Your fans are already on mobile, so what are you waiting for?

Music metadata: The secret ingredient to getting discovered in music libraries
Getting discovered in music libraries is not a game of luck. Increasing your chances of being returned in search results comes down to defining relevant and descriptive music metadata for the songs you upload.

How to expand your music audience in three easy steps
Marketing to your fans is essential for your music career, but if you want to expand your music audience, you need a plan for growth. Here are three ideas to make that happen.

Get social with Disc Makers!
Follow Disc Makers on social media to be the first to hear about our latest sales and promotions, get exclusive indie music news, and get alerts for our latest blog content.

How to make the most of Facebook songwriting groups (or, stop ruining Facebook!)
Brent Baxter and Johnny Dwinell discuss strategies on how to behave as a member of Facebook songwriting groups. Excerpted from The CLIMB podcast, “STOP Ruining Facebook and Your Career.”

Five things to do before pitching your music to Spotify playlists
Getting your music on Spotify playlists can be difficult. Let’s start at the beginning and focus on the things you should have in place before you even start pitching your tracks.

Broadcasting live gigs – platforms for music broadcasts reviewed
Platforms for broadcasting live gigs include Facebook Live, Periscope, YouTube, YouNow, ConcertWindow, StageIt, and Gigee. They are not all created equal.

A musician’s guide to Instagram: Posting photos your fans will love
You don’t need professional experience or equipment to take photos your fans will love. This musician’s guide to Instagram gives you tips to get you started on the popular platform.

The musician’s guide to content marketing
“Content marketing” might not sound like fun, but it works, and many successful indie musicians use it (even if they don’t know it).

How to grow a SoundCloud fan base: Tips for emerging artists
SoundCloud is a fantastic tool for promoting your music, but success doesn’t happen overnight. Use these three steps to grow your SoundCloud fan base and build on your successes.

5 ways to grow your email list
Compared to other promotion tools, email gives you a much better chance of actually communicating with your fans. Here are five ways to grow your email list, even if you’re starting from scratch.

How to get the most out of SoundCloud
Thousands of new songs are uploaded and shared on SoundCloud every day. Here are tips to help you get the most out of SoundCloud.

Getting started with Instagram Live
Here are six tips to get you started using the Instagram Live feature to its fullest.

Facebook Live broadcast: Our case study show and its aftermath
In Part 2 of this post, we take a look at a Facebook Live broadcast and detail the problems, the solutions, and the benefits Amanda Jones & The Family Band enjoyed.

Live streaming your show: A Facebook Live case study
Producing a successful live streaming event takes a lot more than a smart phone and a tripod. This two-part post features a Facebook Live case study from concept and rehearsal, to broadcast and analysis.

How to segment your email list (and get more fans opening your emails)
Everyone says you’ve got to build your email list if you want to be successful in today’s music industry, but most people I’ve talked to have had a less-than-great experience emailing their fans. These tips can help improve your email marketing.

Vlogging For Musicians: Setup and staging
Once you have the equipment you need, the next step toward video domination is staging and recording. Part 2 of our Vlogging For Musicians series focuses on setting up for a professional result.

Vlogging For Musicians: The equipment you’ll need
For music artists looking to build a brand for themselves online, videos can factor heavily into a music marketing plan. This is part one of a two-part post with advice about vlogging for musicians. Here, we take a look at the equipment you’ll need to build you video empire.

Five tips for writing better emails
While social media can play an important part in your music marketing strategy, emails are a great way to target your message, provide a specific call to action, and promote yourself to industry professionals. Here are five things you can work on to start writing better emails.

15 music marketing mistakes indie artists make
Reaching fans is certainly easier in the digital age, but that doesn’t mean marketing is easy. Indie artists need to follow some basic marketing tenets if you want to make the most of your marketing efforts. Here are 15 of the biggest music marketing mistakes indie artists make.

7 ways your Twitter header can help market your music
Twitter may only allow you 140 characters, but the header image can be used for a host of music marketing initiatives. These twitter marketing tips can help build your artist brand and market your music and videos.

6 social media marketing tips for musicians
Social media is an integral part of most music marketing strategies. Implement these six tips, optimize your online presence, and you’ll be on your way to having a booming social media fan base.

Sell your story, sell your music
In your artist bio, and in all of your promotions, telling your story is a way to relate to your audience and hopefully help you connect on a more personal level.

Create content to achieve your music career goals
Your online marketing strategy should include creating content that nurtures communication, engagement, and sales on your way to achieving your music career goals.

Online music marketing etiquette: tips for email, social, and YouTube
Good behavior and proper etiquette isn’t just polite practice for your online music marketing, it can help you achieve better results.

Six music promotion mistakes to avoid
Whether it’s failing to present a consistent brand, not pushing sales, or counting exclusively on social media marketing, these music promotion mistakes can derail your music career.

How to measure success (with key performance indicators)
To keep you on a long-term path towards reaching your goals as a musician, you should have several ways to gauge the success of your music career and your music marketing efforts.

Four Good Reasons to Start a Musician Blog
A musician blog is often underutilized in an artist’s social media profile, but there are many good reasons to start and maintain a blog and build an online community.

Social Media Marketing – Redefining “Return on Investment”
Return on investment (ROI) doesn’t translate to social media marketing, as social media is not a sales tool. Let’s redefine ROI for a social media campaign.


A musician, writer, and marketer, Andre Calilhanna manages and edits the Disc Makers and BookBaby Blogs. Email him at andre@discmakers.com.

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