In this day and age, connecting with your fans through social media platforms is just as crucial as the quality of your creative output.
Finding the balance between maximizing one’s network and making great music is the modern musician’s dilemma: two fundamental yet seemingly irreconcilable aspects of today’s creative lifestyle. Luckily, social media for musicians abound, and the tools we have at our disposal today are close to endless.
Things to Consider
One of the most common pieces of advice you'll get when defining a social media marketing strategy is to be wherever your potential fans are, whether it's TikTok, Facebook, or Reddit.
However, if engaging with your audience is mostly about building an honest, personal relationship with them, then how can you do that if you're using ten social media accounts, most of which you're not even familiar with?
Finding the right social media platforms to promote your music is a crucial step in your career, which is why I decided to dedicate this article to the fundamental question: what are the best social media platforms for musicians?
Here's my list of unmissable social media for the up-and-coming and professional musician. You don't need to sign up for them all: choose one or two platforms you think you can handle professionally and consistently, and once you have a solid fanbase there, explore new ones, but only if it won't compromise your existing social media marketing strategy or creativity.
Best Social Media Platforms for Musicians
YouTube is a versatile platform that you can use in many ways to promote your music. Used by over 120 million people every day, YouTube offers you the opportunity to upload videos of your music, tag it according to your style or genre (trap, psytrance, acid jazz..), include useful links in the video descriptions, and leave it there for people to find it even years after you published it.
You can engage with your subscribers by answering comments or asking questions about your music videos; you can interact with them in real-time through live streaming sessions or watch content together through scheduled YouTube Premieres.
You can do more than just upload videos of your songs on YouTube: you can publish behind-the-scenes content, talk about your successes and struggles as a musician, publish cover songs, or simply let people see parts of daily life.
All in all, YouTube is designed to help you build a solid connection with your audience and offers enough flexibility to keep your musical content diverse and engaging for a long time.
TikTok is a fun and highly-interactive social network that attracts a young audience (it's the most popular app among the 16 to 24-year-old demographic) and can make a song go viral in a day.
You might not like the fact that videos on TikTok are generally quite short (15 to 60 secs, on average), giving little time for people to appreciate your tracks. However, I'd suggest you consider it a way to reach a new audience you might not find elsewhere: young, passionate people who consume hours of user-generated content daily and are eager to discover new music to share with their peers.
If you have a music distributor, I'd strongly advise you to make your music available on the TikTok library; in this way, people who create content will be able to use your music as a soundtrack for their content and potentially make one of your songs popular.
Fully customizable and free from oppressive algorithms, Discord is perfect for creating a vibrant ecosystem of musicians and fans. With over 300 million registered users, Discord has become the ideal place where to transcend the traditional artist-to-audience system and embrace a more horizontal, democratic approach to artistry.
On Discord, you can create your own channel, invite people, create sub-channels to discuss different topics, run contests, chat and video-call members of your community, and much more. Options on Discord are truly endless.
Many big names in the music industry, from Rivers Cuomo to Imogen Heap, use the platform to have a direct line with their fans and hear them out. Discord feels inclusive and intimate, unlike any other social media for musicians, and although it might take some time to know the nuts and bolts of it, I’d recommend you include Discord in your social media marketing strategy.
Soundcloud’s future might be uncertain, but there hasn’t been a social media site capable of replacing it fully yet. With over 70 million active paid subscribers, and a third of its users aged between 18 and 35, Soundcloud is still a go-to social media platform for many musicians looking to engage with like-minded artists, build a solid fanbase, and promote their music.
You can use Soundcloud to upload your tracks, distribute them to all streaming platforms, create playlists to redirect your fans to what they're most interested in and learn more about what people like (or don't like) about your music.
Let’s focus on this last aspect, which I think is what makes Soundcloud so interesting. The audience can listen to your track and add a comment at a specific section of it, which allows people to highlight the part they like the most about your song or ask questions about sounds or vocals featured in your piece. That's the best way to understand how to hone your craft, isn't it?
Ultimately, Soundcloud is a social media for musicians, which means you can build a network of like-minded artists and develop an ecosystem where your music can thrive.
Instagram is a great social network to share both your artistry and daily life with your fans, thanks to the many options you have to publish visual content on the platform.
You can post pictures of your concerts, stories featuring your rehearsals, highlights with the most memorable moments of your music career, reels and short videos to promote your upcoming songs and live streams to answer Q&As and get to know your fans.
If that isn't enough, you can post content on both Instagram and Facebook through Meta Business, helping you reach an even wider audience and simplifying your social media management.
A bio link to your store, hashtags and regular interaction with fans are all crucial practices on Instagram, so spend a few hours drafting a social media marketing plan and have a clear vision of what you'll post before you start building your fanbase there.
Bandcamp is something in between a social media for musicians and a music store, but for many artists and labels, it's the most crucial platform because it's focused on selling your music and giving people access to your discography at a glance.
I love Bandcamp because of its minimal design, artist-oriented approach, and simplicity of use. You can open an account in a few seconds, upload music, add hashtags to your releases, and set a price for your music. After that, you'll have a digital space where people can listen to your music and support you directly.
Fans can follow you, buy your entire discography, share and embed your albums outside the platform, and leave feedback which will then appear on the album’s page.
You can offer a subscription plan to your most dedicated fans, send out messages to all your followers when you're dropping a new track, host ticketed digital events and much more.
Since its inception in 2007, listeners have paid over $1 billion to music makers on Bandcamp, so whether you’re using it to communicate with your fans or just as a digital store for your music, Bandcamp is a fundamental platform for the modern musician and the music industry as a whole.
Finding your niche and developing a network should be one of your primary objectives as an artist. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to the best social media for musicians, so do your research and don’t neglect the lesser known platforms.
There are plenty of stories of artists finding the perfect creative environment on Bandlab, ReverbNation, Ello, or other less relevant social media networks, so find a platform that resonates with who you are and how you want to connect with your audience.
Staying true to yourself is the ultimate secret to making the most out of social media sites, so be authentic, don't try to be everywhere, but let your audience find you and follow you wherever you are.