ISM's social media checklist for new artists and musicians

Learn some top tips on how to use social to promote you and your music...
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Whether you’re new to social media or you're a social media pro, this checklist is a good introduction or reminder of how to promote yourself a musician. 

First, let’s set out what you need across all your social media channels: 

Each social media platform is slightly different and people use them in different ways but it is important to try and use the same name, photo and ‘handle’ across your social media channels.  

Keep your bio boxes brief with a link to your website, ticket link for your gig or streaming site! 

Maintain your personal tone throughout all your posts across your social media channels.  

Twitter 

Twitter is an important tool for musicians as it is the social media channel where most people network. You also have limited characters so it is important to make them count!  

  • Tweet often – the more the better!  
  • Always try to tweet photos, videos and GIFs. But text only tweets work too! Try to keep a balance.  
  • Always tag people in your posts, if you’ve just played a gig at a venue, be sure to tag them in your tweet, they might just retweet you!
  • Use hashtags to expand your reach. But don’t overdo it, try keep it to a maximum of three hashtags in one post.  
  • Network - follow fellow musicians and accounts relevant to your style and engage in conversation, but always be nice!  ​
  • Retweet posts and shares your followers might find interesting and things you want your followers to be aware of. 
  • Don’t forget to thank people for re-tweeting or replying to your ‘tweet’.  
  • Always remember: “Tweet others the way you want to be tweeted.” 

Facebook

  • Create a professional page for your work. It is important to keep your personal account separate from your professional page.  
  • For Facebook you can use more words in your posts and in the ‘About’ section. Put your biography into your ‘About’ section. It does not need to be formal. On social media, first-person and a personal tone works best. 
  • Unlike Twitter, the Facebook algorithm does not like multiple posting, so it is important to keep your posts to one a day. 
  • All posts must include an image, video or GIF, as this will give it greater reach.
  • Facebook likes video, so if you have a short clip from one of your recent gigs or rehearsals, post it on your Facebook page. But remember to keep it short!
  • Create Facebook events for your gigs and invite your friends. Events are unique to Facebook and a great way for people to know when and where your gigs are. 
  • Facebook has a host of analytics tools to help you understand your audience. If you’re feeling confident, use Facebook analytics to view the demographics of your followers, the reach of your posts and the engagement from your followers.  

Instagram  

  • Instagram is designed for short attention spans and visuals so keep this in mind when posting professionally. 
  • As the image or video clip is the main attraction, keep your captions short and catchy.  
  • Like Twitter, hashtags are very common on Instagram for discovery so use hashtags as much as possible so new followers can discover you.  
  • Like and comment on other people’s posts – This is the most natural way to gain new followers. 
  • Post a mix of photos, videos and boomerangs – Be experimental with the types of posts on this platform and use Instagram stories. 
  • Don’t post the same thing on every platform. What you post on Instagram does not have to go on Facebook or Twitter and vice versa.  

Finally, you don’t need all three platforms if you do not think it's relevant, but each one has specific features you can use. If you are a newbie to social media, especially social media as a tool for marketing yourself, I would suggest for you to start with one network and once you are comfortable, move on to the others. 

If you use Snapchat and have a lot of followers on the platform, why not promote your next gig or EP release on there? Update your Snapchat story by telling your followers to visit your Facebook page to find out more about your upcoming gig or release.

For more information on how to market yourself as a musician, watch ISM's webinar

About the ISM  

The ISM is the UK’s professional body for musicians. We were set up in 1882 to promote the art of music and to protect the interests of all musicians. Today we support over 9,500 members from across the music industry providing them with unrivalled services and expert advice, from study up until retirement and beyond. We are a wholly independent, non-profit-making organisation. 

We offer ISM student members over 90% off our full membership rate. Join us for just £15 a year, a discount of £163 a year. Find out more ism.org/join    

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by Jessica Salter, ISM
September 6, 2019
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