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music blog

How to use social media to get from being a struggling musician to selling out shows


Being an independent musician can be tricky. Entertainment is a very competitive business and bad habits can spell failure for even the most talented musician. But nowadays it seems every time you scroll down your news feed, new musicians and new faces pop out of the woodwork. 

Thanks to the internet and social media, the barrier to entry has never been lower—even on a budget. But ease of entry is one thing—success as a musician is another. When you have hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram, “it becomes a business, man,” as Jay Z once rapped. With what seems like a never-ending stream of competition, we are faced with a new problem: How do you rise above the heard?

Here is how independent musicians are getting crazy exposure on social media, and how you can do the same

It is no secret successful musicians and bands use social media -often- and you should be doing the same (if you are not already). Why? Let’s take a look at Instagram for example. 

Globally, there are 800 MILLION monthly Instagram users.

Of all those Instagrammers, 500 million use Instagram daily—amounting to over 250 million daily posts. 

Those are enormous numbers. These astounding statistics highlight the immensely lucrative business opportunities that can be accomplished by investing your time in Instagram. And no matter who your audience is — age, gender, occupation, anything — you will be sure to reach them through Instagram.


So, the question becomes…

Would you like to get your music heard and brand seen by more people, grow a substantial following, and get more paid gigs while doing so? If so, then the right Instagram marketing strategy is what you need. Social media has made people stars and gotten them noticed by public record labels. And if you can find the right mix of content, your audience will soak it up – and even buy soundtracks from you – without the need for a hard push or sales pitch. It is the marketers dream.

But what separates the musicians that receive seemingly endless love and notifications, from the joe blow musicians receiving virtually no engagement at all? Here’s the scoop…


Nurture your following

Take compelling pictures. Post insightful captions. Have your personality shine through your posts but remain consistent so your Instagram audience knows what they can expect to gain consistent quality from your posts. 

The top goal of an Instagram marketer is to build and nurture an engaged community by continually increasing engagement on every post. 

The answer is interaction. But it is not as simple as it seems. There are certainly right ways and wrong ways of doing it.

Many brands have found the right ways to interact with the Instagram community and earn personally invested customers who keep coming back for more, and you can too.

Look at it this way; Instagrammers are shoppers. Iconosquare’s 2015 Instagram study shows that 70% of IG users report having already looked up a brand on the platform. Plus, 62% of users follow a brand just because they like it!

If you post the right Instagram images, consumers soak up your marketing message without any hard sales pitches from you; hence, your magic spell for getting people to click that link to your soundcloud in your bio without “selling to them.”

Should you use ads?

Ads sometimes work, but very rarely. Paid ads do not convert well for their cost because people hate feeling sold to on social media. Instagrammers are annoyed by the millions of incessant “Sponsored Posts” on the feed. 

Instead of contributing to the annoyance of millions of Instagram users by also forcing your advertisement in their feed, provide value through your posts and interact with the Instagram community. 

Here is how you get all eyes on you (the nitty gritty)

Engagement is reciprocal. If you want engagement from your target market, reach out to them first. Here is what you do: Find an artist with a similar vibe and a similar sound.


For the sake of this example, let’s say you’re a rapper, so we will choose 

Go to his most recent picture, and you will see the thousands of user interactions. It is important to choose the most recent picture, this way we know all of the users interacting are active having been on the app recently.

Because we have chosen’s page (a musician in the same genre as you) all of his most active followers are the same people you would want to follow you. So, what you will want to do is interact with these users by following them, liking their pictures, and leaving them comments. 

If you post decent content, and have targeted the right people, it is not uncommon to see a 40% follow back rate. That means for every 100 people you follow, 40 would follow back. 


While this is certainly time consuming, this is what it takes. Of course, successful musicians hire social media reps (like Engagement Genie) to do this tedious work. This gives them the edge on the competition (you) because of course you do not have time to be on social media all day long, interacting with your target market and crunching numbers.


The takeaway:


Do not “Post and Hope,” or post on social media and hope people see it. This is what 99% of people do. 99% of people never get noticed. You reaching out first is what it takes. How you do it is up to you. 


Ready to Grow a Huge Instagram Following?

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