Musicians can benefit from social media on a plethora of levels. In this article, we aim to discuss 8 platforms beyond the "big players" that we consider useful on a great variety of levels.
Popular social media platforms in 2023 and some alternatives
When we think of social media, we tend to think of the most widely used and popular platforms with the highest count of active users including Instagram and TikTok. According to numbers provided by Forbes and Statista, Facebook remains the platform with the most users in 2023, with +2.9 million users in total, followed by YouTube (+2.5 million), WhatsApp and Instagram (+2.0 million), WeChat (+1.3 million), and TikTok (+1.0 million).
At this point in history, it is difficult to imagine oneself living entirely without social media as it influences the way we communicate, learn, and discover the world. It also impacts how we purchase, market, and sell products or services, making it a powerful tool across many (if not all) industries.
Musicians can benefit from social media on a plethora of levels. However, the corporatization of the Internet and the increasing purpose of social media in a business context does not necessarily make it easy for artists to grow their audience.
Although social media does come with many opportunities, it also comes with high levels of competition for visibility. Big platforms know this and make use of this reality for financial purposes. Algorithms keep changing and evolving, which does not benefit independent artists how it did only a few years ago. Additionally, large social media platforms are full of false information and “get rich and famous fast”-traps that unfortunately don’t actually work.
It is easy to get discouraged when using big social media platforms to grow one’s audience. For this reason, it makes sense to explore the benefits of other platforms beyond the big players. In this article, we aim to discuss 8 platforms that we consider useful on a great variety of levels, including marketing, education, and community.
Before we get into the article, we want to emphasize the three questions you should ask yourself before getting into social media marketing: Who do I want to reach and why, and where can I find them? This will allow you to choose the right platforms and achieve your goals faster.
Social media for artists: 8 platforms
Reddit is a “network of communities where people can dive into their interests, hobbies, and passions.” Although it is a widely known platform, many people are not aware of its potential. Musicians can use it by joining communities related to their fields and genres of choice.
Reddit can be used to stay up-to-date on genre- and industry-related news and to ask questions or request feedback on mixing, mastering, songwriting, or other relevant aspects of your song or album. You can also use the platform to educate yourself on marketing- and business-related topics or to learn more about a specific country and its music scene or locations for your next tour. By becoming an active community member, you can connect with others, and maybe even make some new friends along the way.
Lastly, you can use Reddit to promote your music. It is important to note that Reddit is not the ideal platform for marketing and promotion as it centers on conversation and exchanging information. Communities that aim to help artists promote themselves are frequently overcrowded and impersonal, which makes it difficult to get views and upvotes. For this reason, it makes sense to use it for other purposes. If you want to use it for promotion, you should find the right communities and focus on interacting with others.
Some communities you might want to look into are:
With millions of users worldwide, Twitch remains the largest live streaming platform and is especially popular among music producers and beatmakers, such as Kenny Beats, who livestream their creative process.
Those involved in digital music production can benefit from being active on Twitch by connecting with other producers and finding customers for online courses. Rappers, singers, and instrumentalists, on the other hand, can use it to livestream shows and directly interact with their fans, or simply show up every now and then to chat with their audience. Twitch has gathered all important information on how to get started in an article on its website.
3. iMusician Community and other online communities
We at iMusician created our own community to connect DIY artists and independent record labels. Our platform aims to help musicians get their questions answered, find people to collaborate with, or chat with each other. Artists can share their news, ask for feedback, promote their music, and discuss topics such as music production or playlist placements. Depending on your goals and intentions, other sites like Bandmix (an online platform that aims to connect local musicians and bands) or Telegram (a messaging app that allows people to create groups, which are frequently used in a music related context) might be equally useful.
For artists and creatives, LinkedIn might not seem like the most exciting platform as it centers on professional networks and business content. However, as independent artists, we cannot forget that we are still part of the music industry. If we want to grow, we need to expand our audience and professional networks. LinkedIn can be a helpful place to do so.
As a musician, you can use the platform to stay up-to-date with the music industry by following the most important actors or blogs. Additionally, you can connect with industry professionals and other musicians who can potentially open new doors for you. Lastly, you can join music-related LinkedIn groups to discuss the music industry with other professionals and musicians.
Triller is an app that allows its users to record, edit, and share videos with the help of AI. It is a widely known platform among members of the U.S. Hip Hop community but is not limited to one specific genre. Artists can use Triller to create content, interact and collaborate with other users, or participate in trends.
Bandcamp is an “online record store and music community where passionate fans discover, connect with, and directly support the artists they love.” It is a great space for musicians and fans alike- Bandcamp allows artists to communicate with their fans, promote their music, and live stream to their audience, among other things. The platform offersmany other marketing tools and features which can help musicians achieve their goals and connect with their audience.
7. Fiverr and Upwork
While technically, Fiverr and Upwork don’t count as social media platforms, they both center on connecting people on a business level. The sites allow their members to offer different services, which musicians can benefit from tremendously. People involved in music production and engineering can offer their beats or mixing and mastering services, while those who play instruments can accept requests for custom loops and instrumentals. The two platforms can help you generate a side income that you can use to further invest in your music.
Last.fm helps fans discover new artists based on their taste in music. Musicians can benefit from the platform tremendously as their music will be recommended to people who already listen to similar artists and sub-genres. Additionally, Last.fm offers different promotion tools such as music previews or personal pages.
Although the most popular social media platforms are useful in the long term, they are not the only online tools that can help artists network, promote their music, or find answers to their questions. Other platforms can, in fact, be even more beneficial depending on their purpose and unique selling point.
We at iMusician have gathered further information for you to learn how tocreate your own social media strategy to promote your music, teach you how to use Instagram or TikTok as a musician, or what to do and not do when using social media as an artist.
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