The Easy Way to do Social Media
For most creatives, social media is massively challenging. We’re artists, not marketing experts and it can seem like an impossible task knowing what to post and finding enough time to keep on top of it. However, it doesn’t have to be that difficult and it certainly doesn’t have to rule your life. Over the past few years I’ve developed a system for social media that I find works really well. It makes sure it’s not too time consuming and keeps content creation straight-forward whilst getting the results I need and keeping me up to date and engaged with the community. Today, I thought I’d share it with you, so you can maximise your social media profiles without scrolling your life away!
I don’t know what to post
This is a never ending struggle for some, but it doesn’t need to be. If you find yourself needing to post something, but you just don’t know what or don’t have anything to say at that moment in time, then you need to start planning your content in advance. Schedule a block of time every month to do this and during that time, give planning your full focus. Make sure you have no distractions and start brainstorming some ideas for your posts. Once you have a few, start to schedule them in advance with a tool like Buffer - this will automatically send them out on a given date and time. The planning can take as little as two hours, depending how often you want to post and what sort of things you want to share. For me, one post a week works perfectly, but if you’re in the middle of a release campaign I’d definitely recommend going daily instead. If you can at least have some idea of what you should be posting before the moment you’re meant to post it, you will relieve a ton of stress and eliminate the feeling that you're posting for the sake of it.
So what if you’re planning in advance, but still finding yourself stuck for ideas of what to actually share? Firstly, I’d recommend checking out this blog post from a while back - 18 Content Ideas for Independent Artists. But if you want to make it even more simple than that, just start documenting and videoing everything you do with your music. Recording sessions, interesting things you’re doing in a production, songwriting sessions, unboxing your new gear, a funny moment in the studio with your collaborators, videos from your gigs - everything. Turn your camera roll into a journal for your musical endeavours and you will never run out of things to share. In between all of this, scatter a few bigger pieces of content like lyric videos, music videos and live sessions and you’ll be golden!
It takes up too much time
Other than not knowing what to post, the second biggest issue artists seem to have with social media marketing is that it just takes up too much time. When you’re working a 9 to 5, trying to create music and have a social life, worrying about keeping your social media in check is the last thing you need. We’re caught up in a world of instant gratification. Everything is instant and we feel we have to reply to messages straight away, share our experiences as they happen and know the latest news every minute and this can take a huge toll on our productivity and mental well-being. The reality is, nothing has to be instant.
From experience, I’d say you probably only need 30 minutes a day to promote your social media channels effectively and keep your audience engaged. So, schedule 30 minutes at either end of the day and use this time, and this time only for your social media. For the rest of the day, you don’t need to worry about it, it will still be there when you come back tomorrow. You could even split it up and do 15 minutes in the morning and 15 in the evening if you wanted to. This keeps your social media usage simple, efficient and consistent.
So what will you do during this time? To nurture your audience like posts in your feed, reply to comments and reply to messages. To make sure you’re growing and reaching new people: search hashtags relevant to your target audience or that are popular in your community and leave personal comments on 10 posts per day. Then, follow 25 new people who are in the target audience of your music, in your local music scene or are curating content that your music would be a good fit for (bloggers, playlist curators, influencers). DM or ideally voice message everybody who follows back - don’t just spam them with your new song, spark a conversation instead and ask about them and show genuine interest. If you’re not genuine, it doesn’t work. This seems like a lot, but once you’ve got a rhythm it doesn’t take long, I promise. Just do your best to avoid distractions in your feed!
What about the rest of the day? The great thing about scheduling your social media in this way and limiting your use of it is that it makes it so much easier to get away from distractions when you’re working, making music or spending time with family & friends. It makes you more present and gets you out of the habit of mindlessly scrolling.
That said, throughout the day it’s a great idea to keep posting stories, which will keep you at the top of everyone's feed, but again, this doesn’t have to be difficult and can be structured to make it even easier. Obviously you can post pictures, videos and boomerangs of your day as it happens, but not everybody wants to be thinking about that all day, so if you really want to get away from the gram, come up with a system you can use for you stories every single day - almost like a template that you can just fill out in 5 minutes. For example, each day you might share a quote or mantra, followed by an interesting video or funny meme, some music you’re listening to and then a piece of your own content that already exists - one of your old photos from a gig, a lyric video from one of your releases or a Spotify share of one of your songs or playlists. This is a “fill in the blanks” approach to stories that takes virtually no effort each day and gives your audience a little bit of value when it pops up in their feed. It takes away that pressure of not knowing what to share.
To sum it up
Schedule a block of time every month to plan your posts in advance
Schedule 30 minutes every day to manage your social media
Post stories on the fly or go for the “fill in the blanks” approach
This approach requires a little bit of discipline to stick to, but if you can do it, you’ll be able to stop wasting time on social media, stop stressing about what to post and you’ll become super consistent with your social media strategy. You’ll also have more time for real life networking and submitting your music to blogs, playlisters and curators, which is what’s really going to drive you forwards. This has been working a treat for me over the past year, so give it a try and adapt it in a way that works for you!