Rule number one. You have to post good stuff. What do I mean by that? I mean the three R’s. Relevant. Relatable. Engaging. Okay, so its only two R’s. You caught me. Your posts have to all be relevant to your page, either talking about what you’re up to, something you’ve seen that you think your followers would be interested in, or your plans for the future. Also, your posts need to be relatable. And by this I don’t mean “Omg totes relatable 💯”. None of that. I mean things that your audience can get behind. Things that interest them and doesn’t serve to alienate or divide your crowd. This is more about what not to post. Finally, everything you post has to be engaging. This means posts that people want to comment on and share. Research your audience and come up with ways to cater your content to be easily shareable. Engagement is everything, but we’ll talk about that later. 

Having a consistent style to your images, branding and videos will all help your content to be instantly recognisable, which is a massive bonus when there is so much saturated content on social media. So how do you actually put together a style that suits you? First of all, you need a brand that defines you as an artist and puts a visual image to your music. Ideally, this brand won’t be black and white. We think it might have been done before, one or two times. 

Tagging other pages and people on Facebook and mentioning other accounts on Twitter an Instagram does two things, both beneficial. Firstly, it boosts your reach so that followers and friends of the accounts you’ve mentioned may get notified about the mention, and therefore your post. Secondly, it shows that you are becoming part of the wider music community, acknowledging awesome work that other artists and companies are doing, and helps to build relationships with people that could potentially benefit your career. But on the bad side, oh wait, there is no bad side. 

I know what you’re thinking. “Why should I have to pay to reach my fans?” Its no secret that reach on social media has gone down in the past few years, but if you are willing to put a few quid every month towards boosting your statuses and pages, you will benefit more than you expected. The trick is to do this properly by creating audience on the ad creator that reflect your own audience, so that people who see your ads will be people more likely to interact with it and therefore join your audience. Facebook’s advertising tool is currently the most optimised advertising platform on social media, catered for pretty much everything you’d want. Give it a try sometime.

As we’ve mentioned, each social media platform is good for different things, and nowhere does this apply more than with frequency of posts. With Facebook’s more reserved ethos around post frequency, spamming posts out twice a day gives the impression that you’re a little frenzied. However, Twitter is more of a flood of constant posts, so your tweets can easily be lost amid the rest. This allows you to be much more conversational and post more often, as what you said 2 hours ago is already waaaaaaaay down on your followers’ home page. The same can be applied for Instagram, but the more interaction you get, the more your posts get shown. Instagram also actually tells you when it thinks you’ll get the best interaction. Facebook also does this with its analytics, which brings us to…

You analytics are essentially data logs that tell you who is following and interacting with your accounts. This is crucial if you actually want to grow this audience. Analytics tell you where your followers are based, which percentage of them are male or female, how many likes you’ve gained, how much reach you’ve had, video stats, unlikes / unfollows, views and more. So pretty much everything you could want. This then allows you to…

There is no point having a giant audience if your not catering to them. If you want to grow and maintain your audience on social media, you have to learn what kind of people are following and interacting with you and create content that they are going to like. This is where the subject goes into the pleasing the crowd vs. pleasing yourself territory. As these two things have been known not to align perfectly, it may be a good idea to consider how you can create new content and branding that keeps your audience happy. Speaking of which…

Social media is a way to promote yourself and your music to your audience, this we know. But its also a place to interact with your fans and build a community around your page. Not only does engaging with your audience boost your reach and therefore instigate more interactions etc, it shows that you’re not a pretentious artist that actually likes to talk to the people who are supporting your music career. So when you get comments on your posts, reply! Instigate conversations on your pictures and videos by tagging the people involved, and reply to all messages sent to your page in a timely manner. This is very similar to speaking to your crowd at a gig. Make your audience feel like they are part of something, not just a spectator. For a little insight into this, check out how The Blinders do it.

In order to ensure the success of your strategy on social media, you have to plan ahead. Create a schedule or calendar to map out what you’re posting and when. This not only makes sure that you’ll be posting varied content, it ensures that you’ll be spacing it out correctly. We recommend using a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite or Buffer to manage this, as you can link your social media accounts to this tool and manage it all from there. Its pretty genius.

When all is said and done, it might be that not every platform is your thing. Since all the platforms are very different, it can be hard to crack them all. Facebook is better for advertising, Twitter is better for interacting and Instagram is THE photo platform, so it might be that one works better than the rest. If this is the case, it is perfectly fine to focus on one of the platforms as your primary social media platform and not use the others. It’s totally your choice, its not written anywhere that you have to be on every platform out there.

So that’s our 10 tip survival guide to running your social media pages effectively. If you follow these general rules and keep your eye out for any new trends and / or changes to the way each platform works, you’ll be fine. With Facebook changing their algorithms every two minutes, its vital to stay on top of the latest news. But when all is said and done, nothing is set in stone. In five years pretty much all of this could be obsolete, and I’ll have to write a new one. But for now, make the most of social media with this advice. Happy posting!

This content was originally published here.