A while back, this soul-crushing tweet popped up on my Twitter feed (be sure to read both the tweet and the response).
If you’re like me, you don’t love using social media but you fully understand the influence it has on your career.
You understand that you need to be active and engaged on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Soundcloud, but you struggle to find the time to do so.
If this is you, I want to teach you five strategies I use to make social media engagement as efficient, effective, and painless as possible.
First, let’s discuss how to streamline and optimize your interactions on social media.
In order to effectively grow your social media following, you need to engage with fans and other artists.
You’re probably already familiar with these, but here is a quick rundown of the basic tasks you should be completing:
- Liking and commenting on posts from other artists in your scene
- Liking and commenting on posts from potential and current fans
- Building strong relationships with bigger artists via private messaging
- Reposting, retweeting, and sharing posts to optimize reach and engagement
What is the best way to complete these tasks?
Tip 1: Schedule Out Daily/Weekly Interaction Time on Social Media
Depending on the size of your brand and the free time you have, this can be done either once or a few times a week.
At a bare minimum, set aside at least one day a week where you have 30-60 minutes to interact and engage with artists and fans on social media.
This technique works well because it allows you maintain an active social media presence without the constant pressure of being online.
For most producers, this is this biggest drawback of social media – it pulls time and focus away from production.
By keeping your online engagement to a strict schedule, you can grow and maintain your online presence while avoiding the constant pull of checking your phone.
This leads directly into the next tip.
Tip 2: Keep Social Media Apps off of Your Phone
In an effort to keep my phone usage as low as possible, I don’t use any social media apps.
This removes the constant pull of checking social media on my phone.
I only use social media on my computer where I have much better control over my usage.
(The only thing I miss out on are Instagram Stories, which is a risk worth considering. As the app takes 2 minutes to set up, I often will re-download then delete it for story content.)
Tip 3: Trim Your Following
The third tip is to reduce the amount of artists and pages you follow.
If you use social media to gain artistic inspiration, it makes sense to keep following those pages.
However, I wouldn’t recommend this because if you’re pulling inspiration from the same place as everyone else, it’s difficult to make your perspective different.
Outside of this, if you are using social media as a tool to maintain and grow your following, you need to curate and cut back on the people you follow.
While it’s a bit cold to treat social media this way, think about what the people you follow can do for you and for your career.
If you’re still following 100’s of people from high school on Facebook that have no relevance to your career as an artist, they’re simply going to clutter up your feed, distracting you from the task at hand.
Set aside 1-2 hours to prune your following across all social media platforms (don’t forget about Soundcloud).
This will optimize your time on social media, reducing clutter and minimizing potential distractions.
The next element to consider is content.
There are plenty of resources online regarding what makes good social media content, so I won’t waste my time regurgitating that information.
What I’d rather do is offer my advice for producers who don’t know what to post and don’t have the time to create quality content.
When people tell me they don’t know what to post, I’ll typically respond with the Tim Ferris mantra “What would this look like if this were easy?”
In other words, what is the easiest way for you to create content?
Tip 4: Take Your Existing Hobbies/Activities and Document Them
Are you an avid hiker or camper? Buy a decent camera and document your travels.
Do you like to collaborate or jam with friends? Set up a camera in your studio and film your sessions.
Do you like to photograph or draw? Find ways to tie that into your online presence.
The key is to find something you already do and document it.
This technique works well because you don’t need to put in a lot of effort. You just need to add an extra 10% on top of the activities you already do.
Louis Futon regularly releases both solo and collaborated beat challenge videos
But what about if you don’t have anything to document?
If you truly have nothing of interest to document, then why on earth would somebody want to follow you?
It seems obvious, but I get this question all the time.
Unless your music is truly transcendent (99.9% of music isn’t), you need to give people a reason to follow you.
If you don’t have any reasons why people should follow you, go find some.
Once you find something about your life worth sharing, the next step is to develop a smart and efficient process to create that content.
Tip 5: Optimize and Batch Your Content Creation
Even if you’re posting on social media every single day, that doesn’t mean you need to be creating content every day.
Treat content creation like your friendly neighborhood meal prep Sunday.
Either once a week or once a month, spend 6-12 hours creating content for the rest of that time frame.
This allows you to create a lot of content at once that you can progressively release over the next week or month.
This method is effective because it saves you the burden and stress of having to create content every single day.
Potential content ideas include:
- Getting together 4+ outfits, connecting with a photographer, and shooting a months worth of photos in 1 day.
- Creating artwork/visuals for your music.
- Creating a batch of production tutorials that you can release throughout the month.
To summarize: once or twice a month, plan out and implement a content creation session.
Using these techniques, you’ll be able to maintain the content and interactions necessary to grow and maintain your online presence, without the negative side effects of social media.
These tips will help you minimize the hypnotic pull of social media, allowing you to optimize your time and focus for the task that matters most – making music.
If you’re looking for specific tips on content marketing and engagement, check out the following articles:
Getting More Fans: The Artist Guide for Social Media
Supercharge Your Soundcloud Account: Simple Tips To Accelerate Growth