Social media platforms are popping up everywhere. During my last consultancy project I created a social media for the coffee industry where farmers could engage with roasters and vice versa.
Nowadays, you can purchase plug and play tech solutions to build your own social media. Social media is a format that is here to stay.
Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube have become a necessity for independent artists.
Musicians who do not have a presence on these platforms are often seen as not very serious about their career.
An artist without an Instagram account is like a business without a website or shopfront.
While it’s important to be present on these big social networks, it’s also worth checking out the niche channels that fit your brand and music style.
Niche channels offer benefits that the main players cannot. With much less spam, more traffic directed your way and specific audiences that better match your ‘buyers persona’.
By knowing who your end users are (your fans, followers and potential fans) you will have a better understanding of where they hang out online.
Once you know where they spend their time online, you simply make yourself seen there too. Create a profile and begin interacting with the types of audiences who will buy into your brand.
To get a better understanding of who your target audience is, take a look at this video:
When choosing which niche platforms to target you also need to take into consideration your preferred format of communication. Will you be a more frequent producer of video content; forum discussions; visual imagery or live streaming?
To give you a better understanding, here are 4 niche social media platforms that musicians need to know about in 2020:
800 million monthly active
41% of users are aged between 16 and 24
56% of users are male
44% of users are female
Ok, so I’m kinda cheating with this one as it’s no longer a niche platform. TikTok has gained significant market share to become one of the big dawgs.
Nonetheless it is still a very important channel for musicians to be using to gain visibility on the world stage.
The whole concept of TikTok is based around viral audio… And what do musicians want their music to do? Go viral, of course.
Due to the potential of going viral on TikTok, it makes it a very interesting choice for artists.
With two main goals of using TikTok as a musician – the first is to upload your music so other content creators on the platform can use it to produce videos.
While the second is to start a social presence on TikTok and create your own content that can also be ‘remixed’.
Artists with a BIG personality and online presence such as Diplo, Post Malone and Jared Leto all use TikTok in a way that connects them directly with their fans and exposes them to many more new fans.
If you choose to create a social presence on TikTok, it’s advisable to post as much as 2-3 times per day to get the most out of it.
With TikTok’s video editing capabilities on the app, creating engaging videos has never been easier. So you have no excuses here!
Be sure to let your personality shine through as this is the key factor for creating a following on the music and video based app.
If you opt for only making your music available for others to use then ensure your profile is optimised with a network of influencers and content creators.
Get them to create content for your song. Gary Vee said it very wisely a few weeks back “5 Tik Tok influencers doing a dance to a snippet of a song will outperform 4 million dollar media spend by a record company every day of the week in 2020”.
For example, these guys have bossed TikTok to reach a new generation of fans:
Tick tock… Better get to it, musos.
Over 430 million active monthly users
64% of users are between 18–24
69% of American Reddit users are male
You’re probably thinking “wtf is Reddit doing here?”, and again, it’s not technically a niche platform considering it’s popularity.
Reddit does such a fantastic job of creating the nichest of niche subcategories that it’s a million niche platforms under one massive channel.
Reddit has a vast collection of forums where users submit content and up or down vote interactions from other users.
What’s interesting is the fact there are no ‘influencers’ and everybody has an equal chance of going viral with good content.
Your visibility can explode with one post that grabs the attention of users perusing the forum you’ve posted in.
Just like anywhere on the internet, you can’t go in all guns blazing without at least making yourself known through interaction with other user’s content.
So begin to hang out on the subreddits (sub-forum topics) that you know your type of audience are communicating and get to know the community before promoting your music to them.
As always, authenticity is the key factor for this platform. You need to engage with real life stories, content and interactions with your fellow Redditors.
With an endless list of Subreddits to choose from, it’s best to start with the smaller, niche forums. It’s no use trying to conquer Everest before you’ve walked the hill.
Besides that, finding your fellow freaks won’t happen in the mainstream mayhem.
Take a look at how these big guns have utilised the wonderful world of Reddit:
A thread with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
J Cole when he launched his album Born Sinner
DeadMau5´s community on reddit
15 million daily active users
81.5% of users are male
55% of users aree 18-34
During the course of the pandemic Twitch saw a huge spike in DJ’s entering the platform to livestream DJ sets and musicians gaming with their fans while streaming it to the world.
With the spike beginning to slow, copyright issues are beginning to rear their head just as Facebook and Instagram have been infamous for.
If you’re joining the platform to game with other users or to showcase yourself making music; you need to go into it with the determination of conquering the live stream format.
Originally a platform for gamers but now broadened out to content creators of all varieties. If you’re a gamer and a musician then kill two birds with one stone having fun while engaging with your fanbase.
Twitch for musicians has a wealth of benefits from a generous amount of options for monetisation to the ability to receive another user’s audience in a transaction known as a ‘raid’.
Creating a community here is easier in comparison to the terrible organic reach of Facebook and Instagram.
With a strong, supportive community in place, it’s not difficult to get involved with other users and become active amongst the online society.
Take a look at some big musicians who have successfully infiltrated the Twitch user base:
335 million active monthly users
71% of Pinterest users are female
35% between ages 30-49
What makes Pinterest so interesting is the high conversion rate it provides. Holding the record for the highest conversion rate out of all the major social networks.
Statistics show that over 87% of the community have purchased a product they saw because of Pinterest.
Half of Pinterest users make $50,000+ per year… They have money to spend.
If your merch game is strong and you have an e-commerce store then Pinterest may be a good fit for you.
Users create ‘boards’ of images that they collect from the internet and share with their community.
Musicians could utilise these boards to store inspirational, educational and promotional imagery that other users can follow for good visual updates.
An entire board could be dedicated to lyrics, music techniques, gear, you name it!
Using Pinterest as a productive tool for yourself while making it interesting for others to follow is a sure fire way to be seen on another platform while getting some use out of it for day to day creativity.
Just like any other platform, you need to give value in order to receive any yourself.
Using other platforms allows you to be seen by people that might not have known about you or your work previously.
Niche channels give you better access to specific types of audiences which are easier to connect with than platforms that make you pay for visibility.
Of course, you must choose the channels that fit your target audience, so make sure you optimise your time to include some niche channel interactions and content production.