Music promotion without social media?

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AxMusic
AxMusic Member Posts: 124 Member
edited April 2022 in Social Club

Hello all.

Hope everyone is well.

I had a question, regarding promotion. I finished my debut instrumental album! And I am looking to start promoting for the forthcoming album release. I however abhor social media. I’m aware that that is a way to promote oneself. However having to post clips trying to get likes/follows to grow a fan base doesn’t sit well with me. Seems a bit vain in my eyes. Anyone else experience this, or is it just me? Does anyone know of any alternatives to SM promotion.

P.s. I know there are social media managers that can post content for you. I curious what methods other people on this form use.


Thank you for any input!

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  • Kaiwan_NI
    Kaiwan_NI Administrator Posts: 2,628 admin
    edited April 2022
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    As someone who's hesitant to join certain social media platforms, I too wonder the same thing. 🥲 I do see more and more artists leaving social media in the past years, but all do that only after finding fame and can afford to not have a presence on IG. Case in point: Pan Daijing who deleted all her pics on IG except this one:

    However, I notice there's a wave of musicians who grow from a tight-knit community around a product/gear/instrument. Usually it's a learning community, be it online not unlike this forum here or offline like EMS in Stockholm.

    So not answering your question in anyway lol but this reminds me of a Mixmag article from a few years ago that discusses the same dilemma.

  • Matt_NI
    Matt_NI Administrator Posts: 1,121 admin
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    Very interesting topic!

    Just like Kai mentioned, there is other ways to promote your sound than social media and online communities are definitely a good place to start (think Discord, Reddit ...). I'm not sure where you live but local communities are also helpful here. Do you have collectives or like-minded scenes around where you w? The important part being building relationships with others as opposed to try and have your music everywhere (it will spread organically).

    With that said, I think it is still extremely difficult to find your way without relying on social media at all, or at least it might slow you down. Maybe using these channels in a more creative way is a good compromise (so you don't have to necessarily rely on sharing clips or picture of yourself). There isn't a ton of artists making their way from never using socials, they might give them up but a lot of the time it happens when they already are a bit established.

  • Nico_NI
    Nico_NI Administrator Posts: 1,124 admin
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    From my experience, you will get close to nowhere if you don't have any online presence nowadays unfortunately.

    Except if you're an absolute virtuoso and show up with a crazy innovative sound, the lack of social media image will be a tremendous handicap. This is a must for labels, agencies and promoters.

    It's not anymore just about releasing music, it's about selling a brand. You have to promote your music but also your image, your character, your emotions, your style, your life basically as long as it's somehow in line with your artistic figure.

    It's a tough and time consuming task, but I'm afraid it's an unavoidable step for whoever is trying to get into a serious artistic career.

  • AxMusic
    AxMusic Member Posts: 124 Member
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    Hello Kaiwan!

    Thanks for the response! So you said there are times when artists have grown a fanbase off of the hard/software comminuted they are also a part of?

    Makes sense since in that case not only are we all music makers; we are also lovers of music. That’s part oof what turned me off to instagram, and twitter to be frank. Instagram seems like something geared towards vain selfies, and or world traveling pics. Of course everyone generally loves music. There is a chance to reach a global audience, however you are competing to get the attention against all other types of interests (artwork, fashion, cooking vids, etc…) the site is not music focused. Same with twitter seems like a site for posting ones thoughts/ opinions more then anything. I agree ones you reach a certain level of fame you surpass the need for SM. I remember MF Doom (Emcee) posted once on twitter. “MF Doom does not tweet.” Lol.

  • AxMusic
    AxMusic Member Posts: 124 Member
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    Hey Matt, thanks for giving your two sense!

    Discord and Reddit sound interesting! Hadn’t really given those options much considerations before. There are some local communities where I live so those are an option as well. I agree building connections with others are often much longer lasting then random people liking your pics/vids on Social Media.


    Do you have any example/ideas on using these platforms in creative ways? That could be way better then having to post everyday. Thanks for the insight!

  • AxMusic
    AxMusic Member Posts: 124 Member
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    This is an answer that I feared was the case.

    Thank you for giving me your Frank opinion Nico.

    I have come to a similar conclusion, one has to sell themselves as a package deal in a sense.

    Seems to be a trade off for having a platform to reach the world, so readily available.

  • Nico_NI
    Nico_NI Administrator Posts: 1,124 admin
    edited April 2022
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    That's unfortunately right, although that doesn't mean you cannot have great content to share on socials.

    Some artists do it very well and manage to create a deep relationship with their fanbase by sharing music related, techy or fun content. It can really become a relevant expression tool for your artistic persona aside from the music itself.

  • Kaiwan_NI
    Kaiwan_NI Administrator Posts: 2,628 admin
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    @AxMusic said

    So you said there are times when artists have grown a fanbase off of the hard/software comminuted they are also a part of?

    Exactly. Take a look at a Vocaloid community for example. 🤓

  • AxMusic
    AxMusic Member Posts: 124 Member
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    Thanks! I will check it out!

  • ntula
    ntula Member Posts: 8 Member
    edited May 2022
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    If you want to be social, go out and meet people. The best way to introduce yourself is to do just that. Go to gigs, shows, travel, etc... Meet real people in real life to make real long lasting personal and business relationships. Put thy foot in the door. Social media in merely a reference to your skills.

  • Psyearth5
    Psyearth5 Member Posts: 188 Helper
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    My honest advice is for you to choose a few specific platforms that are suits you. They will mostly be for meeting new contacts and expand your music. It is demanding and sometime time consuming but don't give up. It is very important to be , to exist somewhere not hard to be found. But you will searching for the other artists, curators and just be honest in all this conversations . Focus on visual Art at least to fit the platform you choose I mean both social and streaming platforms. Having your own site is beneficial but it will take time for others to click . Find friends among Artist and Listeners and don't be agressive, don't feel shame just be honest .

  • LHJL
    LHJL Member Posts: 5 Member
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    You are not the only one in your thoughts, also I am very pessimistic and cynical.

    I have refused social media to be honest (it has been nothing but trouble in the past)

    I don't care for the consequences.

    From my own experience, be wary of where you promote yourself.

    There can be some quite nasty vindictive and jealous people out there who will not

    give a second thought trying to shut you down, ie tall poppies.

    Been there done that got the t-shirt.

  • Kaiwan_NI
    Kaiwan_NI Administrator Posts: 2,628 admin
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    @ntula said:

    Social media in merely a reference to your skills.

    That actually is a really nice and healthy way of looking at it.

  • tribepop
    tribepop Member Posts: 160 Advisor
    edited June 2022
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    You definitely will want to have your stuff available online somewhere (SoundCloud, Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, etc.) so that it’s accessible by people that do want to hear your music. Some streaming services like SoundCloud and Bandcamp kinda function as a social media platform because you can discover and share music with other individuals. As far as promoting your stuff, you’re going to be significantly limited without social media especially if you live in a smaller town with a music scene that’s not very active.

    I was in the same boat regarding social media presence, but there are some options available specifically for musicians. For example, Instagram allows you to create a Creator profile which is free and allows you have access to a bunch of analytics if that’s your thing. Having a professional/brand account on social media is the way to go because you can keep it strictly about the business without all the extra ******.

  • BIF
    BIF Member Posts: 658 Pro
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    I despise most social media, and have even gone so far as to avoid professional online presences such as LinkedIn which would probably be good for my professional career outside of music and arts.

    But you need to get your name and brand out there, even if you only play weddings or bar mitzvahs. If playing the Chicken Dance or the Hokey Pokey is your thing, you want people to know it. When we had the yellow pages, you could just run an ad there: “Solo violin player available for art openings”

    But I haven’t received a “phone book” probably for 8-10 years now.

    I do have a “phone book equivalent idea”, however. If you don’t want to go the full-tilt social media route, then just have yourself a simple website created: “Wedding band available for Phoenix AZ area (123) 456-7890”. Put that in your website title, including the phone number, and it won’t be long for the Google spiders to slurp it up and make it show up in Google searches.

    And you only need the one page; don’t need a streaming player; don’t need a photos page; don’t need an “upcoming” page, and best of all, you don’t need a sappy page telling your whole heartbreaking life story, which is probably being faked anyway from that time you wanted to be on your local “Battle of the Bands” competition. Just what you do and your phone number. If you’re a band wanting gigs, try doing the same thing. Warmup bands are always canceling at the last minute, so who knows…is it really THAT far-fetched to think that the promoter or venue would never do a Google search? Even better for you if you can just toss your acoustic guitar and a d’jembe in the car and have your percussionist meet you at the venue. Don’t need much more than that to sing “Hotel California” or anything from The Doobie Brothers.

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