How to Succeed as a Musician on Social Media

This article “How to Succeed as a Musician on Social Media” was kindly provided by Shawn Leonhardt on behalf of Guitar Tricks and 30 Day Singer.

Social media has now been popular for a couple decades and many musicians have used it with a mixture of results. Depending on your musical goals it can help with finding an audience, sales, students, or even finding other musicians to collaborate with!

It can even be a way for people to get better at guitar. Here are some tips on how to succeed as a musician on social media.

Be Realistic About Success

First, you must decide what it means to succeed, and the more realistic you are the better chance you will have. If you dream of being a popular influencer, that is like pretending to win the lottery or becoming a celebrity and is statistically not going to happen!

Aim for goals that are possible for you to attain and then build on that. Beware of any social media marketing with claims of guaranteed success, as it isn’t easy!

Plan Your Content 

Every social media site you decide to use needs to have similar usernames and profiles. These days TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube shorts all share the same content so you want yours to follow your brand.

Plan the videos, songs, tips, and pointers ahead of time and keep a regular posting schedule that suits your music style and goal. Just be careful of giving too much info or music away if your goal is to sell the music or skill.

Post Tips and Tricks

Share your process even if you are not a teacher. People love instrument tips and tricks and behind-the-scenes material. If you are a band the pre and post-show time can always be fun to share.

You can also share new instruments, songwriting methods, and even historical facts about past musicians. Engage people musically as that is what most fans are looking for!

Get The Attention of the Audience

Within a few seconds, the viewers know if they want to watch! Get their attention as quick as possible and hold onto it. Sometimes you can use jolting or blatant sounds, say surprising exclamations, or especially start with a question.

Often in sales, you want to convince the buyer that you have a solution to their problem. Social media is the same in that we are convincing the audience that they need to give us their time and attention.

Duet and Share Live Music

Duet videos with other musicians, especially if you have something great to add. Or you can even connect with other street musicians or social media personalities to engage in a live duet or jam.

The more enjoyable and fun your videos are, the better chance of success. And algorithms love shared videos from their platform so it can always help your views. 

Short Videos Rule the Game

Every now and then a long format video works, often in the true crime genre! But for music and most creative topics, short videos are the most popular. In fact, brief sound clips are the norm across all major platforms like TikTok, YouTube, IG, and Facebook.

Keep your videos short and to the point. Remixes of older famous songs are common soundbites that may not bring you income but they will possibly become widely shared.

Add Text and Graphics to a Video

It’s not enough to be a musician, having some basic video editing skills will make your content more interesting. One way to grab attention fast is with catchy words or graphics.

If you are giving a lesson provide captions and if you are selling products make sure the links are very easy to access and on the screen. It even helps to put lyrics and graphics with your songs to make sure people follow them. Attention spans are short these days, use multiple tactics to keep them!

Turn Likes and Follows Into Action

The whole point of placing your music or skills on social media is to turn them into streams, sales, or further action in supporting your business.

Followers and likes do not pay bills! Yes, some larger influencers may be compensated from creator funds, but even they will tell you it’s not that much money.

At the end of the day, you want the video or info you post on FB, TikTok, IG, Twitter, or YouTube to take the viewer to a link or site where you can turn it into real money.

Take a Deep Dive Into Marketing

You have learned to be a musician through hard work and perseverance, if you want to succeed at social media you may want to study marketing further.

Of course, you want to pay attention to the analytics and data on your content, but it may help to take some courses and read books on modern media marketing. Many famous musicians will have special teams to handle these matters if you have the budget to hire someone with experience. 

Know Your Audience

If you are an adult contemporary piano player it will be best to keep your personal life off your social media music platform. But if you are a young punk-rocking guitarist your fans may be more into further details of your life.

Watch what videos and behaviours get the most attention and engagement and build on that. Bring what you think your audience wants and then adapt as you create. 

Keep Up With New Apps

Obviously, the main places like TikTok, Meta, and YouTube, will be the predominant sites you want to join. However make sure to keep up with new platforms, like Threads, you can share similar content if it becomes too overwhelming.

The key is to branch out with your music, singing, instrumentation, or lessons. If you get in on a site early you may get lucky with a good following!

Pay for Ads!

Besides using your data, social media exists for the point of advertising. So instead of worrying about being an influencer or building your image on it, just use it for its main purpose. If you are an artist, freelancer, or even a music teacher, use social media as a paid way to promote your work.

Start small and make sure you create sales, streams, or lessons from the ads. When they work, increase your budget, and build on the success. 

You Are the Product on Social Media

No matter what the platform, always remember that you are the product on social media. It is not as free as it seems and it also tends to become addictive.

Be careful that you use it in a manner that helps your business and increases your audience.

Just post the best original content and see what sticks. When a video works, copy the format in hopes that it will again. Money and listener follow-through is what matters, try not to get bogged down on being another data cog in the social media wheel!


There is no set of rules for every musician to succeed at social media, it is simply a mixture of hard work and luck. While it is a useful tool, it can also be a colossal waste of time. Do your best to share creative interesting videos and use paid ads when appropriate.

Keep track of what works and copy the same tactics, it is a grind but if you work hard social media can help you as a songwriter, instrumentalist, engineer, or performance artist!