Profile Basics You should make sure you’re bio has a succinct description of your act, with the option for up to date info on latest releases / tours etc. Always make sure you have a relevant link in your bio and that this is up to date. On Instagram it is common to use a specific link for your most recent post / story, make sure to return this to normal after or use a link reference provider such as https://linktr.ee/ Top tip: Try to keep your social media handles consistent across all channels. It helps for fans, venues & promoters to find you, and for sharing on any printed media. You can use https://namechk.com/ to see try different options and see that they’re available across all channels. Try to keep your handle succinct, and representative to what you do.
Your Audience The key to maximising your time (and possibly monetary) investment on social media is to understand your audience and what works for them. Who is your existing audience? What do the analytics on each platform say? Who do you see at your gigs? Where do you sell the most albums / merch to? Where are you seeing the most streams? What geographical areas are you trying to develop as audiences in? Which demographics are most lucrative to you as a musician? What audience can be found on what platform? These are the sort of questions you should be asking as you create content for your platforms. Further to that, what works best from what you’ve put up previously? As a fairly blanket rule across social media, people engage with authenticity and tangible things. Let them see you and your life - pictures of gigs; on the road; in the studio; enjoying life; smiley, happy pictures! Think about what relates to your music, as a musician who’s music is rooted deeply in Scottish culture, your music will often evoke visions in the listener of fantastic scenery to lots of your fans in the UK - but especially abroad! Use that to your advantage, and factor Scotland into your content! The tourism angle is always a good way to draw in interest. If you need an idea of works, have a look at what Visit Scotland do - and if you’re using this type of content, look at the hashtags they use! Look at the demographics on each of your social media channels, you’ll generally find that Facebook is a more mature audience (as is the mature of the Trad / Folk audience) than Instagram - Twitter is a bit of both.
Content Essentials When it comes to creating your content, once you’ve considered your audience you then need to consider how that content is consumed wherever you’re putting it. Think about how you use your social media, but also observe how your friends and fans do so. The overwhelming majority of people using social media consume it on mobile. So straight away you should think about optimising any social media content you’re creating for a mobile screen - think vertical not horizontal, you want to maximise the space you take up as your fans scroll through their feed. That’s why most of the videos you see the BBC putting out are square size, or even better 4:5 ratio. That’s not to say you should ditch the traditional landscape format of a music video just for your Facebook page. However if you’re creating anything specific for your social media channel then you should be considering this. Any smart phone will offer different crop options for images, and there are plenty free or inexpensive video editing apps which allow you to edit, trim and crop video with relative ease. When creating video, always make the first 2-3 seconds visually engaging. As people scroll through their feed on their phone, you want to maximise how much of the screen you take up but more importantly you want to make them stop scrolling. You need to grab their attention with something that’s visually stimulating. Even if it’s just a couple of snappy shots of video before the real meat of the content, and minimise (or completely do away with) opening cards / slides - get to the point quickly! This again comes back to what I said earlier about Scottish content - it’s visually stimulating. If you don’t have the outdoors immediately at your disposal - think about your backdrop. Bright colours always help, and just generally anything that’s actually interesting to look at, maybe even touch upon in your chat if you’re talking to camera. Each platform has it’s own specifications for specific file lengths / sizes / formats, these are often changing so it’s good to check when creating new content in case it helps make that content even better. I’ve listed the most up to date info below. When specifying dimensions for images or video it always reads: horizontal x vertical (think through the door and up the stairs)
- Video best dimensions
- 4:5 aspect ratio: 1080x1350
- This is the safest bet for working on every platform with optimal screen usage on mobile. In particular for FB/IG ad campaigns this should be your go to.
- Square: 1080x1080 pixels
- This will also upload on all platform, and might work better for framing subjects in a video than the more vertical video of 4:5 ratio.
- 16:9 aspect ratio: 1920x1080 (traditional format / HD)
- This is the traditional HD format
- 9:16 aspect ratio: 1080x1920 (for IG / FB stories or IG TV - if wanted vertical)
- If you want specific content for stories, this is the optimum size. Not essential.
- Image best dimensions
- If it’s a photo, ultimately do what works best for the image itself. If you can crop it to square or a more vertical format and it still looks good - do it. But don’t worry about it.
- If creating artwork specifically, go with square (1080x1080 pixels) as the optimum size for most platforms.
- A3 poster sizes don’t work well for social media, some of the image will generally be cropped in the feed view. Try and create specific images, or even better, video.
- Twitter will display any image, regardless of it’s dimensions, in horizontal format - if it’s square or vertical then you’ll have to click to see full image. Don’t worry about creating specific landscape sized imagery to counter this as people will generally click anyway.
- Video lengths
- Facebook: Min - 1 secs. Max - 240 mins
- Instagram: Min - 1 secs. Max - 60 secs
- Twitter: Min - 1 secs. Max - 140 secs
Writing for Social Media Getting to the point quickly is essential when writing any associated copy (text) for your post. Front load what you write with the important info, and make it snappy and succinct! Facebook & Instagram will shrink what you say so people only see a 2-3 lines on mobile without clicking for more, so the golden rule of copy for social media is be succinct. This doesn’t mean you can’t write loads if you actually have loads to say, but try to keep it snappy. Something to consider when trying to keep your copy succinct - you don’t need to repeat information. If the info is in the image or the video, then you don’t need to write it in the text as well. When it comes to Hashtags, there’s no point on Facebook - it doesn’t do anything for you there and it just clutters up posts. Twitter, it’s good to use - but be selective. Only use specifically relevant hashtags that you’ll get benefit from being a part of that conversation. Instagram, you can definitely use quite a few (up to 30) and it’s good to do so. Keep them relevant, and it’s always good to put spacing between your post copy and the hashtags. A few taps of the return button with a full stop on each line will do it - though if you leave a blank space on any line after you hit return it will not create a line break. I keep a list of generally relevant hashtags saved in the notes of my phone so I can just copy & paste, then I add a few more specific ones for that particular post. Always try to tag relevant pages in your posts, if you can do it in the flow of your writing even better. There’s no need to tag someone at the end of a paragraph if you could have worked it into the copy in a way that reads coherently. Also make sure when you’re tagging people that you’ve checked the tags are correct on all the platforms you’ll be sharing it on - as we’ve seen with Global Music Match, their Twitter handle differs. Try to avoid using long messy links. You can always chop off the https://www. at the start of a link, and if it’s messy & long at the end - consider using a link shortener to tidy it up. If you sign up for a free account at https://bit.ly/ you can shorten the link and customise the end (make it something relevant) - e.g. bit.ly/FARAalbum but also remember if you use these links on print - the capitals matter! So keep it lower case on print formats. If you’re announcing a show, consider tagging the event page as well.
Scheduling Tools Each platform has its own scheduling tools which serve to make your life easier, and are better than most catch all tools like Hootsuite. It’s also better to write your post specifically for each channel and post directly to that channel - this also goes for sharing between apps, i.e. Instagram to Facebook - you won’t tag the pages correctly, and the content will be compressed as it’s shared between channels. Always try to upload direct! Facebook & Instagram are moving all publishing tools to Creator Studio, which allows you to schedule posts on both platforms with the same functionalities as posting normally. It also allows you to upload longer form content to IG TV from your computer. If you don’t already use it, you should - as with everything on Facebook it can still be a bit buggy, but it will 100% make your life easier. You can find it here - facebook.com/creatorstudio Twitter has Tweetdeck which is great for following multiple account feeds & hashtags on one handy dashboard. However it also now allows multiple account sign on your desktop browser at twitter.com. Crucially you can also schedule tweets directly here, and tag accounts in photos while scheduling - something you should definitely be doing.
Facebook specifics Facebook Premiere. Premiering is a function which allows you to scheduling a video to be broadcast ‘as live’ at a certain time. It’s good for drumming up more interest in particularly important content as a post will go up notifying people of the Premiere and allow them to get notified when it goes live. I’d use this for your longer form content, such as the interviews with other artists. Crossposting. This was covered in our most recent call, this is a Facebook specific tool that enables sharing the same video across multiple pages. This is great as all the views accumulate, and you can see what views have come from the different pages you’ve made the video available to. You first need to set up crossposting between the pages, and then crosspost the individual video - you can do this when posting in the distribution settings, or after the fact in Creator Studio. If you’re looking to share a video you’ve not yet posted yourself, you can upload it to your own page library using Creator Studio above, and then share it from there. More info is available here - https://www.facebook.com/business/help/457328234477362 This will be particularly useful for your third post, where your team mates share a video of your music. That said, if I were you, when it’s your turn to post their video - ask for the raw file and stick 10-20 secs of video on the front with you introducing their video so that it is relevant for your own page audience. You can also group your video content as a series on Facebook, using Creator Studio. This would be a good way to collate all of the interviews after the fact.
Instagram specifics While Instagram feed videos can only be 1min long, you can utilise IG TV for longer form content. If you’ve not used it previously it will be a good way to add more content to your profile. Using Creator Studio it’s really easy to upload content direct from your computer. On the whole Instagram is still a largely image drive platform, from my experience and even from reviewing all of your pages - images still perform best. Particularly good quality photo content, try to avoid using graphics, and if you have to you can hide them as the second image in an ‘album’ on Instagram - behind a normal photo. Make sure to utilise stories to share your content, whether it’s sharing content specifically made for stories or by sharing the post from your feed to your story.
Twitter specifics Utilise the thread tool as another handy way to group all your content together on Twitter. This is the function where you can go to a previous Tweet and underneath it should offer you the option to add another Tweet. It will then link them all together. This could be particularly handy if your followers happen across your GMM content out of context, they can just scroll back up the thread to see your introductory posts etc. For more info: https://business.twitter.com/en/blog/how-tweet-threads.html Twitter is the one platform where posting YouTube links is fine, so for any video content that is too long for their specifications you can do that, or alternatively drive people to your Facebook page.