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The following is a guest post from David Andrew Wiehe - the founder of The Music Entrepreneur HQ and author of The New Music Industry: Adapting, Growing, and Thriving in The Information Age. Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, music instruction, and beyond.

Social media can be a bit of a double-edged sword for musicians and music entrepreneurs.

On the one hand, it can help you build a following and an online community, which can lead to more followers, email subscribers, and sales.

On the other hand, it can be time-consuming. And I know a lot of musicians would rather be working on their art than on their marketing. The same could be said of business owners who’d rather be working on higher priorities.

Well, not to worry. If you’re willing to spend a bit of money and time maintaining your social media presence, you can virtually put it on autopilot. As long as you keep up with comments and make it a point to interact with your followers, you’ll be golden.

Let’s look at several tools you can use to boost engagement and interaction on social media.

Note: This article includes affiliate links where the author may receive a commission.

Hootsuite & Buffer

In my mind, Hootsuite and Buffer are essentially the same tool with minor differences.

Both allow you to schedule posts, and both will give you content suggestions. And to unlock the full suite of features these platforms offer, you must upgrade to a paid subscription, which is generally low-cost.

With Hootsuite, you can connect up to three social accounts for free. With Buffer, you can connect more accounts even with the free version, but they limit the number of posts you can schedule to 10 at a time, which isn’t much.

There are some differences in terms of interface as well as the exact social networks they allow you to connect. But they both cover the big ones – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

People sometimes ask me if Google+ matters. Surprisingly, the community is still active, and there is a contingent of musicians on Google+. Daria Musk, for instance, grew a significant part of her initial following using Hangouts.

But my answer as a marketer is this – don’t spread yourself too thin. Focus on one or two sites that get you results. Then consider branching out.

I like both Hootsuite and Buffer, and have used them quite a bit. But there is just one problem – they don’t tell you what kind of content to post to get more engagement. That’s where the following tool comes in.


Hootsuite - Social Relationship Platform

MeetEdgar

MeetEdgar is fast becoming my favorite social media automation tool. It has boosted engagement on my social profiles, increased traffic to my website, elevated my authority in the music industry, and most importantly, it has freed up my time so I can work on more important things.

But let me say this upfront – that extra convenience does come at a bit of a premium, at roughly four times the cost of both Hootsuite and Buffer.

Is it worth it? Well, yeah. There are limitations in terms of the accounts you can connect to Edgar (Facebook profile, page or group, Twitter profile, LinkedIn profile or company), but they help you set up a library of posts that it will automatically use and reuse, which means you don’t have to constantly craft and schedule new posts like you would with Hootsuite or Buffer.

By default, Edgar will set you up with library categories like: Inspirational/Funny, My Blog Posts, Promotional, Questions, Tips, Use Once, and so on. You can also create your own, in case you have other things you want to share with your followers regularly.

Constantly posting blog posts or “buy now” type call to actions just tires out your following. Too many musicians get on to social media thinking the world owes them something. This approach does not work.

But when you have a steady stream of different types of content being shared out on your social networks, you’ll find that engagement almost instantly goes up.

Once you’ve added posts to your library (MeetEdgar will automatically pull blog posts from your website if you add a feed), all you need to do to set up your posting schedule is drop the different categories mentioned earlier on specific times during the week, and you’re good to go. Wow, talk about hassle-free.

Of course, you can go back in and add more posts to your library at any time to keep your content fresh. The more you have saved in your library, the less you’ll end up cycling through the same stuff.

Hashtagify.me

Looking for ways to boost engagement on Instagram? One of the key ways to reach more people is to use the right hashtags at the right time.

Hashtagify.me is a website where you can find and analyze popular hashtags to use in your posts. And yes, it’s not just for Instagram – you can also use the same hashtags on sites like Twitter and Google+.

Now, I wouldn’t advise using irrelevant but popular hashtags in your posts just because you can. You should still make sure they are pertinent to the post you’re sharing.

It only takes a couple of minutes to find hashtags on Hashtagify.me to get more likes, shares, and comments on your posts. This small action can make a difference.

Instagram allows you to use up to 30 tags per post. I’m not necessarily advocating that you do this all the time, because it could come across as spammy. But I always go for the 11 to 15 range myself, and this can have an impact on your results.

Also, this is just a general comment, but posting at the right time can also make a difference, regardless of which social network you’re using. I’m not suggesting you obsess over this, because I don’t believe there is a set-in-stone formula, but just keep this in mind when you’re looking to get more engagement on your posts.

Final Thoughts

If you’re going to be putting time into your social media presence anyway, you may as well get something from it. Nothing is more frustrating than working at it day-in day-out only to get poor to mediocre results.

And while we’re on the topic, don’t forget to get out there too. Social media is all well and good, but nothing beats in-person interaction. Play shows, convert fans, and get them to follow you on your expertly curated social media accounts and pages. Godspeed.



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