Social media is crucial for any business today, this includes anyone in the performing arts. Get some tips from an indie artist that has proven it is possible to have a significant following doing it yourself.
With 500,000 followers on Instagram and 1.8 million followers on Twitter it’s clear Example knows a thing or two about social media.
The artist creates his own online content and sees it as an opportunity to connect with fans rather than a chore.
After parting ways with Columbia Records earlier this year because, in his own words, “they didn’t know what to do with me, and I didn’t know what to do with me”, Example now works independently and distributes his music through AWAL.
Being an indie artist means social media is more important than ever to his career, and the Londoner’s savvy approach to promoting new album Bangers & Ballads has paid dividends.
Example shared his social media tips at BBC Music Introducing Live earlier this month.
Humanise your social media
Example says: “I hate it when people just put a picture of the artwork from their next single or album on Twitter or Insta. It’s boring. Who wants to look at that?”
His tip: create content that reflects your music and generates an emotional response with followers.
When promoting his single Show Me How To Love, Example shared a video of himself driving with the new track blaring from his car stereo. He then cut to his baby son, asleep in the back of the car, oblivious to the heavy bassline. Now that’s waaay better than a bland shot of artwork.
When it comes to generating traction on Instagram, we could all learn from Example’s example. He came up with a bright idea after a fan called Jordan contacted him on Insta to ask if his new album Bangers & Ballads was coming out in CD form as he didn’t have Bluetooth or aux in his beat old car. The rapper bought Jordan a new(ish) car [a second-hand Ford Focus] so he could listen to the album. The result? One very happy fan and one very happy artist – the story was all over Insta (400,000 people saw it) and several major newspapers reported it.
Example says: “Similar paid-for promotion would have cost £9,000, so it was worth it. Think outside the box and go on Insta Explore pages to see what’s cropping up to get ideas.”
When it comes to followers it’s about quality not quantity
“Don’t focus on getting new followers, engage with the ones you have,” advises Example.
It’s no use having a huge number of followers who never engage with what you do. You want your followers to buy your music and merch and come to your gigs. Don’t obsess over how many followers your contemporaries have on social media, put your energies into connecting with your own fans.
Be careful what you share
Don’t go damaging your image by drunk posting or getting nasty online (can someone let Elon Musk know). Use life’s messy moments – break-ups, drunken nights out, arguments with friends – as material for your music. Examples says: “Put it in your songs don’t put in on your social media.”