Sometimes it can feel impossible to decide which direction to focus your efforts.
Do you pay attention to hashtags and Stories, making Instagram your number one priority? Or do you play into Facebook’s preference for live videos and native content? Or maybe you think Twitter is the direction to go, with its wit and fast-paced narratives.
When you’re trying to do it all, sometimes you end up doing none of it—and while I’m a firm believer that you should be on all the major social media platforms so that your fans can discover you anywhere, there is an art to focusing on just one platform and making it your bread and butter. It allows you to really get creative and go deep, as well as create quality content. Because when you’re not scrambling around trying to make 20 things work, you have the clarity, energy, and focus to make one thing work really well. And believe me, your audience will be able to tell the difference. So, how do you go about deciding where to promote your music?
You’ll need to ask yourself three questions:
Which platform do you like most?
Answering this first question may seem like cheating, simply because it’s the most obvious and the easiest. Which platform do you naturally gravitate towards? Where do you want to spend most of your time when you’re just mindlessly scrolling through, or looking for inspiration? When you go to look at your favorite bands and see what they’re up to, which of the apps do you open up first?
Focusing in on where you naturally spend most of your time is one of the quickest and smartest ways to understand where to focus your efforts, because simply put, if you already enjoy being there, odds are you’re also probably naturally good at the platform and have a handle on not only what kind of content tends to move the needle, but what it is you like to post, how to use different tools to beat the algorithm, and how to navigate it for yourself as well as others. This means you’ll spend less time agonizing over the content to share or how to share it or when to share it or what hashtags to use, and instead, you’ll just do the thing and move on with your day.
Simply put, when you already want to be there, you’re going to do a better job.
Where is your audience?
Usually, the above point and this next one tend to intersect pretty nicely. However, every now and again the two don’t align. Maybe you’re a millennial and you’re naturally gravitating towards Instagram, but your audience is a bit older and prefers Facebook.
In that case, you need to make a decision. Do you go where your audience already exists and get better acquainted with their preferred platform, or do you try to appeal to a new audience that already exists on the preferred one? I’ve seen both done, including an artist who realized that while she felt she identified with young women in their 20’s and 30’s, and was trying to connect with them, it turned out her largest fan base was men in their 50’s and 60’s. So, she started to shift her message and get clearer on her brand. Sometimes these things can be as much a tool as anything—it shows us who we’re actually attracting with our message and gives us the opportunity to shift that if we so desire.
What are the platform strengths and weaknesses?
The last question to ask yourself once you’ve more or less decided on which platform to focus on is “what are this platform’s strengths and weaknesses”? If you know you plan to do a lot of live videos, factor that into which platform you’re using. If you want to have it be photo heavy, factor that in. Take stock of what platform performs best in what areas, as well as where its weaknesses are, and make that a part of your process.
Side note: I’m by no means saying you can only use one platform. If you’re a wizard at all of them, go for it! But if you’re struggling to manage your time and fit everything in, this is part of the narrowing down process. And if you prefer one platform but another is better at a certain skill (live streaming for instance) it’s not only ok, it’s probably even preferable to make use of the platform that excels in that area!
Play to each platform’s strengths, try to avoid their weaknesses, and make those algorithms work for you!