How To Use Current Trends to Market Your Music

by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan

File Under: Managing Your Social Presences, Marketing Your Music

One of the most popular ways to see what people are saying about a particular event or topic on social media is through hashtagging. Anyone with a Twitter account can comment just by typing words preceded by the # symbol, turning all kinds of topics into a public conversation. This creates a tremendous number of targeted marketing opportunities for you and your music -- if you do it right.

Hashtagging is so pervasive they're used by media outlets, news, and corporations. And because Twitter makes it easy to let users watch and track a topic, it's easy to "tune in" to a conversation that everyone can participate in.

For example, to see everyone who is talking about stir fry at this very minute, check out the #stirfry hashtag by following this link: And, if there’s a hashtag for stir fry, you can bet there’s a hashtag for every topic you can imagine. The ones that have the most activity are usually based on current events.

You can use this social media phenomenon to get into the conversation yourself, and also to introduce you and your music to new audiences in the process. As we discuss in our Masterclass feature, Nine $0 Music Marketing Strategies, one of the most effective, inexpensive strategies you can use to get your music discovered and noticed is to piggyback on something that already exists and has an audience. Basically, someone else has already done the marketing for you and attracted a following that is paying attention to a single space where you can put a message. Using hashtags gets your message in front of new people and potentially new fans.

Because you can join in on any conversation, do the following in order to use hashtags to promote your music:

1. Keep An Eye on Trending Topics That Target Your Fanbase

Twitter shows trending topics on their webpage, but you can also find them when you tune into the traditional media, or the internet to see what people are talking about. If you understand your audience and have done your homework and know your audience and where they hang out, you can then look for topics that would be of interest to your fanbase. Read the current Tweets on the topic to get a feel for it first. A great place to look are the hashtags in Tweets from bands in your same genre, well-known personalities that cover social topics of interest to your fanbase, or Twitter accounts from news sources that your fanbase reads.

2. Find Something To Share That's Relevant

If you have made a video or song that matches the hashtagged conversation, think of ways to share it in a way that's not self-promoting but rather has an informational, emotional, or clever angle. Hashtag tweets are easy to make, so go ahead and play with all kinds of ideas to see what works. But while there's a place for well-written traditional marketing messages, a hashtag tweet is effective when it's a natural part of the conversation, not a billboard on an expressway. For example, If you've written a song with lyrics that is relevant to the topic, quote the lyrics, use the hashtag, and then add link to the song or video. Even better, music is not the only thing that you can share. As we covered in Knowing What and How Often You Should Post to Social Media, Ariel Hyatt advises the most effective musicians gain followers by sharing photos, engaging with others directly, and shining the spotlight on others and all of those techniques are relevant here too. People will check your profile and if you've set it up properly to point back to your other web presences, some will explore that as well to learn more about you and may even get you new business opportunities considering that companies that license music also watch current events.

Also, don't forget to add relevant hashtags to posts to all of your social presences when you put up new music, videos, and media, because if you've set it up right they will syndicate across the ones that use hashtags.

3. Answer the Responses and Track The Retweets

Remember, by posting a hashtag, you've joined a conversation, and you may get responses, retweets, and even direct messages. You need to answer these rather than just dumping a post out there and moving on to something else in your day. They all represent opportunities to engage with these communities and build your followers.

With a little creative thinking, you can join the ongoing hashtagged stream as well as cleverly introduce yourself and your music to potential new fans and followers. Music is more than just an artistic expression, it also makes a statement that can be part of the conversation as well. And sometimes music can express a point of view more meaningfully and profoundly than words alone.

Challenge: Add relevant hashtags to your social media posts. Try posting on at least one of Twitter’s trending hashtags and monitor the results.


#socialpresences #socialmedia #tactics #twitter #hashtags

Photo credit: Maria Elena

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