Where, when and how to promote yourself.

Social Platforms:

Facebook: The biggest and most obvious source for traffic, pretty much every band has a Facebook page. The number one way to grow a Facebook page is to post your content on the page first and then share it to groups, or you can join groups as your page and post direct links to your work and people who enjoy it will likely then like your page. 

The key is to join as many different groups as you can. By having more options for groups at your disposal you can avoid spamming one group too much and spread your content across many groups over the course of a week and do this every week. It keeps you in the public eye and most giant groups move so fast that a completely different set of people will see the next post you make in a few days. Smaller groups should be posted in less often. You’ll become attuned to them after a while, some are outright spam tier and you could probably post in there daily – Groups with like a 100 posts a day and 40k members. Join a good variety of them, bigger doesn’t mean better it just means busier.

Facebook is responsible for the majority of my social media referrals to my site despite being my smallest following. There’s avenues that allow you to reach beyond your own following that aren’t as streamlined on other platforms. For starters, any link can be posted on Facebook, it really just comes down to what the content is and which platform is popular in that genre or niche. Youtube, bandcamp, spotify and articles about your band can be shared with wild abandon. 

Sharing reviews and interviews can be another good way to get your page across other pages fanbases, Facebook is one of the easiest ways to share coverage of this nature when compared to more image based places like Instagram. You can make long or short posts, it doesn’t really matter here. Do whatever you want and what you know your fans will enjoy.

Twitter: This is the second friendliest place to post links and that’s not saying a whole lot because Twitter has a tendency to soft hide a lot of external link posts and favors text only posts (take a look at most highly retweeted stuff, it’s usually text only viral shit). There’s also the character limit to consider.

I advise a balance of tweeting links and text only. The text only ones will bring more people to you who will then be more likely to see your links, or your profile links. When posting links be quick and concise about it, draw all the attention to the link itself and save any rambling for a text only tweet. People’s feeds can go pretty quick as can their attention. Twitter’s actual link presentation is solid and like Facebook can share any kind of link but it’s difficult to get it outside of your own following unless some people retweeted it. Even then it could very well just sit there and go no further, I have nearly 1k followers on Twitter and a lot of my stuff just dies

On twitter engagement works really well because replying to other people’s tweets both makes their tweet more visible due to now being on your timeline, and makes you more visible because you’re now on their timeline. Generally being supportive of other people’s music or having an interesting take will bring more people to you – and naturally, if you have shit takes you will probably attract a shit crowd or lose followers. Leading to my advice on content protection…

Your band is your brand and anything you say will be a reflection of that brand. Sometimes people will see things you say and attribute it to being a part of your band. I highly discourage any political discourse or aggressive takes as a band or professional page. Get a personal alt for that. I don’t care what you see that triggers you, getting involved in a negative interaction is just never worth it. For one it can make you look bad or petty, and two it makes Twitter a more hostile place. Yes I know everyone is posting mad dumb shit, but just ignore it or else you’ll be sucked into it. It’s not worth trying to control narratives or teach people, it won’t go down like that.

The number one tool for surviving Twitter is the ability to mute phrases and words. This way you don’t have to block or mute people following you, just mute the words that most commonly piss you off or bait you into arguments. Sick of a serial retweeting putting tons of porn or low quality content on your feed? Disable retweets from that person via their profile. There’s a lot of ways to control what you see from people. It really helps, go through your settings and customise the crap out of the whole app until you’re comfortable. Strive for only positive engagements and avoid vague anxiety posting, it’s not good for you or people reading it as it just spreads discomfort. 

Create good relationships through retweeting. Sometimes a retweet is greatly appreciated. A good way of sharing coverage of your band is as simply as retweeting the post from the publications. Retweet your peers in your scene. It’s always good to help out others, people don’t tend to get a lot of help without first being a helper. It becomes pretty obvious when someone is allergic to the retweet button.

Instagram: Bands are becoming more prevalent on here and I think the sharing of album art has a lot to do with that, as well as the story shoutout economy. Let me just say, Instagram has always been my biggest following and yet is responsible for the least amount of referrals to my site. People don’t really click links (Bio link) on Instagram. It’s a pretty vapid place that’s primarily for sharing images and getting likes – it’s full of people who will spam shoutouts to get shoutouts. It’s still worth being on, because it’s more visibility for your band and having a strong following across platforms is often an indication of your popularity to outsiders, whether that’s accurate or not. 

Over the course of using IG a lot I’ve found ways as a promoter of music to try and use the various features to maintain a good following and engagement level but as a band, it’s a bit different. I recommend making your biolink the music page you most want support for and posting images regularly. Don’t just post the same thing over and over again like your own album art, post a variety of things both relevant and not relevant directly to your work. Take behind the scenes photos and videos of rehearsal or gig greenrooms. Post photos of your members with members from other local bands. Get shots of other bands playing on the same bill as you to promote the shows. Instagram Live stories are good for this too. Otherwise post your favorite albums of the month with a good collage or a favorite album cover at the moment. Be active and be interesting but don’t stress the body text because it doesn’t really matter that much.

People tend to look and scroll, if it interests them they might read it but I feel it largely goes unread and so you want the content to speak for itself. Taking the right pictures and having a weekly plan can greatly reduce the amount of actual work put in that can be spent in places more likely to click your links like FB or Twitter. I personally use a post planner called Planoly to schedule my posts to auto posts weeks in advance so I don’t have to put in work on IG every day, just a few likes, comments and stories every day – nothing too time consuming. Most of IG is honestly a bullshit illusion and you will be a victim of it’s ridiculous algorithms, it’s not even worth complaining about. They do this to encourage paid promotions which are rarely worth it. Just get what you can out of the platform and keep moving. 

Engagement matters more to the algorithm here and doesn’t improve your visibility a whole lot. A balance of liking, commenting, posts and stories will generate the best results but I wouldn’t focus too hard on one in particular or channel too much time into fighting the algorithm. Be consistent with quality and timing of posts and create a good story following by having consistently interesting stories. I do this by doing a lot of giveaways through my stories so people are more invested in seeing what I have to post each day. I will also occasionally post questions and then share the responses.

USE HASTAGS. I see too many peoples waste their great content by not giving it any reach. Hashtags are crucial on instagram and are essentially the equivalent of posting to a bunch of facebook groups. You can use 30 hashtags I suggest using 20 – 30 depending on the post. You can google best hashtags for whatever kind of post and make your own custom batch of hashtags to use – keep them pasted in your notepad or google doc for convenience. Hashtags are the primary way to explore IG outside of your own following.

Reddit: This platform is very hard to get into as it requires a fair bit of community participation before being able to post properly and it also tends to dislike it if you post links to your own content. It’s weird like that. Some places are more friendly to it and have specific areas for self promotion. r/metal for example has a thread every Friday but it’s nothing huge. It’s also super dependant on time but not any local time, the best time for each subreddit. You can generally figure out the best time by looking at what time the popular posts were made (8hours ago etc) as well as how many people are currently online versus how many are following the subreddit. 

The primary links for metal that get shared here are YouTube links. Be sure to check the subreddits guide for posting, each one is different and have title requirements. It’s a strict place full of nerds but it can really yield results once you find a groove. It’s not really beginner friendly and will require the most online savvy in your band. I recommend making your user name something unrelated to the name of your project to avoid admins marking you as self promoting spam. I also recommend that you post a variety of content and not just your own to also avoid having your account marked as a spammer. 

Expect A LOT of trial and error as well as frustrating experiences with admin. The genre specific subreddits outside of doom, death and black and pretty small and it’s not the best place for metal overall. There’s a lot of censorship issues too but if you can get it working it will benefit you on a practical level more than Instagram. There’s also the potential of something seriously hitting and making it to the subreddit front page with many upvotes but I wouldn’t hold your breath, this is more for already popular bands like Slayer. 

Underground metal sites: A good way to get some attention is get a review or interview but it can be very difficult depending on the quality of your music. It may very well yield a negative review which you don’t want.

I recommend googling reviews of bands in the same scene as you and on the same level of exposure. People you play gigs with frequently. See who is reviewing them and submit your music to be reviewed on there. This works best for the more underground publications because bigger publications are far more likely to take promo submissions from PR firms and labels due to the reliable and uniform nature of those submissions. There’s generally a level of quality expected from bands who invest in their music this way as opposed to bands with a mediocre self made promo pack using the wrong links (like soundcloud). You’re more likely to make it to bigger publications organically without submitting by first being spread through the underground. 

Most publications with their shit together will take submissions via email. Don’t bother submitting via social media tags or DM’s unless they’re a smaller promoter. We lose those links so quickly and get so many submissions that we’re likely to forget we lost the link. Email is key for submitting to blogs most of the time, learn good email. 

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