A Musicians Guide To Social Media in 2020 – Karen Cubides | Ep. 40

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Happy New Year! We’re starting off 2020 with a great episode featuring Karen Cubides. Karen is CEO of Cubides Artist Services, an artists management and consulting company for artists at any stage in their career. Although I didn’t know Karen before I interviewed her, I’ve been consulting with her since late October.

Karen and I spoke at length about how to approach using social media. As she mentions in the episode, Karen was able to build her own Instagram account from 0 to 10000 followers in one calendar year. I picked her brain to see if there were any guidelines we could apply to using social media as musicians. Here is a general guide of how to use social media as a musician in 2020.

You Have To Start Somewhere

The first step in using social media is to know that no one knows what they’re doing and how they want to use social media when they first start out. Embracing a beginners mindset and being willing to make mistakes are important steps in the early days, weeks, and months of growing your social media account.

Know Your Why

We all have to decide why were using social media in order to understand the kind of content we want to share. At it’s best, social media provides an opportunity to authentically share your joys, struggles, and growth with others. Other people may just want to document their progress on their instruments. There is no right or wrong way to use social media, it’s just important to know why.

Show Up Consistently

As with everything in life, consistency trumps everything. If you’re posting every once in awhile, don’t expect to see massive growth on your platform of choice. We have to find a way to share authentic and genuine content, and show up regularly if we want people to follow our journey. If you’re unsure of how much to post in the beginning, Karen recommends starting with 3 times per week and following through. Better to post less and be consistent than to stretch yourself thin before you’re ready.

You Need A Plan

The most practical part of the discussion was discussing having a plan. You need to have an idea of what you’re going to post before the actual day that you will post it. She has social media calendars that she uses for herself and her clients to help keep track of what they will post and when. Here are some of the things they include in the plan:

Photo/Video

They know what photo or video they will use on any given day. Using popular hashtags like #throwbackthursday, #sundayfunday, #wisdomwednesday, and #musicmonday can be helpful to narrow down the kind of picture or video that you will post on any given day.

Hashtags

Planning out what hashtags to use can make using social media significantly easier. Everyone has a different opinion of how many you should use, in this interview Karen recommends using 15. 8 of the hashtags should be globally related to your post (for example, if I post a video of my playing trumpet, I could use 8 hashtags like #trumpet, #trumpets, #trumpetplayer, etc). 7 of them should be hashtags specific to you (for that same trumpet video, I might use #ryanbeachtrumpet, #beachtrumpet, or #birminghamtrumpet). I find it very difficult to find 7 specific hashtags, but doing this over a long period of time can help build your own brand.

Captions

Karen may not write out a full caption, but she mentions in the interview that she at least tries to get a skeleton of what she wants to say so it is easier to write the caption when the time comes. Crafting a great caption is often the most time consuming part of posting on social media. It can be made easier by thinking through the message prior to posting.

Batching Content

Batching content is when you have content for multiple days, weeks, or even months already planned out and made. Making a plan can help you stay organized, but it’s also important to invest in making the content too. Having 2-3 months of great, professional quality photos can go a long way in making your social media presence looking great for a long time.

Connect With Others

In the end, social media is just that: social. It can be easy to get into a rhythm of only posting on your own channel, but taking the time to connect with others by liking and commenting on their content can be great for visibility and good will between content creators. Be careful though: it’s easy to let time get away from you when doing this. Karen herself aims for spending 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening connecting with content made by others.

In addition to the social media advice, the rest of Karen’s episode is full of wisdom on how to deal with difficult friends or colleagues, how to have balance in your life, and encouragement for people to know that their worth is held in who they are, not what they do. I hope you enjoy!

Until next time,

Ryan