Bands vs Brands:The Same or Different?

By: Amanda Castillo | @_mandymichellec4avcmrucaaandz
“The show in London sold out so we moved it to a bigger place so there’s more tickets! Come get em and see exciting scenes like this…” via @BANNERSMUSIC

In the days of social media it’s no surprise that brands are trying to navigate social media to drive sales or ensure brand equity but is that model the same when the product you’re trying to sell people on is you and your art?

For the most part, yes.

Most brands will tell you the importance of incorporating the 80/20 rule into your social media strategy. “It simply comes down to this: use just 20% of your content to promote your brand, and dedicate 80% to content that really interests your audience and engages them in conversations.” For bands and musicians this looks a little more like 70/20/10. 70% of your content should build your brand and focus on your story, 20% should be about building your network, and 10% should be about self-promotion.

So, what does this look like on a social media platform?

First, as the same with business social media, you need to find your platform(s). Facebook is still the ruler of social platforms so it’s a great place to start, but you should try to use at least 3 platforms to ensure you take advantage of the traffic that different sites generate. Most bands today have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat account.

Second, start with family, friends, local fans, local businesses, etc. Ask them to like your pages and share them with their friends and start telling your story. Who are you, what is your genre, your inspiration, what are your goals, why do you make music? Also, remember your genre and personality do not have to be one in the same. Find a way to show your fans what is genuinely you. Make that content 70% of what you do.

Third, grow your network. Make 20% of your content about sharing or promoting posts made by artists you have collaborated with or photographers you have worked with, promote the venues that have booked you in the past, and reach out to other bands/musicians to plan future collaborations with or get recommendations for venues, photographers, videographers, etc.

Finally, the remaining 10% of your content should focus on self-promotion. This is a little tricky, just like with business marketing you need to be careful about talking to your audience not at your audience. Very few are going to respond to your 19th “Buy our new album now!” post. Make it interactive and engaging, invite your audience to share their thoughts of the new EP with you, create a poll to see what their favorite song is, share some funny/embarrassing behind the scenes stories or pictures.

What else can I do to promote my music/band?

So, you are already on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. How else can you grow your audience/fan base? “You should also look into social media sites designed for musicians.” SoundCloud, Spotify, Pandora, etc. This is a great way to increase exposure to your music and platforms like SoundCloud allow you to post some things that may never make it onto an album that you still want to share with your fans. It can also be used to send out teasers for upcoming projects that will get your fans more excited for new music. Another tip is to create an email list composed of users who voluntarily sign up to receive promotions/offers. Provide incentives like coupons for merch or reminders that concert tickets will be going on sale soon. Most musicians already have a YouTube account but make sure you are making the most of it. “Musicians should consider uploading different types of content such as professional music videos, interviews, and behind-the-scenes rehearsals.” Make sure you are keeping your content interesting and are uploading regularly so viewers don’t lose interest in your channel. Finally, remember to always provide links or handles to all your platforms on every flyer, email, blog, or platform users see to allow them to easily find you on social media.

twenty one pilots give their fans a behind-the-scenes look at their latest music video via @twentyonepilots



De Beule, S. (2013, December 17) “The 80/20 Rule: Why Just 20% of Your Social Media Content Should be About Your Brand.” Social Media Today. Retrieved February 11, 2017, from

Friedman, S. (2014, December 29). How to perfect your band’s social media strategy: The 70-20-10 rule. Retrieved February 10, 2017, from

Occhino, C. (2016, June 7). The top 8 social media outlets to promote your music (and how to best use them). Retrieved February 12, 2017, from

Planetary Group. (2016). How to use social media effectively as a musician. Retrieved February 11, 2017, from


Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism