Ever since discovering a certain music artist on Spotify around 18 months ago, I’ve seen them perform live to a small audience but have also watched their social media audience rise rapidly. With more followers came more recognition and more of my friends were starting to discover and support this once rather small artist.
Every day I check to see if they have uploaded any Instagram stories because they’re usually something you can laugh out loud to. Honestly, I’ve never known a music artist to be so talented but also so witty. My friends would even share his stories with me to make sure I’ve seen them because they’re just so brilliant.
I personally think that (along with their musical talent, of course) the reason for the growing number of followers – especially on Instagram – is due to the funny content that they produce. That, and they also go out of their way to reply to as many comments and messages they receive.
If you haven’t already guessed, the musician I’m talking about is Lewis Capaldi. And if you have yet to witness his Instagram stories, I suggest you get following. I’m forever telling anyone I speak to about social media that they need to get following him, if not for his music, simply because of his stories.
The sudden rise in his Instagram followers got me thinking about how musicians can leverage their social media in order to boost their profile and get more people listening to and loving their music. Then I realised that there were Social Media Managers out there for bands and artists and wondered if Lewis had one himself (I highly doubt it).
So how does a social media strategy help artist success?
I thought a good way to look at it would be by thinking about the three C’s that Richard Bailey of PR Place often talks about – Content, Connections and Community.
What’s a social media account without content? I’ll only follow someone that posts regular, relevant and exciting content that I want to see. In Lewis Capaldi’s case, he reviews his hotels, makes jokes about how rich and famous he’s going to be and best of all, really doesn’t take himself seriously. He’s incredibly humble, incredibly sarcastic and posts the best Instagram stories. Have you followed him yet? What are you waiting for??
With Instagram, if I follow a celebrity, I want to see what they’re up to on a daily basis, away from the glitz and glam. Picture This post behind the scenes videos of what they get up to during the day, Niall Horan usually posts pictures of himself watching TV and James Arthur will often post a lot of his music that he’s working on, or videos of his cats.
I don’t follow many musicians on Instagram, but the ones that I do, I follow because of their story content, not their image posts.
— i don’t even know who lewis capaldi is (@LewisCapaldi) June 27, 2018
You could say famous connections can often act like Influencers in a way. When Lewis Capaldi was a lot lesser known, some bigger artists started to share his music (ahem, Niall Horan) and then came an influx of followers. Then the pair started to hang out together and more followers flooded in. Just like a brand, for a music artist, a shout-out from someone with millions of followers can always be a helping hand when you only have a few thousand.
The one thing that amazed (flabbergasted, really) me most about social media platforms like Twitter (before Instagram was created) was that these celebrities could see what I was writing to them and (OMG!!) could actually respond if they wanted to. Lewis takes the time to respond to a lot of comments left on his Instagram pictures and especially his Twitter mentions. I think this enables his fans to feel more connected to him in a way, as it often feels like he’s more of a friend than someone famous.
I mean, he’s tweeted me on numerous occasions and replied to some of my Instagram comments so that basically makes us best friends, right? No? Oh. We will be someday though *Law of Attraction*.
A fanbase will always create a community. People that love the same artist and their music. I’ve been part of many ‘fandoms’ in my time, having One Direction fan accounts, Five Seconds of Summer accounts (a phase) and… I think that’s about it. I was on Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube talking about my favourite artists and it was quite an addictive hobby.
Fanbases/Fandoms are basically PRs in their own rights. They promote the artist, try to gain them as many followers/views/records and even help them win awards. People make friends through coming together online because of a musician or famous person. I made a lot of online friends when I was wrapped up in that world at 14 – some of them I’m still connected with today.
A common interest (the artist) creates conversation on certain platforms (Twitter/Instagram) and causes a ripple effect as they tell their friends, who tell their friends and so on.
75,000 followers six months ago and now he has 208,000 – the wonders of regular and engaging content, connections and creating a community for his fans.