On this episode of the Co.Lab Sessions podcast, Kirsten Stubbs shares explains how new artists can take advantage of emerging social platforms to share their content and expand their fanbase. Kirsten is a Senior Director of Digital Marketing at Interscope Records, where she’s worked on digital strategy for artists like Selena Gomez, Lana Del Rey, and Imagine Dragons.
Citing the recent shift in social media from follower culture to an “algorithm culture” in which algorithms serve up content based on user preferences, Kirsten explains that new artists are on an even playing field with veteran acts when it comes to getting their music in front of potential fans. She also shares actionable advice on how artists can use emerging platforms like TikTok as part of their overall online marketing campaign, and why they should worry less about strategy and more about authenticity. Listen to the episode and read some of Kirsten’s key takeaways below.
Highlights from Kirsten Stubbs’ Co.Lab Sessions episode
Artists should take advantage of social media’s level playing field
Over the last couple of years, we’ve really seen a trend from follower culture to algorithm culture online. So, [platforms such as] TikTok, [Instagram] Reels, Facebook, and even Twitter have really switched to serving up fans the content they’re looking for. You can have zero followers or a million followers, and to an extent, you’re on the same level. It’s a very even playing field, and if you keep posting on these platforms, the algorithm is going to choose people who want to see your content and serve it up to them. I think that’s a huge paradigm shift in the business, and it’s been an incredible opportunity for developing artists as we’ve seen, from the artists who’ve emerged from TikTok to SoundCloud, to Reels, etc.
Focus less on strategy and more on what feels authentic
We oftentimes are like, “What’s the strategy?” Dropping business jargon and all these ideas when really it’s as simple as spend time on each of these social platforms scrolling through and at the end, go back and look at the things you liked, the things you engaged with. What made those compelling? Talk about what were the things you liked and didn’t like. What felt authentic to you and what feels a little bit off-limits to you? If you’re a classical artist, maybe you shouldn’t be doing TikTok dances. If you take things really seriously, and want to focus on the art, maybe you don’t want to be sharing memes. There are ways to interact with people on these social media platforms that aren’t those things that you see on the surface level. By listening and focusing on what’s already being created and what resonates with you, you can have guidance on where you should go with your content.
Expand your brand by engaging with more than music content
You should think about social media collaboratively. You can do things like commenting on meme pages, sending funny tweets. You don’t have to be limited to just your music, because, again, you’re bringing people into your sphere of influence and it may not be because they love your music. It may be because your fashion is on point or you have an opinion politically that they agree with and they want to hear more from you. So, don’t just focus on musical content, really expand your brand to a full content mix beyond just music. Music is a facet of your online brand.
Listen to more Co.Lab Sessions podcast episodes about building your team, creating a scene around your music, protecting your career and more.
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