With roughly one billion monthly active users, Instagram is still one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. The United States alone, has 180 million users online you can connect with right now, which, can either seem really exciting or really intimidating depending on who you are and how you view social media. For many musicians, it’s the latter—having that kind of power at your fingertips can feel overwhelming and what’s actually a great tool for connection and relationship building can start to feel like a paralyzing chore. So that simple-seeming job of connecting with fans? Not so simple after all!

What is also not simple is getting your judgments about yourself and other artists out of the way and just diving in.

So here we are to debunk a few of your (ahem) resistances, and the aforementioned one is #1 on the list.

Top 7 Reasons Why Artists Strongly Resist Social Media

Which of these sounds like you?

Reason #1: I don’t want to be pushy or over-hype, like all those other artists that I hate (or: “I hate the way he markets and I don’t want to market like him!”).

Let’s talk about something that’s not always easy: promoting yourself. Sure, the idea of fans adoring you and your music is pretty appealing, but there are a few steps between putting yourself on socials and getting that kind of feedback, and that can feel scary. So, let’s start with something simple and not over-hyped: just sharing you. This is one of the most overlooked and yet most engaging parts of social media is simply sharing about yourself.

Forget about promoting yourself or your music, share things that feel mundane instead. The day you’re having. The music you’re listening to. The behind-the-scenes of your show. Social media shouldn’t be one endless ad for your music, it should be an invitation to connect with you as a person; which works in your favor because ultimately people buy from and support people they trust, and they trust people based on how strong of an authentic connection they feel.

That connection doesn’t just come from the music—it comes from feeling like they know you.

Keep this in mind: 78% of people trust peer recommendations for products and services that they BUY. Only 14% trust TV/radio/print advertising. You need to be one of the artists that peers are recommending.

Reason #2: Promoting my music on Social Media won’t put any money in my pocket.

Here is what is true: Social media most probably won’t directly put money in your pocket in the short term. But when has anything in the music industry ever been about the short term? Instead, think of social media as the launching point of your career. When used with traditional marketing and as part of a plan, it can be integral in reinforcing relationships between you and your fans, which will down the line lead them to a point of purchase (whether it’s a song, a merch item, anything). Think about it. Do you go to your favorite band’s shows and then forget about them until they come to town again? Or do you follow them on social media, like their posts, buy their merch, join their newsletter, and otherwise engage with them in the times you aren’t spending money? 

It’s no different for you and your fans.

Once in a Top Spin training class, Ariel learned that being Googlicious (your Google rankings) and your email newsletter list are two vital components to putting money in your pocket, and without social media you will never grow either.

Reason #3: Social Media and Marketing takes too much time.

OK, we never said that this was fair, easy, or quick. Being successful does and will take hard work, and it always has. These are personal questions: What is your definition of success? How much time are you willing to commit to learning new skills and mastering new tools? 

If the answer is “none – I just want to play,” then that is OK.

Derek Sivers wrote a moving piece about this and the comments are very telling (maybe making music for profit isn’t for you).

“Stop expecting it to be valuable to others. Accept it as personal and precious to only you. Get your money elsewhere.”

Wanna Keep Going? Good!

Ariel once attended a seminar called the “World’s Greatest Marketing Seminar,” which was designed to help entrepreneurs market their companies. One of the most successful ones stood up on stage and delivered some horrible news:

To be successful, 70% of your time should be spent on your marketing and sales and 30% working on your business…

There was a collective gasp in the audience.

(Yes this means that, as artists, you still must balance the creation of music BUT you better spend a lot more time on the marketing side)

The truth is it will take time and so much of being a musician now is about the process, not just playing the music. It’s a sobering fact, but being a musician who wants to make music their full-time career means not just playing music but spending time growing that fanbase.

Reason #4: “Social” Media isn’t “real” media.

This is such an outdated idea, especially in 2023 that it seems clear by now this myth has debunked itself, but just in case it needs repeating, the media — and that includes social media —is made up of influencers and that includes blogs, playlisters, and people with followings (large and small) on social media. These things matter. It isn’t just followers with obviously large followings either like 10 million, it’s people with 5k very engaged followers, or 10k followers that engage on every post. Possibly the biggest influencers in the game at this point are the media. Brands, companies and record labels alike turn to the largest followed online creators for advice and direction because they have a massive understanding of media and what consumers want to listen/read. 

Take a good long look at traditional media these days: approximately once every minute, TV news broadcasts tell you to go to their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages, and if you do, you’ll see how active they are on those pages. They may be on TV for an hour a day but they’re on social media much more than that. Many networks have a permanent graphic on the screen with Facebook and Twitter feeds. The “real” media is constantly telling viewers to go to social media and contribute.  And note: There are over 200 Million blogs online. One or two of them may just want to write about you. 

Reason #5: I’m Too “old” to understand social media

Would it surprise you to hear that the average Twitter user is 39? Or that the fastest growing demo on Facebook is 55 to 65-year-old women? In fact, they have become some of the most active Facebook users. Why?  Because grandma is signing up to look at photos of little Johnny and then realizing that all of her friends and family are actively engaged and… that’s FUN! We’re all looking for a little bit of connection and escape in our lives and as long as social media is creating that for us, we’ll continue to use it no matter the age.

If you think you’re too old, think again. This can not be your excuse for not getting on socials. You just have to find the platform you’re most comfortable with and that your demographic is on and then make it your own. You make the rules. No matter the age of your fanbase, there is a social platform that will best serve your community and their preferred way to communicate.

Reason #6: Status Updates on Facebook and constant posts on Instagram are stupid. Why does everyone always need to know what I’m doing?


Second: It doesn’t matter. You still have to show up!

Here’s the deal. Many artists only feel that social networking sites are made for promotional use. And, in a way, that’s true. We’re all promoting something after all. Looking for validation or recognition, even when we only use social media for personal use. However, as an artist, you have a real opportunity to use these platforms as a way to connect with your audience. To make them feel seen and appreciated and special—all the things your favorite artists and brands do for you.

Let’s face it, a performing artist is a PUBLIC FIGURE! This means that whether you like it or not fans are going to want to know about you and even feel like they know you in a more personal way. This can be a really powerful thing! It means being able to make a difference in the lives of your fans and those who follow you, just as you aim to do with your music. So make it fun for yourself! Get everyone in your group involved and lean into your strengths. Maybe one person flourishes on Instagram but doesn’t understand Facebook. Then let them put 100% of their energy into that social networking site alone. You will see when someone is actually doing something, they understand you will get the best return on your investment from your work on that platform.

Reason #7: I’m not an overly open person / I don’t want my fans to see my personal life.

If you really are not a social person, Social Media is ideal for you because you’re at a computer screen, not in front of a live human! 

With social media you have the ability to control your narrative; only showing what you want to show, as not EVERYTHING is personal – this means you have created a solid brand. Movies you like, books you read… how about talking about other artists you love and respect? There are a few to start with. You can do things in a way that feels personal but is still a little guarded and mysterious like Taylor Swift/ (This is the only time I’ll recommend a strategy where you look to what a label-signed artist is doing—the rules are not the same for indie artists, but in this case, it can be a good example of how to share without oversharing)

Just remember, being on social media doesn’t mean you lose all control. You still get to call the shots, decide when and how to respond to someone, and have time to think about what to say, and who to say it to, without the pressure of someone sitting in front of you expecting a response at the moment. It’s honestly perfect for introverts!

Want a Pro team to help You Analyze, Correct, and Create 3 Months of Perfect Content? Check out our Social Media Tune Up!


Social Media Total Tuneup




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