When I began my DJ career, I quickly realized that one of the largest parts of my job was promoting myself. In this day and age, social media is a critical part of any DJ’s promotional strategy. Having a strong social media presence will land you more gigs and grow your fan base dramatically.
With social media being so important for DJs, I was disappointed to find very few resources online about this topic. It forced me to experiment and use trial and error to figure out which social media strategies actually worked and which failed.
Today I’m going to share with you all of my notes about social media for DJing, which includes my personal experience and research that I have done online. I will be updating this page whenever I find a new strategy that works, so be sure to check back every once in a while for some new tips.
I love helping DJs with social media marketing, so feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com any time.
Big Opportunity for DJs on Social Media – Live Streaming on Twitch:
Before I go into the basics of all the main social media platforms, I want to talk about an opportunity that not a lot of DJs are not taking advantage of, and that is live streaming. In my opinion, this is the biggest opportunity for DJs right now to grow their online presence.
Live streaming has seen tremendous growth over the past few years thanks to video games such as Fortnite growing in popularity. This growth from video games has also created a totally new opportunity for anyone to livestream online.
The popular electronic music producer deadmau5 does a lot with Twitch and he is seeing amazing results. People are lonely and crave social interaction, and live streaming mimics this interaction. Many people are playing livestreams in the background of their work or exercise.
So how can you use Twitch as a DJ? Livestream your production sessions! People (including me) would love to watch DJs while they work on their music or mixes. Even if you are an absolute beginner, there are people out there who would be interested in seeing your DJ journey from the beginning. Live streaming also gets you comfortable in front of a camera which can translate to your performance on stage.
A great part about livestreams is that viewers can leave comments on your stream in real time. This is an incredible way to engage with your fans.
Deadmau5 will have his fans submit their own music and have him listen to it live. He will give feedback on the music as he’s listening to it, and it’s awesome. Many people who were not originally fans of deadmau5 found his Twitch and follow him just because it’s interesting. Heck, even my dad started watching deadmau5 and he can’t stand electronic music!
Another popular thing some streamers do on Twitch is give shoutouts to fans. If a fan purchased a streamer’s merchandise or gave him/her money, a streamer will shoutout the fan by saying their name on the livestream.
You can do this as well and say the names of fans who participate in the comments section of your stream or follow you on social media. A shoutout might seem small to you, but fans crave attention. Having their favorite DJ say their name out loud would be a great feeling. It’s human nature.
Another idea I had is to do challenges where your fans can give you an objective, such as trying to make a song in 10 minutes, and seeing if you can accomplish the objective. Even if you fail, people love watching stuff like this. You can also record your livestream and put the best clips on YouTube. Now you have a catalog of videos that don’t take any extra effort!
I could make an entire post on just my ideas with Twitch, but hopefully this gives you a general guideline for getting started. I am very confident that live streaming will only get bigger, so if you can become an early adopter and build a following before the platform becomes saturated, you can create a major competitive advantage in a few years when other DJs are trying to catch up.
Another Big Social Media Opportunity for DJs – YouTube:
YouTube has been around since 2005, but the platform continues to grow every year as video keeps getting bigger. Videos get much more engagement than text or pictures and many DJs are turning to video to promote themselves.
One example right off the top of my head is a video series from Martin Garrix on YouTube. A videographer followed Martin around while he went on tour, and people got to experience a glimpse of what it’s like to be a superstar DJ. I loved watching these videos and this definitely increased my interest in Martin Garrix.
Even if you don’t have the money to hire a videographer, you can easily start making videos with your smartphone. You don’t need to be popular to start doing these videos. If you are just starting out, talk about what you’re learning and how beginner DJs can learn too. Talk about the mistakes you have made along the way and how to avoid them in the future.
I can make a guarantee that video isn’t going away any time soon, so start making videos and watch your following increase dramatically.
Social Media for DJs: Getting Started
Creating the Accounts
The first step in building a social media presence is to create profiles on all major social media networks. The goal here is to have the same username across Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. Make sure that you check the availability of these usernames before you sign up.
The best username is simply @(yourname), so if your name is Wind Shelter. You want to try to get @windshelter on every platform. If your name is taken, you could try to add “music” to the end of the name or “DJ” or some other appropriate word. Try to avoid numbers as best you can. You can also experiment with hyphens or underscores if the platform allows for these characters.
You want the same username for every platform so your fans don’t have to spend any time finding you on different platforms. Think about it, if your name is @windshelter on Twitter, @windshelter558 on Instagram, and @musicbywindshelter on Snapchat, people will be confused.
Just like you want to have the same username for every platform, it’s important that you have a solid profile picture that is the same for every network.
For a profile picture, you basically have two options: 1) have a high-quality picture of you DJing or 2) have a logo. It’s completely up to you which path you go with as it greatly depends on how you want to position your brand.
If you think your face and personality will be a big part of your brand, a picture of you might be better. On the other hand, if you think your face is less important to your brand, a solid logo is the option to go with. If you aren’t a graphic designer or cannot afford a logo, I wouldn’t spend too much time or money trying to make one until things get serious.
In the beginning, it doesn’t really matter which option you choose so don’t stress too much about it. Just decide on something and move to the next steps.
Warning: Once you start getting traction on your career and you found a solid profile picture or logo, don’t change it! Sometimes people think it’s a good idea to constantly update your profile picture, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Once people associate you with your profile picture, you don’t want to switch to a new picture that they have to reassociate you with.
Social Media for DJs: Best Practices
So now that you have your accounts, it is time to start posting awesome content and build a following. Here are some of the best tips I can give you regarding your social media strategy:
- Reply to every comment: When anyone comments on your posts, make sure to reply to each and every one. If a fan praises you for your work, thank him/her for the compliment. This shows that you really care and encourages fans to engage with you more. Any engagement with your fans increases their loyalty to you tenfold. Once your social media gets super large, this might not be practical, but early on this is very important.
- Be consistent with posting: Just like it’s important to be consistent with your profile pictures and usernames, you should be consistent with posting content. I think a good goal is to try to get one post every day, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be at the same exact time. A bad idea is to procrastinate and then randomly post 5 posts in one day. Consistency is key.
- Create a social media plan: If you set a goal of posting every day, it’s probably a good idea to have a spreadsheet with social media post ideas on days when you can’t think of anything. I use the notes app on my iPhone and jot down an idea whenever something comes to mind. If you really want to plan ahead, you could develop a strategy where you post the same types of content on certain days. For example, on Mondays you could post inspirational quotes, on Tuesdays you could post a snippet of a song you’re working on, etc. This takes some of the guesswork and stress out of having to post every single day.
- Use scheduling tools to save time: It can be quite time consuming to make a separate post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter every day from your phone. Luckily there is software now that allows you to schedule your posts ahead of time so you don’t have to physically be on your phone to post them. I’ve always used the free plan on Hootsuite, but there are other tools like Buffer that you can use. These tools can be especially helpful on travel days when you might not have the best connection to your phone.
Social Media for DJs: How to Grow From an Audience of Zero
The hardest part for me about building a social media following as a DJ was starting with literally 0 followers. How is anyone supposed to find you if no one follows you? Also, it looks bad when you don’t have many followers. People usually want to follow accounts that are already popular. Here’s how to get those first 100-1,000 followers:
- Start with friends and family: If you have been using social media pretty consistently over your lifetime, you probably have a decent following on your personal profiles. A great way to start is by posting a link to your DJ profile on your personal social media. You might come across as annoying to some people who don’t like self-promotion, but if you’re not comfortable with self-promotion, you should probably rethink your DJ career because all of your gigs will come from self-promotion in the beginning. I posted a link to my DJ profile on my personal Facebook and got a few hundred followers which really helped me out in the beginning.
- Reply to tweets from big name DJs on Twitter: This is a hack that one of my mentors gave me that’s great in the beginning when you are trying to build traction. When someone sees a tweet, many times they will click on the tweet to see people who replied to the tweet. Usually the most retweeted/liked replies will show up first on the thread. If you reply to a super popular tweet and your reply is at the top of the comment thread, your reply will get lots of exposure. People will click on your profile and if they like what they see, they will follow you.
Social Media for DJs: Takeaways
Social media moves fast and some of these strategies might not work for you. If you take down any notes from this article, write down that consistency is everything. You will not build a large social media overnight, it takes months and sometimes years of consistency.
Make sure to be patient and realize that every DJ was once in the exact same position as you. Even though it’s a grind sometimes, social media is a lot of fun and a great way to connect with fans.
With live streaming and video exploding in growth, I’m excited to see the next wave of DJs utilizing these mediums to create engaging content and respond to fans in a unique way.
What’s your favorite social media strategy? Comment below!