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Artist Advice Column: How To Leverage Data To Grow Your Brand  Pt. 1

Data is king, but can also be incredibly daunting to use. Let us help you figure out how to make sense of all of it.
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Data is king. Everyone wants it, everyone can get reams of it, but not many people really know what to do it. Whether it is your social media, streaming services, music sales, ticket sales or sync, there is data that can help position you to grow your band if you know how to use it right.

1. Social Media: 

This we will spend a fair amount of time on, because well there is a lot of social media to worry about. Facebook is the largest of the platforms and the one that offers the most data just from its own interface. If you are using your own social media manager like Sprout Social or Hootsuite, there will be even more data to cover from that, but we are focusing on just the basic data they give and it is pretty comprehensive.

Facebook can tell you exactly how many people click on a post, which is important for sharing links to new music, merchandise and tickets, though the conversions from there are difficult to track. With the Facebook algorithm favoring native content, photos and videos will do better, so be ready with memes and random video content to get some reach. The problem with video is that it is quite expensive, so you may have to find alternatives. On video another time. 

With the information on reach for each post, go back a month, three months or even six months and see how similar links did comparatively. If one ticket link did really well compared to another, was it done at certain time of day? Did you target it to the right market? Did you word it with correct action words? See what made it work and make sure to move forward with that. Social media will always change, so try and adapt with it.

Twitter has some data on their backend and it has improved some recently. You can see the activity on each tweet including impressions, engagements and engagement rate. You can’t see the breakdown of your followers or how people are engaging with your tweets, so this is where we would recommend getting a Twitter app if you really want to program your account. If you want your team involved, this could be useful for announcements ahead of time and to determine what is working when. Twitter can seem spastic, but announcing your Asia tour at 3am local time because it is the afternoon for you is not smart.

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Twitter can seem random sometimes. Some tweets just do big time numbers out of nowhere. Humor is rewarded on occasion and other times, some tweets are criminally under appreciated. It is pretty spastic, but see your audience, plan around when announcements would hit where they are and be as active as you can. 

2. Release Date: One of the hardest things to get right and quietly impactful things that can make or break a song is when to release a song. Sometimes songs bubble up on their own and become hits regardless, but timing is incredibly important. If you want to have your album eligible for award season, make sure you release and submit before the cutoff dates. Always see who is releasing the same time you are thinking of putting out a record. If you are an up-and-coming rapper and Kendrick Lamar or Eminem is putting out a record that week, maybe put it off a week or two. You will have no luck competing. Also if you have a contentious relationship with your label, you may not have much control over how a song or album is released.

Data can be crucial to your release strategy. If you are at a label, they may give you data on other releases like yours so you can try and decipher why one project did better than the other.

Do you have a lot of fans in one country and are you looking to make a push there with a project? See how the release could line up with a holiday or big day for music releases. Understand how music from similar artists has done in the past year. Don’t mimic your contemporaries, but understand what made it work and try and understand why some things did not work.

Labels will want to know if there is buzz surrounding you. Are there articles being written about your music? Are people talking about you on social media? Are your previews or snippets driving traffic? Are you gaining listeners on streaming services? If so then go ahead and release the song as soon as you can. If not, then see how you can come up with a new marketing strategy to put the music out. Don’t always listen to numbers because then music becomes a soulless enterprise, but data is important to see if your new song will do well.

3. Syncs:

Understanding how to pitch yourself to partnerships involves know your data. You may be a popular artist, but if the music that has gotten you popular is not the right fit for that sync, they likely won’t take you on the back of that one song. If you have a catalog of music with a sync licensing company, say SoStereo, see which songs are getting plays, from what types of clients and then leverage that knowledge to try and seek out more similar opportunities. It may seem obvious, but don’t try and fit music in places where it doesn’t work, especially when the data is showing that something is working. You can look to license new music for those different opportunities if you want to grow into more syncs. From there see how those clients are doing for you, how they pay and then focus on what is the best use of your time and efforts. 

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