1. First impressions always last
So, you’ve covered the crucial basics on already having a great profile page for yourself or your band, profile picture, logo as well as a short a short and to the point bio (contact information included), and links to your website and social networks. Then, it can be well worth upgrading your account to one of the Pro options. Aside for the obvious benefits of being able to upload more music, and premium feature-set (Spotlight), it also gives you access to one of the most valuable tools an artist can have: data. Pro accounts give you extensive stats on where your music gets played from, which you can then use to market your music accordingly.
2. Showcase your best and newest material, Get Exclusive.
People go to your Soundcloud profile to listen to your music. What you want to do, is to make sure that they have listened to some of your best material.
Being a Pro user 😉 you should use the Spotlight feature to draw attention to a specific track you particularly want to promote. Spotlight allows you to pin up to five tracks or playlists to the top of your profile, so that visitors to your profile see and hear that music first, while the rest of your tracks and playlists are shown in reverse chronological order. You should use this feature to highlight your newest release, your singles, or your best songs
Your music should be instantly findable, based on the track title, artist name, the keywords and genres associated with it. That’s why it’s important that you tag it correctly.
Be sure to tag any music that you upload onto SoundCloud. Use both specific tags (like “glam rock” or “shoegaze”) and general keywords (such as “acoustic” or “piano”) so that listeners will be able to discover your music based on their interests. Additionally, if you decide to post a cover or a remix of another artist’s song, you will draw the attention of the other artist’s fanbase, and hopefully gain a few more fans, even though SoundCloud’s been clamping down on copyrights lately. Tactics like those will drive traffic to your profile and your fans will follow you there. With the ease of signing up via Facebook, you’ll likely find many of your fans across the internet are already signed up on SoundCloud waiting to flood your new single with listens and follow your profile.
How about releasing your next single exclusively through SoundCloud for streaming ?. This will allow for your followers, old and new, to listen to your songs exclusively on SoundCloud. Asking them what they think as a comment will help increase engagement, but make sure to show appreciation for whatever constructive comment you receive.
If you want a different kind of exclusive release through SoundCloud, consider getting audio recorded from one of your upcoming live shows and promote an exclusive live track or EP through the platform.
3. Share on Other Platforms
SoundCloud is an important part of your social media strategy, whether you are a veteran or just starting out.
Whenever you post music on SoundCloud, be fervent about posting it on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks that your fans are actively paying attention to you. Not only will that get your play counts up, hopefully your fans using SoundCloud will interact with you by commenting and sharing your songs on it.
4. Get Social and Engage
SoundCloud is the perfect place for connecting with new music fans and fellow musicians,
Like any other social network, in order to get the most out of SoundCloud you must interact with other users if you want to build an audience. Start by following other artists’ music pages. Comment on their music and repost it if you really dig it. They might just return the favor. Doing this will help you maximize your music’s exposure, build a community around your profile, and get you comfortable using the platform.
Following and engaging with other artists is a great way to build up your own following as well as increase the engagement on your profile. Follow artists that you like, but also artists that are in your hometown and those that create similar music to you. They are more likely to follow you back. Whenever possible, establish a connection with them via other social networks as well, and ask them to provide feedback on your tracks.
For engaging new music fans, follow followers of people that make similar music to you. By following them, you will attract their attention and indirectly introduce them to your music. In parallel, draw comments on your tracks by asking your followers from your other platforms to comment them. As an example, post a new release on your Facebook Page, and ask your followers to comment on the tracks in SoundCloud. Finally, make sure to always reply to comments by others on your songs. Ask for more information on comments wherever relevant to keep the conversation going. Others will see this activity on your tracks and will be more compelled to join in on the conversation.
A word of caution to the wise: While you may be tempted to purchase followers, plays, likes from a third-party service to feel the some immediate satisfaction that comes with having a profile that looks busy, fake plays, likes and followers only hurt your credibility. They cannot interact with you and they certainly cannot purchase your music, merch, or concert tickets in the long run.
5. Join a Group
Speaking of community, another way to increase your exposure on SoundCloud and build your audience is by submitting your music to the various groups on the platform. You can find the groups that similar artists belong to and submit your music to be posted on the group. Browse groups in SoundCloud’s search feature, where you can find groups in genres ranging from EDM, to Top 40, to indie rock, to old-school hip hop. Be sensible about how many tracks and how often you post to each group since these SoundCloud users don’t follow you yet (read: don’t spam), and watch as your play counts and followers increase over time.
6. Host a Podcast
If you are feeling super creative and want to bring a different kind of content to SoundCloud apart from your music, consider hosting a podcast for you or your band on the platform. A podcast is a great way for you to connect with your fans about virtually any topic that you think would be engaging. Podcasts give your fans an extra personal look into your life. If you feel like you can’t keep up with an ongoing podcast, consider a short-term podcast while you’re on the road or in the studio to share your experiences and thoughts. Your followers will appreciate even short audio updates on your happenings. Any form of verbal communication should be seen as a conversation. By asking questions to your listeners, you should incite further thoughts and comments by your followers, both from musicians and non-musicians alike.
If you’re feeling short on ideas, listen to the podcasts of other artists, musicians, or industry professionals for some inspiration on topics and formats. All Time Low’s Full Frontal radio show (which is hosted through iTunes and SoundCloud) and producer Jesse Cannon and ‘Property of Zack’ CEO Zack Zarillo’s Off The Record podcast (which is also hosted on SoundCloud) are filled with great content about music and the music industry and are great starting points for ideas.
Like any social network, building an engaged audience on SoundCloud takes creativity, effort, and time. Be positive, stay focused and don’t expect to see results overnight. Get your music on SoundCloud, interact with other users, and feel free to share the creative methods you’ve been using to grow your SoundCloud audience in the comments! Happy SoundClouding.