Is social media the new Google? The data points in that direction, suggesting artists should prioritize keywords in social posts to help improve discovery of online music releases in 2023.
Here’s the breakdown.
Online music releases have grown at a mind-boggling rate. According to Variety, 70,000 songs were being uploaded daily to music streaming services in April 2021. In October 2022, 100,000 songs were being uploaded daily.
To put this number in perspective, Variety writes, “It would take over 30 years for one person to listen through all the music released to and through DSPs in a day. New Music Friday? It’s more like New Music Nanosecond.”
So, the question for artists becomes an obvious one. When making social posts promoting new music releases, how do you increase post discovery to help increase music discovery when social media itself is a daily blizzard of posts?
More people now use social media differently than they did a few years ago. Though scrolling through status updates, nostalgic photos, and funny cat videos still has its place, a recent study by Google found that roughly 40% of 18- to 24-year-olds now prefer using social media as their primary search engine rather than scrolling through long lists of Google results.
Given the importance of keywords to search results on any search engine, a December 2022 article by Search Engine Journal stressed the importance of keywords for businesses to take full advantage of social media in 2023, which naturally includes the business of music. “As people increasingly turn to the search bar on social media platforms,” writes Search Engine Journal, “optimizing your content for platform search algorithms is more important than ever.”
Here’s an Example of What That Looks Like as a Post
Right now, it’s not uncommon for artists to write something like this in a post:
“Just released a new track on Spotify! Check it out.”
Fundamentally, it’s good information. Fans love hearing about new releases. Yet growing fans and listenership involves reaching people who’ve never heard of an artist before.
Now, consider this post revision:
“Just released a new song on Spotify. I’m thrilled to release new music. Check it out.”
Though not the most scintillating content in the world, “new song” and “new music” are both top-ranked search terms according to the keyword research tool SEMRush. Since people generally use search terms on social in the same manner they use them in search engines like Google, including keywords like “new song” and “new music” in a post aligns with user search behavior and thereby stands to improve post discovery.
Keywords, of course, are case-specific to an artist’s genre (e.g., “rock music”) and artists should do their keyword research to discover what’s suitable. The thing to keep in mind as noted by Search Engine Journal: Keywords apply to all social platforms, including Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.
Hashtags May Now Be Less Effective
The usefulness of hashtags was widely debated in 2022. Though some marketing and media companies say hashtags remain useful to categorize content and serve up posts to relevant audiences, Adam Mosseri (head of Instagram) recently said that hashtags now do little to help users get more views.
To test this, Socialinsider recently analyzed over 75 million Instagram posts published between March 2021 and March 2022 to see what the data said about the relationship between Instagram hashtags and posts views. Findings showed the number of hashtags an Instagram post has does not influence post distribution.
Inversely, 2022 research by Hootsuite found that using keyword-optimized captions increased post reach by 30% and doubled engagement.
Promotional social media posts of any kind are digital marketing, and the changing landscape of digital marketing has businesses across all industries rethinking how they’ve traditionally done things and what they’re going to do in 2023, and the music business isn’t exempt from change.
Here’s to improving discovery of your music in the year ahead.