Here at William Paterson, the University, we strive to have our awesome students learn by doing. Well, there’s some lecture and discussion, but that can’t be helped in any teaching environment no matter what a critic of higher level education tells you. That said, the students in our Spring, 2015 Music In Social Media II class were challenged to create Spotify playlists and optimize them.
They were each to open a Spotify account (if they didn’t already have one) and create a playlist around whatever musical topic they chose. The only rule was they playlist had to include at least 25 songs (although I pushed a minimum of 50 tunes). They had a little over three months to amass at least 10 billion followers.
Okay, that wasn’t going to happen. But these crazy cats did have to use their creativity and social prowess to promote their playlists and see how many followers they could amass.
How’d they do? The students wrote up their results, which shall be shared with you now. Read through. We can all learn a thing or two, not just about how to get more Spotify followers, but on how DIY musicians can use social media to promote their music.
No more fooling around. It’s time for the students to take over. What do you think?
SUGGESTED READING: HOW TO OPTIMIZE A SPOTIFY PLAYLIST PART II
My Spotify playlist I made is titled “For The Panic! Fans” and has some of Panic! At The Disco’s top hits.
The ways I used to optimize my playlist is that I did my best to promote it on every social media site that I have. When I did so, I used tags when I could, tagging things such as “#panicatthedisco, #spotify, #follow. #patd, etc” The outlets I used to promote were Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.
Here’s a few examples of my promotions of the playlist:
First being Twitter, I asked a question to my followers and tagged the appropriate to my tweet. I also added the link to the tweet. Second and third were Instagram. I used a picture off of my actual Spotify while I was listening to a song on my playlist and posted it. This picture was taken the day that Panic! put out a new single and I was listening to it myself. The other is a still picture of a video that I posted from the last time I saw Panic! At The Disco in concert. I used the song in the video to sort of attempt to attract people to the playlist, hoping they liked the song and would want to hear more.
I didn’t get as many followers as I had hoped but I really enjoyed making and playing the playlist by myself or around my friends. I think I could have been more on top of promoting because that probably would have helped my project.
If you’re looking for success in today’s cutthroat music industry, promotion – whether it be of yourself, your music, or your brand – is one of the most vital skills to acquire. In my Music and Social Media II class this spring, we were challenged to tackle this important ability head-on, but on a much smaller scale.
At the beginning of the semester, a project was assigned in which we had to create a themed playlist with the immensely popular music streaming service, Spotify. Once we put our list together, the following months were to be spent sharing it on social networks with the intention of gaining followers and reaching our own specific audiences.
My results were far from a success, but the experience did leave me with a few valuable hints to take along with me on my journey into the music industry.
As you can see above, my musical taste is quite diverse. I wanted to think of a theme that could encompass all these different artists I enjoy, so I settled on a playlist dedicated to relaxing music.
However, instead of settling on the age-old cliches of classical and new age music, I gave my picks an alternative twist. Artists included in this list span many different genres, from industrial (Nine Inch Nails, Psyclon Nine), to straight-up goth rock (Marilyn Manson, The Birthday Massacre), to electronic dance music (Royksopp & Robyn, The Glitch Mob)… and I even dared to dip into the oceans of current pop (Sia, Florence + The Machine).
How did I promote such a diverse list, you ask? Allow me to show you.
When I first began promoting my playlist, I made a promise to myself that I would try to post something about it on at least one social network, once a day. That was easier said than done, but I did manage to get quite a few posts about it out to my audience, and through those, I was able to gauge how different methods produced different interactions.
Since I have many friends on Facebook – many of whom have musical interests similar to my own – I decided to post there most frequently. I was stunned to see that this is where I got the least interaction. Even after including a call to action (“click the follow button and comment below!”) and a direct link to my playlist in all my posts, I would still come up with 1 or 2 likes or comments at most, and no added Spotify followers. In fact, the most interaction I received on a Facebook post (5 likes, no comments) was shared directly from my Instagram account.
Speaking of Instagram, that was by far the social media platform with which I found the most success. I only posted something playlist-related to my account twice, but communication always came quickly and in big numbers. Within ten minutes of making the post shown above, I had already received over 10 likes from my followers.
I added several hashtags about an hour after the fact, and more likes came, some even trickling in days after my initial post. However, this interaction did not come without a price – for all the likes I got, no comments or playlist followers came along with it.
Last but not least, I took to Twitter. I have a fair amount of followers there who are frequently active, so I expected some interaction. However, the response I actually got was a lot like what I got from Facebook – not much at all. Twitter was by far the easiest social network to post to, even when I was on the go, so it definitely saw the most of my playlist.
Aside from the odd favorite here and there, interaction was scarce, even with the introduction of hashtags as seen above. And – surprise, surprise – my efforts did not gain me a single Spotify follower.
Now that my playlist promotion experience is over, it all comes down to this. Was it a complete success, or a total bust? In terms of overall results yielded, one could say this project was a failure. But as far as I am concerned, the tips and tricks I learned along the way make the time I spent on this valuable, and will be incredibly helpful in my future plans in the music industry and promoting my brand.
To wrap this up, I have compiled a short list of Do’s and Don’ts that I have taken away from my experience, in hopes that it will help you get the best results from any social media endeavor.
DO know your audience – this is by far the most important tip. Before you do anything, know who you’re reaching and where is best to reach them, and use those social networks most.
DO utilize your resources – just like you need to know your audience, get to know the social networks you’re using as well. Figure out all the ways you can use every platform to its full potential – this can help you make huge strides in the volume of interaction you receive.
DON’T overwhelm (or underwhelm) your audience – finding a happy medium is the key to success in social media promotion. Don’t post too much to the point of spamming your followers, but be sure to also shy away from posting very scarcely. Both extremes are sure to have your hard work falling by the wayside.
DON’T take it too seriously – promotion doesn’t have to be all about crunching numbers and serious business. Have fun with it! Find new and interesting ways to put your brand out to the world, use enticing calls-to-action…use your imagination! It can take you a lot farther than you think, and will definitely yield results and get people talking.
Now that the world has jumped on the streaming bandwagon, I decided to make the best of it. The project was to create a playlist, and in the course of two months, find out how many followers I could get. So, I hopped over to the world of social media to do some…promoting!
Spotify Playlist Promotion: Creativity is Key
After much deliberation and brainstorming in different social media platforms, I decided to focus on Instagram. I get the most engagement there, and I feel the most creative on that specific platform–I love using other apps to enhance my posts. I also touched on Twitter and Facebook, but those were solely to spread the content.
On Instagram I made sure to put the link in my bio direct people there. Also, if my post wasn’t a screenshot from Spotify, I made a location at the top of my post to clarify it.
I came up with a plan: a series of five Instagram posts over a month and a half. My playlist is entitled “Best Modern Acoustic Songs,” so I approached the promotion with the same vibe: Modern, yet artsy. Scroll down to the end of the blog and press play to listen, and continue reading to see the plan!
My Promotion Plan To Optimize My Spotify Playlist:
1. The first post was just a screenshot of my playlist asking for song suggestions and to follow. I actually got some awesome suggestions and two follows, but not many likes (8 to be exact).
2. For my second post, I still wanted to use a screenshot from Spotify to get that into people’s heads–but I wanted something more personal. So I took a screenshot of one of my friend’s (Lauren Marsh) songs in my playlist. I could promote her music and my playlist all in one shot!
This time I got many more likes and comments. At this point my playlist was at about 4 followers.
3. Now that people got the idea that I was talking about my Spotify playlist, I wanted to share a picture that highlighted the lyrics from a song in a creative way–a way that showed people the feeling of the playlist.
So I made a collage using Pic Collage, with the color red as the main theme to make it stand out. This post got the most likes out of all, and a good amount of comments. Now my playlist was around 7 followers.
4. Another good friend of mine, Tim Gysin, was on my playlist, so I figured why not highlight his song while promoting the playlist again? This post got a good amount of likes, but no comments.
5. Now my playlist was at 9 followers, and it seemed a little stagnant. So I figured I’d try Twitter to see if it would help out. I inserted an image and shared a shortened link, with a call to action.
6. For my last Instagram post, I wanted to make it different from all the others. So I decided to do a mini-cover (of a song on the playlist) with the app PicPlayPost. I shared the lyric from the song, gave a call to action, and put the appropriate hashtags.
I also shared this post to my Facebook account, sharing the link to my Spotify Playlist. This post got me 5 more followers
bringing my total to 15.
Over these five weeks, I made sure to keep updating the playlist to ensure my followers that I wasn’t going to let it sit there and do nothing. I started the playlist with 60 songs and it now has 72.
And here is the playlist in all it’s glory! Have a listen!
Overall I learned that the higher the quality of your post, the more engagement there will be. Then, as you consistently post quality things–people will eventually do what you ask them too (follow the playlist).
If you liked this playlist, go ahead and give it a follow. Then go make your own, and see what you can come up with!
Over the past few months in my Music In Social Media II class at William Paterson University we have been asked to make a Spotify playlist with a running theme throughout the playlist. My playlists theme were songs which I thought had great bass lines in them, which ended up including all kinds of genres: from Rock, Punk, Blues, and even some Jazz and Ska.
After making this playlist we had to come up with a plan to get people to follow and enjoy our playlists we created.
For my plan to obtain followers for this playlist I had a few steps.
1. First was to make an interesting title for the playlist. For this I titled my playlist “Head Bobbing Songs With Great Bass Lines” This was a unique title for the playlist that described the theme of my playlist accurately making people want to hear what was on it.
40 Songs That Inspire Check Your Morals
I made this playlist consist of 40 completely different songs. Why did I do that? Well good question, see my theme was my band, Check Your Morals, and all of these songs were hand picked by each individual member in the band as songs that inspired them as musicians.
Sure our band may not sound like some of the songs in the playlist, but regardless, these songs had an impact on how we each individually grew as musicians.
I divided it up so that each member would get to pick 10 songs.
Danilo Lobozzo got songs 1-10, and with them he showed a lot of different styles for his inspiration behind his funky yet also really hard rock bass playing.
Vinny DeDilectis picked songs 11-20, and without a doubt, shows his immense love for 1990’s-2000’s pop-punk.
Anthony Deveraux had songs 21-30, and it shows what he listens to in order to get his hard rock/punk rock drum style.
I had the last 10 songs, 31-40. And I filled my list with my favorite songs, songs that inspired me to pick up and learn an instrument, songs i would listen to as a kid, and even the first song i ever learned how to play. There is a couple different styles in my list, but for the most part, it shows why I make alternative rock/pop-punk music.
Because I wanted to make the band a big part of this, I used our band’s account, along with my own, to promote the spotify playlist. I sent out tweets, facebook statuses, instagram posts, and even some snapchats here and there.
To the left is an example from my bands facebook page. We posted this hoping to get some of our fans that were interested in it. However, we did not get so lucky as we only got 2 likes, and neither one of them followed. Every other attempt was similar to this one.
Now on the right, is a post from my personal page, and it did much better. Not only did I get more likes, I got way more engagement.
It just goes to show you that, maybe people don’t like being spammed by bands with promotions, maybe we like it better when an actual human being is asking us something. Just some food for thought.
I however was unsurprised, because usually my personal page does better than my band page when it comes to engagement.
THAT’S RIGHT, I SAID IT! I DON’T LIKE TWITTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But regardless, I tired. My band’s account got nothing, and my personal account only got one favorite, and one retweet.
Snapchat was just fun, and nothing came out of it (as expected, Snapchat is really just a means of comedy to me anyway).
Now on to my favorite, Instagram. It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to do, but I ended up only using my personal account on Instagram. I posted to videos of me singing a short song i wrote telling people to follow my spotify playlist.
Between the two of these 15 second videos, I got, 66 likes, 7 comments, just about 4-5 new followers on instagram, and almost half of my spotify playlist followers.
To me, Instagram has always been the way to go, and I will continue to use it in the future. I know for a fact that if I pushed hard on this spotify playlist, I could have seen my followers go up to at least the 40s or high 30s.
This experience, has been an interesting one, and I will most likely make another playlist, and promote it as well in the future. After all, people are always looking to listen to some good free music.
Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to follow me and my band on our social media accounts! @CheckYourKevin and @CheckYourMorals
Have a great day!
Also, if you could, please listen to my spotify playlist if you haven’t yet, these songs mean a lot to my band.
Spotify Playlist: 90s Rock Hits!
How do you create a Spotify playlist and obtain followers? Seems easy doesn’t it, but its not easy at all. Throughout this Spring semester I have tried to gain followers for my playlist and it has not been very successful. I started of course by making my playlist, I had to think of a playlist that people would want to listen to. So I came up with rock hits from the late 90s to 00s. Sometimes its nice to hear oldies and sing along.
Once I finished putting together all of the songs I shared it on social media. I posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The reasons I chose these three was because that is where i get the most interaction with people. I found out after posting on all these places that I got the most interaction with the people on Facebook. When i posted the playlist I would get many likes and comments, but this does not mean that they followed my playlist. What this showed is that people did some what pay attention to this playlist. As for Instagram I just got a couple of likes and about one comment, I got no interaction on twitter about the playlist.
After posting for about a week I managed to get about 5 followers. Like i said not a lot of followers at all for about a week. I have learned that making a playlist is definitely easy but getting people to follow it is a different story. I also create an iMovie to go with my Spotify playlist which was different and something I have never used before. I did not get a response from people though besides the likes.
So the moral of the story is have a plan if you want to make a playlist and have people follow it. I did start off right but I could have done better at getting people to listen and follow my playlist. May not only use social media but email or even just talking to people and showing them my playlist and how to follow it. There is always more awesome playlist to create though! Hope this blog helps you make your playlist better.
Here is my Imovie Enjoy!
30 Songs Not About Love
Below I attached the Ultimate Spotify Playlist for the heartless and heartbroken people of the world. If you’re sick of those sappy love songs and love in general, this is the Playlist for you. Take your mind off of those depressing or hopeful thoughts of love and listen to some genuine good music for change! A true artist knows how to write songs other than love songs. I have included some of my favorite upbeat and inspiring songs that help me get through the day. I truly hope that they can do the same for you. Hope you enjoy (: If so please share and spread the love to your friends! xoxo
It took me a little while to come up with a strategy in which to promote this playlist. There are really so many ways one could promote something like this but you really need to sit down an evaluate what are the best routes to take to reach your goal. The way I conduct my social media strategy for myself as an artist really prohibited me from doing the type of promotion I would have normally done on something like this. I don’t feel as though my following would be interested in this Playlist so I chose not to promote it towards them.
I chose to use my personal Facebook account and hone in on my personal contacts. I made a post on my page and asked everyone to please share. I also logged into several family members accounts and made a post as them. I noticed I seemed to get more interaction from my family members page rather then my own. If you ask me that is pretty telling. People always seem to react better if someone other then the person is asking. It could make the person reading want to help more because it isn’t coming selfishly from the person who wants the help but someone else who thinks it’s worth helping that person.
It is always hard to get the first few interactions because no one wants to be the first like or share. If you can get your friends to like or share first then others will tend to jump on the band wagon which is what I noticed during this project. I also thought about wether I should act like this is a Playlist for my career or say it is for a school project. After much thought I thought the best thing here is to be honest. I found more people are willing to help if it’s a less selfish cause.
I tried to pin point the adults on my Facebook and through email. They were much more sympathetic to the school approach then kids my age. I figured that would happen. But I also think who cares how I got the followers as long as I got some and it teaches me a lesson on how to create Playlists and promotional techniques that could benefit me in the future.
Here is an example of the Facebook post I did:
I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get many followers in the end. I only received a couple. I had many people say they would but never followed through. I really do think that has to do with the laziness of today’s culture. Most people liked the post but didn’t bother following through with the following of the Playlist. I think it is because it is too much effort to go off and like it. Another thing is not all people have a Spotify account and again requires more effort to make one just to like a Playlist. Also even though we are in a very technological age not everyone is tech savvy. Some people had written me and wanted to follow (mostly middle aged through elderly) who wanted to follow but couldn’t figure out how to.
I even resorted to sending personal emails to family members and friends and asked them to share!
One last thing that I thought of after the fact is the title I used for my playlist. Maybe I shouldn’t have included the number 30 because people probably aren’t looking up the number 30. At first I thought it made it song catchier but probably made things more difficult in the long run. I didn’t think of that until it was too late but you live and learn.
So for my semester-long project, I had to create a Spotify playlist, and promote said playlist and acquire as many followers as possible. To date I have accumulated 11 followers on my “Asbury Park and Beyond” playlist.
Wanna know how I did it?
I Am Playlist Optimization, and You Can Too!
Joke title aside, I did put a lot of time into figuring out how to get people to not only listen to my playlist, but also click that elusive “follow” button.
My main strategy was to tweet out the link to the bands featured in the playlist, in hopes that they would Retweet it. Many of the local bands that I am friendly with did, and even thanked me for including them. The bigger name bands ignored me. I think this did help my playlist gain more exposure, so I would say overall that this idea was successful.
Next, I put statuses on Facebook, asking friends to please follow the playlist. It got a good amount of likes the couple of times I did it, but I don’t know how many of them actually took time to listen.
Finally, I wrote a separate blog post about the playlist itself, explaining my theme and what not, then posted that to Facebook and Twitter. This actually got a decent response, and even a few RTs and Shares. People really liked the blog idea.
While I only gained 11 followers on my playlist, I think I did a decent job getting the word out about it, without being overbearing or annoying about it. Next time, I would probably try to create a more mainstream idea for the playlist, and just throw in songs I wanted people to hear, while sticking to a broader topic.
Below is my playlist; please feel free to follow still and make me feel all warm and fuzzy. Thanks!
-Bobby Mahoney 2017
My strategy to get Spotify followers-
Step 1 ~ Create Playlist
On January 27, 2015 I created a playlist titled- “Stop, Relax and Listen”. My goal when putting together these songs was to create a playlist that people could listen to when they’re tired, worn out and just feel like they need to relax. I think everyone needs a set of songs that can sit back and close their eyes to.
When can this playlist come in handy? I will tell you when.
1. When you feel like the world is ending and you need a musical escape.
2. When sitting on a beach or in any calm setting
3. When everyone and everything around you is too loud
4. When you need a break
Ok back to my strategy –
Step 2 ~ Follow other people
In the first few months, I went to the spotify pages of artsits that are on my playlist and followed some of their followers. I figured if they were intersted in similar artists, then my playlist might be something they may want to follow. I went to Ed Sheeran’s followers, Christina Perri’s, Colbie Caillat’s and more. This didn’t work or increase my number of followers. Some of the people I followed had thousands of followers so I understand why they didn’t follow back, but others only had a few followers. I thought they would be more likely to follow me. Sadly, I was wrong..
Step 3 ~Direct Messaging After following many people to see who would follow back, which was unsuccessful, I figured I would ask people directly. What I did was direct message people them a link to my spotify profile with different captions such as “Hey follow me on Spotify and listen to a playlist I made for people to sit back and relax to! Have a great day!” I added in the “sit back and relax to” in order to draw people in and want to check it out. Another thing I said was simply just “Follow me on Spotify here!!! —-> ” with a direct link to my profile. I continued to do this, but I learned that people don’t really follow other people on spotify to listen to their playlists, but instead they follow artists in order to hear an artist’s original music. A lot of my friends and people I know who are active on Spotify are only following artist’s pages. This strategy worked and the only followers I got was through this proccess. I think this worked because it gave people an easy access to click on the link and follow right then and there.
Step 4 ~ What I learned
By learning more about how Spotify works I discovered that I have an artist page myself. I have a song titled “The Battle” on an album called “Garden of Music” on Spotify. It made me wonder if I should be promoting that profile instead? Or a better question, who controls that profile? Hmmmmm… I don’t have answers to either of those questions.
one of the most important lessons I learned from doing this project is that Spotify is easily the hardest social media to get followers off of. Not many people in our generation are interested in other people’s playlists. People are more interested in what a person is doing or posting pictures of, or tweeting and not so much of what they are listening to. Spotify is so different than other social media outlets such as instagram and twitter because those are much more personal. Those are meant for personal accounts of a person’s original material, which is truly what draws people to follow one another. I hope to one day be an original artist on Spotify and be able to have a full playlist of 50 songs, but instead of having other singers, I dream of having them all be my own original songs!!!!! DREAM BIG! ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE !
A singer/songwriter looking to change the world
(Nicky Costabile – William Paterson University Class of ’17)
A Journey of Rock “N” Roll Music Through Time
A Journey of Rock “N” Roll Music Through Time is a playlist full of songs that are in my opinion great songs from the 1940’s to the 1960’s.
My strategy I used to promote this playlist was very simple. Word of mouth. I used my connections and friends to tell them about this playlist and get them to listen to it. People I targeted to listen to “A Journey of Rock “N” Roll Music Through Time” were
- Close friends
- People I know appreciate good music
- Open minded people
- People who like to hear and experience new music
By simply telling them about it and to listen to it I knew they were going to. We talked about it after whoever listened to it listened to it. I asked them their favorite songs from the playlist and why. I found this to be the most effective way to promote my playlist.
I also used social media. I posted the link to this playlist a few times. But I found using this way I was not able to hear peoples opinions as much and actually know if they listened. So i was not a fan of this promotional method. I did continue to post the link to social media though.
I also thought it would be a great idea to also make another blog post promoting my playlist.
This blog was something I did so people can read about what kind of music is in the playlist and learn some of the history behind the music before listening to it. I figured people might appreciate it more.
Here is A Journey of Rock “N” Roll Music Through Time
In today’s world, the most popular way of listening to music is online streaming. Spotify, in particular, is the most popular streaming. On Spotify, you can create playlist with a specific theme and you can draw followers to it. This is a very important tactic by record labels to get the music of their artists heard. Check out below how I designed my own Spotify playlist and rew followers to it.
“Best Sing-A-Long Songs” Playlist
My playlist was titled “The Ultimate Sing-A-Long Song Playlist” and it features many popular songs that people love to sing a long between 1960 and today. Some artist that were included on the playlist were: Aerosmith, Van Halen, The Foundations, Billy Joel, Sam Smith, Bruno Mars, Jimmy Buffet, Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, and many more. This theme really inspired me because as an entertainer, my job is to play songs people can sing to and dance to.
By doing this, I was able to gather all the songs I usually performed and added several others that people had suggested I add. My goal was to do all that I could to drive followers to this playlist. My first idea was to post on Instagram about the playlist.
On March 3rd, I posted a pictureof my playlist on Instagram talking about the playlist and describing what the purpose of it was. Along with asking for people to follow the playlist, I alos asked for suggestions on what I should add to the playlist to make it better. The post only received 10 likes and it received several comments from people telling me songs I should add. This post, however, did not draw a single follower to the playlist.
My second post was not until April 15th when I decided to use Facebook instead. Feeling discouraged from the lat post, I did not anticipate gaining any followers from this post. Very soon after the post I received a few notifications that people were following the playlist. I did not receive many comments or likes but my friends were going to the playlist to follow.
Later on, a good friend of mine shared my post to her wall encouraging people to follow. All of a sudden I started receiving notifications from people I hadn’t heard of before and by the end of the day, I had gained 14 followers. A few days later, I realized I had lost one follower on the playlist. I finally ended up having 13 total followers on the playlist.
I figured out for some reason that Facebook did much better than Instagram did. I am thinking that Facebook did better because it is directly connected with Spotify so it was probably easy and effortless to do it from Facebook. Instagram and Facebook were the only two platforms I actually used to promote this playlist.
Instagram and Facebook are the two platforms I get the most engagement on and I really can’t picture Twitter, Snapchat, or Vine doing me any good because I don’t have a good following on those platforms. Could I have done more to promote this playlist and gain followers? Yes. Is there a correct way to gain followers to a playlist? Who knows. All I know is: I learned something from this project and I would be able to improve upon this in the future. Thanks for reading and if this interests you at all then please follow my playlist above.
-Tim Gysin, Class of 2017
Professor David Philp is Assistant Professor Music Management & Popular Music Studies at William Paterson University. He is the co-host of the only FREE advice college radio-based music & entertainment industry talk show in America, Music Biz 101 & More, which airs live most Wednesday nights and is available as a podcast HERE every night (days too). Reach him at PhilpD@wpunj.edu or find him on LinkedIn HERE.