OPINION: Online Marketing Techniques for Rappers, Producers And Musicians (updated for 2016)

What’s good. I’m really excited to be updating the marketing techniques I’ve been promoting for all these months. I had a read through the previous posts I did that related to marketing and I see some things that are a little outdated and some things I probably wouldn’t put so much effort into.

I’ve broken the most important things down into a few headings. I’ll expand as I go along.


Some time back I did a podcast series called Mindset Sessions. In it I went into the mindset that artists and producers require when managing their brand in an ever changing industry. If you want to listen through this podcast you can grab it here on my soundcloud www.soundcloud.com/silasbeats

I like to think that the correct mindset is important. As a creative, if you aren’t in the mood to do a certain thing then it probably won’t happen properly. You cant force music. You need to realise that marketing your brand is something that is going to happen on a daily basis and you need to have the mindset for this. You will always need to be posting and engaging for any of these techniques to work. Putting in a large amount of work will ultimately turn you into a shining brand that people want to be a part of.

Another point related to mindset is that reading articles like this one is only one part of your journey to success with social media. Keeping up with the latest information as well as actually implementing the information are very important points to remember. Implementing what you read is very important. Always try implement one new technique each week. Play around with techniques and tweak where necessary.


Before we can jump into online activities we need to make sure that we’re registered with a rights organisation and that you have your administrative ducks in a row. SAMRO, RISA and CAPASSO are all important. Knowing why these organisations exist and taking the time to do research them will allow you to make the most of them, make some money and then have more cash to throw back into the business. Most of these organisations are free (i think Capasso may be R100 a year). Do your research. Always be in the know.

Now that we have the correct mindset in music as well being fully registered with all the organisations, we can get into how we utilise all these social media platforms. In the last post I did about marketing, I spoke about the platforms and explained how you should be behaving on certain places.

Let’s get right into the platforms…


Still a massive favourite for me. Facebook is a massive hub that has one of the most powerful search engines I’ve ever seen. I think the search function quite possibly trumps Google itself due to its ability to search withing various topics and through combinations of topics simultaneously. Building a following here still counts for something because the user base is doing nothing but growing every day. The trick with this platform is to have some bearing of the Facebook algorithm. Having 100 people on your Facebook fan page doesn’t mean that all 100 will see every post when you post. As a public figure you need to know what to do to make sure the maximum amount of people are engaging with your posts.

• Post at the right time

This is a no-brainer make sure you post at the optimum time in the day. If you don’t know when that is you may need to search that for your region. My website has told me that my general engagement spikes between 6pm and 8pm during the week, it fades a bit on Friday and then climbs steadily till Monday. This isn’t law, but it’s what the evidence has shown me. See if posting at this time brings you joy.

• Make your posts interesting

Too often I see people posting the same thing over and over on their Facebook pages. It’s either the same link or the same artwork and quite honestly it’s a bit annoying. People come to your page because they’ve seen you somewhere and they want to engage with you. How on earth do they engage with “download my new track” on your wall 10 times in a row! Take random pictures of what you’re doing or of stuff that you find. People (especially) will appreciate you for it and will start dropping likes, comments and shares. These form the fuel for your Facebook fan page. Thank people for sharing, reply to every comment and acknowledge people that like multiple posts. This will ensure people feel appreciated for jumping on the bandwagon and taking a chance on your work.

• Know that if you have poor engagement in previous posts, your next posts will struggle to take off

Facebook fan pages have this weird demerit system (i don’t understand it fully yet) where you are as good as your last few posts. If your post engagement sued on your last 10 posts then you are guaranteed to struggle to get your next post off the ground without paid advertising unless the content is so catchy it has to be good.

• Paid advertising

This is the most straightforward way to ensuring engagement on your page. Paid advertising puts your post in the face of who you want to see it (pretty nifty, right?).

You can set the geographic location of who you want to see it

You can set the age group

You can set interests

You can set consumption device

You can set gender

So you can get males or females between 20 and 24 from the Eastern and Western cape who have an interest in rapping and hip hop that use their mobile phones to go on Facebook. That’s pretty damn specific if you ask me.

You’ll set your budget according to how much you care to spend a day and then you set how many days you want to do this.

Over and above this, you can promote the website attached to your Facebook page or promote the page in general. I haven’t had much luck with promoting the silasbeats.info site through Facebook, but I think it’s down to me not being specific enough.

Definitely jump on all these points and make full use of Facebook starting today. It’s fairly inexpensive and all it requires is a bit of time.


I initially got most of my business from Twitter. I’ve since shifted to Facebook for new clients. Twitter is a platform that puts you in contact with who you want to link up with as well as gives you the opportunity to comment on current affairs, receive a reply and them comment on that. This is awesome in that you’re able to develop a voice for your brand and this is imperative to sticking out and looking unique online. Unfortunately for most, people end up using Twitter to aimlessly blast their links. I always say that social media is a place to be social. People need to understand that the people following them are also human. They also want engagement and human interaction. A link and a “download my track here” doesn’t give them that. The artists I speak to say “I don’t want to speak about meals I’m eating or things I’m doing on social media” and I tell them that I don’t do that either. If I read an interesting article or see a funny picture then I post it. I post studio pictures because I’m proud of that space and I also share work from people who have supported me since 2007. All these posts bring me engagement and more often than not people find my email address or whatsapp numver on twitter and hit me up on a new platform. This has been my technique for two years now and although it’s very time consuming, it brings in huge amounts of work.

Twitter is a very powerful tool if you know what you’re doing. If you’re struggling for followers,speak to your Facebook and Instagram people and ask them to show a bit of love on twitter. Go to people who are like you ie. Artists or producers and strike up a conversation on twitter then invite them to hear your work. Follow them if you can and see whether they do a reciprocal follow back. It takes time, but this is how to make a true engagement. Think genuine. Think long-lasting.


I’m keen about this one because I’ve just gotten heavy into Instagram engagement. It’s so different to other platforms and it really does give us creatives a chance to be creative. The pictures and 15 second videos are an awesome way to show off what you do and what you’re about. You’re a brand and you need to represent yourself otherwise you’ll become another faceless person floating by on social media. Your pictures here should be quirky and strange at times. Make sure you take time to work on your profile. A photographer once told me to look at ASAP rocky and Nasty C’s profiles. They looked very effortless, clean and yet felt quite busy and interactive. Get on this hustle ASAP.

Instagram gives you one link in your bio. Use it well and change it from time to time. If you put a link in a picture you post, it won’t work. If you put a link in a private message, it won’t work. Instagram forces people to be social and it prevents random spammy messages from coming through. I’ve recently been able to some international collaborations just by being busy on Instagram. The dude is an undiscovered gem from another country and he’s helping out my business a whole lot. He’s also recently found me on Twitter, youtube and Facebook so it goes to show that engagement on all levels leads to more engagement on all levels.


Soundcloud has been a trusty steed in my times of need. Honestly, if I didn’t have a premium account with them I wouldn’t be able to upload so many podcasts and songs. Having a premium account also means that my profile gets a little star next to my name. I honestly think that a lot of my follows have been random people that have seen that star and come to my page to engage with me. Soundcloud has also given me a platform other than datafilehost to spread my work (datafilehost is IMO the slum of the Internet with too many viruses and way way way too many adverts).

So if you’re looking for a aesthetically pleasingly place to put your music,soundcloud is the key. You can also find undiscovered gems here, but you’d need to be a very active user to get this right.


WhatsApp is my hub for contacting my core contacts. I have everyone saved and I treat it as my consultation room. This is where I figure out what people are about. I get a chance to pick their brain and find out how they think. By the time we’ve exchanged some messages I know whether they are keen on working or whether they were just taking a chance. At the very least I’ve spoke to a new artist about my work I may have even gotten them on my mailing list. What’s important is that awareness is being raised. Sometimes it will take months before that person wakes up and realises they want to work with you, but patience is a game you’ll just have to get used to, my friend.

Again, don’t use this platform as a way to spam your links and tell people to download everything you put out. Adding someone on whatsapp is like being invited into their home. Don’t draw on their walls with your links and emoji-driven messages. You’ll earn yourself a block real quick. Keep it social. Promote engagement. 


This app has been a life saver with regards to keeping my insta and twitter accounts clean. It allows you to see who follows you and has been inactive for 1, 3 and 6 months so you can disengage as well as view people who have Unfollowed you so you can disengage. CROWDFIRE also is also great because it allows you to tweet or post on Instagram at any hour and instead of posting right away, it posts at the time when It thinks you’ll get the most engagement. It’s been nifty in handling multiple functions that have helped me keep my social media accounts clean.

You can use this app for free or get the paid version to be able to add more accounts and follow more people related to your industry.

Posting Methods

There are various ways of posting effectively on social media, but I rate your best bet is to find apps that can break down your target market for you and tell you when they’re most active.

The other thing to note is that all platforms are different and you need to respect this. DON’T link your Facebook to your Twitter. It’s messy. Rather post natively in each of those apps. The only link that I’ve seen work decently is Instagram posts being linked to Facebook.  Forget the rest. You’ll only win if you play by that social platform’s rules.


I’m quite tired of ranting about this so I’ll keep it quite simple. Your music isn’t God’s gift to the world. Not everyone wants to hear your new single even if it is free so stop shoving it down people’s throats. There’s a massive difference between requesting to send music through to another person because you’re interested in what you both do and just dumping your link in someone’s face just to get an extra download or two. You have to engage on a human level. That’s the only way you’re going to win in this. Relationships with people is how large groups function well. You can easily mobilise 10 people if you gave good relations with them. Don’t spam. It’s an unhealthy act.

Relationship Building

This is an article all on its own. I had a chat with the owner of hip hop galaxy, an online blog, and we agreed that although you don’t need to wine and dine your contact list, you should be making an effort to understand what they’re about when you talk to them. True relationship building ends with artists being more willing to invest their time and money into the brand. For the time being it will be a hassle because it feels like you’re sucking up to an extent, but you’ll thank yourself down the line because you’ll have fans that treat you like family. These are real bonds. take time to develop them.

Last Notes

I know I haven’t mentioned YouTube here, but video still features heavily when looking at a marketing campaign you’re doing. Whether it’s a short video of you and your team chatting about a certain topic, you in studio or your official music video, always try and have new posts up on your youtube every few weeks. In addition to this, realise that there are 4 places to post your videos. Post to YouTube, then to Facebook, then make a 30 sec version and post to Twitter and then a 15 second version for Instagram. This means that you’ll get maximum mileage on all your content.

Mailing lists are still being underutilised by artists. I’m not sure if people feel like it’s too much work but it’s very important to be very close to your audience. An email list allows you to do that. It also allows you to be in the face of your audience at every turn, even off social media.

Here’s a quick tactic: go onto Google and find an inspiring piece of text and quote it in your email to your mailing list of at least 50 people. Do this once a week at the same time each week and then let me know what happens after the first 2 months.

There are quite a few more tips that I’d like to keep for other social platforms so you can get at me on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and SoundCloud to see what else can help your marketing campaign.

I know I haven’t given you the most comprehensive guide to getting your buzz up, but you should be able to use these pointers to up your online profile. Do best and keep up to date with latest trends until I get back to you with my next post.

Stay productive,