Social media & the performing arts

In the ever-evolving social media landscape, its impact on classical performing arts and performing artists cannot be overstated. As traditional platforms merge with digital realms, understanding how to harness the power of social media becomes paramount for those within the realm of classical performing arts. In this insightful article, we delve into the expertise of social media marketing expert, Aarthi Srinath, who provides insights on utilising social media effectively within this niche. From building a compelling online presence to engaging with audiences innovatively, this article serves as a comprehensive guide for classical performers seeking to navigate the dynamic world of social media with finesse and efficacy.  

 How does an artist select the right social media platforms for their promotion?

The choice of the right platform should depend on two factors:

(a)  Where is your audience present? The artist must always follow the audience to the platform where they congregate. Broadly, this could be Instagram, Facebook or YouTube for artists, and to a lesser extent, X (Twitter). 

(b)  What is your objective as an artist - Your objective could vary from creating more awareness for yourself or your work, engaging with your audience and keeping them posted on your events, creating a personal connection with your audience, selling tickets for your events, being visible to the event organisers and more. Different platforms offer different features to enable these objectives. So, by understanding your purpose, you can choose the right platform.

Are there specific platforms that work better for certain types of performing arts (e.g., music, dance, theatre)?

Yes, certain social media platforms tend to work better for specific types of performing arts due to their features and audience demographics:


·  YouTube: Ideal for sharing music videos, performances, and behind-the-scenes content. This also works well for live-streaming music concerts to reach an online audience worldwide.

·   SoundCloud: Great for sharing original music tracks and engaging with a community of music enthusiasts.

·  Instagram: Effective for sharing short music clips, teasers, and visually engaging content. Connecting with the audience through live interaction features such as polls, Instagram Live, and more is also great.


 ·  Instagram: Perfect for sharing dance routines, choreography videos, and engaging with a community of dance enthusiasts through live features, messaging, comments, polls, etc.

·  YouTube: Useful for longer dance performances, tutorials, and behind-the-scenes content. This also works well for live-streaming dance programs for an online audience.


· YouTube: Ideal for sharing trailers, behind-the-scenes footage, recordings, and live streamings of performances.

·  Twitter and Instagram: Useful for engaging with theatre enthusiasts, sharing updates about upcoming shows, and participating in relevant conversations.

·  Facebook: Effective for creating events, promoting shows, and engaging with a broader audience.

How can performing artists build and maintain a strong personal brand on social media? And at the same time, without spreading themselves too thin across platforms?

The plethora of social platforms and the ease with which one can get started on each makes it very tempting to be present in all. However, it is important that artists do not dilute their brand by stretching themselves too thin - as this will result in their audience losing interest in the content shared by the artist.

Here are a few points to keep in mind to build and maintain a strong personal brand on social media:

·  Define Your Brand Identity - Identify your unique voice, style, and values, and determine what sets you apart from other artists in your niche.

· Choose the Right Platforms - Select a few platforms that align with your content format and target audience demographics. Always prioritise the platforms where your audience is most active and engaged.

· Consistency is Key - Maintain a consistent posting schedule to keep your audience engaged. Use consistent branding elements like colours, fonts, and imagery across all platforms. Platforms also reward consistency with more organic views and reach.

· Choose Quality Over Quantity - Focus on creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience rather than posting frequently on multiple platforms. Invest time in creating engaging and meaningful content showcasing your talent and personality.

· Engage with Your Audience - Respond to comments, messages, and mentions to foster community. Initiate conversations with your audience by asking questions, running polls, or hosting Q&A sessions.

· Collaborate with other artists, influencers, or brands to expand your reach and connect with new audiences. Cross-promote each other's content to leverage each other's followers.

 What are some creative strategies to encourage audience interaction and participation?

·  Live Q&A Sessions: Host live question and answer sessions where the audience can ask questions directly to the artists. This helps build a personal connection, too.

·  Share behind-the-scenes footage of rehearsals, backstage moments, or the creative process. This gives the audience a glimpse into the artists' lives and fosters a sense of intimacy and connection.

· Interactive Challenges: Create interactive challenges or contests related to the artists' work. For example, ask the audience to recreate a dance routine, sing a cover of a song, or share their favourite scene from a play. Encourage them to tag the artists and use specific hashtags to increase visibility.

· Polls and Surveys: Use polls and surveys to gather feedback from the audience about their preferences, favourite songs, dance styles, or theatrical themes. Apart from interaction, this also helps the artists tailor their content to better suit their audience's interests.

 How can artists balance aesthetics and "following trends."

Just as a brand consistently refers to its raison d'etre to make decisions, an artist must continuously revisit their purpose and desired brand voice before embracing trends. Not every trend is suitable for every brand or every artist. By understanding their unique identity and aesthetic, artists can selectively incorporate trends that align with their vision while maintaining authenticity and artistic integrity. It's essential to put a unique spin on trends, stay true to one's creative vision, and balance tradition with innovation. Continuous evolution and listening to audience feedback also play crucial roles in navigating the delicate balance between aesthetics and following trends.

 What are some best practices for creating visually appealing and shareable content?

Creating visually appealing and shareable content is crucial for performing artists to effectively engage their audience on social media. Investing in high-quality audio and video equipment, including lights, a camera, a tripod, and a microphone, is essential to ensure professional-looking recordings. Setting up a soundproof studio environment can further enhance the quality of your content. If you're not proficient in video editing, consider hiring someone to shoot and edit reels for your social media platforms. Planning and batching content creation by filming ten videos in one session can streamline the process and ensure consistency in your posting schedule.


Additionally, focus on creating content that resonates with your audience's interests and preferences, incorporating storytelling, emotion, and authenticity to make your content more relatable and shareable. Experiment with different formats, trends, and interactive elements to keep your content fresh and engaging. Regularly analyse the performance of your content using social media analytics to refine your strategy and optimise engagement.

What strategies can artists use to promote upcoming performances or releases through social media? How much is too much?

Every social media platform offers unique content promotion features, and not all involve spending money.



  Share teasers and countdown posts on your Instagram feed and stories to create anticipation.

  Post formal announcement images or graphics with key details about the event or release.

  Use Instagram Live to host behind-the-scenes sessions or Q&A sessions with your audience.

 Encourage user-generated content by creating branded hashtags and reposting fan content related to the event.


 ● Create Facebook event pages for upcoming performances or releases and invite your followers to attend.

 ●Share behind-the-scenes photos or videos on your Facebook page to give fans a glimpse into your creative process.

 ● Host Facebook Live sessions to interact directly with your audience and answer their questions.

 ● Utilise Facebook Groups to foster community engagement and discussion around your upcoming project.


 ●  Upload teaser trailers or sneak peek videos to your YouTube channel to generate excitement.

 ●  Create a series of vlogs documenting the preparation process leading up to the performance or release.

 ●   Host a premiere for your music video or performance footage to engage your audience in real time.

 Email Newsletter

 ● Send out newsletters to your subscribers with exclusive updates and behind-the-scenes content about your upcoming project.

 ●  Include links to your social media profiles and encourage subscribers to follow along for the latest news and updates.

 ●  Offer special perks or discounts to subscribers, such as early access to tickets or exclusive merch bundles.

The concept of "too much" promotion by artists on social media channels is subjective and depends on the quality of content and messaging. While there isn't a strict limit on promotion frequency, audiences can become irritated by excessive self-promotion that lacks value or fails to cater to their interests. Instead of focusing solely on quantity, artists should prioritise the quality of their content and ensure that.

Each promotional post adds value to their audience's experience. Engaging storytelling, behind-the-scenes glimpses, interactive elements, and genuine interactions with followers can help maintain a healthy balance between promotion and audience engagement.


How can they effectively use targeted advertising to reach a relevant audience?

Digital platforms provide various paid advertising options for artists to promote their content, aiming for objectives like reach, awareness, engagement, and ticket sales. Facebook also enables the promotion of events. Similar to other digital advertising approaches, essential practices should be followed, including defining your audience clearly, setting specific goals (awareness, engagement, sales), selecting the appropriate platform based on these goals, crafting suitable content types (ads, posts, reels, videos, stories), and continuously tracking and optimising performance.


Aarthi Srinath 

(the author is an entrepreneur, speaker, and marketing expert empowering companies to disrupt markets through branding)