Everyone want to get more SoundCloud plays and be a rock star, international DJ, or hip hop mogul NOW. While I can’t personally promise you fortune and fame, I can promise that there are ways to greatly increase your chances of reaching your goals in the music business. The final step, that only you can take, is whether or not your music is good!
Hey, Rockstar: Get more SoundCloud plays!
SoundCloud rarely gets popular on its own: Build your social media
You have to stop thinking of your social media as little more than a place to say ‘Thanks for last night, Cleveland!’ and little else. It is going to be your greatest ally in getting people to listen to your SoundCloud tracks, and find new fans. You’re going to need to use the same brand marketing tactics as anyone else looking to spread a message.
My personal suggestion is to focus on Twitter. Not only is Twitter the most immediate of the social channels, and excellent for going viral, it also directly incorporates with SoundCloud. This functionality allows people to listen to one of your songs as they scroll through their Twitter feed. This is an important way to keep your content on other people’s minds. Remember that in the online world you’re not just up against other musicians, you’re up against …everything online.
Some strategies to work on include:
- Building anticipation for album releases in advance. Link things together with a hashtag so that people can easily read all your content and build their anticipation. Make the hashtag unique so it doesn’t get mixed up with other content.
- Actually interacting with fans by retweeting them, giving them replies, or just a like. Remember that showing people a little bit of attention can go a long way towards making them a superfan.
- Posting regularly as there is no ‘off-season’ in the social media world. You can take photos from inside the studio, during the tour, or while on vacation. You have to keep on your fan’s minds or they’ll move on to whatever Katy Perry or Justin Bieber is up to. One of those two is always doing something…
- Steadily sharing your SoundCloud songs. You want people listening to your music and remembering you, and when they’re on Twitter is a perfect moment as they’re doing something a bit, well, mindless is the word. Your music can be the background noise they listen to while scrolling, but first you have to put the song in their Newsfeed.
If you’d like an actual example of how to put this all together read my article from last week on How to use Twitter like Katy Perry. She has the most followers out of anyone on Twitter, and she’s a musician. Plenty to learn from as she’s always trying something new!
Who’s your favorite Katy Vision character – Lefty or Ebi (Twerking Tempura)? pic.twitter.com/2dtNPv2P31
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) December 18, 2015
Understand the importance of social proof
Social proof is a term familiar to most marketers, but lost on many musicians. The basic idea behind the concept is that those who look successful are thought of as successful. Think of it like this:
- Song One has a little over one hundred plays.
- Song Two has over one hundred thousand plays.
- Both songs come up in a SoundCloud search.
- The vast majority of people will choose to listen to Song Two as they trust that the higher number of plays indicate that it’s a better song.
This is success proving itself. Your challenge is getting more plays to get more plays. While your sustainable tactics will be those found here, your initial kick can come from any of these SoundCloud Plays service. While the practice may be controversial, the results are real. Just remember that you still have to promote your music as normal, it will just be more effective now that you have the additional social proof.
Get plays all day on your website
With SoundCloud’s ability to count your plays and display them for social proof, you need to keep on building those play numbers everywhere you can. Embedding your songs on your website should be automatic. Remember this: No one likes auto-play!
While you can embed one track at a time, which is good for blog posts dedicated to that one track, one of the more effective ways to do this is with a SoundCloud Player Widget. Here’s an example from the ultra-hot Kanye West SoundCloud:
All you have to do is take the URL for the ‘Tracks’ page and paste it to a line of its own in WordPress. Other websites vary. You are giving control back to your fans. They can listen to the tracks they want, they’re not forced to listen to songs automatically. Best of all, every play on your website helps you get more SoundCloud plays so that your account looks better all the time!
Share your music with bloggers, journalists
SoundCloud has made sharing your tracks easy. All you have to do is click on the ‘Share’ button and choose how you want to share your track:
An important one to not overlook is email. Including your tracks in an email as part of your media package to blogs and journalists is going to help you with one very important things: These people are lazy and don’t want to click around. If they don’t know you they will want to put in the minimal amount of effort. And rightly so, they likely have 30 other emails from bands that day and can’t afford to go and click all the way from your email to your SoundCloud account. Have your best track right there waiting for them.
Boosting your SoundCloud account itself
If you want to get more SoundCloud plays you’re obviously going to have to do something on SoundCloud itself. Here are a few ways to make your account an important place for your fans to gather:
- Use SoundCloud itself like social media and respond to your most genuine comments. You never know when one ‘thank you’ can turn someone into a life-long fan.
- Be careful when posting on other people’s songs using your account. The difference between blatantly promoting your own tracks, and offering a real response to a song, had better be clear to you. Don’t waste your time or anyone else’s because no one cares when you say “Yo, my track is better than this!”
- Upgrading to a Pro account can help your tracks stand out even more. Your tracks look better in search results, which will attract more plays, and you’ll get more data to learn about your audience.
- Creating a good profile image comes down to one clear image that’s easy to understand. 9/10 this means a shoulders up shot of your face, or a shot of your band logo. Your header image can be more creative. Try to fit in information about your latest release, or your current tour.
- Posting tracks regularly gives your fan a reason to show up regularly. This is where your social media can work together very well with your SoundCloud goals. Let people know you have a new song, embed it in a tweet, and let people know that you’re going to keep on posting new songs on this account. Remember that not everything has to be a polished and finished track. Live songs, interviews, and demos are all fair game.
Above all else, being consistent and looking professional are the thoughts you should always have in mind. You will get more SoundCloud plays as more people think that you’re serious about your music, and looking professional (even if you look ‘professional punk’) goes a long way towards you being taken seriously on SoundCloud.
Feature image via Christian Bertrand / Shutterstock