The entertainment market is one of the areas that has been growing the most in recent times. With the emergence of new technologies and social media, artists can share their work and interact with listeners in new ways. Never has it been easier to reach a global audience and build connections with fans in real-time. And, of course, one cannot talk about music technology without remembering the music streaming services.
Spotify is one of the most accessed and consumed music platforms on the planet, and it is very easy to distribute music there. The more difficult part? Promoting your music. If you want more followers and, eventually, more streams on Spotify, you've come to the right place.
In this article, our expert recommends the best tips on getting more followers on Spotify and increasing your popularity. Also, this guide works for other streaming platforms.
Ready? Let’s get started!
1. Start With Small and Actionable Goals
Starting a music career is no different from starting any other type of service or role. It takes good planning and a foundation on where you want to go and what you want to achieve.
Therefore, it is very important that you draw up at least a small timeline with simple goals that are possible to achieve quickly but that will generate great results in the future.
For example, you might start by trying to get at least 50 followers in a week, then try to get it in three, two, or one day until you get a steady stream of plays across all of your content. The first 1000 followers are the hardest to get, but then it just gets easier and easier. Trust in the power of “The Snowball Effect”. The small actions at the beginning can cause bigger actions ultimately leading to a huge change.
In this way, you will conquer your space within the platform and consistently win fans, making the streaming service algorithm understand that your content is relevant and worth promoting. The algorithm always takes notes when any song is streamed, saved and listened to at higher than average rates. When it happens, it is much more likely to push that track to similar people.
Getting more followers on Spotify is a process that takes time. Don’t expect to see immense success overnight. Start with a small growth, which will continue to expand over time.
2. Don’t Buy Followers and Don’t Use Spotify Bots
Just as there is no point in buying followers for your social media channels on some shady website, which will then become card dead and drag down your engagement rate, there is no point in buying streams on Spotify or using bots to get your music push.
Don't forget that ultimately you want to build a real and loyal audience. What's the use of 10,000 streams on your new single if nobody is interested in it afterward, nobody buys your merch, and nobody goes to your concerts? What is the point of artificially raising the play count?
If you're thinking: "Well, I can try to trigger the Spotify algorithm with purchased streams..." - sure, you can. But you're risking getting blocked or punished by the algorithm. This kind of behavior violates Spotify's terms and conditions and any abnormal activity can be easily detected. So, just let it go! Especially, since all your earnings will be withheld by Spotify.
Of course, it is not forbidden to invest money into promoting your music. But then it is worth investing this money in such a way that you have a lasting benefit from it and not just to achieve a few good numbers. After all, numbers are only a measurement and should never become an end in themselves.
It is more worthwhile to deal with ad campaigns on social media or the Spotify Ad Studio. With some money and research, you can place meaningful paid advertising with a significantly better chance of building up fans in the long term.
3. Update Your Artist Profile
We know it takes a lot to make yourself heard in the music industry today. Some think it is enough to distribute their album digitally, and listeners will arrive. But the reality is far from that scenario. You have to strive every day to get traction for your music.
Considering that Spotify is the absolute leader in the world, with a market share of 35% compared to 18% for Apple Music or 10% for Amazon Music, most of your listeners will probably land on your Spotify profile. You need to know what is happening on the platform to improve your performance. To do this, Spotify launched Spotify for Artists in 2017, a free platform that allows you to check statistics, promote your music and manage profile data.
You can learn how to claim your Spotify for Artist profile in this article!
As an artist on Spotify, there are several items you need to update and optimize on your profile. This is to make you look professional and hook people who land on your page. These items include:
You have 1,500 characters to write the bio introducing you to the world: make sure you make the most of it. It is clear that your audience goes for the songs, but really this text is a perfect opportunity to capture the random audience that lands on your profile.
If you want to proclaim yourself the inventor of tropical pop, go for it. If you want people to know that you enjoy life intensely, then say so. If you have record numbers and are a rapper, don't hesitate. But don't even think about leaving it blank.
2. Social Links
Would you waste the opportunity to redirect traffic to your social networks, where you can stay in touch with your fans? Of course not, so if you haven't done it yet, it's time to add the links.
3. Cover photo, Avatar Photo, and Featured Photo
You can upload a maximum of 125 images to your profile, but in reality you only need two: the profile photo and the featured photo. Yes: make sure they are current, still-photos, and represent you as an artist. Regarding the specifications:
Photo "cover" and "avatar" (the little round one that appears when searching next to your artist name) Image in jpeg or png format. Minimum size of 2660px x 1140px. File less than 20MB.
Featured photo Image in jpeg or png format. Minimum size of 690 x 500 pixels. File less than 20MB.
4. Artist's Pick or Artist's Selection
A great tool from Spotify for artists to direct their listeners to the content they want. Whether it's a new single that loyal fans haven't heard yet, or leading listeners to your most important music piece.
In addition, it allows you to add small text and emojis with which you should be able to convince them to click. A trick that a TOP artist taught us: never put the link of a new single. It’s better create a playlist where the new single is the first song; that way, people will continue listening to the other songs, and you will increase the listeners of other songs. And, with a bit of luck, the fans.
A slightly crazy trick that has worked well for some artists: highlight another artist's song in the Artist's Pick (yes, you can) and have them do the same with yours. This 'exchange of fans' between similar profiles will win you both. It's the closest thing to a collaboration, but without having to compose together.
5. Artist Playlists
Another great opportunity that many artists miss. Your profile has to be alive, there is nothing more exciting for fans than seeing new content from their favorite artist, and these do NOT have to be releases.
You can recommend new music, group your songs by mood, or reveal the influences you had on the last album. In the end, the key is to stay top of mind with your fans.
How to do it is up to you. Play around with the music a bit, and you'll see how it works. Being proactive is vital because Spotify's algorithms constantly monitor your profile activity and reward artists that get traction. Also, the more updates and followers you have, the higher you will appear in searches.
4. Release Music Consistently
One of the best ways to succeed on Spotify is to keep making music. Since creating music takes time, you don't need to be in a rush to produce a song or album every day or even every week. But try to post at least one song every now and then, and if you're inspired, try to post two.
As a music creator, it is pretty essential to be consistent with your craft. You don't want to drop a song or album today and go MIA because there are consequences! You need to have some kind of collection to show the fans who come to listen while you're creating something new. This is something that all great artists have done before. Our tip: create a catalog playlist with all of your releases and put them in chronological order. When one of your songs ends, another one starts playing. In this way, your new listeners will be able to get familiar with your work and you will boost your streams.
After getting a lot of views and followers, things change, and that's why you need to make sure that the music you make is top notch. However, as a beginner, there is no pressure on you to get onto the Billboard Charts. You just need to work on your craft and make good music in your desired niche. This is a great way to get more engagement on your Spotify profile.
In addition, music streaming platforms, including Spotify, have an algorithm that recommends songs, albums, or even playlists to users. The idea is to keep listeners hooked on the platform. Of course, that's how they stay in business.
Therefore, as you make new content to keep listeners on the platform or come back again and again, the more Spotify rewards you by recommending you to more listeners. So, it is a win-win situation for you and the streaming platform.
To enjoy the benefits of the Spotify algorithm, we recommend releasing a single every 2- 4 weeks. You don't have to drop an album (but if you can, why not?). The most important thing is to ensure your current followers, and probably the incoming ones, do not run out of your musical juice!
Also, as you release new music, don't forget to pitch your songs to editorial playlists through Spotify for Artists. We will give you more details about this in another section below, so stay tuned!
5. Pitch Music to Playlists
Spotify is used by music listeners from all over the world. After all, music of any genre can be streamed on the platform. The platform has practically perfected digital music consumption from discovery to compilation to archiving. It is, therefore, a significant distribution and marketing tool for modern musicians, whether they are independent or signed by major labels.
Spotify playlists offer a lot of marketing potential. However, to properly use this, one needs to understand why they exist, how they work, and their value to the listener.
Types of Spotify Playlist
There are essentially three different types of playlists:
These are the playlists that Spotify creates and maintains itself in the form of real curators. These are based on genres or musical niches, moods, or activities. You can get an overview of the impressive variety of these lists via the browse tab on Spotify.
This is the name of the playlists that are not created by Spotify curators. These can be playlists from magazines, blogs, record labels, radio stations, artists, or users of Spotify - any playlist that does not come from Spotify itself. You can pitch your music to these curators.
If you're an emerging artist, the most effective way to advertise on streaming platforms is to contact unofficial (third-party) playlist curators rather than hoping to appear directly on an official playlist.
In fact, as with any other media, if you want to be able to arouse the interest of big influencers, you have to be able to attract the attention of small and medium curators. The good news is that there are a large number of playlists dedicated to emerging artists.
As a general rule, you can offer to promote their playlist to your fans in exchange for an appearance to get them to accept. In the absence of financial compensation, it is, in fact, necessary for the owner of the playlist to obtain visibility.
These are created individually for each user and are based on their listening habits and preferences. These include, for example, Release Radar, the Mix of the Week, and the Daily Mix.
How Does My Song Make it into a Playlist?
If you approve your release for upload via a digital distributor, it will appear a short time later (usually between one and two weeks) in your "Spotify for Artists" account as "Upcoming Release," and you can create a so-called playlist pitch Submit.
This is the only way your song can be considered for inclusion in Editorial Playlists and Algorithmic Playlists - so that the song can be on the Release Radar of those people who have already shown an interest in your music.
This feature is extremely important for audience-building on Spotify. It is a good reason to claim your "Spotify for Artists" profile. This is because Release Radar is an essential playlist to reach your Spotify audience without much effort to be informed about new releases.
In addition, you must ensure you do your playlist pitch early enough. It should be done in good time, ideally four to six weeks in advance.
Discover how to find playlists that accept submissions & how to pitch at FreeYourMusic!
6. Create Your Own Playlists
In fact, you can become a curator yourself! If you are missing followers on Spotify today, you can start by creating your own playlist, which will, of course, include your music. The playlist should serve a specific niche. Select from 20 to 30 artist titles that produce music similar to yours, add your best track or two, and pick a catchy name for your playlist, preferably with some highly searchable keywords. A lot of famous Spotify playlists also have snappy descriptions.. Don’t forget about the covert art.
Creating a playlist is the best way to push your catalog to Spotify users. As someone stumbles upon your playlists, you will likely gain followers and more streams to your music. Don’t forget to put your tracks somewhere at the top of the playlist. And feel free to reach out to the artists you've added to share your playlist.
You can also collaborate with other artists in your music niche when creating your playlists to reach more people. Of course, you'll need to promote your new playlist and get support from your current fans or circle of friends and family. You can post the playlist on relevant forums or boost them with paid ads.
Creating your own playlists is one of the fast tracks to get followers on Spotify.
7. Leverage Social Media
Technological advancement has greatly facilitated access to music. Not only because of the number of devices we can consume it on but also because of the means to reach it.
This makes us feel saturated with music since we will never be able to listen to all the songs within our reach. Consequently, record companies, distributors, promoters, and digital marketing companies have one primary objective: to capture fans' attention.
Social networks have completely changed how we communicate. Now, you can connect with people miles away from you by pressing a button. Everyone has at least one open profile on some social platform.
Therefore, you have to take advantage of the opportunity these platforms offer you to make yourself known to thousands of people worldwide. There have been many cases of artists who have achieved success thanks to the followers they gained by working on their social profiles. One of the best-known cases is that of Ed Sheeran, who rose to fame in 2010 by posting videos of his songs on YouTube.
Having social media is important but it’s HOW you do it that really makes the difference. The only way to gain followers is by creating engaging and value-driven content… consistently.
But what are the platforms that can help you the most to capture the attention of your fans? Let's talk about two most important social media networks.
The platform created in 2017 experienced its great boom in 2020 during the confinement of COVID19. It is currently one of the most used social media platforms, with approximately 1,500 million active users per month worldwide.
The application allows you to upload short videos, often set to music. Here we come to the vital point for artists in the music industry since that music can become viral or massively shared.
In addition, today, it is very common to find different trends on TikTok that are reproduced to a specific song. For this reason, we recommend you use your creativity by creating content with your music that has a potential to become a trend. If it catches on, you will gain great reach and recognition.
This application was born in 2010 and currently has 2 billion active users. The platform will help you connect with your audience in a closer and more personal way. You can publish photos, videos, and stories. Also, one of the latest innovations that Instagram brought is the appearance of Reels, whose operation is very similar to TikTok. On this platform, you will not only have the opportunity to promote your content (your music), but you will also be able to interact with your followers live. You can sing or play something with your instrument.
It is essential that you keep your profile up to date and that you take care and work on the content you publish so people who discover you, decide to stay and follow you across the web.
You can get a hold of people who land on your social media accounts and guide them to your music on streaming platforms. Using Smart Links, you can simplify music promotion & connect with fans easily.
8. Use Music Marketing Tools
All artists that are serious about their music career, use these two tools: Spotify for Artists and Smart Links.
Spotify for Artists
Spotify for Artists is a platform created by Spotify itself, to help artists expand their reach and promote their music. With unique resources for monitoring playlists, the possibility of counting on Spotify's own editors, and exclusive tips on managing your artist profile, you have everything to rock within the platform.
In addition, this type of tool generates more security and reliability for you and your listeners. For example, when creating your account, it is interesting to use the verification feature and become a verified profile. This will assure whoever wants to listen to your music that the content is yours.
And it doesn't stop there. By relying on this type of technology, made available by Spotify, you still increase the security of your music. The music platform will know your original sounds and protect them, helping to avoid plagiarism.
Smart Links or Smart URLs are links that send your fans to your song, album, or playlist on different streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube Music. Music smart links help you with promotion by offering multiple options for listeners to listen to your music. Smart Links are perfect for social media profiles or “link in bio” areas. They ensure that all of your music content on all streaming sites is presented in one single place.
##9. Don't Go All-In on One Horse For sure, whether you are a beginner or an experienced musician, you want to get more followers on Spotify.
However, this tip is worth a lot in this situation: don't bet your full potential only on Spotify; consider promoting your work on other platforms. This will allow more people to discover your sounds.
Spotify isn’t the only music platform heard worldwide. You should distribute your music and expand your presence to platforms like Apple Music, SoundCloud, or Deezer.
For example, once you created a playlist on Spotify, why not share it on other streaming services too? You can reach a significant number of people with the same effort.
10. Interact With Your Fans
Imagine the situation: you love listening to the songs of a particular artist, and you always write a comment praising his (or her) work, and the same almost always thanks and responds to your messages. You would feel very good in that situation, wouldn't you?
Likewise, your fans will be delighted if you interact with them. With higher engagement, your content will be more visible, and recommended to more people. Take care of the fans you already have and you will grow a strong community. The more attentive you are to your fans, the faster you are going to attract new members. When your followers feel connected to you, they will spread the word about you and introduce your music to friends. So get them involved and make them feel special! Engage them in conversations, make them laugh, inspire them. And sometimes, ask them to follow you on Spotify, stream your new song, or come to your new show.
Finally, good analysis on your part is crucial for an efficient marketing strategy. You need to analyze which of your activities perform best and bring most followers to your music. It helps you know your target audience and what to do to gain their attention.
This may seem scary at first, even more so when you start a music career and are inexperienced in this subject. But know that most platforms (social media, smart links and streaming services) offer statistics that can help you in this analysis quickly and simply.
Also, keeping your eye on the market is crucial to understanding changes over time and ensuring your strategy remains relevant and targeted.
Do you want to get more streams across all music streaming platforms? Promote your music with Smart Links. Create an account for free!