Whether you love it or hate it, social media is one of your best options when it comes to finding an audience and building a lasting fanbase.

In this episode of the DIY Musician Podcast, we talk with Cassie Petrey, CEO and co-founder of Crowd Surf, a music marketing firm that has run social media campaigns for household names like Camila Cabello, Kim Petras, and Backstreet Boys, as well as countless local and grassroots artists.

Finding true fans for your music on social

Thanks to Cassie for sharing her thoughts on how artists should and shouldn’t use social media. It’s refreshing to hear from a social expert whose priority is helping artists foreground their music in the social landscape.

Or as she says: “Your goal should NOT be numbers.”

Check out the whole discussion in the video above! I think you’ll find her advice is applicable to musicians at every level.

Topics discussed include:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 02:20 Previewing the DIY Musician VIP Experience
  • 05:30 Announcing “Top 5 Artist Tips” video series
  • 06:45 Introducing Cassie Petrey
  • 07:52 Backstreet Boys boxed seats & early digital fandom
  • 12:12 Learn “everything” by helping local artists
  • 12:55 Early days of social media marketing in music
  • 16:29 The social content 180 in music
  • 18:03 Do emerging & established acts have different social media needs?
  • 20:57 Artist overwhelm with the pace of social
  • 22:25 The biggest challenge for DIY musicians: Reframing what content is
  • 23:55 Can shy artists develop social charisma as a skill?
  • 25:15 How Kim Petras found her voice and confidence on social
  • 26:36 Musician discomfort with the visual mode; reframing TikTok
  • 29:57 Populating a new type of content and product offering
  • 30:56 “What’s actually gonna work ON the platform?”
  • 32:14 The importance of discipline on social
  • 33:38 Social numbers don’t always equate to music success
  • 36:44 The risk of attention for attention’s sake
  • 37:56 Unearthing good ideas for social content
  • 38:48 Advertising can be a dangerous hole when done incorrectly
  • 41:42 Rethinking an “official” release
  • 45:04 How reluctant are legacy artists to use TikTok?
  • 47:20 Should content intentionally try to drive up watch time?
  • 48:33 Turning social audience into a fanbase
  • 49:10 Tour marketing & the Ticketmaster button on TikTok
  • 50:40 Be an early adopter of Instagram Broadcasts: It pays off!
  • 52:14 Surprise successes (and failures) on social
  • 54:35 The phases of social support for a new song: pre-release, launch, sustain!
  • 56:22 How to capture content “in the moment”
  • 59:41 Over-marketing versus effective sales
  • 01:01:29 The right framework for social posts: Don’t do it ONLY for attention