TPS #008: How to Use Vanity Metrics for Artist’s Growth

Author: Andre Mullen - 3.5 min Read

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In today’s newsletter, I want to talk to you about how you can use social media data to grow your artist client’s business.

As I began to grow as an artist manager, I realized the importance of knowing how to create longevity for my clients and their business.

This meant understanding marketing and the process of building a fanbase.

Every artist manager should know the basics of how to do this for the sake of their clients and even developing their own business.

It’s up to managers to understand how to use social media to grow their client’s business the right way. If done correctly, it can provide long-term benefits.

Unfortunately, because most artists have a love-hate relationship with social media, their managers have to deal with varied results.

"Artists can’t sell to an empty room.”

More than ever, engaging social content brings artists closer (and sometimes faster) to creating a fanbase than ever before in the history of the music industry.

There are four steps to using social media data to grow your client’s business:

  • Create a content calendar

  • Monitor and improve vanity metrics

  • Funnel followers to owned audiences

  • Establish the organic → paid pipeline


It’s not as hard as seems. It takes commitment to the long game and of course, following these steps:

Step 1: Create a content calendar

Remove a large part of the pressure of social media by creating a content calendar.

Planning content for social media has never been easier.

Artists can create and schedule content that is on and off their music release cycle. This gives their audience an opportunity to engage with their brand even when there isn’t a release.

The content calendar “keeps the engine hot” for artists by putting a plan in place for consistent engagement with their audience.

This prevents them from having to prime their audience about a release after being inconsistent on socials for an extended period of time.

Step 2: Monitor and improve vanity metrics

As your client is releasing content, they’re going to generate “vanity metrics”.

Vanity metrics is a term that most feel are worthless pieces of information.

Tommy Clark, Head of Social at Triple Whale, a data marketing company, has a contrary thought:

Follower count grows impressions (# of times content is displayed) and reach (# of people who see it). Engagement rate is how involved the audience is with your content, with 1%-5% considered good.

Don’t chase these “at all costs” by having your client put out clickbait and content that will go viral with no substance.

The goal is to improve these numbers with content/music that is relevant to their audience.

Monitor and improve by changing variables (i.e. time/days of posting).

Step 3: Funnel followers to owned audience

Now, as your client is “filling the room” on social and has an engaged community, that community will be curious and want more.

They’ll click the link in your client’s bio and sign up for:

  • Email list
  • SMS list
  • Private community (i.e. Discord)


This conversion to own platforms bypasses the algorithm and is a step closer to sales – merch, tickets, etc.

Think about how many times you’ve brought from a well-timed email or SMS, versus a tweet or TikTok.

You can keep track via:

  • Using trackable links in social bios. Use a tracking tool like Bitly
  • Tracking the overall # of link clicks from social. More people clicking links means social is driving traffic.
Step 4: Establish the organic → paid pipeline

If your client is running ads on Instagram, Facebook or TikTok there is a good chance that the best-performing posts on organic social will also perform well on paid.

Every week, look at the analytics of your best-performing posts – graphics, memes, and videos – and test them as paid ads.

Then monitor and see if those creatives lead to clickthroughs and/or conversions.

In this era of the music industry, it is very important that artist managers know every facet of the artist client’s business.

After working on hundreds of artist marketing campaigns, one thing remains true:

Marketing is an area that is consistently part of the equation.

Hope that helps.


  1. Use social media to organically grow artist’s business

  2. Monitor and improve vanity metrics

  3. Funnel followers to owned audience

  4. Establish organic → paid pipeline

Whenever you’re ready, here are two ways I can help you:

1. I’m offering a Growth Strategy Session. Let’s put together a growth strategy for your and/or your client’s business for FREE.

2. I’m also conducting a FREE Systems Audit to see what systems you are using and optimize them.

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