Social Media For DJs: A Total Waste Of Time?

Last month, we engaged in a full on “make-over” of my social media presence. The question was: If I followed the advise of experts and upped my posting regularity – could we double my followers? Using scheduling tools, and the assistance of a few people in DJTT my mission was to drastically increase the number of posts per day and take my activity from zilch to full on. How did things fare? Did I succeed? Most importantly – what did we learn?

The series started off in an onerous fashion with the top rated comment  beseeching me to make more videos and forget about social media:

This was the big question. Could I provide value on social media without taking time away from the real work of an artist?

In short – the answer was yes and no. While I managed to have a few moments that really worked, most of our posts were largely noise, and did little more than distract me from creating inspiring content. The schedule we set out for ourselves was unrealistic and not even that effective in the end.

There were a few moments where social media did show some real potential but the experiment was a mixed bag and brought me back to my previous verdict: post when I have time and focus on creating real value – not talking about it.


We set out with a lofty goal of doubling my followers. Here are the raw numbers on where I started + ended up:

+1,450 fans - not exactly doubled.

Verdict: Perhaps I set the goals a bit too high in trying to double my total fanbase in such a short time period. There’s no doubt that being more active seems to have resulted in a growth of fans, but it was primarily a few cool + interesting posts that really succeeded. It seems that just because you’re the person who is talking the most in a room doesn’t mean that you’re the one everyone pays attention to.

This is pretty well correlated with a slide that was a part of an industry report released at the International Music Summit earlier this year. The slide (pictured below) shows that tweet frequency was not a major determiner of total followers among DJs and electronic music artists:

Tweets Per Day: DJs


Posting to social media daily is hard enough for regular people, but for artists with busy careers it’s very challenging. If you happen to be slightly insane and find yourself running a company at the same time  (like me) – it’s nearly impossible. What’s the answer? Normally companies like Fame House step in and manage the social media channels of big artists directly. These social managers are posting on their behalf and keeping the funnel full with up to the minute content – he’s Fame House’s Digital Strategy Director Hisham Dahud on the matter:

“In today’s digital world, it takes a great deal of diligence to keep up to date with all the changes occurring nearly everyday. Platforms are constantly being updated, new experimental technologies are popping up on a regular basis… so it’s important for an artist and their team to remain ahead of the curve. When you’re playing 150 gigs a year, running a label, and/or making music year round, you simply don’t have time for that.”

Gig Posting: We set a bunch of posting goals including a prescribed number of tweets + Facebook posts before, during and after the gig. This was my biggest fail. Actually delivering content around the gig is nearly impossible for me personally. My gig routine after 15 years of DJing has largely settled into:

  • Day of the gig: Rest, focus, relax. No computers, mappings, music browsing or mentally taxing activities. Go to sound check.
  • Before the gig: Check all gear, make sure the set is ready to rock. Do a 20 minute pre-show meditation routine.
  • During the gig: Try to have more fun than the dance floor. If I am dancing harder than anyone else, the set is going well.
  • After the gig: Somehow try to unwind, let the ears recover, sleep and hide from the world for a day.

There is just no room in here to be taking photos and posting to social media about my upcoming gig, and frankly I am pretty sure no one really gives a shit. Perhaps David Guetta’s fans want to see backstage shots with Paris Hilton but I am pretty sure mine just want new cool technology to play with.

High Volume Managers: Because posting everyday to three sites was impossible with my daily demand, we scheduled out tweets in advance and had Dan (our managing editor) post to Facebook daily on my behalf. Perhaps the fans don’t really care if it’s not really me, but in the end this just felt plain douchey. Not surprisingly, very few of these posts gained much traction and almost none of them achieved the real goal of building a base. Im definitely not comfortable with, and won’t have other people posting on my behalf in the future.

My personal philosophy is:

“If you don’t have something great to say, don’t say anything at all”

Posting little bits of info everyday just for the sake of staying “active” on social media doesn’t fit my personal values, and frankly seems to only benefit Facebook. Zuckerberg has plenty of money, so for the time being I think he will be okay if we post a little less.


One night, frustrated by the largely vacuous and impersonal posts like: “Check out this cool photo of me and my studio speakers! Aren’t they cool?” (barf in my mouth), I was inspired by some atrocious stage photos (from a young DJ who will remain anonymous) and posted something real, personal, and serious:

Sometimes words are all you need for a great post.

40.6k people saw the post, and my numbers really made a jump for the first time in the entire experiment. This was a simple, heartfelt note without any fancy photos, media or videos. My personal takeaway: Skip the fluff and post things that actually matter when you have something real to say. The DJ world is chalk full of smoke, mirrors, and PR BS – perhaps the way to cut through is by showing them who you really are.

The runner up for second best post in terms of reach (albiet much lower at 18k) was a simple photo of an awesome street DJ I saw spinning 45s on a Columbia GP3 toy DJ setup. This again removed me from the center focus and instead allowed my perspective and observations on something cool to be the focus of the post.


Social media is an interesting way to share smaller bits of value between the bigger moments in an artists career. In today’s fast-paced, over-saturated environment it does seem that DJs who only publish every few months or even years get quickly forgotten about. Staying engaged with your fans on a weekly basis can keep the energy alive and build up excitement to the big releases, but it’s easy to get caught up in the posting frenzy.

One good example is the new DJ TechTools Midi Fighter Twister project (pictured at right). Rather than a single announcement saying the controller is coming, followed by one long break, and other post 4 months later saying it’s here, we have been providing regular updates on the project development. This style of update worked amazingly with our first product, the VCI-100SE: after 4 months of talking about the controller and getting people excited, the first batch sold out in 2 hours when it finally dropped.

I would personally avoid forcing yourself to post “something – anything” daily and instead post when you have something that people will want to share. That is the entire point right? Without meaningful, sharable content – we are all just shouting in a very noisy world.

The header photo uses part of a sketch from talented illustrator Keebs

after a gigbefore a gigdj chartsdj social mediadjsdoubling fansduring a gigfacebookgetting DJ fansgetting more followersgetting soundcloud playshow to win at dj social mediainstagrammediapacking gearphotossocial mediasocial media for djssoundcloudtwitter
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  • grosbedo

    In the end, this whole experience reveal something very logical: you get the followers your content brings. People come because they like what you like to do: your followers came and stay because of your great articles, personal insights and advices. It’s quite logical that they aren’t interested in fluffy, superficial voyeurism stuffs.

    And, after all, would you want the situation to be the other way around?

  • Panagiotis Dimopoulos

    Exposure is a little tricky thing, what I find most interesting is that depends not only on your quality of music or dj style, but on your connections :). This is at least the case in Greece, and I beilive in many other countries aswell. What I see is that extremely talented and nice people I know, although have established names in foreign countries, they seem to hardly get a gig in their own country. And I am not talking about your average artist, but producers/dj’s that release in major hot labels at the moment.

    On the other hand I see, mediocre dj’s that pay other talented producers to make tracks for them (for shit money) , djing and having gigs on day to day base around the country. Their facebook pages are over packed, and have thousands of views on tracks produced by other people (which no one will find out who they are) in their youtube page. And all that because have the right connections (only that, most of them can hardly mix).

    So social media works in reverse in these cases…you have an untalented dj but he is extremely good in sucking people off…he sucks sucks sucks….and finaly gets a gig in a nice venue, he dj’s just once becuase he is good at sucking and not djing…but then he sells that he dj’ed there, then he post fotos and makes a fan page…people because they know the place, thing that in order for him to play there is really good and probably famous dj (he makes a fancy little stupid nickname aswell), and like his page.After a while he has around 10,000 followers that think he is a super dj, and book him in places around the country and gets shitloads of money 🙂 and thousands of followers…no matter how shit he is…although he will get more and more gigs…because he dj’ed in a nice place…

    Anyway because already I wrote too much…establishing a name and building a fan base doesnt only depends on your daily posts or music you make..but if you have the right connections…which I find is bul**** but is the hard truth…:)

  • SynthEtiX

    from personal observation, with sites like Twitter and instagram, artists benefit more from one Meaningful post a day. it keeps ppl coming back to your page every day, while maintaining personalization. nobody likes someone that talks too much, or someone that doesn’t talk enough. social media is a conversational tool.

  • Blue Collar Prophet

    I posted this article to FB as a “thanks to DJTT for confirming something for me” post and then found myself sucked into the news feed reading ABSOLUTE BS and saying “wait what was i doing again”. Lately i’ve been doing my best to stay away from the “socials” and focus on my music. When i started as a drummer 19 years ago and wound up touring the world because of it, we had no social style distractions other than the ones right in front of our face (meaning people in the flesh). it makes me wonder what the future holds for music in general. I appreciate greatly the time you guys take to do these types of articles and put some hard facts down onto what always seems to be “hear say”.
    thanks DJTT, for your continued knowledge and inspiration.

  • Robert

    If you want a great insight into social media and DJing, watch the discussion from IMS Engage that features Diplo talking with the founder of Instagram.

    A great example of the current state of Social Media is that DJ Bl3nd has millions of Facebook fans, whereas Diplo has hundreds of thousands, yet Diplo’s credibility is still considered much higher by most people throughout the field.

    Yet in places where the music is filtered in strange ways, such as Singapore, the numbers on these sites dictate which DJs get invited to play certain gigs.

    You can view the discussion here:

    • Robert

      That being said, I really do agree with everything that Ean writes here.
      Whenever I post something promoting myself, it rarely gets any traction with my facebook, but when I write a heartfelt (but RARE) message about where I hope to go in life it gets a lot of recognition.

      At the same time- a really good joke now and then is appreciated as well. People like to laugh.
      “I’m just a fat teenage white girl stuck in a black man’s body.” – @diplo

  • Irvin Cee

    I mostly agree on Ean’s opinion, with a big remark that it depends on what kind of DJ you are, the audiance you target AND it’s size.
    If you have few followers, they only want to know the important things related to the music and DJ’ing.
    If you have a gazillion followers they want to know what you eat, drink and whoom you sleep with 🙂

    Just saying that David Guetta has a different kind of of followers (and therefor intrests) than a Adam Beyer or Ben Sims.

  • jade

    Laidback Luke can able to manage his social media, connecting to his fans he even reply back to your tweets or comment in fb despite having a super busy schedule (live gigs, making music, mixmash label, etc.) not mentioning giving tips/advice & acknowledgment to his followers. A real nice & humble artist

  • tony corless

    Well done Ean for having the balls to post this,Its always been said that most twitter users are the real person,turns out that this is not always the case,makes me wonder how many famous names also have a production crew turn out tracks for them,for far too long the DJ game has been a fake popularity contest with more focus on number of friends versus talent,no one ever got a job driving a bus due to the number of so called friends or followers that they had.The irony of this article exposing the dubious nature of social media for DJs is not lost on me as this article alone will probably boost Ean’s followers !

  • antifm

    this “…….and other post 4 months later saying it’s
    here, we have been providing regular updates on the project development…..” This is EXACTLY the right way to use social media in my opinion. Its something to say in your message. And its something people are not only interested in but they are LOOKING for it!. I was using twitter all too often at first for just noise. Then i started finding artists music online via SC, MC, and other places including webstores. Id then search them on Twitter, and personaly send them a message of “thanks for the track” or “do you have something we can use?” then a few days later, id tweet, “INSERT ARTISTS TRACK is now available and streaming on (my website)” People post enough noise as regular members of these sites. When its comes to artists, professionals like ourselves, we have to be NOISE FREE. And that means, let them post the noise, while we post the clarity.

  • DJ Rob Ticho,Club mU

    This was a great experiment. I think at the end of the day, you have to do what feel natural for you. Like you said, don’t force it. Identify your strengths and enhance them.

    Social Media experts always say post more but, keep in mind that Social Media is a strength for them. It comes natural to them and that’s why they are experts.

    For some Social Media isn’t forced. Justin Martin’s Vine posts are hilarious and allow for his personality to really shine. I don’t think he’s creating those to hit a particular quota.

  • James 'Pioneer' Burkill

    I still feel social media as a DJ is pointless to true working jocks (such as myself, as i get work through people I know) but when post about what means to you and then occasionally about Gigs save that for the big leaguers, as I found people really don’t care as long as you work and keep em’ dancing then “JOB DONE!”

  • Ales

    Great article, I am sick of the mass-produced, impersonal facebook “updates” from famous djs, yes I will still follow them, but just so I know when they released a track. Everyone knows these updates are from some stuck up idiot in an office, not the actual dj! I am glad Ean decided that these real, personal updates are much better than stupid manufactured crap from a PR company.

  • jorge

    ean i know you are a true dj, and that you like to investigate and examine how the industry of music develops, but DDJT is becoming (if not already) a page talking more about how to make money, be famous, have a brand logo, social media, bla bla bla instead of actually things about music and djing… and i think a lot of people see DJJT this way too

    • Ean Golden

      Thanks Jorge, I appreciate the feedback. This is something I also think we can do better on. The number of branding/social/business articles over the last 60 days has been low: about 5% but I think we can get back to some of the more musical, off the beaten patch work that defined DJTT in it’s early days.

      • antifm

        Then i have something for you. Ill send it over to Dane White shortly. Almost finished

  • David Schulman

    More tech tweets less twerk tweets (Diplo I’m looking at you)!

  • Nick Perloff

    There’s definitely a happy medium for Facebook posts, and the reason for that is largely the algorithmic process by which Facebook organizes posts, dubbed “Edgerank.” That’s why I think the JustGoMusic notion of posting all day every day is flawed: Facebook zeroes in really quickly on excessive posting and will remove it from newsfeeds. You have to remember that without sponsorship of posts, only about 10-50% of your “likes” actually see it.
    The other key I think to using social media effectively is remembering that “liking” is a kind of binary agreement; as an artist, you should remember that people on Facebook don’t just serve as fodder for your sidebar numbers. They’re real people that are interested in your work, and you have to be conscious of that. I think even more than just “being real” on your page, being responsive to people that engage with you, whether it be replying to commentary, sending you thank you notes, or publicizing other people’s work, is more rewarding both on a personal and a professional level.

  • Dennis Parrott

    Alvin Toffler taught us your lesson long ago — that people will want to connect on a personal level in world where high tech rules the roost. Keep it real and people you will WANT as your fans will follow.

    As for social media, I don’t tweet, I barely Facebook, none of that stuff really means much to me. I really don’t follow people in the social media (it just seems sort of stalker-ish). I do keep up with blogs that have something to say (like DJTT!).

    The one thing I really did not see is the answer to this question: WHY did you want to double your followers? Is it that doing the DJTT thing has gotten old and you want to go back to being “a real DJ” (ironic pun intended)? Do you think that having more followers will translate to more business for DJTT? The idea of delivering value via social media is sort of nebulous.

    But I really agree with the guy saying “give me more great video content”. Those videos are what took you to where you are today (well, that and tons of hard work as a DJ and mad scientist/inventor) and I believe that social media should complement/enhance those activities. Those videos deliver real value.

    Use the social media to help drive people to DJTT or find new folks who need DJTT.

    BTW – your recent video of the trip to Costa Rica was very cool. What a gift to be able to take your talents and reputation there and experience something like that. (Proving that not every video has to be technically oriented!) I wish it were longer so that we could really get to meet the folks there, get to know a little about their scene.

    I guess I see the social media thing in a quality/quantity way. What good are thousands of followers if they don’t show up to gigs or become part of the community? If all they do is demand things from you and that energy isn’t somehow returned is that really good?

  • Chaser720

    I’m pretty behind this article. Would much rather see a weekly product updates or a “Check out this sick transition” video.

    And what became of your professional social media dude? ha

  • orig

    I agree with posting personal messages about how you feel about a certain subject. I’ve worked to increase my FB Artist Page. I thought, if I deactivate my FB profile, then I could focus on the Page… In a months time, I was able to increase “likes” by 300. I then realized I was putting too much into my posting frequency and not enough meaning to it. I recently reactivated my FB profile and I just post what I feel strongly about.

  • Anonymous

    I think Facebook fans don’t necessarily grow with the number/quality of posts – it’s more a question on how you drive traffic to your Facebook page (i.e. I don’t see even a link to it in this post). On Twitter, it’s a different game. There, the frequency of posts largely determines the growth rate of followers.

    • Irvin Cee

      Fully agree on the traffic drive.

  • Emil Beatsnatcher Brikha

    I actually disagree with quite a lot here. I’m not saying I want to see an instagram of your club sandwich at the Best Western in Boston. But I would love to see backstage pics, behind the scenes pics and clips and random rants because usually when I like a musician, I tend to be curious about them as people to, and as such it helps bring the artist closer to the fans, make him more human when he posts a pic from the beach where someone in front of him is reading an article about him.

    Call me a voyeur, but I really enjoy it. What should be true for every post though is that YOU felt you wanted to share it, posting to share, not posting just to show up in people’s newsfeeds.

    • GraveDiggers

      Right on the nail with Emil’s comment; Some of us fans want to get to know Ean more as a person and if we can’t meet him in person then doing what Emil said ought uh do.

      • Ales

        You’ll get to know him only from his real personal updates, not from PR crap put on there by a company he hired (which is what most dj’s do)

    • Ean Golden

      Good point Emil – on my Instagram I feel more comfortable sharing little personal moments. Thanks for the feedback!

  • Mijk van Dijk

    Thank you Ean, this made my day.
    In a social media world dominated by LOLs, OMGs and WTFs I feel it’s so important to stay real. I think only when the releases, mixes, performances, interviews, posts and tweets all come from the same mind and speak the same language, the people out there will be able to feel the personality of an artist.

  • The Frankenmuppet

    And this is why I respect you so much sir!

  • KidKeys

    I’m happy to read this. Over the last month after changing my original DJ name I have been trying to rebrand myself. But with all the articles about social media I found myself posting randomly just trying to “keep up”….are these forced updates really how I want to rebrand? No…So I have gone back to posting things true to me at the time they happen. Glad this article may inspire others to do so as well.

  • Nondairy

    Great article.

    My respect for you has grown after reading.

  • Ryan Dejaegher

    Wow this is the last thing I was expecting when the project started a month ago. It’s great to hear Ean speak the truth and discuss candidly why it’s not for him. It’s unfortunate that this idea of social media being an all or nothing scenario has created this frenzy, “you have to post everyday or else you’ll be forgotten, you have to stay active so you can engage with fans!!!” This frenzy has created a “keeping up with the jones mentality” that is instantaneous. Diplo posts something so I better post something. Local DJ posts a mix so I better post a mix. It’s really a vicious cycle.

    if I were Ean I’d rather have his fans than any of Guetta’s fans. Ean has truly provided value with DJTT and when you watch his videos it’s never about him, it’s about what he has to offer the community. And yes maybe he doesn’t post as many videos as he use too but you have to realize DJTT is no longer a blog that he runs from his apartment. It’s a real business and it takes a lot of time.

  • Anonymous

    Could you put all that clout and influence to good use by asking NI to include track title tweeting as a feature? I spent about three hours the other day trying to set up various options and found that not one of them was reliable at tweeting.. Compared to the 10 minutes tops I spent setting up a live stream.. this is completely bass ackwards.. In my opinion twitter is only useful to DJ’s and their fans by allowing a digital trainspot… Facebook.. It serves a useful purpose but not in the way that twitter could if the technological support was there. For reference, the software I tested was RADR, Traktor Metadata Listener, and Traktor Scrobbler.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Ezmyrelda, would be really nice if NI could implement metadate/Twitter sharing natively in Traktor. Could you explain why the tools that you mentioned did not work for you?

      • Anonymous

        They each had their hiccups.. though the CLI client was the most reliable in actually receiving the metadata from Traktor. It’s failing was that it likely doesn’t use twitters most recent Auth scheme.. and where twitter is concerned they might change it in a couple of weeks anyway. RADR is just really buggy and crashed several times. Though when it didn’t crash it didn’t reliably capture the metadata.. and when it did.. often it wouldn’t tweet it.. I can’t remember the issue with Traktor Scrobbler… Possibly it was metadata.. possibly twitter auth.. maybe both..

        • Mutis Mayfield

          Something like serato playlists?

          • Anonymous

            In reference to what? Also, My familiarity with serato is very minimal because I have maybe 15 minutes of use with it total.

          • Anonymous

            Ahhh, that is interesting.. Well.. Similar.. But yeah, something that reminds me of standing in front of the DJs back in the trainspotting..

    • Chaser720

      Sorry but I disagree completely and totally. In no way shape or form would I ever want NI to include tweeting in Traktor. Would you really want to tweet every time you mixed in a new track? This whole article is about how excessive tweets do not help your fan base.

      Next thing you know there will be a tweet button on the new S4. That would be the end of my confidence in NI as a software/hardware producer.

      • Anonymous

        Options generally include the ability to turn them off.. There is a button on the traktor screen that would facilitate turning the feature on and off. The broadcast button. Since I think twitter is rather useless anyhow, I can see using it to tweet tracks as a digital trainspot.. One of the goals of a DJ is to promote others music anyway. I wouldn’t want to tweet every time I made a mix. Ideally all I would have to do is just hit the broadcast button and it would just work. Anyway, I think I answered all your concerns about such a possible feature.. It’s good to have disagreements.. It fosters discussion.

        • Chaser720

          I do understand what your getting at and it might be a cool feature but I think that integrating social media into software is going too far. Yes its becoming more popular and I do use it to promote shows but while I’m playing its the last thing on my mind. And having twitter running somewhere in the background when I’m playing would make me nervous. Social media can be glitchy.

          • Anonymous

            Indeed, I see your point as well.. To me though the ice/shoutcast integration is pretty useless as well.. It’s the kind of thing I would rather have running on a different computer dedicated to the task.. What I am envisioning is more set and forget..

  • rafiq

    Great way to put it all into perspective. Thanks for this, and thanks for continuing to give your fans and the community substance.