Why Social Media Insights Matter in Music

Social Media plays a vital role in the music industry, especially today when the Pandemic has drove most people’s interactions towards online platforms such as Tiktok. Most forms of music consumption involve multiple people; friends, family members, and strangers on the internet can influence what people are currently listening to. Even if you prefer to listen to your Discovery Weekly playlist on Spotify, the song selection is partially based on other user’s listening habits. As we all emerge from quarantine and start attending live shows and events IRL, music will continue to thrive around clusters of fans who share similar interests.

To help music professionals stay informed on the most popular trending artists today, I have created an interactive dashboard that highlights key insights from Instagram audience data. Currently, this tool spotlights three metrics that illustrate different aspects of an artist’s fanbase relative to their contemporaries:

  • Total Followers
  • Percent Follower Gain
  • Engagement

Each measurement can provide different insights, so I’ll explain how each one is calculated and what they mean for musicians. But first, allow me to explain the dataset at hand.

Click Here for Live Interactive Dashboard

Dashboard Technology
  • Python, Javascript, html/css
  • Dash, Pandas, Numpy
  • Chartmetric API, Heroku

The Dataset

The original dataset consists of 85 songs that were trending on Tiktok’s Top 100 Chart for the week of March 9, 2021(the other 15 tracks consist of user-generated audio clips that do not have ISRC codes). All data points were collected via Chartmetric’s API service.

Approximately 30% of the chart consists of records that have entered the Top 100 in the previous 30 days. Since we’re only concerned with the freshest beats, we will filter the dataset down to artists who have spent 30 days or less on the chart –> 26 songs/artists.

The full data dictionary is available to review on my Github, but here are the main variables that our dashboard is analyzing.


Total Instagram Followers

Total Instagram Followers is pretty self-explanatory. However, I need to note that the value for each artist is collected 7 days before the record’s first occurance on the chart. The reason for selecting that specific date is to get an accurate audience status before the cascade of internet memes. It represents a baseline for all artists that the dashboard compares.

Percent Instagram Follower Gain

Percent Gain is calculated by taking the difference between the value 7 days after entering the chart and 7 days before entering the chart. Then dividing that value by the original number (7 days before the chart)-multiplied by 100. Again, like Total Instagram Followers, the exact dates may be different for each observation but represent similar timeframes relative to their breakout into the mainstream.

Instagram Engagement

Instagram Engagement is a percentage of followers who are engaging with your posts. This metric is calculated by taking the total number of likes and comments divided by the number of followers; or you can just go to Chartmetric.com. Generally, this value is a good indicator of how well your content is connecting with your audience. In regards to this dashboard, the data is captured during the week of the particular chart; so in this case, it’s the week of March 9, 2021.

Notice how similar the top artist are in the last two graphs…correlation?

A scatterplot depicting the quantitative relationship with engagement and growth


After analyzing the last four visualizations, it’s clear that engagement and percent follower gain are more correlated with each other than with sheer total followers. Although Taylor Swift has a massive following on Instagram (147 million), she is not in the top 10 of the other two variables. This pattern is pretty typical in social media; as your fanbase grows, expect engagement to decrease. But if you’re fortunate enough to be at Swift’s level, social media metrics won’t be your biggest priority.

  • 12-13% Engagement appears to be the threshold for some of the top artists in terms of growth. However, increasing the sample size would yield more reliable results.

Next Question –

Okay, so now that we know that engagement drives growth, you may be asking yourself: How do I increase engagement? In a nutshell, increasing engagement depends on how well you know your audience. Knowing what your fans are into can help tailor your social media content in a way that resonates and connects with your audience.

In my next article, I will dive into specific types of audience data that will help you create more engaging content. So if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter to have updates delivered straight to your inbox!

Future Dashboard Developents

  • Add Additional Audience Insights
    • Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok
  • Top Song Share by Artist (Tiktok) – Resource: Music-Tomorrow
    • Number of videos created with your top song on TikTokĀ / Total number of videos created with your musicĀ 
  • Use Machine Learning To Determine Feature Importance for Target Variable
    • Target Variable: Weekly Streams, Weekly Video Post Count (Tiktok)

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