Kwettr -  Social-Unlock-Tool_-how-to-make-money-with-free-content

Social Unlock Tool: how to make money with free content

It may sound a bit strange, but artists can actually make money by giving away free exclusive content. This blog describes a type of online marketing called social unlocks and how the music industry can benefit from it.

What is a social unlock tool?

Think of it as a traditional sampling stand in a supermarket, but then digitally and connected to social media. Instead of just giving away a free sample of your product, social unlock tools give your fans access to that same content when they like, share, tweet or follow on social media.

By doing so, they expand the reach of your social media channels online. Reaching more people means driving more traffic to sales portals which obviously leads to more revenue. For example: give away access to a teaser to your upcoming track in return for a tweet containing a link to the Spotify pre-save. Digital word of mouth marketing.

A social unlock is a powerful tool because of the endless possibilities for unlocks, the easy to communicate format and the viral element.

Endless possibilities of a social unlock tool

The Kwettr Unlock Tool enables artists to use the (social) media most used by his fans. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and even YouTube, email, SoundCloud are used. On Instagram for example, you can let people unlock content with a follow of your profile or even with a selfie. For example, a selfie taken at a concert to unlock the newest single of the band.

It also includes games, for example, a puzzle to unlock a new album cover art. One cover artwork, divided into 9 pieces, each piece unlocked with a different social media action. That means 1 fan expands the reach in 9 different ways.

Easy to communicate: embed the Unlock Tool

Our unlock tools can be embedded into websites, shared on social media, custom made to fit any brand and are easy to understand for the fan. Offer a free giveaway on any place in your communications towards your fans.

Another way of communicating the Unlock Tool is to use a Direct Message Campaign on Twitter or Instagram. Kwettr sends personalized direct messages on social media channels, including links, pictures or calls to action. The Unlock Tool is used to expand reach, DM Campaigns are used to invite the most loyal fans.

The Viral element of an Unlock

Especially when communicated with the right target audience, the tool can reach an immense audience. If we send emails or direct messages to the most loyal followers of an artist, conversions often exceed 30%. Let’s take trance DJ Paul van Dyk as an example. 

A Direct Message Campaign sent messages to 1,5 million followers. The Unlock Tool went viral and after 4 weeks a stunning 55 million people were reached on Twitter alone.

It’s the valuable combination of direct personal messages (or well-targeted Facebook ads) and a social unlock tool.

Best practices

Create a custom made Unlock Tool

Content marketing is important in the music business, a custom-made unlock tool improves your brand image. Record labels use their artwork in Unlock Tools. 

Share exclusive content

The type of content used in social media posts is important, unlocking a track that has already been released will probably have a low impact. Include giving away exclusive content in your marketing strategy.


Kwettr Unlock Tools enable artists to add a gamification element to their marketing campaign. Conversion rates rise when fans have to solve a puzzle or play a little game.


Products and services which come recommended by friends can even outperform online advertising. Seeing an ad for a great new track has a smaller impact compared to a friend sharing it. An important part of the social media marketing strategy.

Related posts

How to use content marketing in the music industry Relationship marketing for musicians: social media Free online marketing tools: a do it yourself guide
How to use content marketing in the music industry Relationship marketing for musicians: social media Free online marketing tools: a do it yourself guide