Instagram is a platform all musicians should use to get their music noticed. Since the app is a multifaceted platform, it provides a space to show your personality and music to a large demographic.
Although, it can be pretty tricky to figure out your groove to gain a following and keep interest in your profile to market your music. We’ve put together some tips to help use Instagram to the best of your abilities as a musician.
Tell us about you (and your music)
As you know, when you click onto an Instagram profile you want to know what the account is about. Does it pique your interest? Who are they and what do they post? Think about your profile as a potential fan.
Securing the Instagram handle
We know it may seem obvious, but choose a handle that is easy to remember and has the band or artist name. There is nothing worse than having a hard time with an account name that is harder to remember. This can also help when promoting yourself on stage to follow you on socials. It does not have to be an extravagant name, unless extravagance is what you want to achieve with your content. Sometimes less is more.
Profile picture perfect
Get a profile picture up – it doesn’t have to be a professional photo to begin with, but something that tells us who you are. As the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words. Time to go through the archives and find the best picture that represents what you want your Instagram to reflect.
If you have a logo for your music, don’t be afraid to use that. Have a new band photo that captures the vibes? Perfect. Aside from your Instagram handle and bio, the profile picture is generally the first information a viewer sees. Choose wisely.
**Link in bio**
Into the harder part of your profile, finding the right bio is tricky. You have 150 words to hook someone in. This can be a space used for describing your music genre, shows, a quote or a joke. Have a play and see what feels best to capture your audience.
As Instagram does not allow linking in captions, using the website linkability feature in your profile can lend a hand to those looking to find your music. Link the new single or the gig coming up and refer to it in your bio and captions. As the influencers say “Link in Bio!”.
Fake it til you make it as an industry professional
Marketing your music on social media means it’s time to change that Instagram setting over from personal to business. You are a music industry professional (even if you don’t feel like you are), and need to treat your social media presence as a portfolio of your branding.
Using the business feature on Instagram gives you access to how your account is going. The analytics of how well your account is doing, progression of followers and what content is most popular. The Insight feature tells how many accounts your Instagram has reached, engagement and content specific to date.
Exploring each tab within the insights goes into what type of content is popular, profile activity and following breakdown. The Followers analytics go in-depth from location to age range. This information is important for later so start exploring these tabs once you make the jump.
Creating music & content
The creative process doesn’t finish with releasing your music. Keep the process going with your content posting on Instagram. Sit down and think about a social media content strategy when first posting. What kind of music do you produce and what is your audience? Your profile has to attract your audience as well as showcasing what you can do or what is to come.
If you want to know more about why a content strategy is crucial to your promo game, check out our article on it, here.
Planning your posts
Considering your plan for your music, translate this to your Instagram. When creating your social media content strategy for your music business plan, think about what kind of posts you can make to hype up your followers. The strategy can make you think about a posting plan which will ease stress and ensure you have consistent posting.
Start snapping and hashtagging
What content will you post to support your brand and product? If you have photos of you in the studio recording, post them and tease fans that new music is on its way. If there was a great gig on the weekend, share a snapshot and thank your audience for coming in the caption.
Using your captions to engage with your followers or give information is an easy way to compliment your Instagram photos. This is also a great way to find out what fans want from you. Ask what venues they would like to see you at or if they want to hear a snippet of music. Building relationships with your followers generates the urge to see you live.
When captioning your photo, don’t be scared to use hashtags! This can expand your audience. If you’re performing in a city you’ve never played in before, hype it up in the caption with a hashtag relevant to the city. Do your research for bands from that area and see what kind of hashtags they use. Take the inspiration and make it your own.
Tell your story
Instagram stories can be a great way to update your followers in real-time. With 15-second videos and photos, sharing your behind-the-scenes footage has never been easier. Sharing the gig experience, polls, Q&As, link-sharing to your music or your general thoughts leaves endless opportunities to engage. Using the Highlights feature on Instagram can be a quick way to share information to your stories and save it to your profile for followers.
If you have a bit more time on your hands, Live lets you interact directly with fans in real-time. Use Lives to catch up with fans and let them know what’s going on became quite popular during the pandemic lockdown and flows through to the present. Charlie Puth is always one to get on the gram and have a chat, why not try it out yourself.
Not a big fan of TikTok? Well, Instagram Reels does the same thing and you don’t have to use multiple platforms. Like TikTok, Reels are randomised and targeted to audiences using an algorithm.
Trending recently, many musicians have taken to promoting their music on reels or using it as a way to capture events they’ve played. If you are a jack of all trades and enjoy taking videos try your hand at putting one together and keep an eye on the engagement it receives. It may break the internet (in a good way) or end up on the feeds of the right people.
Sponsored posts & ads
The beauty of Instagram being owned by Meta is having the access to cross-posting between Instagram and Facebook – this includes ads. If ads and sponsored posts are within your budget, they can be helpful when trying to expand your audience. Organising the content you want to promote in your content strategy, you can choose target demographics to ensure your music is on the right newsfeed. With the use of analytics, keep an eye on ad engagement and decide whether it is for you.
Follow bands similar to your sound and other local musicians. Not only will this boost your network of music industry professionals but can help boost your engagement. If another artist is releasing a sweet track, give them a comment letting them know you love it. Share their work and they will most likely share the love when you have new announcements and music.
Prizes & giveaways
There is no better way to create engagement and find new followers through a giveaway. The giveaway can really be for anything you wish. Some ideas can include merch, free tickets to a gig or even a dinner with the winner (if you dare).
The purpose behind the giveaways is to not only give back and engage in a new way with your fans but it can help boost the presence and engagement on your profile. Exploring different types of getting your content shared is a priority. Asking followers to share the image, tag two friends and follow the page is the most common type of giveaway.
Push it one step further and whoever buys a ticket to your next show, screenshots and sends it to your DM’s can enter them to win a drink and a shirt in the evening. Use innovation as to how to get the followers onto your page, and then use your content to keep them following.
Most importantly, have fun
Keep in mind that progression can be slow when gaining a following, especially when it is for your music. It can feel like a lot of pressure to be consistent with posting and being concerned about your following.
See the platform as an extension of your music and a communication tool between you and your fans. Have fun with your marketing! Not all your content has to be serious. Show that live stage personality through your profile, music, jokes and all.