Instagram is widely becoming more popular amongst users, clubs and promoters, labels and concepts, and most certainly amongst artists like yourself. But just like Facebook, the platform continues to change and evolve with the needs of its growing user base. Here are some tips in promoting yourself as an artist and your music on Instagram!
1) Hashtag the &!%*& out of your posts
After you write a catchy, creative, relevant sentence under your post, start hash-tagging away! It's important to use proper hashtags that actually make sense to what your posting. You will increase visibility of your account and reach fans that you wouldn't have had reached without Instagram– be creative and take the time to research!
- Research which hashtags are trending at the moment in your target audiences.
- Use popular hashtags.
- Create your own branded hashtag and use it consistently.
2) Use Instagram Live and Stories
When you use Instagram Live you will appear on your followers' 'Instagram Stories', and users can interact with you in real-time. Instagram Live is actually live, unlike Facebook Live which can be video streamed at a later time and be called live. Because people need to watch your live video now if they want to see it, Instagram live videos create a sense of urgency. Live videos can get special attention because of this. Your followers will receive a notification that you’ve started a live video, and they can see you’re live in the Stories section. Timing is essential, so therefore research thoroughly what time you want to go live.
Ideas on what to go live with:
- Stream a set playing from your house, a studio, backstage, or special location
- A party or gig of yours (ask a friend)
- A special occasion like your birthday, a cool location you are gigging at
- Teasers of new releases
- Promote your contest
- Live Q & A
Be creative, you can even begin to create a follower base by kind of 'vlogging' or going live often if you have some sort of concept behind it. It can be artistic, if you are at inspirational places like other shows of artists that you get inspiration from, photo exhibits, art galleries... whichever suits your style best, think about it, and create a plan around it. Instagram Live is picking up in popularity and it would be wise to jump on the band wagon now! :) And you never know... Instagram features live videos from public profiles in the Explore section, which can boost your visibility beyond your followers without you having to pay for it.
3) Create a photo posting strategy
Having a strategy behind your Instagram posts is key. It's okay to post that random picture here and there, but it's important to have some sort of structure behind your posts if your goal is to gain followers in a fast amount of time.
Share behind-the-scenes photos from events. Candid photos convey the personality behind your music. Share images that show there's a genuine personality behind your brand.
Takeovers: Invite a relevant guest to post on your account. If you have connections with an influential Instagrammers in your same genre and scene, consider asking him or her to guest post on your account. This is a surefire strategy for sending your engagement through the roof; not to mention all the new followers you’ll receive.
Show your fans you care. Share user-generated images. Re-share your followers images, especially ones where they’ve mentioned you. If they took a picture of you from a recent gig– repost it! This will encourage others to share photos of you.
4) Create a contest for your followers
It's half true when they say that nothing in life is free, but giving away freebies is always a huge hit on Instagram– because hey, who doesn't like free stuff?
When you give something away for free, the cost is small for the amount of followers you can possibly get in return. Create a contest with a free giveaway that your fans are interested in which will encourage your fans to engage and to help you grow your fanbase.
Tips on setting up a contest:
Research the best time to post your contest. Is your fan engagement at its highest after the weekend on Sundays or Mondays? Or perhaps right before the weekend on Thursday or Friday afternoon? Go back through your posts on Instagram and see which ones performed the best and at what time it was posted. Essentially, it doesn't really matter because once your post picks up popularity it will show up on the newsfeeds of fans as the engagement goes up.
It's better to run your contests for no longer than 5 days. Generally about 2 or 3 days is enough time to generate engagement, and after that mostly likely your post is not being seen any longer. Run your contest and choose a winner promptly and announce it publicly so people know that it's over and a real person has been selected.
Partner with a brand, label, venue, or influential artist. If your contest can be linked from another profile that has a larger reach and fan following, try to utilize that! This is a great time to tap into your network and friends, or if you are signed with a label or agency you could ask them to promote your contest. Choose just one or two helpful partners to not over saturate your contest and keep the engagement pure and genuine.
Pick your prize. Pick a prize worth ranting over. Maybe you have a new release on vinyl, or are playing at a cool party or festival that you can offer guestlist to, or maybe a merchandise packet. Choose prizes that will create a buzz. In the end, the investment in your prize will be worth the amount of new followers you will gain. New followers = possible new fans. New fans = possible new sales.
Create your contest rules and then launch away! Rules are the call to action. Tell people to follow your account and either tag a friend (if you can give 2 give aways), or to comment something on your post, ie: What is your favorite release in 2016? Which festival are you most looking forward to?... ask a question you genuinely want the answer to, your questions can be a great way to gather marketing ideas.
Tagging friends is a great way to grow your contest 2 times faster. Asking for comments is a great way to gather intel on your fans. Determine what is most useful for you and execute!
Once your contest is live, and if you are working with a partner, engage with the users as much as possible. Plan out your next posts on Instagram after the contest is finished to keep fresh in the minds of new followers and to reach these fans in a creative manner.
5) Promote, promote, promote
Promote your Instagram username on your physical marketing materials, link to your account from your website, ask promoters to share your account on event details. Try to find any and all spots to promote your account and be found!
You can now link your Revolve website to your Instagram directly by going to:
1) Settings > Connections. Then connect your Instagram account by logging in.
2) And then head to Content > Pages > Add a Page > Instagram