Many people see Throwback Thursdays, or as they’re known on social media, #TBT, as just another hashtag, but in reality, they can be a fantastic way to put more content out into the world which has probably been sitting unused or forgotten for a long time. In fact, if you decide to take part in the #TBT discussion on most weeks, you’ll find your worries about posting enough pictures and videos will be lessened.
But, what exactly should you share on Thursdays? The options are truly limitless, and you are held back by nothing more than your creativity. If you still need some help thinking of ideas, here are a few options that can work many times over.
Everything you release into the world deserves to be remembered, and tracking anniversaries is incredibly easy. Set up a document that lists the dates of every single, video, and album release, and then feel free to pick and choose what you want to celebrate as time goes on.
If you want to remind everyone that your debut album is five years old today, post the cover and write a heartfelt caption. Maybe share just a snippet of a music video that’s turning a special age on a certain day. These examples can be applied to singles as well! People love an anniversary, and this might be the simplest way to take part in #TBT.
2. Live content
If you’re able to, you and your band should have a photographer and a videographer at some of your shows, though you probably don’t need one at every single concert. You should be able to create a vault of content filled with photos and videos, so you can pick and choose and use all those snaps and clips to make music videos, social content, and so on.
Pick select moments—a very special concert, an album release show, a time when you brought a guest up on stage, a festival, or so on—and use photos and videos to fit in with the theme of #TBT. These can be on the exact day (such as an anniversary) or completely random, which is helpful if you find yourself without anything to post on a Thursday.
3. Behind-the-scenes moments
Whether it’s simply on someone’s iPhone or you get a photographer to spend some time with you on several occasions, it’s also a great idea to get behind the scenes pictures and video, as this is what fans crave, but never get to see. These visuals can be backstage at a show, in the studio, or perhaps just the group driving to the next stop on tour.
These real moments humanize you and help connect you to your fans, and they’re so easy to collect! Behind the scenes moments are especially wonderful for random posting, and it’s always excellent to hold onto this kind of evergreen content.
4. Personal photos
If you really want to remind everyone that you’re a person just like them, step outside the music world and share personal snaps with your fanbase. These can be pictures from last week, high school, or maybe even when you were a baby. As long as they aren’t in real-time, they count as throwbacks! Try to have fun with getting personal, because when you open yourself up and allow people to joke with you at a terrible haircut or an out-of-fashion getup, everyone enjoys themselves even more.
As is the case with a few items I posted above, this evergreen idea will come in handy when you’re missing some content and need to post. If it’s Thursday and you feel you should put something up, feel free to take this opportunity to remind them of...well...anything you want.
Reshare an album track that didn’t get as much attention as you wish. Throw it back to a music video you loved. Remind them of an acoustic take, a live version, a cover you did (or maybe that someone else did of your own creation), a remix, and so on. The list of what you can gently remind people to consume is endless, and it all works as long as you mix things up in the caption.
Make sure to provide a link (either in the tweet or Facebook post or in the bio of your Instagram) so they know where to find the fabulous content you just put into their mind, and you may soon see your play or view count rise once again.
While #TBT does come around every Thursday (obviously), I wouldn’t suggest posting something from way back when once a week. Throwback Thursday should be reserved for either special occasions (anniversaries, which we discussed above) or when you haven’t shared in a while and you need something to upload. If you use the hashtag every week, it won’t be as fun or exciting for your fans, and it won’t feel natural.
Also, try not to repeat a theme too often, so don’t share honor several anniversaries or remind people of songs they may not have heard in a row. Mixing things up keeps it fresh, and your fans will thank you with comments, likes, and the views, plays, and sales you need.
Hugh McIntyre is a freelance pop music journalist in NYC by way of Boston. He has written for Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, and MTV, as well as various magazines and blogs around the world. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of the blog Pop! Bang! Boom! which is dedicated to the genre of pop in all of its glory.