Many musicians don’t realize that Instagram is not only incredibly important to millions of people around the world, but it also provides an unlimited number of wonderful opportunities to meet new people, become friends with fans, make announcements, and even sell merch and music.
If you curate your Instagram feed well, you can start to see the benefits in just a short time, You need to keep your goals in mind when deciding what to post and how to present what’s going on in your world. Here are six ways to get started.
1. Share news and announcements
While Instagram might not be the first place you think to share breaking news, that’s exactly why it can be one of the best platforms for it. Everybody sends press releases to the media or tweets news, but few people take a visual approach to announcing something. If you want to stand out, this might be the best way to do it.
Reach out to somebody who's good with graphic design (or maybe you can handle this yourself if you know what you’re doing) to help you out with designing Instagram-friendly images that get the point across.
Maybe you have a new single coming on a certain date, or freshly designed merchandise being released soon? Both of these, and many other, news items can be revealed with a picture, maybe a few words on that image, and a well-written caption.
2. Form real connections with fans and other musicians
A lot of people think that platforms like Instagram are just about posting a photo that followers will then "like," but it can be so much more than that! If you work the platform correctly, it can be an excellent way to build relationships with your fans.
Go out of your way to follow those who love your music and like their photos. Comment on images that deserve it, and spend time every once in awhile seeing who uploaded a picture of you, your band, or anything associated with your music.
Those are the posts that should absolutely receive love from your official account before any others. These fans will remember the attention you paid them.
3. Build your fanbase
In addition to strengthening the relationship with the fans you already have, you can utilize Instagram build new ones. Don’t just upload images of your CD or a new T-shirt you’re selling in your store.
Make your Instagram a destination even for those who may not have been interested in your music initially. Your profile should be visually appealing and well put together regardless of what your music sounds like.
4. Enhance your band's Google results
If someone searches your band’s name on Google, do your best to ensure that every link has something to do with you and your work. It’s great if your website comes up first, but what about after that? It's possible for the full first page on search engines like Google to feature your social networks, including your Instagram.
If you don’t keep your Instagram current, or if you don’t have one at all (which had better not be the case), it will affect your search results, And we don't need to remind you that Google is still a popular way for fans to find you.
5. Establish your brand
While your music should speak for itself, we all know that these days, people are also very interested in what a band looks like, says, does, and how fun or interesting they are on social media. Your songs should all fit into one style (at least when released around the same time), and your images should, too.
You shouldn’t be posting photos that all look drastically different from one another, because that can dilute your brand. Maybe there's a filter you love using or when editing before uploading, you like to making everything very bright. Perhaps a certain border is to your liking or a color seems to be present in everything you post.
Whatever you do, try to stay consistent, as it will make your brand and your image stronger, and that’s good for marketing. It'll help your followers figure out who you are as a person beyong your music.
6. Promote and sell your music
While Instagram can be a lot of fun, and taking, framing, and editing photos is an enjoyable experience if you really get into it, you can also use the platform to actually sell things.
You should absolutely be promoting new music several times over, as well as every show you play and every single piece of merchandise that enters your online store. Be careful not to overly promote, because then your page is no fun, but nobody can blame working musicians for wanting to let the world know what they have going on.
People will even love seeing these promotional images if they are well done and beautiful... which you should be aiming for with every upload anyway.
Get more Instagram tips:
- The Essential Guide to Instagram for Bands
- Musicians: 6 Tips to Rapidly Grow Your Instagram Following
- 4 Tips to Make Your Band's Instagram More Engaging
- 25 Ways to Get More Fans for Your Band Using Instagram
- Musicians: 7 Best Practices for Instagram Hashtags You Need to Know
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.