INSTAGRAM FOR MUSICIANS: 11 GOLDEN RULES TO GET MORE FOLLOWERS

INSTAGRAM FOR MUSICIANS: 11 GOLDEN RULES TO GET MORE FOLLOWERS

Instagram is a tool that has proved to drive the careers of less than modestly dressed models into the limelight. It's proven effective for merchandisers, visual media makers, and the ever present narcissists who can't go a single day without taking a photo of themselves.

But what about your music?! Instagram has over 300 million users and isn't going anywhere soon, so let's take a look at how musicians can effectively start using Instagram. It's a different social media platform than Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat, and should has a slightly (not drastically) different approach, respectively.

1. RESERVE YOUR INSTAGRAM NAME, NOW!

Sadly, I slightly missed the boat on my own name! A testament to the growing popularity of the site. IT could also be that I'm just now starting to use my Instagram more, but even if you don't plan on uploading photos everyday right this moment, be sure to claim your name ASAP.

CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW OMARI MC ON INSTAGRAM

(I'll be giving out a couple free music promotions for a lucky few random followers, so BE SURE TO FOLLOW!)

As with Twitter and Facebook, you should have a separate Instagram account for your music. Or, if you want to just use it for music without a personal account, that's fine too. If your band name is already taken try adding a location e.g. "OmariMC_," or underscore at the end.

Tip: If you are having difficulty securing a username, Instagram does have a Trademark policy in place and by contacting Instagram you may have a chance at claiming your business Instagram name.

2. TELL YOUR STORY

As with any other Social Media platform, Instagram is another platform for you to tell your story, but with images. Before setting up your account, research what Instagram users connect with the most, try and find another artists using Instagram effectively and see what their fans are engaging with, give people a reason to follow you.

Don't feel the need to mimic anyone. Add your spin and personality, but if you see something working for another rapper, singer, or band, give it a go!

3. USE STATUSBREW.COM & FOLLOW-TO-DOWNLOAD TOOLS

In case you're into a bit of automation or scheduling like I am, tools like Gramblr, Tunebula, and Statusbrew make it easy and effective to target the right audience you want connect with and segment your marketing. I go over this concept more here.

Got a new song? You could release it for free on Facebook and use a follow-to-download campaign through Tunebula to transfer Facebook listeners into Instagram.

Statusbrew unfollowers

Statusbrew.com

4. CREATE A UNIQUE HASHTAG

Your hashtags can also build your brand on Twitter. Don't just expect everyone to hop on your hashtag train right away, but with consistent use of a catchy hashtag, you let fans know whom they're identifying with.

I would warn against adding too many hashtags as it looks spammy to some, but adding a moderate amount/funny hashtags is certainly a good idea!

Studies show that 11 hashtags per photo is the ideal number for driving fan engagement. Experiment yourself though.

5. TAKE PHOTOS WITH YOUR FANS (PSYCHOLOGY)

If you play live shows, this one is for you! If you're playing a packed house, or even your merchandise table has business boomin, take a photo of it. This one is psychological.

Say you're on a local tour. You sell 10 t-shirts at your merch table after a show one week, but you take a picture of all your fans with the t-shirts and post it on Instagram and other social media. Then next week you sell 20 t-shirts to a crowd of similar size.

A percentage of that population might've never bought t-shirts if they didn't see other people doing it first. That's why it's important to capture those good moments!

6. CROSS-POST AND PROMOTE MUSIC RELATED STUFF

Instagram will let you sync your account with Twitter and Facebook. If you're the type that gets overwhelmed by too many social media accounts, this could be great for you! Obviously, it's ok to deviate from just posting music things all the time.

You want to give fans a bit of inside access to your life as well, but don't confuse why people are there in the first place!

7. BEST TIMES TO POST

I've found that the best time to post is Mondays at 5 p.m. Feel free to experiment with this and do what works best for you. With the new algorithm you'll see the most popular posts at the top anyway, but you'll want to be one of those posts if you can do it at the most visible times.

8. CONSISTENCY IS KEY

I could take a word of advice on this myself. I like explaining things with words (as you read this blog post), but staying consistent with your pictures is important as well.

9. IDEAS FOR POSTING

You don't have to pick all of these. Pick what identifies with you best. What do you want your brand to say? What are you passionate about?

  • Pictures of concerts, studio sessions, artwork
  • Videos of you practicing a new song, singing, or making a beat
  • Producer, post some Hip Hop instrumentals in the works or a throwback that you love
  • Giveaways and contests, upcoming events, premieres
  • Your hometown, cool sites around where you're playing shows
  • Your hobbies, exercising, paintings
  • #TBT photos of you as a wee-lad

In the description you can point people to your website with SHORT links. I've seen people post YouTube links in comments or in the description box and it just doesn't work. Instagram doesn't allow links to other sites unless it's a sponsored advertisement.

You can use a link shortener like Bit.ly to create links easier for people to remember, or just say "link in bio" if you're comfortable with an ever changing link in your bio.

Working on a Funk remix

A video posted by Nathaniel Moore (Omari MC) (@omarimc_) on

10. ENGAGE YOUR FANBASE WITH QUESTIONS

Be sure to keep enagaged on Instagram, it’s social media so it's reciprocal, you need to be following fans, bands and brands, liking and commenting on their photos, especially if they mention your band.

If someone has taken a picture of your gig and posted it on your Facebook, like the post on Facebook and the photo on Instagram. You could even have an album for fan Instagram Photos. Also, remember to reply back to comments, it’s rude of you not to.

Don't have the too cool for school vibe. It's ok to double tap on other up and comers stuff as well. You don't have to follow every single person back, but if someone has a cool profile show love!

11. USE AN INSTAGRAM WIDGET ON YOUR BLOG OR WEBSITE

If you don't have a personal website yet, YOU NEED TO!

Your personal website is your central hub. Social media is also an expression of you, but your website is something you fully control. There is no replacement for that. Not to mention my website is easily responsible for about 80-90% of my revenue. DO NOT sleep on building a website.

You can have your Instagram widget on the site as well as on other pages like your SoundCloud profile.

CONCLUSION

Give these strategies a go. It's difficult to track Instagram return on investment sometimes as they don't allow direct links to your site, but with a little creativity, you can certainly promote your music more, reach your fans, and boost your income with Instagram.

CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW OMARI MC ON INSTAGRAM

(I'll be giving out a couple free music promotions for a lucky few random followers, so BE SURE TO FOLLOW!)

SHARING IS SEXY!

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