In our last post, we talked about how important it is to build a strong presence on streaming services such as Spotify. This week we’ll be discussing a similar topic, that is the importance of proper social media promotion for your music, using Instagram to be specific.
With the way the music industry operates these days, having a strong following on social media is integral. Knowing how to utilize tools such as Instagram or Facebook in a way that promotes your music can quickly push your career forward.
In this guide we’re going to break down the following tips for Instagram music promotion in 2020:
- Make a Business Account
- Post High-Quality Content
- Use Hashtags
- Pay to Promote Posts
- Use Stories and Highlights
- Tag Relevant Accounts
- Interact With Other Accounts In Your Niche
- Utilize The Grid To Your Advantage
- Don’t Overlook The Importance of Your Bio
- Use Spotify’s Instagram Stories Feature
1. Make a Business Account
One of the first things you should do when setting up your band’s Instagram page is to make it a business account. This gives you access to a whole bunch of promotional features Instagram offers, that you wouldn’t be able to access otherwise.
In order to do this, you first have to make a normal Instagram account, then link it to a Facebook page for the same artist. The video below shows the process in full detail, along with some of the benefits of having a business account:
Some of the features you’ll gain access to include analytics, the ability to sponsor posts, Facebook auto-posting and more.
2. Post High-Quality Content
Instagram is first and foremost a photo platform. So, it should go without saying that having high-quality photos for your music is essential in proper Instagram promotion.
However, not all bands think about this when first starting out. Instead, they settle for low quality photos that aren’t well thought out and their social media presence suffers because of it.
It’s well worth the time and investment to get proper photoshoots with your band and well-designed graphics for your music. This will give you a professional edge and it will do a better job at catching peoples’ eyes when they’re scrolling through their feed.
You don’t need to take the photos as they are posted either. Instead, when you go in for a photoshoot get shots in different surroundings and outfits. Then, slowly release this stream of content over time, until you’re ready to go back and take more photos.
Although almost every social media platform has them, hashtags are especially important for music promotion on Instagram. They’re integral to getting your posts seen and connecting with other professionals in your field.
Think of hashtags as a system for categorizing posts. People can follow or search certain hashtags to see posts of a specific type. Instagram’s algorithm also uses them to understand what a post is about and where best to place it.
Certain hashtags are more beneficial than others, so it’s important to use ones that are relevant to your post, while also popular. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what hashtags to use but thankfully there are tools out there to make things easier.
One of the best tools for this is Display Purposes. It lets you enter several terms or hashtags that relate to what you’re posting. It will then give you a number of other hashtags that are also relevant.
4. Pay to Promote Posts
Instagram’s algorithm picks and chooses what posts are shown in a user’s wall, based off what it thinks they may like. This is great for the user experience but not so great for artists trying to promote their music as it means your followers aren’t guaranteed to see every one of your posts.
One of the best ways to make sure each post you make is seen by the most number of people is by paying to promote them. Proper post sponsorship can be very effective in improving the interaction rate with your posts.
Not only will it improve the chances of having your posts seen by followers, it also introduces your content to new people who may not have heard of you.
Many people are concerned that promoting posts is an expensive endeavour. However, if done properly it can be quite affordable. Just a few dollars can guarantee that your post is seen by hundreds of people but that doesn’t mean they’ll appreciate the content.
This is where it’s important to use Instagram’s ad targeting features to define the type of audience who will appreciate your music. The video below goes more in-depth into what this process looks like.
5. Use Stories and Highlights
Although your Instagram feed is best kept professional, with well thought out, high-quality photos, you can give your fans a more personal look into your life with the stories feature.
These are short videos or photos that appear at the top of a user’s feed for 24 hours, before disappearing. Due to their short lifespan you don’t have to think as much about what you post in this area.
It’s an excellent way to give fans an inside perspective on your daily life and you can really let your personality shine here.
Even though stories disappear after 24 hours, the creator can still see them in their archives. You can take your favorite stories of the past and create highlight reels with them that sit at the top of your profile for fans to continue viewing.
These can be themed to certain aspects of your life or career such as “Touring” or “Recording”. They’re perfect for giving new visitors to your profile a quick introduction into who you are.
6. Tag Relevant Accounts
Whenever you make a post or a story on your music’s Instagram, a good promotional tactic is to tag the accounts of any brands, artists or other people who appear in it. There are several benefits to doing this.
First, it ups the chances that the user will see your post, interact with you or share it with their followers. It also increases the chance that they’ll tag you in any future posts they make with you.
If you use any specific gear in a post, it’s good practice to tag that brand’s account as well. Although this probably won’t lead to a sponsorship deal when you’re an indie artist, there’s a good chance they’ll interact with you and even repost your picture on their feed. If the latter happens, it can drive hundreds of new followers your way that you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.
Finally, tagging accounts in your stories is very important. When an account is tagged in this scenario, Instagram makes it easy for the tagged account to re-share it on its own story, increasing the awareness of your profile.
7. Interact With Other Accounts In Your Niche
A great promotional tactic to build a larger Instagram following is to interact with other profiles in a similar area of the music industry as you.
This is another place where hashtags come in handy. Try searching for some of the top hashtags in your niche, looking for popular posts that you can relate to.
Then check out the account that made the post, following them. Finally, leave a meaningful, relevant comment on one of their posts.
If what you had to say was something of value, there’s a good chance they’ll check out your page and follow you as well. On top of that, you may have other users who find you in the comments and visit your profile.
Take some time each day and do this to as many accounts as you can. It’s time-consuming but you’ll slowly see a reward for your efforts.
8. Utilize The Grid To Your Advantage
The more visually appealing you can make your music’s Instagram profile, the better it is for promotional purposes. One of the best ways to give you a professional look is to make posts in a way that takes advantage of your profile’s grid.
There are a couple ways you can do this. The first is to alternate photos with graphics of a certain theme. This is especially effective when you’re promoting an event or a release because you’ll have a lot of graphics with the same design.
The next tactic is to post similar photos from the same shoot on each line of your grid. That is to say, switch photoshoots every three photos that you post.
Finally, some artists choose to really dedicate their posts in a way that takes advantage of the design of the feed. This is done by using a tool such as photosplit to break a larger image into separate photos that come together when displayed in a feed.
There’s a downside to this approach, however. While it looks cool on your profile, it doesn’t appear that way in your followers feed. Instead, they’ll just get segmented pieces of an image in an order that doesn’t make sense.
So, while it’s a cool tactic to use every now and then for big releases, it’s best used sparingly.
The video below has examples of all three of these layout techniques and plenty more!
9. Don’t Overlook The Importance of Your Bio
A lot of people disregard their bio due to its small character limit, but it’s actually quite important. It’s the first place people go when they learn about you. It’s also the only place you can post a link on your entire profile.
Although you can’t say a lot, using emojis and line breaks to organize the key information can make a big difference. The video below has some awesome tips on making the most out of your bio:
The Instagram app itself doesn’t let you write line breaks. So, you’ll have to format your bio in something like your notes app, then copy and paste it into your bio field on Instagram.
Instagram also lets you add a website link to your profile that will appear in this section. As previously mentioned, you can’t add clickable links anywhere else on Instagram, not even in posts. So, you want to make sure you take full advantage of the only link you have.
The best way to do this is with a service such as linktr.ree. This allows you to create a custom page with several links to your presence around the internet. You can then paste this single link into your bio, so fans can go there to learn everything about you.
10. Use Spotify’s Instagram Stories Feature
Spotify has some great ways to share your music with your fans on social media. One of their best tools for social media music promotion is its “Share to Instagram Stories” feature.
This allows you to take any album or playlist artwork and create a story on your Instagram account with it. Followers can then tap the artwork and be taken directly to the music on Spotify.
The video below shows in full detail how to go about setting this up.
Conclusion: Proper Instagram Music Promotion
Social media is an excellent tool for music promotion and Instagram is one of the most popular platforms out there. So, it’s wise to have a strong presence on this website, if you’re looking to build a following.
Being a visual platform, success starts with strong visuals. Get high-quality photos of yourself and your music, then post them in a way that takes advantage of your profiles grid layout.
Making sure you have a business account is important, so that you can take full advantage of Instagram’s features such as promoted posts.
Social media promotion is all about interacting with other accounts, so scout out other music profiles on Instagram and start to form relationships with them. Also, don’t forget to tag relevant accounts in your posts and use hashtags to be easily discovered.
Finally, be sure to spend time creating a bio that fully informs new listeners about who you are and where they can learn more about your music.
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