Let me guess – You LOVE Instagram. All artists love Instagram. Instagram is like Linkedin for musicians.
There are more than 500 million daily users, and approximately 1 billion monthly users. And it’s a great tool that can open the door to finding new fans, while simultaneously nurturing your relationship with current fans.
Unfortunately, a lot of musicians IG users don’t understand how to utilize its features or shock the algorithm to work in their favor. They simply take a picture, put a filter on the photo, type out a caption, and hit “Post.”
So, we had a team pow-wow and gathered our expertise on all things Instagram, plus we are sharing excerpts from some of our Total Tuneups where we have done deep research for our clients, to help you up your own Insta game.
Here are 9 Advanced Instagram Tips For Musicians
1. Look at Your Instagram Insights
This can literally take 5 minutes and your Insights will show you location, ages and gender of your fans and likers as well as show you what content is working. Open up the “Notes” app on your phone, and jot down some observations so you can tailor future posts. Maybe your fanbase is predominantly female, and you weren’t sure if you should post your make-up tutorial or your most recent experiences from a female perspective. Perhaps your in-studio posts get the most engagement, your analytics will show that you need to post a few more of those. Don’t be afraid to get creative when utilizing the information you get from your analytics.
APP TIP: We use a free app called Command which can help you find collaborators and competitors and give you hourly stats!
2. When You Post to Your Feed Also Post to Stories
When you put up a new post, be sure to also add a slightly different version of the post (with comments or stickers) as a story, that says something along the lines of “New Post! Check it out!” A lot of influencers use this tactic to drive traffic to their feed since the Instagram algorithm can sometimes push your post down a feed if your follower isn’t an active fan. But as you know Stories appear in those lovely little circles at the TOP of your IG feed, so get in there where you will be seen.
3. Comment Back With 5 Words or More
When people comment on your posts, don’t take the lazy approach and just send an emoji or two! Be sure you use the “5- words or more” rule, and comment back with at least 5 unique words. Just an emoji and a “Thanks!” won’t suffice, because this won’t “shock” the algorithm. Dedicate the time to respond and increase your chances of being seen on platform by the Instagram powers that be. Also, your fans will appreciate this and dedicate their time back to you. The more active and unique your account comments are, the more IG will favor you.
APP TIP: Use Later to help you manage comments.
4. Use Relevant and Unique Hashtags for Each Post.
We like to use an app called Display Purposes to help you generate some hashtags that are relational to what you post. Most people have a note on their phone with “Selfies hashtags” and “Live performance hashtags”, but this is super dangerous. Using the exact same group of hashtags will put you on IG’s spam list, minimizing your chances of being seen. Make sure you change up your hashtags for every post and keep them relevant to who, what, where, when, and why. We suggest you use 1-2 in your post and 20 or so in your first comment. (Maximum is 30.)
APP TIP: Use Display Purposes to help you identify hashtags to add to your Instagram posts
5. Like Other’s Comments Within Your Niche.
Curate a list of accounts who are within your music genre (here are 7 we love to spark inspiration), and will, therefore, have similar fanbases to you, and like a few comments on various posts. For instance, if you feel like you have a similar fanbase to Halsey, go through her posts, pick one, and like a few comments that make you laugh, you resonate with, or enjoy. These commenters will then be inclined to check out your account after having one of their own comments liked. Be careful here, don’t overdo it on one post by liking every single comment. This may deem you and your account as spam. You can also go a bit further, and comment back to these fans as well, as long as you have something non-creepy to contribute.
6. Schedule and Time Your Posts
Make sure you’re posting during the optimal times according to your audience. We like the Preview app, but there are many apps out there. It makes life so much easier when you schedule your posts, and it holds you accountable for staying consistent. Plus you are MUCH less likely to get sucked down the Instagram rabbit hole and waste precious time if you have posts planned and scheduled in advance. Note: make sure you monitor what is working content-wise and times to post when your audience is there and most active
APP TIP: Use The Preview App or WhenToPost both will show you the best times for your account so you can post while the iron is HOT!
7. Use Interactive Tags and Stickers on Stories
Instagram has now added tags and stickers that allow you to ask your viewers questions, rate things, and allows them to give their opinion. Use these tools on your stories to increase interaction between you and your viewers.
8. Fill in the “Alt Text” and GeoTag before You Post Photos
According to Social Pros, adding your location can increase your engagement by 79%, but you’re probably already doing that, aren’t you? But before you post your photo, go to the advanced settings and describe your photo in the Alt Text so that blind or visually impaired people also have the opportunity to find you and your post. This is definitely something that a lot of Instagram users forget to do.
Final takeaway: The Instagram algorithm is not the easiest puzzle to solve. The main thing to remember is this: Engage, engage, E N G A G E. And do this organically! The more you are engaging, posting, liking, and commenting on Instagram, the more likely your account and posts will be favored over other accounts.
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wow this was super helpful. Thanks!
HI, Great article! Thanks. The link for the Social Media Organizer download doesn’t seem to be working. Is it only me?
Such a helpful article, thank you for sharing these tips! This article is very good and informative. I hope that many aspiring musicians out there can get a chance to see this post, as this is very helpful in terms of music promotion. I also recommend trying out a music management tool to help you promote your brand, grow your audience and give your music the attention it deserves.