How to Promote Your Music on Instagram and Build a Fanbase
Want to use Instagram to promote your music, but you’re not sure where to start? While Instagram can, like other social networks, be a time waster for musicians, it does have its uses when used effectively. Below, we have covered everything you need to know to get the ball rolling.
Choose a username that is simple and relatable
Your username is important. Get this wrong and your potential followers may struggle to find you or they could be confused if the name appears not to be connected to you in an obvious way.
Select usernames which relate to your name or stage name (whichever is most applicable) and, if unavailable, try appending words such as “official”, “music”, or “singer”. Ideally, this should correspond to your usernames on other social platforms, to avoid confusion.
Shameless plug ahead! Continue reading below.
Post content that interests your followers
Avoid using your Instagram profile as a journal — uninspired posts may cause fans and followers to lose interest. Instead, aim to provide regular interesting content tailored to your audience.
Plan all of your posts in advance where possible (to avoid making mistakes that could hurt your career) and make note of which topics draw the most interaction — eliminating or reducing those which are less interesting to your following.
With that said, aim to avoid repetitive posts, making sure each post provides some value to those who interact regularly.
Make it your goal to provide insight into who you are, but avoid posts which would make you appear self-interested. Maintaining a little mystery doesn’t hurt.
Content which may be desirable to your audience:
- Snippets of lyrics to an unreleased song
- Pictures or videos of you in the recording studio or in the process of filming a video
- A teaser clip of a new video
- A picture of you with a collaborating artist or producer
Use hashtags mindfully
Hashtags on Instagram can be hit or miss. Often they are generated by bots (automated software) and are, therefore, saturated with poor quality content.
Consider listing all of the hashtags you expect to use on a post in advance. This will allow you to be concise, avoiding unnecessary mistakes (duplication, or spelling errors).
This list can be easily transferred when you publish your post (simply copy and paste). Pasting hashtags into the comments section keeps your picture caption clean.
Avoid silly or irrelevant hashtags, as these could make you look desperate for attention and will potentially damage your reputation.
You may choose to add a hashtag to your bio. Using a hashtag which illuminates something you are passionate about can help to position you as an artist.
Shameless plug ahead! Continue reading below.
Frequently interact with others
Those who engage with your profile are less likely to continue to do so if communication is not reciprocated. Therefore, to build a strong and loyal following, aim to interact with all who comment on your posts.
It can also be helpful to communicate with those who follow and engage with similar artists, as they would be the perfect audience to introduce to your music.
Direct messaging those who engage with your posts regularly is a great way to demonstrate how much you value your followers. However, be cautious not to overdo this as you don’t want to appear desperate.
Once you have built a good following and established yourself on the platform, you could tag a record label in your next big post. While I wouldn’t expect this to get you signed, it is possible that if they like what they see, they may dig deeper.
Make your Instagram ‘Stories’ engaging
Although the story function works similarly to Snapchat, it’s still a good idea to treat it like your Instagram feed. Posting high quality and engaging content will entice people to keep up with you.
What you might want to post in Instagram Story mode:
- Are you working on a new album or single? Post pictures of your creative process and your lyric book.
- Are you listening to a song which you really like? Screenshot it or take a picture/video of it.
- Consider holding a livestream and do a Q&A or interview — this helps your followers to feel closer to you.
Plan your posts, use common sense and have fun
Aim to get to know your followers and plan posts in advance that you think will excite them or provide value. Set yourself a high standard and post as the person you would like them to see.
Remember, while you want to connect and engage with your audience, a little suspense and mystery helps to draw attention and build reputation — so think carefully about your posts and how they will relate to each other. Get this combination right and you will soon see your following rise.
Do you use Instagram to promote your music? What tips would you give to those just starting out? We would love to hear about them in the comments below.