We all know what Instagram is, and what it’s about. But did you know that it’s an important social networking tool that you’re probably not getting the most out of?
Here are ten Instagram tips for musicians to integrate your photos and images into a successful social media strategy.
Want to get the most out of your Instagram account? Build your fan base and increase your followers with an expert music promo campaign.
10 Instagram Tips For Musicians
1. Reserve Your Instagram Name
As with Twitter, you'll need to register and set up your artist or band account with Instagram. Don’t use your personal account as your artist account, most people won’t engage with an image of what you had for dinner. If your band name is already taken try adding a location e.g "DittoMusicUK" and make sure you set up with a different email account to your personal account.
Tip: If you are having difficulty securing the username you want, Instagram does have a Trademark Policy in place, and by contacting Instagram you may have a chance at claiming your business Instagram name.
2. Set Up Your Profile
As a mobile app, Instagram allows you to add a profile image (try and keep this the same as your Twitter or Facebook for continuity) bio and link to your website. Take advantage of this and keep it simple.
The platform has also launched Instagram for the web allowing you to have a web profile, so be sure to log in and make sure your information is up to date and your settings are set exactly how you want.
And remember, no Instagram profile is fully complete without getting your music on there too.
3. Sync Your Social Profiles
Instagram is a great visual tool, and the starting point from which you can post to other social platforms. With Facebook for example, you can share your Instagram photos to your Band Page, where you can ensure the content is larger and more prominent on Timelines than other standard posts.
Tip: Connect your Facebook, Twitter and any other third party social media site by going to: Profile > Edit Settings.
4. What’s 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 to find another bands using Instagram effectively and see what their fans are engaging with. Give people a reason to follow you.
5. Edit Your Schedule and Content
As with any platform, you need to be constantly aware of how your followers are engaging with your content. If your 9am posts aren’t getting any engagement, wait until lunch. Move away from constant promotional messaging, give followers an insight into your week, deliver insightful, useful and meaningful images to drive engagement and positive viewing experiences.
You could design a schedule on when you will update your Instagram, however, this can often be a little to structured, as sometimes the best images come from the moment, so play around with what works best for you and your engagement.
6. Integrate Across Your Platforms
Instagram works best when synced with your other social media sites, so when you are posting to all these sites, you probably have a different tone of voice. Consider changing the tone and content of the message you are posting with the image depending on the platform. You don’t want to ask people to retweet when you’ve posted the image to Facebook.
7. Involve The Entire Band
You might sometimes find yourself short of photo opportunities, but that doesn’t mean someone else in the band is. Allow the entire band access to the Instagram account for different view points and voices. This also allows followers to connect with the full band, rather than just one member. However, make sure that this doesn’t lead to duplicate posts or too many updates in a short space of time. Try and regulate who is posting at certain times to avoid unnecessary clashes.
8. Engage Your Fan Community
Be sure to keep your followers engaged 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, as it could be seen as rude if you don't.
9. Tag and Geo-tag Your Photos
Like Twitter, incorporating hashtags into your posts will increase the visibility. Ensure that the hashtags are relevant; a location, tour name, promotional campaign, photo description etc. But don’t go overboard! Any more than three hashtags and you instantly make the post an eyesore.
Instagram is also putting emphasis on geo-tagging, so if you don’t mind adding your location to the images this could be a useful option, which gives the image more context.
10. Get an insight into your social media
Always look to gain more of an insight into your online community, this will help you in optimizing the content of your images. You can use sites like Statigram and SimplyMeasured to see your most engaging times to post in the day, the best filter you have used, and identify who is engaging with your content the most.
Remember, Instagram should reflect you and your life as an artist or band. Make sure to give it your own voice and engage with your followers as often as possible to increase your reach and win over new fans.