Using Instagram To Promote Your Music

instagramThe following is an excerpt from our book Get More Fans: The DIY Guide To The New Music Business. To get a free excerpt or learn more, please head to this website. 

One of the most entertaining services to come to the Internet recently is the picture sharing, social network Instagram. It provides many cool filters and photography tools,and allows friends to easily follow you and comment on your photos. The service allows you to import all of your friends from Facebook, Twitter and your contact list. Your fans also have the ability to follow you if they see a picture you posted to Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. So what good is it to have your fans follow you on a social network where you only post pictures?  You’d be surprised.
Here are a few ways you can promote your music on Instagram:

 

  • Photo Sharing - You can get your content shared with friends of friends by taking interesting pictures. In Instagram’s news section you can see what your friends have been liking and commenting on. If you’re taking pictures fans like, others will discover you from the social aspect of the site.
  • Promote - Post pictures of your latest album or press you have gotten so your fans know to go check it out. While you may want to do this sparingly, this is a great way to make sure fans don’t miss when you have something new and exciting out.
  • Tag Friends – When posting pictures of merch, shows or new music, encourage your fans to @tag their friends if they should know about your latest news.
  • Geo-Tagging - Instagram has geo-tagging built in. Tag yourself at soundcheck at the venue you’re playing to remind your fans you have a show that night. You can also take cool pictures around the venue or even make a great looking flyer for your show with Instagram.
  • Behind The Scenes - You can show behind-the-scenes glimpses through photos and bond with fans in the comments section. Show your fans how you live when you aren’t on stage.
  • Photo Fame - If you’re able to take particularly amazing photos and you have lots of fans, you have a chance of getting on Instagram’s featured page. Photos with the most likes go to a page titled Popular, where the whole world can see your name and you can get some serious branding and recognition for your bad-ass photo.
  • Hashtag - Make use of their hashtag system by using tags like #recording, #recording studio, #giglife, #guitarporn or #bandshirts. Many users will search these hashtags to look at photos of what they’re interested in. I’m addicted to the #recordingstudio tag, where musicians show off pictures of themselves in the studio. Tag appropriately, and you can get your music discovered by others who share similar interests.
  • Profile - Be sure to fill out your profile and web address. If users find you through the social aspects of Instagram, they can learn about you and where to get your music for free.
  • ReGram - You can capture photos from other users by taking a screenshot. Be sure to credit them by writing “ReGram” and crediting the author by tagging their @symbol. This is helpful if a fan took a great picture of you that you like.
  • Spread - Instagram is a great way to get pictures onto your other social networks. Remember, great-looking images get shared fast on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Use Instagram to make your pictures look better and they will raise awareness about your music.
  • Filter - It’s FUN! Instagram has tons of cool filters that can make your photos look great.
  • Follow, Comment And Heart - Just like Tumblr, you should follow your fans and then heart and comment on their photos. Interact with them and build better bonds.
  • Webstagram - Don’t want to do all of this from your phone? You can comment, heart, etc. all from your computer with Instagram’s own website.
  • Link – If you want to share your Instagram profile on the web, direct fans to Instagram.com/YOURUSERNAMEHERE.

Contests

Fans connecting with you on Instagram can raise awareness about your music. Encourage them by telling your fans whoever takes the best Instagram photograph of your show, and tags you in it, can get a free piece of merch after the show. Having them tag you will show all of their friends what they were missing by not coming to see you.

Follow

If you want fans to follow you on Instagram, all you need to do is tell them to go to instagram.com/yourusername. This means you can make buttons and badges (instagram.com/accounts/badges) for your website and link them to your profile.

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.