A lot has changed since the first Instagram post was uploaded in 2010. With over 300 million monthly active users and more than 30 billion posts a day across the world, Instagram is a key platform for worldwide communication. That being said, if you want to make sure your music reaches the masses, you have to make sure to stand out over all those pictures of sunsets and sushi. Here are a few music promotion strategies that will surely come in handy.
Offer Added Value to Your Fans
It’s very easy for promotional content to be quickly swiped away. If you want to establish a bond with your fans, make sure your posts in no way resemble a commercial for a bank. Share anecdotes, speak about how you got into music, open up about your personal life. It’ll make your fans feel like insiders instead of onlookers, and give people who don’t know you a chance to do so.
Reward Your Followers with Giveaways
Your fans have stuck by you, been to every gig and shared your music. It’s only right to give them something back while gaining an opportunity to reach more people. Hold contests and giveaways, and make sure that one of the entry conditions is sharing a link or tagging a friend. The better the prize, the more people will enter, and the more Instagram follows you might get. A few suggestions: -Backstage passes to a concert. -Guitar picks, drumsticks or other keepsakes from a show. -A sneak preview at unreleased material. -Entry to a rehearsal for a few fans. -Autographed merchandise. Make Your Followers Feel Involved When post-rock band Sigur Rós set out to make a video for their single “Stormur,” they asked fans on Instagram to create videos that would go well with the song. With that material, they compiled an ever-evolving video clip that is completely different with each play. Crowd-sourcing material from Instagram creates feedback with your followers. Don’t forget to also leave the occasional like or comment, and following back your most loyal supporters. As part of the promotion for her last album, Taylor Swift threw a secret listening party for fans chosen through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The results: over 7 million likes in the pictures she uploaded, as well as a fortified fan base and a much-welcomed media blitz. Besides creating special events like these, you may take advantage of Instagram’s audio/video capability to upload “teasers” — snippets of your new material — to get fans excited and give others a chance to get curious about what you do.
Network On and Off Instagram
Make sure that the shows you play have a proper online presence. Ask fans to upload a picture or video using a pre-established hashtag during the show. Promote the hashtag and the group’s account in the venue screens. Have a marketing team set up a “merchandise for follow” stand, with giveaways for anyone who follows the band on the spot.
Interact with Other Artists
Meeting up with musicians, industry people and influential artists is a great way to gain exposure. Organize a jam session or meeting, upload a picture of the moment and tag the person on Instagram. Not only will this help your digital clout, but it’s a scenario for joint ventures and future projects. No celebrity is too big for this strategy. Just ask Steven Tyler, who uploaded a picture of him and Ringo Starr along with some well-deserved praise.
Don’t Post too Often
Finally, while there is much potential in Instagram for promoting your music, uploading too many or too few pictures might create the opposite effect. In other words, don’t overpost, but don’t underpost either. While finding this balance may be difficult, a good rule of thumb is posting twice a day, but feel free to tweak it to your advantage. Use tools like SimplyMeasured or IconoSquare to figure out the best time in the day to post. If all of this sounds too overwhelming, Planetary Group can help get your name out there. Just give us a call in L.A. at (323) 952-5050, or in Boston at (617) 517-4193.