A lot has changed since the first Instagram was posted in 2010. With over 1 billion monthly active users in 2021 and more than 995 photos are posted per second across the world, Instagram is one of the most popular platforms 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 the other accounts, brands, and, most importantly, bands. Here are a few music promotion strategies that will surely come in handy.
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 or advertisement. Share the writing process, post silly things of you guys driving around or being silly. Don’t be too serious all the time, unless it’s a specific brand and its ironic. Make it as much about your band as human beings and full people as it is about the music.
Being open and fun will make your fans feel like insiders instead of onlookers. Now more than ever people are using Instagram to come together after a period of being away from each other. People want to laugh, they want to find their next favorite song, and they want to be “together”, even if it means online. So, no pretend separation between you and audience. The more your audience feels like they could have fun hanging out with you, the better.
FIND NEW FANS THROUGH #HASHTAGS
Especially when your band Instagram is new, choose a few strong #hashtags with a lot of posts and pair it with your stories and feed content. Never use more than one or two, though, as it tends to drive down traffic thanks to the new algorithm.
MAKE YOUR FOLLOWERS FEEL INVOLVED BY INCLUDING THEM
It used to be that giving away tickets or free downloads was the method of getting fans to share your music and help spread the word organically on social media. Now the currency is your fans and friends being seen themselves, so now you’ll see big indie artists like Phoebe Bridgers sharing her fans posts, usually about her music or regarding their gigantic fandom and how nerdy they think they are. This grows the fanaticism and love for an artist and creates a community of fans who can talk to each other and geek out over your music. The Beatles had a huge fan club, now Phoebe Bridgers does, and they have their own jokes and aesthetics. Time to build your online fan club!
Get fans to use a #hashtag specific to your band and have them wear your shirt or sing your song. Then repost it to your stories. The thrill your fans get keeps them coming back for more and wanting to share your content as it is released.
INTERACT WITH OTHER ARTISTS IN YOUR NICHE
This era is more about collaboration across the internet than ever before. When The Postal Service recorded their only album through emails in 2002, they could’ve never anticipated how it has influenced a large percentage of the music that was created in the last two years.
Don’t spend time trying to get huge famous people to notice you. The next stars are you and your peers on Instagram making music and putting it out there. If you’re a solo artist, reach out to people who are on your level, in your sort of style and feel, and have the same number of followers as you roughly, or one step up (if you have 500 followers, try to reach out to people with 400-750… or 1000-9000), etc.).
If you’re a band, reach out to bands in cities you wanna travel to and play with. Try to set up things for the future. The grassroots connections are always the ones that lead to the best, most satisfying experiences on the road. Plant those seeds while everyone is dying to book shows.
HOW OFTEN TO POST
The algorithm used to be such that it wasn’t good to post a lot. Back then, posting too much would lower the amount of people who would see what you’re posting to try to “even out” the exposure of each account. Those days are long gone, and the current algorithm still reacts to grossly overcasting (5 photo posts a day), but is way more forgiving and rewards regular and consistent posting.
Instagram itself suggests posting to your photo feed once per day, while some tech writers say most successful brands post 1.5 times a day. So that means posting between 7-10 times a week, but there’s more than just the original photo feed if you want to get noticed….
THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF POSTS
This isn’t the Instagram of 2015 anymore. You’ll have a hard time getting noticed only posting photographs in your feed. The key to getting your band noticed today is posting across Instagram’s multiple modes of sharing: stories, reels, IGTV, and then the photo feed. In that order of importance.
- Stories: Post 5-10 a day, make some reposts of photo feed photos to direct people there , but more important are intimate, homey, behind the scenes feeling ones. Talking, telling stories, playing clips of songs in progress are very engaging types of stories and get people “into your world” as a band.
- Reels: Post 2-3 reels a week. They’re only 15 seconds and are Insta’s attempt to recreate TikTok. More on that in our article on Instagram Reels. Be quick and humorous, or catchy and music focused.
- IGTV: Post 1-2 IGTV videos a week. These can be longer and bands often do performances of a whole song, a story/rant, or answering fans questions from the week’s survey.
- Photo feed: 7-10 a week. Photos with people do better than objects, vistas, or your food, so post the members of the band. Let people see how cool they look and how beautiful they are, inside and out. Make sure to share the posted photo as a stories to direct people there.
NETWORK ON AND OFF INSTAGRAM
Make sure to cross post between apps like Instagram, TikTok, and other places like Twitch or Clubhouse. The bigger presence, the more chance people can find your music and link each other to your stuff. The most common chain of importance is to create content for stories, reels, and photos on Instagram, but also to repost TikTok videos with the water mark on it to the photo feed and stories as well. This cross-pollination will connect your audiences and hopefully grow your numbers across them all.
In this time, as the industry slowly regaining its footing, its important to be broadcasting yourself where the people are and not expect them to just find you in one place or another. Be as ubiquitous as you can, it only costs your time and effort. If all of this sounds too overwhelming, Planetary Group can help get your name out there. Just give us a call in at (323) 952-5050.