At a time when presence on social networks is essential for musicians, here is the ultimate guide to gaining new followers on Instagram, mastering hashtags and discovering the tools that will make your job easier, showcase your creativity on the platform, and make up for any lack of inspiration.
1. Completely fill out your Instagram profile
Introductory text = your Instagram biography
Are you a musician? Your Instagram biography should be concise and regularly updated. It should include upcoming concerts/tours and possible album or video clip releases. Do not hesitate to integrate hashtags (example: musician – artist #pop) inside your Instagram biography, this will bring people on your profile and gain you new followers.
Link in your bio
Instagram is a very good tool for musicians to promote themselves. You can easily integrate a smartlink into your Instagram biography, which allows people to listen to your track/album on all streaming platforms.
💡 This Linktree site allows you to assemble several links into one!
| Read also: HOW TO WRITE A GOOD BIOGRAPHY TO PROMOTE YOUR MUSIC?
2. Develop a strong visual identity to gain new followers
A Great Feed
The mosaic of your Instagram account should be harmonious. Try to find an original idea that stands out from the crowd and makes your potential fans want to follow you as soon as they land on your profile.
Stay True to Yourself
In order to gain followers on Instagram, you must first define a basic premise: as a musician, what do you want to pass on? Is your image important? Then don’t hesitate to plan a photoshoot that you can take content from as you go along with your Instagram posts (see point 3). What if you don’t want your face to be seen? Don’t worry: define a universe or theme that fits your project and with which you feel comfortable.
You should never feel out of step with your content on Instagram, for the sake of your personal well-being and because your followers will feel it.
Choose Quality over Quantity
Although it may seem logical, it’s better to have few good pictures than a ton of poor ones. Think about the light, framing, subject and, most importantly, think about the message. What is the purpose of your photo? An album release, a clip, simply a (beautiful) live souvenir? The content will vary depending on the purpose. And for musicians who are a little indecisive, don’t forget that you can post carousels (several photos in one post).
Your musical project tells a story- your Instagram must reflect it.
3. Fill out your Instagram profile
Plan a Calendar for your Posts
That being said, the Instagram algorithm values the flow of content. Rather than feeling obligated to post that old photo from 2015 with your greasy hair, feel free to anticipate your posts by creating a calendar. This will allow you to remember the important posts (concert dates, album releases, etc.), to establish a certain logic in your Instagram posts, and create organized content for your followers. You can follow pre-existing trends such as #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) or set up your own rhythm.
The good thing about Instagram is that it’s up to you to decide what you want to tell your followers; try to have an engaged vision and stay present with what you post.
You’re an incredible musician, an outstanding guitarist, but you’re even better at baking? That’s the kind of thing you can share with your followers, in small doses. Once in a while, you can totally share more of your more private life to connect with your followers on Instagram. Also, feel free to tag your friends who are in the same circles as you (if they’re in the picture!), or geolocate your posts when it makes sense (concerts, tours, recording studios, etc.).
You’re certainly a future star, but remember that you’re human above all.
You are Not the Only One
Also, feel free to check out the Instagram accounts of musicians you like. Without copying and pasting, don’t hesitate to use it as inspiration to determine a visual universe that suits you. Don’t forget to have fun and do as you please. If you decide to only post photos of shoes to your Instagram account, take it all the way but explain why (think of your bio!).
4. Be present on other social medias to grow your followers
Spread the word on your social networks: invite your Facebook, Twitter, etc. communities to subscribe to your Instagram account.
Invite your friends and if they are very good friends, ask them to invite theirs! Are my followers’ followers my followers? 🤔
💡How to share an Instagram profile: go to profile > 3 small dots in the top right corner > Share this profile.
5. Follow people strategically
Take Your Time
On Instagram, for an artist/musician account, always make sure that the number of followers is greater than the number of people you follow. You want this difference to be even greater for more credibility when the project starts to take off! Interact with accounts in the same sector. Avoid following en masse, at the risk of being “punished” by Instagram and seeing your engagement rate decrease. Avoid untimely follows/unfollows. The same goes for likes and comments.
Avoid Buying Followers
It is best to start with a community of engaged, present and active followers who will stay for the long term.
Instagram has become even stricter with paid systems; as soon as it detects “abnormal” activity, the account is “shadow banned” and put in the shade.
6. Pay attention to your descriptions
Have Interesting and Engaging Descriptions
Storytelling works very well for artist accounts. Pay attention to the first sentence of each Instagram post and don’t forget to include “Link in my bio”.
💡 This site allows to make texts with line jumps on Instagram 👉 https://instagram.fredods.com/
Use Numerous and Varied Hashtags
Your biography is important and so are your posts. Don’t be fooled by the visual side of Instagram to the point of forgetting your posts. Think about hashtags and don’t always use the same ones. Vary popular hashtags and more targeted hashtags.
At least 8 hashtags per post Instagram seems to be a good average.
💡This site gives hashtag ideas based on hashtags provided 👉 https://www.tagsfinder.com/fr-fr/
When to Post on Instagram
Publish at the right time (day and hour- paying attention to the country in question) and only once a day.
Don’t hesitate to make your own tests. Try different times, different days, and most importantly, check your statistics on your Instagram > statistics profile.
7. Share Instagram stories, feel free in front of your followers
Once you’ve mastered the basics, all you have to do is create stories for your daily life, or at least that of your life as a musician. Here, the tone is freer, more direct, and you can interact with your followers: polls, open questions, etc… There are no rules for Instagram stories; it’s up to you to experiment, find your font, your gifs, and your subjects: music rehearsals, your private life, etc. Again, stay true to yourself.
For example, think about filming bits of concerts you go to, and tagging artists for reposts thus creating an ecosystem that goes beyond your own project.
Highlighting Stories on Your Profile
This is your opportunity to highlight moments and group them by themes on your Instagram profile. You can even create visuals for each theme. Feel free to share the positive feedback you’ve received and show behind the scenes if you feel like it.
General Guidelines for Stories
Tag, tag & tag again: Tag as many accounts as possible in your stories to show you are present, reactive, and raise your chances of acquiring new followers. This works well when the tagged account is influential! And don’t hesitate to subscribe to the accounts you tag.
You can use “Link in my bio” to promote a project within your stories. It is possible to make stories with direct links from 10k followers. You can do it!
Add your track in the background: Instragram recently allowed professional accounts to add musical tracks to stories via Spotify- a very good way to boost your streams!
8. Sponsor posts to quickly gain new followers
You don’t have to have a big budget to get your sponsorships to work on Instagram. It’s all about targeting: age range, location, interests. Again, it’s better to reach few people who are likely to be hooked on your project, than 1 million people who won’t pay attention. The more precise the targeting, the more likely you are to gain followers.
On the creative side, at Groover, we prefer the square format for our sponsored posts(1080x1080px) but be inventive: no need for the photo to fill all the space. People need to quickly and easily understand who you are and why you’re talking to them.
The principle is the same on the stories, but in video version. In 3 seconds, you have to get their attention, and then it’s up to you.
Putting a small budget of 2€ per day for your stories is already a lot and allows you to gain visibility quite quickly! Focusing on the story format is the most efficient way to reach small budgets, using precise targeting thanks to statistics.
Try to find original content compared to other musicians. Example: make an interactive sponsored poll “Have you already listened to the latest album of … ?”.
It is possible to get inspired and see other artists’ ads in the FB library 👉 http://bit.ly/BibilothequeFB.
💡Have the reflex to take a screenshot when you see an ad that you like.
9. Post long videos on your Instagram Feed + IGTV
IGTV: Instagram has been pushing this feature lately. It makes it possible for you to be seen all over the world quite easily. The videos appear according to the interests of the users. This feature has great potential to attract new followers, especially for musicians.
Take the time to fill in hashtags to gain visibility – see above 👉 https://www.tagsfinder.com/fr-fr/ – and categorize your IGTV videos well.
10. Interact with your followers
Reply to comments: don’t forget to tag the account! Propose contests. Ask questions and make polls in stories.
Your followers are eager to participate!
11. Make use of other applications
Now that you’ve mastered Instagram, it’s time to go even further. We’re thinking about Layout, classic but always useful for nice split posts, or Unfold for a very classy looking story.
FontCandy or FontStudio will delight post enthusiasts, while Hyperlapse will allow you to speed up or slow down your videos easily. Use the filters available on stories, experimenting when you don’t know what to do.
12. Go for it!
You are unique, your music is unique, so your Instagram must be unique too. Don’t be afraid to mess up- remember that everyone will have forgotten in 48 hours. If you are a group of musicians, talk about it beforehand to define who is in charge, but don’t hesitate to multiply the content.
| Read also: 7 INSTAGRAM TIPS FOR MUSIC ARTISTS
At Groover, we particularly like:
@jackie.moontan for the wacky storytelling perfectly suited to his visuals.
@thisispraa for the right balance between her private life and her glamorous life
@aurusmusic for the visual logic and the emphasis on the artist
@polycool.cool for the personal side, fun and wtf images
@luluvantrapp for the rock n’ roll side
@merryn_jeann for the intimacy of her world, which she gently unveils
@lamverte for the regularity in his universe
@yan_wagner_slash_the_populists for an example that shows very little of his face!
@ohmuuuu for the music-drawing interconnection
– Article written by Loren Synnaeve in its original version, translated by Mackenzie Leighton –