With over one billion active users, Instagram is any starting artist’s best friend; it is a resource that holds the power to open up many doors (one billion doors, to be exact). With the right goals, posts, and activity, you can rapidly gain a sufficient following. People commonly credit Instagram as being easy to use and as having an actual potential to increase engagement—and therefore, the potential to increase popularity.
The first thing to keep in mind when starting out with Instagram is that you’ll want to develop, establish, and maintain a personal brand. According to businessdictionary.com branding can be understood as “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers' mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme.” Quite simply, this just means you want to market yourself (and your music or art) in a consistent, distinctive way that allows you to be recognizable. Being recognizable means that you will be memorable—people will start to pick up on who you are and what you do, especially if you match the consistency of your branding with the consistency of your positing.
Now that we’ve covered branding, we can jump into broadcasting that branding on Instagram. Outlined below are a few pointers to keep in mind when you are starting out (or revamping) your Instagram presence.
Getting Started: Creating an Effective Profile
Implementing your branding tactics on Instagram starts with your profile picture. Here you can use a profile photo that may also be featured on other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc. This could be a temporary promotional image or an image of you/your group that you plan to use more permanently; either way, your profile image here should communicate something about you and your newly established “brand” as a musician or artist.
Instagram profiles also feature a short bio and a space for a link to a website. You can get as creative (or as practical) as you see fit with your bio, but make sure it addresses who you are and what type of work you do. To mirror and supplement your bio, use a link to your EPK on EPKvault.com to allow people to look more into what exactly your story is.
What to Post, When to Post, and How Often to Post
If you’re wondering what kind of content to post on Instagram, stop overthinking it. It’s pretty simple. Whether you are posting to your story or your feed, you should post content that communicates something about what you are doing, what you might have planned, and what your story is. If you are a musician, brief preview videos of your music could be a great way to get your audience hooked and keep them wanting more. If you have a show coming up, post the details of it and encourage people to go. Include hashtags and geolocations to optimize your engagement, too.
Determining when to post is equally simple, though also dependent on who your target audience is. If you are a House or EDM DJ, you’ll likely have more luck posting late at night than would a country singer. There are some specific times listed online on various websites telling you which exact time on what day to post, but the number one thing to keep in mind is your target audience (and when people of this target audience are most likely to be actively scrolling on Instagram).
How often you post is also dependent on each musician’s goals. A good rule of thumb is to create a posting schedule, which will hold you to posting consistently. The more you post, the more engagement you are likely to have, so try to post with high frequency. That’s not to say to spam your Instagram followers, but if you post regularly, you can reinforce the idea of getting more people to listen to your music.
Crosspost to Facebook, Twitter, and Other Platforms
Crossposting is an effective way to ensure you are posting regularly. However, as much as crossposting can be the shortcut way to high engagement, it can also exhaust and bore your audience to see the same content across every platform. The best tip for crossposting is to do it with big announcements and important information. For example, if you are posting to your Instagram about an upcoming album release, you want to maximize the people seeing that post. So, crossposting to Facebook and Twitter could be an effective way at optimizing the volume of social media users learning about your new release.
While the tips above are just a quick three-step guide to Instagram, it covers most—if not all—of the basics. The biggest takeaways here are to establish your branding, spread the awareness of said branding on Instagram, post consistently (consistently applies both to content and to amount of posts), and promote your Instagram posts across other platforms. Following these beginning steps will set you up to become a natural at Instagramming and in turn, increase your following.
A note from Your EPKvault Team: As an artist or musician, you likely have (or have thought about having) an EPK. Using and promoting your own EPK on social media is a sure way of expanding your reach and exposure. Whether you include the link to your EPK on EPKvault.com in your Instagram bio, feature it as a link in a Facebook post, or post a direct image of it on your Twitter, combining the sharing powers of social media with the self-promotional features of EPK is a must-do for any artist or musician.
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