Instagram's adding ads and they won't post your pics on Twitter and many new enticing services are emerging to share media while marketing your music. Yet Instagram is still a core tool for music marketing both for its still-growing user base and its position as a Facebook property. If you're staying with Instagram or just getting started, here are a few tips on maximizing your marketing efforts. But if you're feeling a bit jaded from too many tips and techniques, consider the possibility that simply making art on Instagram might be the best social marketing strategy of all.
Yes, Instagram is introducing ads in the form of branded photos and videos. They say they'll do it slowly and it's a fair move but going from ad-free to ads in the feed always removes a bit of shine.
And, no, Instagram still won't re-integrate with Twitter which is annoying and not so good for retweets.
But Instagram remains a powerhouse and a great way to market yourself and your music via photo and video sharing. So here are some ideas for increasing your marketing reach.
Hashtags Increase Photo Likes
Dan Zarella recently posted the results of his Instagram hashtag research. He found that "images that include hashtags get more likes than images that do not."
Unfortunately he also found that the hashtags with the strongest effects are those like #followforfollow and "#likeforlike that encourage the tendency for all such systems to become roaring noise pits with decreasing usefulness for actual communication. But other hashtags that actually describe the pic are next on the list. I encourage you to explore the latter.
Marketing by Making Friends
Jaden Social's Sarah Lynch considers "6 Reasons Why Making New Friends Can Help Market Your Music on Instagram" which describes an approach for connecting with people on Instagram that are likely to be receptive to your music. They include:
"Strategically assess, target and befriend a group who has the same interests as you."
"Start a conversation with fans ahead of shows."
"Make friends with their friends."
More of a how than a why, check the post for more tactics with specific suggestions.
Let Your Inner Visual Artist Go Free
Kaylen Hong shares the projects of "10 amazingly creative users of Instagram you could learn a thing or two from."
I have to agree. This is a nice selection of projects that are strong examples of digging into a theme on Instagram with a consistent visual approach that can certainly be taken as art.
So if you've posted all the "behind-the-scenes doing something similar to what we did at the last show" Instagram pics, consider making some art. Come on, don't they call musicians artists these days?
- Instagram Music Videos With Merch On The Side
- Facehawk vs. Faces: Music Videos Hack Facebook and Exploit Instagram Video
- 10 Great Ways Musicians Are Using Instagram Video
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.