When it comes to using Instagram (or really any social media) to promote your music, it's important that you develop an engaged community of fans, not just a passive audience, vaguely aware of who you are. Here we look at five key techniques for properly promoting your band on Instagram.
Guest post Joey Burdon of Warble Entertainment
Your music has a purpose. That purpose is to represent a group of people and that group of people then becomes a community.
Your music is the firepit which everyone is congregated around and you are the storyteller. As a band, your social media is just a vehicle to look after your community and keep them involved. It's an incubator to breed fans. A follow, a subscribe or a like is just the start of a journey that you can take people on from being an audience member to a fully fledged fan.
When it comes to promoting your band on social media, you need an engaged community and not an audience who just knows of you.
Audiences listen, but fans buy. So how do you turn your passive audience into real fans using Instagram?
Here are 5 ways to use Instagram properly to promote your band.
1. Use all of Instagram’s features
Most people who are marketing their music on Instagram are missing a trick. When it started back in the day, Instagram was a photographic based app.
Do you recognize this scenario? You take a great photo and you think, “this is perfect for Instagram”. You stick it on Instagram, you put your text down below, you pop in a couple of hashtags and off it goes. You've done your job of your Instagram marketing for the day!
With all of the features that have now been added, it simply doesn’t work like that anymore. Instagram is now it is a storytelling app and storytelling is the best way to engage your community, turning your audience into a fan base.
By only posting photos, you're not telling your story which is why you're frustrated with your engagement. Everybody blames “the algorithm” but it's time to rethink the way you use Instagram. Stories, live videos, IGTV, polls… there are so many ways to connect with your fans and tell your story.
2. Post live videos from shows
Every time you play a gig, there are a plethora of opportunities to promote your band on Instagram.
If you’re not getting good quality live clips from your shows, you’re wasting valuable opportunities to showcase your band at their best on social media.
Why should people come to watch you play live? This is your chance to sell yourself doing what you do best. Make capturing good live clips part of your show plan. Allocate this to a friend who is an audience member or a member of the band. If you can’t manage this, set up a phone on a stand somewhere in the venue to film your performances. Good live clips will generate more engagement and interest than yet another promo photo.
3. Tag venues in your gig posts
Increase your visibility by tagging in both the geo-locations of where you are on stories, and the actual Instagram accounts of venues on your feed.
The venue or promoter will like it if they see you are actively promoting yourself and them. They are also more likely to return the favour and put more weight behind you on their own feed.
If you are a covers or wedding band, tagging in wedding venues is so important when posting content from your shows.
4. Mention your social media on stage
The amount of musicians who don’t push their social media during gigs is mind-blowing.
All those people watching you have their phones out and are taking pictures and videos of the night. Ever wondered where those pictures end up? If it’s somewhere on Instagram, you should be getting a piece of that cake.
The easiest way to do this is to say to your audience, “If you’ve taken any pictures or videos tonight, we’d love to see them. Our Instagram handle is @bandname, tag us!”.
5. Keep your identity consistent
Who are you? Are you the nice band, the rock and roll band, the party band or the political band… what is your story and how are you going to tell us that on social media?
Understanding who you are as a band is important. It’s just as important to keep this consistent on your social media. Fans are not going to be able to join your story or your journey if they cannot quickly and easily grasp who are you and what you stand for.
Using similar colours, language and filters across your posts will mean that your followers are quickly able to recognise one of your posts when it comes up on their feeds. This doesn’t mean that all your posts should look the same! It just means that your feed will have consistency and your brand is easily recognisable.
Article by Joey Burdon of Warble Entertainment