I was recently fortunate enough to attend the first ever VidCon to be held in Australia. Now for those who aren’t obsessed with the digital realm, VidCon is a multi-genre conference relating to all things online. For those with an industry pass, there are countless seminars held to break down different platforms, and how to use them for your brand, business, and personal image. One thing that stood out was the importance of Instagram for brands and businesses, and it got me thinking: is this the same for artists in the music world? So I soaked up as much information from the pro’s as I could and found the answer: ABSOLUTELY.
Your online presence is your brand, and the height of online social platforms is Instagram. The social media phenomenon is more than just a photo-sharing application but can serve as a marketing tool, promotional platform, and in some cases a source of income. So, we’ve got some hot tips for you to make your Instagram an asset!
1. Post with a purpose!
Every post is a reflection of your band, brand, and image. Choose what kind of profile you want to have and manage your content accordingly. You don’t have to choose between a personal and business profile, your content can be a hybrid of both because sometimes you are your brand. However, there should be a reason for every post. Whether that is to promote new projects or upcoming gigs, encourage discussion, show your personality to your online community, or show off work you’re really proud of. Put thought into every upload and let your profile reflect you as an artist.
2. Stick to a theme!
It sounds pedantic but every major social media influencer I had the pleasure of speaking with at VidCon 2017 stressed the importance of having a clear theme, in both appearance and content. For instance, having a colour scheme embedded into your Instagram layout is a great way to ensure your profile appears professional, aesthetically pleasing and well thought out. So if your band often plays in venues with low lighting and are therefore snapping photos on a dark stage setting, incorporate this into your Instagram theme and match other posts with darker tones and colour schemes. No theme is better than the other, but the key is to make your entire layout cohesive. The same goes for content. You don’t want to make every post an advert (this can come across as spammy) but you do want to stay on message. When you’re choosing how you wish to portray your image on social media, you’re essentially choosing your brand. So make sure everything is on-brand and representing your band or brand the way you want to be seen by your fans! Another important tip is to choose how many times you will post per week. For a band/artist wanting to build their following, 3 posts each week will keep your followers engaged without being too spammy. However, you need to maintain your post schedule. If you’re having a quiet week with gigs, a “throwback” photo is a great option when trying to conjure up content for the ‘gram. Remember: consistency is key!
3. Link it, Baby!
Every post is an opportunity for “cross-platform promotion”, so if you’ve just dropped a new track on SoundCloud or video on YouTube, let your followers know! I have no doubt that anyone who has followed an influencer on Instagram will have seen the terms “Link in Bio” at least once. So if you’re dropping a new sound somewhere, use one of your posts as a way to get more reach by encouraging your followers to check it out! Remember to keep this up-to-date though: having a 6-month-old link in your biography section on Instagram isn’t a good look! Don’t overlook the power of Instagram stories either, they’re a great way to quickly grab the attention of your followers and you can use this to get them engaged with your content on other platforms or to send them to your profile to see what the latest news is.
4. Engage with your followers!
Your followers are your fans, and that should always be at the back of your mind when using your social media platforms. They are your online community who has invested into your career and support you as an artist, so, ensure they know they’re appreciated right back! When you’re trying to build your online presence, this is a crucial step to gaining and maintaining followers. When somebody comments on your posts, respond! Even just a thank you, when somebody posts a compliment under a picture, will go a long way. Another great way to engage with your online community is to encourage a discussion underneath your posts. You can do this by asking a question within your caption on a new post. Asking your followers where they’re from (city/country) is a great way to start engaging with your fans, and as an added bonus you can start finding out what areas your music is reaching and what patterns might exist.
5. Don’t go M.I.A!
This might work for the Taylor Swift’s of the industry, but unless you have that level of notoriety, dropping off from your social media is going to do more harm than good. Try to stick to your schedule, whether that be one post a week or three. If you’re touring or just in a busy stage, keep your online community updated to the best of your ability: it will show your followers that you’re thinking of them and help to keep them engaged.
Social media isn’t the be-all and end-all, but it is a great way to connect with your fans and build a community. It can be an effective marketing tool and promotional platform for your band as a business. So remember: consistency is key, you are your brand, and your followers are your fans! Have fun, and always be thoughtful when posting so that your Instagram can become an asset.
Want to learn more about music marketing? There is heaps of our great mentor advice in the video content of the MARKETING course. Get amongst it!