5 ways musicians can use Instagram to grow their music career

5 Ways Musicians Can Use Instagram to Grow Their Career

In Guides for Musicians by Jake LLeave a Comment

It’s an interesting time to be a musician or artist as the musical landscape has drastically changed thanks to the internet. The internet has made it possible for anyone in the arts to gain exposure online and make a career for themselves. Not only has the internet changed how people consume music and other forms of media with online streaming services, but it has also changed how entertainers can break into the industry thanks to online platforms we call Social Media. While there are many social media platforms to be on nowadays, Instagram makes it to the top of our priority list as one of the most important platforms to be on as a musician/artist. There are many ways that musicians can use Instagram to grow their music career and we’re here to further discuss them.

Here are five ways musicians can use Instagram to grow their careers.

1. Growing Your Network

Instagram is an amazing place to network and to make connections with people that are within your industry. There are so many musicians, artists, and other types of entertainers/content creators on this platform all trying to grow their careers. Just like any career path in life, it’s important to build your network of connections. Instagram makes it easy to find other musicians and artists. Hashtags make it easier to find posts and profiles within your niche or genre that you can engage with. The more you engage with other musicians and artists on Instagram, the more you can grow your network. This opens up potential future opportunities that can help you further grow your music career.

Something I’ve learned after moving to Los Angeles is that a lot of people in the entertainment industry prefer to contact each other through Instagram. Most of the time, we exchange our @s instead of phone numbers and contact each other through Instagram DMs. This made me realize that the way we communicate and contact others is changing and Instagram and other social media platforms is a big reason.

Collaborations

The internet has made it much easier to collaborate with other musicians and artists, even if they’re halfway around the world. Utilizing Instagram to build your network gives you more opportunities to collaborate with others. Whether it be with other musicians/artists, graphic designers, photographers/videographers, and other types of social media influencers, the possibilities are endless. Not only are you building your network, but you’re also immersing yourself with the artistic community as a whole.

Collaborating with other musicians/artists online can give you more exposure. You get introduced to their audience, potentially making new fans in the process and vice versa. Having more connections in your network can also make life so much easier. Like we mentioned earlier, you can network with other types of content creators, not just musicians. Graphic designers can help create visual artwork for your music while having connections with photographers and videographers can help you create different types of content for your page.

Of course, keep in mind that you shouldn’t go out there and collaborate with just anyone. Make good choices in who you collaborate and affiliate yourself with as it can leave either a good impact or bad one on your overall career.

Helping Each Other Grow

One of the beauties of networking with other musicians on Instagram is being able to help each other grow. The music industry is very competitive in general, with everyone trying to get their songs and projects in front of more people. On Social Media platforms like Instagram, it’s a little different. Having a big network on Instagram with other artists and musicians is very important when growing your career. Being able to support each other on Instagram can help benefit everyone. Whether it be through engagement on each other’s post or even sharing one another’s work with others, growing your presence on Instagram can feel like a group effort. It does require talent, however, it is a Social Media platform. If you plan on utilizing Instagram to build your music career, you’re going to need to socialize.

2. Building a Relationship With Your Audience

Musician performing on stage with a guitar

Musicians and artists can also use Instagram to build a relationship with their audience. This platform has great features that allow you to engage with your followers, allowing you to be more personal with them. Letting your audience and fans in on a more personal side of your life can help them feel closer to you as a person. This can strengthen the connection they have with your music and have more appreciation for you as an artist.

So what kind of features on Instagram is good for engaging with your followers?

Stories

Stories is a feature that was originally popularized by Snapchat but was adopted by Instagram and became a hit on the platform. You can post pictures and videos onto your Instagram story that will last up to 24 hours from the time that it’s posted. These type of posts can be used to show live updates of what’s going on throughout your day. It allows you to give your followers a view of what’s going on behind the scenes. There are also features on Stories such as stickers where you can post polls and questions that can be answered by your followers. You can use these features in creative ways to engage with your audience, allowing them to feel more involved with you and your music career.

Last but not least, you can save “Story Highlights” onto your Instagram page. When people visit your page, they’ll be able to cycle through your Story Highlights and see some moments they might’ve missed due to the 24 hour time limitation. You could even set-up highlights from certain events or topics.

Instagram Live

Another great feature that can be used to engage with your followers is Instagram Live. Going live on Instagram is a great way of connecting with your followers. You can have real-time conversations with them during your live stream. There’s also the option of having fans join your live broadcast as you can invite anyone to guest stream with you. If you want, you could even perform some of your music during your live streams, giving your followers a personal show to watch on Instagram.

Posts

A musician's Instagram page with more of a personal approach

Ever since the beginning, Instagram has been a visual social media platform. Musicians should be posting content onto their Instagram feed. You can use your posts to further engage and connect with your audience. Just like Stories, you can post pictures and videos that show a more personal side of you. These posts will stay on your page, so it can also become a showcase of who you are as a person to the people who stumble onto your account in the future. While you can use posts to promote your work and showcase your talents, consider posting things that show more of your personality too. These type of posts can help build a personal connection with your fans, strengthening the bond they have with your music.

3. Having a Portfolio of Your Work

Instagram is a great place where musicians can upload their music and other projects. You can utilize your page as a portfolio of things you’ve worked on in your music career. Like we mentioned in the previous section, it’s important that musicians/artists post onto their Instagram feeds. While you can post photos and videos from your personal life, you should also be posting things that showcase your music and talent. Having an Instagram feed filled with images and videos of some of your best work can come in handy, especially when meeting others who are in the music industry.

If people are interested in checking out some of your work, you can refer them to your Instagram and go from there. Also, keep in mind that you can have a website link on your page, which can link to your main website or other platforms such as a YouTube channel. If you set your account to a business account, people can email you directly from your page, making contacting you much easier.

IGTV

IGTV is also a great place for you to post videos that are longer than Instagram’s 60 second limit on regular posts. Originally, IGTV was going to only be vertical videos, however, Instagram is planning to incorporate horizontal videos by popular demand of its users. As they continue to work on IGTV, it can also be utilized as a great way of reaching new fans, similar to what you can do on platforms like YouTube. For more information on how you can use IGTV as a musician, check out our ULTIMATE InstagramTV (IGTV) Guide for Musicians.

4. Marketing and Promotions

Marketing is very important if you’re trying to grow your music career. Luckily for you, Instagram makes it easier to market and promote yourself on their platform with the features they offer. Some of these features we’ve already touched on earlier, but now we’ll talk about it from a marketing standpoint.

Instagram Stories

While Instagram Stories are great for showing your followers real-time action of what’s going on in your life, it’s also great for promotional purposes. As of January 2019, over 500 million active daily users are using Instagram Stories. That’s a lot of people you can potentially reach. You can use Stories to let people know of new songs and projects that you may have just released. Here’s an example below:

In this example, I’m letting my followers know that I’ve just released a new vertical music video on IGTV. There’s also a clickable tag on the bottom that can quickly bring them to the video. This is just one-way Stories can be used to promote your music and projects. If you have more than 10,000 followers, you’ll also have the option of linking a website to your story. It will appear as a “Swipe up for more” button on the bottom.

Hashtags

Using hashtags on all of your Instagram posts is basically a free promotional tool to get more eyes on your profile. You can even use hashtags on your IGTV videos and Instagram Stories. This will help you get more views and likes on your posts, and even giving you a bigger chance of landing on the explore page or the Hashtag’s top posts. It’s a very good way of getting more discoverability on the Instagram platform.

You can even search for hashtags and engage with other people’s post. Just like how we discussed in our networking section, this is a great way of engaging with the community, but also good at making your account more visible.  When people see you constantly engaging with others, they’ll be more likely to engage with you. This means there are more chances of people checking out your page.

An example of an Instagram Advertisement Post

Of course, not everything is free when it comes to marketing and promotions. Instagram has features where you can run advertisements that can target a certain demographic. This is a paid method of advertising on this platform, however, it can be very effective if done right. Also, keep in mind that you need to have a business account in order to use these paid advertising features.

Your Instagram advertisement will air once everything is set. Once it’s live, you can even monitor how many impressions you are making with the advertisement.

Here are the different types of Instagram advertisements you can set up:

  • Stories: Advertisements that will show up when people are viewing stories.
  • Photo: An image of your choosing will show up as a sponsored post as people scroll through their feeds. It can link to your profile or any other website.
  • Video: Similar to photo ads, a video will show up as a sponsored post on people’s feeds.
  • Carousel: An advertisement that will show up on people’s feeds. It will be a carousel of images that people can scroll through.
  • Collection: Makes it easier for people to browse and purchase products and services in an immersive way.

If you want to get a better idea of paid advertisements on Instagram, click here for more information: https://business.instagram.com/advertising/

5. Growing Your Online Presence

Online music streaming on a smartphone

Overall, if there’s one thing you can learn from this article, is that it’s very important to establish an online presence when growing your music career in this day and age. The internet has changed how we consume any form of media, especially music. Instagram is one of the best places to start growing your online presence and reaching more people with your talents. With over 1 billion users worldwide, Instagram is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.

As you can see, there are so many great features on Instagram that make it possible for musicians, artists, and other content creators to make a career out of the things that they love doing. And it doesn’t just end there. You can use Instagram as a way of getting people to your other platforms, whether it be your other social media accounts or your main website where they can see all of your work.  This way, you can grow your overall online presence, not just on Instagram.

With a stronger online presence comes more opportunities as a musician/artist. You’ll also have the credibility that can show to people that you mean business. And of course, you’ll have more people listening to your music.

Final Thoughts

Well, there you have it. Five ways musicians can use Instagram to grow their music careers. As the internet world continues to grow, music and the rest of the entertainment world will constantly evolve. Things have definitely changed, but those who can adapt to these changes have the best chances of success.

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