Instagram allows artists both to draw in new fans and inform pre-existing fans of what you and your band are up to. Here we go over the six steps to successfully cultivating and growing an Instagram audience.
Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0
You’re on Instagram both to build your audience and inform them about what you’re doing. Since you can’t inform them until they follow you, these 6 tips from the 2nd edition of my Social Media Promotion For Musicians handbook can help you build your audience on the platform.
#1: Include A Call To Action
A call to action is asking your viewer to do something. That’s called engagement and it’s the key to building your audience. The best way to do this is just by asking them. A simple way to get more engagement is to ask followers to “tag the person you love most” in the caption, and they will likely tag others in the comments.
#2: Leverage Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way for artists to stand out on Instagram and find people who are not yet following their account. They help organize and categorize images, which aids in the process of content discovery. Just make sure to use Instagram hashtags that are relevant to the audience you’re attempting to reach. We’ll look at hashtags in depth in an shortly.
#3: Do Shout-outs for Shout-outs
On Instagram, you might notice people commenting on your photos with the acronym S4S, which stands for shout-out for shout-out. A shout-out is when you promote someone else’s account to your own followers.
Start by looking for pages with a similar target audience so it’s a mutually beneficial situation. To find these accounts, type keywords in the Instagram user search or do a web search for your specialty or musical genre plus “Instagram accounts.” Add a caption asking if the user is interested in doing a shout-out for shout-out. When this user writes back, Instagram will let you know through a home screen notification.
Another version of that is #L4L or “Like for Like” meaning you say you’ll like the posts of those like yours. #follow and #followme are other top picks, as is #photooftheday.
#4: Vary Caption Length
Each Instagram post allows 2,000 characters for captions, and the more of them you use, the more likely your post will be engaged. This is very similar to YouTube, where the description is critical to the video being found in a search.
#5: Interact With Other Users’ Content
Interaction with other users posts gets you followers. A good way to find users with similar tastes to you is to do a search for some of the hashtags that you use. Engage with the users who are sharing content with this tag.
#6: Promote Your Account on Other Networks
As with other social networks, promoting your account on the other platforms that you use can be a big boost for your following. It’s a quick and easy, and passive way to do this, and all it takes is setting it up one time and you’re done.
You can read more from Social Media Promotion For Musicians and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.