While some artists may be strongly opposed to fans posting footage of their concert on Instagram (as they certainly have the right to be) other artists love the idea, seeing it as a source for free promotion. Indeed, if you discover such footage, there are a number of things you can do with it to help market your music and your brand.
Guest post by Hugh McIntyre of the Symphonic Blog
Some musicians love when their fans take their smartphones out and film them performing, while others have made it very clear that they hate such behavior.
It’s fine to feel either way, but it’s tough to argue that the free promotion that comes when concert attendees post to Instagram and their stories on the same platform isn’t beneficial, especially to those who are trying to grow their fan base and get the word out about their work. At the end of the day, those in the audience are going to do what they want, and chances are they will be snapping pics and recording their favorite songs, so you may as well get something out of the content they create.
If you catch videos on Instagram later on, there’s a lot you can do to make it work for you and them, and if you’ve never thought beyond watching what the people share, here are a few things to think about.
What to Do When a Fan Uploads a Video from your Concert to Instagram:
It shouldn’t matter if you love the video, think you look terrible in it, or even if you just think they did a poor job of filming a snippet of your song, you should still make a point to thank them.
By posting the video online in any manner, they have helped promote you, and when you’re at the beginning of your career, you need all the help you can get. It might not seem like much, but every time someone shares anything about you and your music, they’re getting the word out there, and that deserves a quick moment of appreciation, at least until it gets to a point when that takes up too much time to be feasible.
Put It In Your Story
I suggest that with 90% of the videos people share on Instagram of your performance, you simply put them into your Instagram Story and move on. The vast majority of these clips won’t be very high quality in terms of the visual and the audio, and it doesn’t make sense to do anything else with them.
If the fan tags you in their Instagram Story, it only takes a few clicks to add it to yours, and people will be able to see who originally posted it as well, so they instantly get credit. You can add some text, GIFs, stickers or anything else you want in addition to the story, or you can let it stand on its own.
If they post a video of you singing a song on their main profile, you can still put that item into your Instagram story, though it will just show up as what looks like a static image. You can encourage people to visit that person’s profile to watch it, or just leave it as is. You will look good because everyone else will see that people care enough to share your performance, and the fan will appreciate the attention (probably). Also, you can add posts from profiles (as opposed to stories) if they tag you or use a hashtag that relates to you, which makes it more likely you’ll find content connected to your latest show.
Make An Instagram Highlight
Once you’ve put something into your Instagram story, you have the option of also adding it to what’s called an Instagram Highlight, which is something I suggest you spend some time playing around with and planning out. Highlights are collections of stories you’ve posted on Instagram that you’d like to keep around after the 24-hour window has elapsed.
You can organize your Instagram stories into highlights however you like—pics from the studio, clips from music videos, album art, and so on—and you may want to create one that only contains the best videos fans shot from a certain show, or perhaps from one tour. You can keep these up as long as you want, and it’s a fantastic way to get more out of even the smallest pieces of content.
Ask For The Video
As I suggested above, the majority of the posts people tag you in won’t be worth spending much time thinking about, but there may be the occasional video that strikes you as something special. If someone caught a really incredible moment or if they happen to have shot it on a device that makes your show looks spectacular, feel free to reach out to the fan and ask if there’s a way you can have the content.
Chances are it’s sitting on their phone and they’d be happy to give it to you via email, Dropbox, Google Drive or some other service, usually completely free of charge. Make sure you keep track of who filmed what, and whenever you repost the video on your social media profiles, give them credit and another huge thank you. This is a very easy way to collect high quality content that requires almost no additional effort from you, and while you shouldn’t post too many of these fan-made items, hold onto them for times when you don’t have anything else to share.
Whether it’s in your stories or on your main Instagram profile (and even beyond, if the video is really good), you should occasionally remind fans that you’d love to see their content as well. Both online and when you’re actually playing your instrument on stage, ask fans to put their phones up from time to time and capture the moment, and then share it with their networks.
While it can be slightly disheartening to see a room full of people looking at their phones, all that promotion can also help you out when others begin clicking to your profile and listening to your tunes.
Hugh McIntyre is a freelance music journalist based in New York City. His byline has appeared in Billboard, Huffington Post, Mashable, Noisey, The Hollywood Reporter, MTV, Fuse, and dozens of other magazines and blogs around the world. He loves following charts and the biggest and most successful names in the industry, and he's always interested in highlighting incredible feats and discovering what's next.