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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

#Musicproduction: Music Marketing On Instagram

Whether you like it or not, the social media are today part of everyday life as a musician. Probably the most important platform at the moment is one that has long enjoyed a reputation not to be particularly relevant to musicians: Instagram. For many Insta is nothing more than a place for self-acting selfies and trivial videos. That may even be true, but then it is simply a reflection of our time. The fact is, Instagram has extremely active users, is growing constantly and quickly and is especially popular with younger users who turn their backs on Facebook more and more. This is to be accepted and you must try to use Insta for its own purposes and not just as a social media tool, but as a marketing tool. Finally, Instagram is a tool for musicians to build a personal and emotional relationship with their fans, sharing them with (artist) life through photos and videos.
Even though Instagram has a very simple structure and is limited in its functions, there are many things to consider and optimize. We've come up with some tips for you to use Instagram more effectively and expand your fanbase.

1. Set links in Instagram correctly

Instagram serves musicians to tie the fanbase to themselves and to gain new listeners. Of course Insta should also help to move sales and streams upwards. But Instagram does not make it easy for the musicians here because the use of links is enormously limited.
Where can you even use links?
• In Bio, exactly one link can be inserted.
• You can also insert URLs for posts, but they will not be linked.
• By buying Ads, which goes into the money even if Instagram here is basically even cheaper than the parent house Facebook or Adwords.
It is therefore important to always adapt the link in the bio to the current circumstances. Has the new album been released? Then insert the link site! Did the new video go online? Then post the YouTube link!
Of course, one can also insert URLs in the posts, but it will probably take the least effort to copy the URL and paste in a new window.
We did a lot of research and came up with a few ways in which musicians can use links on Instagram and promote their music:
Since May 2018 it is possible to provide Instagram stories with a Spotify link. In addition to the Instragram App you need the one from Spotify. There you look for the song that you want to share. Then choose "Share" and then "Instagram Stories". Now you can insert texts, emojis or filters. Finally, you choose "Your Story" and the story will appear including a "Play on Spotify" link.
A very smart way to get around this link problem was discovered at Xen (only visible on the Instagram app). He posted the logos of the most important shops as a story and finally tagged them as highlights, so that they appear directly under the bio. He has provided each of these stories with a link. How to put stories as highlights among the organic, you can read here.
But there is a problem: Currently it is not possible for anyone to add links to the stories. Either you have to have a verified account (like Xen) or a staggering number of followers (estimated at 10,000, but exact numbers are not called Instagram). Currently, however, Instagram only verifies accounts of people or companies (indicated by the blue check mark next to the name), where there is a high risk of imitation. But it certainly does not hurt to ask Instagram support if they can verify their account.
If you have managed to verify the account, the disadvantage remains that the "Learn more" button is used very discreetly and probably overlooked by many. Here is an indication of the link can not hurt.
Another option is the link tool developed by Metricool: https://metricool.com/instagram-links/

2. Learn from the best

The example of Xen is further proof: it is always worthwhile to learn from other artists.
So check out the accounts of your favorite bands and find out how they keep their fans at bay. What content do they post, which hashtags are used and what special features do they use? It applies as with the music: copy forbidden, Inspirieration but always welcome ;).

3. Use #Hashtags on Instagram as a musician

Hashtags are much more important on Instagram than Facebook, for example, and are not just a conversation method. Instagram users regularly use hashtags to find new people to follow. The search function of Instagram is also based on the hashtags that are most frequently used. So you should think about the hashtags you use. Basically, you should not set too many hashtags (possible up to 30 per post), but at least two per post. To get as many new followers as possible using hashtags, they should be relevant and up-to-date.
Which hashtags are currently trending, you can learn u.a. here.
To find out which of your used hashtags has worked well, there are a variety of analysis tools, but more on the next point.

4. Use analysis tools for Instagram

Of course, if you invest a lot of time in your social media platforms, you also want to know which of the measures taken are successful and what you can save yourself again. Various analysis tools help to further optimize the appearance on social media.
For example, these tools help you find out which posts are particularly well received, which hashtags work or where the fans have interacted a lot. Of course you can also find out a lot about his followers and there are also valuable hints on how to increase the number of followers.
Further, many of these tools help determine when it's best to post something. Both the day and the time of day can have a big impact on how many of your fans actually perceive the post.
There is also the possibility of scheduling, so to register a post in advance and later online to switch. Especially if you have a clear plan but do not have the opportunity to go online at all times, such a tool can make your life easier.
Some examples of such analysis tools are:
https://pro.iconosquare.com/
https://hootsuite.com
https://sproutsocial.com/
https://simplymeasured.com
https://squarelovin.com
Not enough? There are more links here.
Of course, most of these tools are not free, but mostly you can test them for free before you pay anything.

5. Giveaways for your fans on Instagram

Who does not like to win something! Instagram also offers itself to give away albums, downloads, T-shirts or concert tickets. Of course, such a contest ideally should also provide a decent buzz or generate new followers. Again, it is important to think carefully about which hashtags to use. Next it needs a good, meaningful picture and of course the price should give something. Finally, make it as easy as possible for the fans to enter the competition.
Tools to help with the performance of contests are:
https://www.wishpond.com/hashtag-contest/
https://woobox.com/photocontests
https://gleam.io/instagram

6. Sync or not?

Of course it is convenient to sync Instagram directly with Facebook and Twitter. But if your fans follow you on all platforms, they may soon get on your nerves to see exactly the same thing everywhere. You should only post selected posts on all platforms and have a different strategy and orientation for each page.

7. Use all possibilities as a musician on Instagram

As mentioned earlier, Instagram does not offer dozens of features to musicians. Those who have joined in the last few years should, however, be used occasionally. In addition to photos and videos (up to 60 seconds), these are also Instagram Stories, where you can wrap several photos and videos in a story. These disappear again after 24 hours. As mentioned above, under certain circumstances, you can link or highlight them so that they are not immediately gone.
As part of the stories you can also insert surveys (click on the smiley and then select "Poll"). Thus one can find out the opinion of fans on a certain topic.
A relatively new feature is Instagram Live. Here you can go live for up to one hour. Unlike Facebook, this live recording will not be saved to your profile afterwards. Nonetheless, this is a great tool for getting in direct contact with the fans. These can also comment live and you can get in direct contact. It is also important to have at least a rough plan for what you want to use this live circuit and a "call to action" to install. Use Instagram Live for exclusive content, announce breaking news, or alert your followers to special promotions. As mentioned, it's also a way to get direct feedback from the fans.

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