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How to use Instagram as a musician

  • Paloma
  • 17 October 2018, Wednesday
Instagram Logo And Colors

Fair to say, Instagram has become an efficient and essential tool to promote your music and grow your fanbase.

If you do not know where to start and how to use this platform, don't worry anymore, here are all the tips and tricks you will need to know for mastering instagram as a musician!

Set your goals!

This is not only valuable for your instagram account but your career as a whole. Setting your own goals and directions will keep you motivated and focused all the way.

The goal here is to promote your music by grabbing the user's interest. To differentiate yourself from others and get heard through the noise, you will have to work on personal branding - presenting yourself and your music as a package.

That being said, let's not waste any more time and get straight into business!

Start your profile

Switch your instagram account to “Business” in order to get access to many useful features:

  • Get insights: gives you significant data about your followers;
  • Add links and a contact button;
  • Set up ads and promote your posts.

Tips: Make sure you use the same name on all platforms, this will make the search for your profiles easier and more precise.

Love at first sight - a handsome profile

Find your visual voice. Your profile should instantly give an idea of your personality and your music. Set a tone, choose a mood and stick to it. Think about it, when you first land on a profile, the feed appears as a whole, if its aesthetics are consistent it will simply look more attractive. And an attractive profile means a profile you want to spend time looking at.

Screenshot Instagram Profile DDB

Profile picture: This picture appears very small so you should preferably go for a vibrant and colorful headshot. Note: It is advised to keep the same profile picture on your Twitter and Facebook pages, for maintaining continuity.

Bio: Who you are, what you do. You don't need to explain your whole life story here, just keep it simple and straight to the point. For example: “Berlin-based beatmaker and MC *music emoji*”. Note: This is also where you can add a link to your latest single or music video.

Links: Add a link to your website / Bandcamp / Soundcloud.

Highlights: Choose your favorite and most relevant stories and highlight them at the top of your feed. You can classify them, so take advantage of that. Gather all your live gigs stories, all of your rehearsals, and your merch in separate highlights.

Now, down to content - What to post?

The objective is to share your story visually. Be creative, but know that each of your posts should be relevant in some way. Document your life as a musician by posting pictures of live shows, your music gear, yourself as a kid (people always love that), your performance look. Get a glimpse at profiles from artists you like and relate to genre-wise, they are a great source of inspiration.

Tips: Video posts have a length restriction of 60 seconds but, hey, this is the perfect length to tease your fans and get them to click on the link to your video that you have added to your bio!

Don't forget the captions

They are more important than you think! Only the first sentence of the caption is shown, make it catchy so the user will click on “read more”. The description should support and enhance your image: What's the story? Why are you sharing it? Don't forget to credit the photographer and say who's in the picture by tagging them. You can also mention where it was taken by geotagging the post. Both of these will help your fanbase grow organically, as your post will appear in other parts of the platform.

Tips: Call-to-action! Ask a question at the end of your description, this will encourage your followers to react. And again, more reactions mean more reach.

Hashtags - Which? Where? Why?

Another great tool for organic growth. You might not like them but you should know that a post with at least one hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than a post without one. Be strategic. Don't use the most popular hashtags such as #love or #happy, these ones are used by millions so your post will get lost in the noise. Instead, go for top instagram hashtags that have an engaging community related to your audience behind them. For that, you could have a look at which hashtags are used by your favorite artists. Note: Hashtags at the end the description are not advised as they just don't look nice there. The trick here is to simply “hide” them in the first comment of you post.

Tips: Start a hashtag for your band and tell your fans to use it at your live shows. In your insights, you can see how many times your post was circulated thanks to the hashtags.


Stories are a great way to post quick content and stay active. You can share “behind the scenes” photos and videos of your day-to-day life, your rehearsal session or the cute dog you saw on the way there. Interactive stickers such as “poll”, “emoji slider” or “questions” are super easy call-to- action. Add them to your story to get quick engagement from your followers.

Tips: You can now share a song from Spotify directly to your instagram Story - no need to screenshot anymore! AND, you can also add music to your videos by clicking on the music sticker and browsing through the catalog.

Screenshot Instagram Stories Homepage with Two Phones and Spotify Logo

Here is a video with awesome tips and hacks to master the art of instagram stories:

Live & IGTV

Instagram live, another tool not to forget. Don't ever hesitate to go live and gift your follower an intimate session straight from your home studio.

The fresh-out-the-oven IGTV, is a new feature competing with Youtube. You can publish long videos in horizontal format – Your music videos, for example!

How frequently should I post?

Be active and regularly post content. It is advised to post at least one story a day and a post a week, but this is up to you. As long as you are consistent and don't disappear from the platform for weeks. Note: you can always prepare you posts in advance and post them when the time is right.

When is the right time?

Check you insights! This is an amazing tool to understand your audience. Use this data strategically: look at what time and which day your followers are most active on the platform. This will show you when it is best to publish your next post or announce your new release, without it being missed by your fans.

Tips: You can also see which stories and posts performed best.

Last but not least

Engage with your community! Now that you have your profile going, don't forget to engage with your community. Reply to comments, DMs, ask questions in your stories and posts description. And surf the app! Follow, like and comment on artists posts - show them your interest. Be active, but don't Spam! Avoid, “check out my new music” comments. Just share your passion, work strategically and you will do great!

Follow us on Instagram!

Useful apps

  • Canva: Create your own graphic designs simply with this one tool.
  • VSCO: photo-editing app.
  • Repost For instagram: Share others' posts on your profile.
  • CutStory: Splits your long videos in separate stories.
  • PhotoSplit: Split your photo in a grid – great of enhancing the look of your feed.
  • Wizibel: Music visualiser.
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