5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Band's Instagram

By Ben Andre, Spire Contributor | October 2, 2018

Instagram is a powerful tool

So you’ve got an Instagram for your band (or are thinking of creating one). We all know Instagram is a powerful tool, but the way you use it can make all the difference.

Before we jump in, it’s important to note that Instagram isn’t your band’s actual product; it’s just one platform that can compliment it. Platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, and SoundCloud are where people will fall in love with your music; Instagram is where they will fall in love with your band itself.

We’d all like to believe that with a well-placed hashtag an unsuspecting user perusing Instagram may find your post, and then be so compelled by your picture-perfect feed that they decide to check out your music on Spotify, subsequently fall in love, and then become your band’s #1 fan.

In reality, this isn't the way that most of your fans are going to discover their new favorite band. As a band your product really is the music, so ultimately most fans will discover you on the platforms where the music does the talking. Let your Instagram take it from there.

So if not a primary discovery platform, what is the practical utility of your Instagram? It’s really two fold—growing a deeper relationship with your fans and driving them to your new content like music and shows.

Let’s take a look at five tips to get the most out of your band’s Instagram.

1. Utilize the “call to action”

The “Call to Action” (frequently abbreviated to CTA) is one of the core tenets of marketing and advertising. It is essentially what you’re asking your audience to do.

Some CTAs that a band might use could be “Stream our new single on Spotify,” or “Pick up tickets for our fall tour on our website!” Chances are on Instagram you’ll have to follow any of these with “link in bio” in order to provide your fans with a link to access these.

The most important thing with a CTA is to direct your fans with a clear and simple course of action. You could announce your band’s new shirts with “We just got brand new shirts! So exciting,” but this doesn’t offer your viewers any way to purchase them. Instead, a post with a great CTA would read “We just got brand new shirts! Buy them on our merch store—link in bio.”

While it may be tempting to bundle multiple CTAs into one post, be aware that the more you try to squeeze in, the less clear your the path to conversion is for your followers, and the fewer click-throughs and conversions (that means people making it all the way to your Spotify etc.) you’ll find yourself achieving. That’s why when you observe CTAs in all forms of advertising, they tend to be a singular “Buy Now” or “Give us a Call!”

A fun post from Coast Modern Music

2. Balance promotional posts and fun posts

Should every post have a CTA? Probably not—remember that half the purpose of your Instagram is to build a deeper relationship with fans; if you get too salesy too often, you may find your follower count or engagement dropping.

This is where the other side of the Instagram coin comes in—fun content that showcases your personality and builds deeper relationships with fans. While every band is different, try to strike a balance between these two types of posts: promotional posts to drive sales, and fun content to build relationships.

Haim know how to strategically use Instagram Stories

3. Get in front of your followers with Instagram Stories

Stories are an excellent opportunity to share your more casual content with fans. In a time when content on the ‘gram is more carefully curated than ever, stories allow you to show a glimpse into the “real” you, and to show off content that might not look as good on your feed. Plus, now that Instagram has made the switch from a chronological to a curated newsfeed (similar to the way Facebook filters posts), Instagram stories can be a great way to help ensure that you’re making it in front of your followers.

However, with the level of casualness that comes with Instagram Stories, it can be easy to get carried away with superfluous content—make sure to take a step back and think about whether each post is something you’d be interested to see in your own Instagram Story feed.

4. Integrate Spotify & Apple Music

One of the great challenges with Instagram is the non-functionality of clickable-links. If you want your followers to follow a link, your stuck sending them to your bio’s single website link (although business accounts play by slightly different rules).

This is especially challenging because the general rule when trying to get a follower to do something (like go and listen to your new single on Spotify) is to provide them with the shortest, frictionless path to your desired destination. This means you want fewer clicks, scrolls, and steps between your post (with a great CTA, hopefully!) and the final destination.

One major boon specifically for musicians and bands is Instagram’s recent Spotify and Apple Music integrations. These are especially great for musicians because they allow for direct links from your Instagram Stories. Now you can send your followers directly to these platforms with a well-integrated direct link. Fewer steps = more conversions!

An Instagram story utilizing Spotify’s integration

5. Posts with faces do better—use them!

One simple fact of Instagram is that posts with faces do better—between 30-40% in terms of likes and comments. Faces are more attention-grabbing on a newsfeed and can help you cut through the clutter. Not to mention that they are more personal. You can use this principle to help guide the pictures you post, and if you are posting a carousel, you can put an image with a prominently featured face first to help gain the most attention.

Young the Giant posts his face

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to take some time to think about what your goals are for your Instagram. Is it to build a deeper relationship with fans? To drive listeners to your content like music, merch, videos, and shows? To impress industry people with strong numbers and engagement? Once you’ve defined your goals, use them as your guiding principles, and you’ll find that you’ll get the most out of your Instagram.

Now get out there and make some killer posts!