Business Instagram Tips for Musicians and MusicPreneurs

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Business Instagram Tips For Musicians and MusicPreneurs Podcast Series


This blog post follows on from our 5 Tips to Increase Your Spotify followers post and accompanies our 5 Ways to make Instagram Work For You Podcast and 3-part audio series.  If you are considering using Instagram or using it already, here are some Instagram tips on its features that could help you to build your following and, in turn, impact your music income. 

Personal or Business?

If choosing between a personal and business Instagram account, there are some differences to consider. For example, personal accounts can be kept private from the public, while business accounts cannot. So you can pick the business option if you are ready to expose your art to the world! One of the best things about business accounts is that they offer insights. As indies and biz savvy female musicpreneurs, we need to know what works best as we need to be smart and strategic about the types of posts we put out there. This knowledge helps us to grow and succeed quicker than posting in a slapdash way. Insights are the keys to great analysis; they can help you to find out which posts work best for you as far as getting you exposure, entertaining your fans and followers, and even making sales or mailing list sign-ups. Insights help us to cut out the faff and focus on creating posts that get us results. So yay!  This way, we can build our brand and following with the right posts without having to guesstimate all the time. I know, I know, sometimes you just want to snap and post on impulse. Go ahead if you must. However, when seriously thinking of building up a business and implementing an effective marketing strategy, it is always good to pay attention to what works and what doesn’t and then do more of the same.

Another great feature of a business account is that you can have call to action buttons on your profile such as email, physical address info, or call for people to contact you for biz purposes. Your category of business on your Facebook page setting will show up on your Insta profile. So, if you have Musician/Band selected in FB, it will show up in your business Insta. At the time of writing this post, roles can only be changed if you change your FB page description.

To switch from personal to business, click on the three dots on the top right hand side of the screen. At the bottom of the ACCOUNT menu, there is an option to Switch to Business Profile. Select it and you’re on your way! By the way, you can always change back to personal, so it isn’t permanent. Fret not.

how to switch from personal to business instagram

Skipping to insights…

At the time of writing this article, the way to access your analytics is as follows:

1.   Tap on your post photie.
2.   On the left hand side below your photo, you’ll see “View Insights”. Select it.
3.   A box will pop up at the bottom of your phone screen containing the date and time posted, and two rows of three boxes below it. 

Each box will either indicate the number of likes, comments, saves, impressions, reach, and engagement. 


Here is a breakdown of each box in turn:

Likes

This goes without saying. This number is a great indicator of your post’s effectivity. Noting this number along with say, the number (and type of) comments, saves, and likes can tell you a whole lot about the most effective posts over a certain period. So, consider doing more of what gets you comments and engagement that leads to effective results in your promotional strategy. Here’s one way of thinking about how to use it; having a trillion likes but no downloads, sales, merch, interaction, solid follower/fans, mailing list sign-ups, or whatever else you are aiming for, isn’t enough for the likes of us, guerrilla marketers. As musicians who are focused on music business and (making an income) as professionals, it is more likely that we would rather have more engagement in addition to likes than just receiving likes with no follows, sales, leads, or whatever our strategy is at any given time.

What the ‘likes’ feature can mean for you. It’s a good indicator of the popularity level of a post and whether your optimisation skills, if applicable, are effective.

Comments

Comments mean a lot more than just likes in my opinion, as it means additional engagement. If someone took the time out to leave a comment on a post, which takes a bit more effort than a double tap, this shows they were compelled to react and state it publicly. I see this as a positive.

What this can mean for you. You get an opportunity to strike up a convo and form a connection with someone. Depending on how you do this, this could lead to wherever you want with your strategy. So think about ways to engage with the liker and engage regularly – be consistent! 
Re: bots, yes, it can be annoying when those bot type posts come up. You know the ones when accounts post “Sweet.” “Great.” Or similar. Nothing real about them. Well, we can take those comments with a pinch of salt. Generally, I think it’s good courtesy to thank everyone or respond in some way. However, with an obvious bot or spam comment, depending on how dodge it looks I may do a generic, indirect thank you by just liking the comment, or I may ignore, instead. I’ll feel it out. For genuine posters though, I’ve got mad love for them. I’ll show gratitude by engaging. Not only does their interaction mean a lot to me, their interaction gives me an opportunity to build rapport, in turn this could lead to getting fans/friends/followers who actually care enough about me and my work to want to find out more.

Saves

The amount “of unique accounts that saved” the post.

What this can mean for you. You’re on someone’s radar! This must be a good thing if someone (or some peeps) cared enough to save your post. Personally, I star such posts and pay big attention to them. Tip: monitor activities such as signups or downloads on the day of the post to decide whether it’s worth doing more of the same.

Impressions

The amount of times your post was seen.
This gives you an idea of how many times your post was seen overall, which could include repeat views form the same account.


Reach

The amount of “unique accounts that have seen” the post.

What this can mean for you. You will know the amount of times that different accounts have seen your post. If you look at this stat alongside how much engagement there was, or how many likes, comments, or saves occurred in their own right, you’ll be able to figure out a pattern and learn which posts work are most effective overall. This, along with impression can indicate whether the same accounts revisited your post. This might show that they liked it a lot, vs. a one off like. These are good indicators about how endearing you or your post are!

Engagement

Amount of “unique accounts that liked, saved or commented on” the post.

What this means for you.  This gives you an overall tally of your ‘best’ post. It has its uses. If say, you have posts in which the same likers also commented and you had a high volume of saves too, I would see that as a more successful post than one that just had likes. I value everything, but comments and likes denote more effort. As a musician, I love likes, yes, but if someone (or many) is/are communicating, then 1. it gives me the opportunity to respond back, and 2. this means they might be interested in my music and I have an opportunity to invite them into my universe. Furthermore, say they come back repeatedly for my posts and keep liking them, then I will know that they like what I do and I can build on that. One way would be to deffo post more of the same and another would be to engage in a dialogue. I typically place such engagers on a special list and I am sure to check in with them, like their posts (only if I like them), give them shout outs and so on. I have been using this strategy since the days of MySpace and I am proud to say that I have a great fanbase, and I have made solid friendships too just from being this way. Tip: If you’re true to this method and to yourself, you will attract likeminded people. Also, you can tell who is real from the fakers. So yes, likes are great, but comments and saves can tell you a lot if you are trying to make real connections and build an authentic fan base. Of course, you may be very different. And, I am a nerd, so I analyse things a lot – I love the scientific element of it. I can’t help it! :).

For a good ratio of likes/interactions, I would say that 10% or more compared to your number of followers is good. What is important is making sure that your CTA (call to action) link is in your profile. By the way, you can post links in the bio too, but they may only be clickable from desktop computers.

Remember, insights are only available for a limited time, so do check and analyse soon after you post before it’s too late.

Other tips:

Hashtag

Hashtags can be great for helping to find new followers. Some tips I’ve picked up or can give from my own strategies are:
·      post your hashtags in sets of 6 as comments below the posts (Sue B. Zimmerman)
·      create your go-to hashtags and save them in an easily accessible text editor
·      try to switch it up once in a while
·      keep them relevant to your post
·      consider the time of day you post – keep a note
·      keep a note of the hashtags you use in each post.

Why? Whether you used different ones, recurring ones or a combination, it would be good to see which are the most popular in all your photos. When carrying out research, you could do a search of each hashtag to assess which you use the most and which of those were most effective. You could then ditch the ones that don’t work. Sorry… told you I was analytical. I also love to test and experiment too! 🙂
Quick Social Media Tip for Female Musicians: "Create your go-to hashtags and save them in an easily accessible text editor."

Analyse

Of course, you want to keep it simple, but you could do a deeper analysis such as listing photies with you in, selfies, videos with you in, photo of an object or quote, was there a quote in the post, was there a performance in the post, such as your music? Did that help people sign up to your list, book to see you at a show, or even buy the song, for instance. Stuff like that could really help you figure out what is best for your needs and help to keep you on track when figuring out what to post, when to post, how much time you would need to set aside to create posts and is it worth the investment (i.e. time and money) to do so, etc.?

Other tips:
Frame your photo and image posts well. Think about background, clarity, lighting, etc. As musicians we have the added luxury of creating music in our posts so the music may be enough for some followers and potential fans. However, as the platform is mainly about visuals, at least select an engaging cover for your videos before posting. It is always best to create and think of the visual aspect of your entire board and whatever you post.

Live

Use your Insta live wisely!
Lives are only available for a limited time.
Tips:
·      Save your live posts when you create them (and maybe after you have posted them live) to post on the day or at future times – some phones auto save them. Check your device beforehand so you’re sure.
 Use the text, emojis and other tools in live to get even more.
·      Use it to send your followers (your community) to something you are promoting directly – perhaps a sign up or for tickets sales to a gig.
·      Encourage people to look out for your live posts and impress on them that the post is only up for a limited time. If you have unique and appealing content, you could really do well here.
·      Use it to just chat with people. Topical or get to know you live posts are two chat suggestions. 
·      Use it to show live performances or impromptu gigs.
·      It works in a similar way to FB live in that you could set up timed or random lives.

Log Results

Enter the stats in a spreadsheet or log – like the free one supplied with this blog! 🙂

female musicpreneur business instagram tips for musicians image

Final points

There is something to be said for going through that steep learning curve if Instagram (and Instagram business) is a good fit for you and your following. If it doesn’t seem appealing, that doesn’t mean it isn’t right for you. Sometimes we have to learn something new that is good for us! So, if you’re unsure about it, perhaps give it a chance for maybe 3 months, diligently applying the work before making a decision either way.

If, however, you find that it takes away too much of your time and another platform gets you better results, then do what makes sense. Move on! We’ve no time to dilly dally, agreed?

Tips:

Recap. As you try certain posts and timings out, every week, month or on a regular basis you can analyse their effect to find out which were most effective and repeat. Simples!

Post your stories as reposts (save them when you make them as they may not be saved otherwise), videos, photos or videos or you, music related, etc.

This Instagram post can be used as a guide to complement our free Q3 social media strategy course which gives you an overview of how to implement a simple, social media campaign using your platform of choice. If you’d like to go with Instagram for your campaign, I hope this will be a handy reference tool for you!

Pop your comments below and let me know your thoughts. Do you have a business or personal profile? Have you used insights? Or live? What do you think? If you have not used either or just one, why not?

Got any comments, questions, or other business Instagram tips for musicians? Share them in the comments below!

Also, please share and spread the love! Knowledge is power!

I hope this has helped.

Thank you for reading. Don’t forget to click here for your freebie Insta analysis log for Female Musicpreneurs! You’ve no excuses now!

Think Instagram business is for you? For an in depth Instagram course and strategy session, audio, video lessons, resources and more, which reveals even more fab tips to help you really boost followers, mailing list and of course your bottom line, sign up here for our social media savvy course.

Danelle x

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