Instagram boasts more than one billion users thanks to its unique features and its concept focused on visuals. And it’s no secret that it’s one of the best ways to convey your aesthetics and promote yourself as an independent artist.
In this article we’re going to talk about posts, stories (exciting news alert!), reels, livestreams, IGTV and ads… we’ve got plenty to tell you so let’s get going.
Want to get the most out of Insta? Start with a plan.
A good plan enables you to:
- – Post at hours when you’re not available and when fans are active. To understand at what hours of the day your community is active on the platform, you can run small tests. Try posting similar content at different times and see what works best!
- – Keep your feed coherent
Planning in advance means you can keep your artist brand identity on point as you’ll be able to see what the feed will look like before even posting.
Switch to creator profile
If it’s not the case yet, you should switch your profile to creator mode. Head to the settings and search “professional account” and choose “creator”. You can then choose what type of profile describes you best between “music”, “musician” and “band”. This will appear right above your bio.
Stats are a big advantage of the creator profile. Under each post, you get access to the number of:
- – Likes
- – Comments
- – Shares
- – Saves
This insight is really useful to understand the relationship between your content and your audience.
It also enables you to link your profile to a Facebook page and run ads, which is a great way to reach new audiences if you have the budget and know how to set up Facebook ads.
Running ads isn’t the be all and end all, but can certainly be beneficial if you use them wisely. If you’re proud of a particular post and would like more people to see it, or have an upcoming release or gig you want to promo the hell out of, then you should totally sponsor it. Set up the actual post or creative then choose interests, location of your targeted audience, add your budget and that’s it. Bear in mind, returns for ads aren’t always huge so don’t go spending all your savings on them, and do a bit of online research beforehand to learn any tips or tricks for advertising on social media.
It’s easy to forget about your bio when all these features are available in the app… but it’s actually important to use it. As an independent artist, it allows your fans to get a glimpse into your world. Your bio link should absolutely always link to either your website or your latest release. With Spinnup you can build your own website for free, AND we supply promo links for each release, making it easier to share your music on all platforms with one link.
If you’ve got a lot to tell your fans, then it’s worth looking into a link in bio tool like Linktree (we use it on our own Spinnup profile) to have multiple links on display at once.
Classic posts shape your feed and are naturally more permanent that stories, so use your grid to highlight the hero or most important content, and also keep a theme when it comes to your visuals.
Use stories for your fun everyday content and pin them to story highlights for your fans to get to know you. For your grid posts, make sure to use the same filter or editing techniques to create an aesthetic, and the same vibe for your captions.
Everyone loves a good story. They’re perfect to share temporary content such as:
- – Announcing a livestream
- – Giving news to your fans
- – Making quick calls to action (urging to like a post, check something out,…)
- – Teasing future releases/ music videos
- – Giving your followers a behind the scenes look into your life and music
We love a good story and love the features they offer, including being able to add music to your stories. Speaking of which… Spinnup artists are able to distribute their music on Facebook (and therefore Instagram) and TikTok. This means you can play your tracks in stories and your fans can too! Get the lowdown on how to deliver your music to social media and how best to use it right here.
The music function is obviously our favourite tools on the app and it’s such a great way to promote music.
Other interesting features to use as an independent artist:
- – Polls: to understand what tracks your fans like best, where they live, what themes you can deal with in your next livestream, …
- – Quizzes: see what your fans know about you and your projects
- – Countdowns: perfect to tease your upcoming tours and release
Also, if you have more than 10k followers, you can add swipe up links to your stories! This is especially useful when promoting new tracks, music videos or merch. So, let’s do everything we can to get these followers!
Highlights are here to make stories stay visible on your account. We like to use them by categories, and they show up just below your bio. Why not create a “tour”, “releases” or “studio categories for your profile? It’s the perfect in between posts and stories.
Ideal for more adventurous content, IGTV allows you to post longer form video content.
The name says it all, it’s Insta’s TV. It’s a good way to showcase your skills directly on your profile with more creative and professional videos. Some big artists like Beyoncé love to use this feature so don’t hesitate to check out your favourite creators’ videos for some inspo.
Make sure to always film a vertical version of your music videos so have them available for Insta (and Tiktok!).
If you need some help with making more elaborate videos, check out our top apps to create videos here !
Livestreams are another great way to boost your presence on social and get closer to your audience, but it doesn’t always have to be a live performance. You could try some other types of live content such as:
- – Q&As
- – 2-way interviews
- – Tutorials
You could even use the poll feature in stories to help you come up with live ideas.
Check out our guide to livestreaming as an independent artist if you after some more help in this department.
Instagram have just launched their newest TikTok rival, Instagram Reels. Reels lets you record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio (which could be your own music), effects, and new creative tools. You can share reels with your followers on your Feed, and, make them available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in Explore. Reels in Explore offers a wider audience for your music on Instagram on a global stage. Search for your song distributed with Spinnup from the Instagram music library (distributed after April 2020). You can also use your own original audio by simply recording a reel with it. More on this here
Remember you don’t have to use all features at once. Quality is always better than quantity. There are plenty of things to do on the app so try things out, experiment and learn what works best for you and your audience.
For more advice on your social media promotion, check out our guide.