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Ok - my blog post title caught your attention. Guilty as charged!
Instagram is a free app for taking and sharing photos with a caption from your smartphone. It has recently been in the press because Facebook just famously bought them for one billion dollars. I repeat. One BILLION dollars. So, there must be some value in the Instagram community, right?
Instagram has been around for the iPhone since it launched in October 2010, and was released for Android users in April 2012. There are over 30 million accounts, and in the first 12 hours Instagram launched for Android, over 1 million new users signed up. That shows you it is growing, and fast!
A lot of the community are music lovers, and since the community is photo based, it’s really fun and fresh, giving you a real shot at interacting with new potential fans. Also, there’s no “buy this, buy that, like this or that” feeling on Instagram like there can be on other social networks, which makes the Instagram community even stronger.
To be honest I don’t think any one thing will save (or kickstart) your career. But, I do strongly believe that at some point in your career, or after the initial starting phase of launching a new musical project wears off and you stop using social media so much, you do need a kick in the pants, so to speak. And Instagram is the perfect tool to do just that, because:
You don’t even need to have any photography skills or even a good phone camera because they all crop to a square shape, then you add a nice looking filter which saves even the worst photo. A lot of photos that are popular are very dark because of poor concert lighting, but people just don’t care.
You don’t even need to be doing things that “hip” to use it. Honestly, photos of junk food still in their packaging and about to be eaten is popular, and makes everyone in their Instagram feed feel warm and fuzzy…
The idea of social media is to share, to connect, and to enjoy other people’s stories. With this in mind, as an artist you are always wanting to find new fans, so getting followers becomes important. But don’t sign up and snap photos just to get followers who you hope to convert into fans – snap photos with the right spirit of sharing and self expression.
Having said all that, it will take a couple of minutes to sign up, and about 30 seconds to take a photo and upload it to your Instagram feed.
In terms of maintenance, I recommend taking about one photo every 2 days. So that’s 30 seconds every 2 days.
I also recommend spending about 5-10 minutes connecting with your Instagram community every 2 days. What I mean by this is that you should be clicking the “like”button (a heart) on the photos you love in your feed, and commenting on the photos that inspire you to leave comments on.
But here’s the thing. I only do this on the tram or if I am stuck waiting in line somewhere. I never do it any other time so Instagram has honestly never taken me any time at all.
Once you are in the habit of doing this (which takes no more than 30 seconds of actual time, since the rest you do in “dead time”), then you can start to build your potential new fanbase. And adding and connecting with lots of new followers takes about 10 minutes once a month. So in total, over time, you are not spending any time on it, except 5-10 minutes every 2nd day in your dead time. More on finding followers and fans later.
Anything you are doing at that moment you want to share. As I mentioned, you only need to post about once every 2 days, and I recommend aboutone photo per week has you in it, for example:
The photos without you can be anything you see and like. Typical ones are:
I will show you how to access settings below. I am using Android so my screenshots below may be slighty different if you are using an iPhone, but you get the idea. To get to your settings there are three steps. First you need to navigate to your profile:
1 – Click on the button in the bottom right as in my screenshot:
Note the poor quality photo above, but it still gets 64 likes!
2 – This takes you to your profile. Now click in the upper right corner of your profile:
3 – Now you are on your settings page, so click ‘Edit Profile’ to add your first name, last name, website address and a short bio.
Your first and last name will appear under your username on your profile page, and your bio just above your photos. Remember, it is your username, not your first and last name, that will be seen everywhere when you like or comment on photos.
Therefore, be sure that your username is the one you want to promote, in this case StarPause, and not Jordan Gray:
This is the easiest thing in the world. Simply browse through the photos in your feed, and click on the heart button under a photo that you like. Comment on photos by clicking on the comment bubble next to the heart. As I mentioned already, only do this in your “dead time” when you are waiting around for your bandmates, or stuck in an elevator…
Get social for about 5-10 mintues every other day, and the easiest is to do this right after you have posted a photo. This also will make your name pop up around Instagram right after your photo is served, so normally people will “get clicky” right back at you on your photo then too.
The likes along with the comments appear under the photo, as in the screenshot below:
When you comment, your username is getting spread around and the Instagram community are aware that you exist. Therefore commenting is good! It is also good because people sure love comments on their photos.
If you “like” a photo, and only a couple of others do, your name is shown, otherwise the total number of likes is shown.
If you have liked a photo, the heart will appear red, and similiarly for the comment bubble.
Now that you have been posting photos, commenting and liking for a week or couple of weeks, go back and check who has followed you, and follow some new people. You can do this in several ways, for example:
Instagram can really spice up your social media updates on many platforms, all in one click. It can also help fans get to know you on a more personal level, which is great for relationship building. And finally, and most importantly, you can enjoy getting to know your fans and start following potential new fans, all during your “dead” time, and all this for 10 minutes every second day. Now that is the true power of social media.
What do you think of Instagram? Have you connected with new fans using it? How long do you spend on it? Let me know in the comments below.