I don’t need to convince you of all the reasons why having more followers can be a crucial turning point in your career. You already know that, and if you’re honest, you’ve probably tried a few things in the past to boost that follower count with little to no success. That ends today.
Now, I want to be clear—this isn’t about vanity metrics. Our aim isn’t to get you to 10k, 20k, 30k followers, of which only half of them know who you are and care about the music you make or the message you’re putting out there. The goal with each of these strategies is to grow your account with highly engaged, interested, active followers who are all about you and what you have to offer.
So let’s get to it!
Be unapologetically you
It’s a mistake many artists make—being afraid to show the world who they are. They play it safe on social media, trying to be neutral in their tone, and as such, sure, they don’t really repel anyone, but they also don’t attract a strong audience. Because the truth is, if you want to stand out, you have to stand for something truly, and you have to make that known. Instead of being afraid your opinion or personality will come off as too much for some people, embrace it! Know that you want to filter out the people who aren’t on board with you because, for every person that decides you aren’t for them, there are ten more who finally feel like you’re speaking directly to them. They love you just because you decided to open up and show your personality instead of playing it safe.
Optimize your bio
Many people skip this step—but it’s the first thing a potential fan will look at, so it has to be appropriately optimized. By that, I mean let it tell your story. It’s not enough to just write that you’re a metal band from Florida or that your new album is out now. If someone is coming across you for the first time and have no idea who you are, they don’t much care that your new album is out, and knowing you’re a metal band from FL won’t be enough to keep them interested.
While it’s essential to state your genre clearly, you also want to share what you’re all about. For instance, Katie Garibaldi (@katiegaribaldi) says, “Singer/songwriter/guitar player + producer. Music Supervisor Enthusiast. Heart Follower”. It touches on her music and her interests, as well as the guiding light behind her brand—following her heart.
Or Sunny State (@sunnystatemusic), which says, “Cali reggae band, sending out those positive vibrations through songs of the heart! If you want to talk, DM us. Join the Tribe, let’s be friends!” They tell you the music they make, why they make it, and then leave a call to action that invites fans to connect
Make use of Highlights
Highlights are one of those hidden gems of IG that aren’t often utilized. Highlights can be used for an array of different things to show newcomers precisely who you are. It’s a fantastic chance to introduce yourself to potential followers. A few ideas:
-About me. A few stories where you’re introducing yourself and what you’re all about
-New music. Clips of new music videos or songs.
-Show highlights. The best of your live show experience
Know your hashtags—and swap them out frequently
Most people straight up don’t understand hashtags. I used to be one of those people. I would throw them at the end of a caption all willy nilly and get frustrated that I didn’t see results.
The problem? I had no strategy behind my hashtag use.
First and foremost, you always want to use hashtags, and I suggest using the full amount IG gives you (25-30). Second, make sure you’re not using any banned hashtags. You’d be surprised by some of the ones on that banned list, so do a quick google search if you’re unsure. Third, make sure those hashtags are relevant to the caption and the photo. For instance, if your caption talks about driving the Grand Canyon, I’d expect to see things related to the Grand Canyon and road trips and travel in your hashtags. Third, use hashtags that are above 100k but under 1million to get the most views. Any less than that, and you run the risk of being too niche, but more than a million and your post will likely get lost in discovery.
Finally, have a set of 3-4 hashtags as your go tos for easy posting, but be sure to swap them out. IG doesn’t like it if you use the same one every day.
Always have a call to action
If you don’t tell people what to do, how will they know? We may think people are mind readers or should know that we want them to comment/listen to our song/DM us, but if we don’t clearly communicate a call to action at the end of every post, we can’t be surprised when people don’t engage.
A few examples:
-ask them a question related to the caption you just posted
-have them post their favorite emoji
-have them tag a friend that could use a pick me up/deserves recognition/etc
-Have them save the post
-Have them pre-save your song
-Have them share the post and tag you
These are just a few ways to get your fans engaged. The more activity your post has, the more IG will show it to your followers as well as in the discovery section, and the more followers you’ll attract
Follow and engage with similar accounts
One of the best ways to get new followers quickly is to find similar accounts (IE similar bands, blogs, or podcasts that they’d be checking out) and see who is interacting with their posts. From there, you can follow and engage with them. Remember, you don’t want to spam them with your music. Instead, you want to talk to them about the things that light them up, have an organic conversation, and from there, it can transition to talk about your music.
What are you most looking forward to trying on this list?
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placements on Alternative Press, Noisey, Substream, Spotify and more. You can learn more about how to get more fans + make more money with your music in her workshop.