Having a strong social presence is vital for artists nowadays, and yet despite that, there are several misconceptions about what you can and should do.
In this blog, we are going to provide best practices, proven methods and our personal recommendations, so that you can make your social page as captivating as possible.
Firstly, let's go over some general tips.
General rule of thumb:
Your 9 most recent posts should always provide an accurate representation of who you are, what you do, and what people can expect when following your page.
Posts that have clear covers / thumbnails, such as yourself looking straight into the camera (and smiling) generally do best. This is because it forms a personal connection with your audience.
In addition to that, we also recommend having a bold statement, question, or topic (in bright colors) to catch someone's attention and get them to stop scrolling.
One thing we are somewhat against is adding filters and effects. While they may look cool, it puts an imaginary barrier between yourself and your audience, and therefore distances yourself from them. As a result, unless those filters/effects are part of your artist image, it may not be best to include.
Consistency is key. The more you post, the greater reach you will have.
A misconception that many artists believe (and maybe you too), is that the more frequently they post, the more they believe they will overwhelm their followers. The reality is that people follow you because they enjoy your content, and probably want more of it. Therefore, do not let that fear you have hold you back.
Post videos, images, carousels, reels, stories etc, and ensure variety in the actual content too. For example, post covers, originals, quotes, questions, statements, behind the scenes pictures and videos, bloopers, etc.
Bios should be different depending on your niche. For artists like yourself, your bio should clearly state who you are, what you do and why someone should care, along with social proof, a call to action and then a link (usually to your new single) - Linktr.ee's work great.
Most bios only allow for about 150 characters, but you can still fit all that in, here is an example:
Name: Musician Guidance
I sing a A LOT of sad songs..
My goal is to write songs that move you emotionally
1,000,000+ streams | Featured on @musicianguidance
Stream my new song
This example is under 150 characters as the name, title and link do not count towards the character limit on Instagram. If needed, it can slightly be adjusted for other platforms.
One suggestion is to come across as personable. Let your personality shine through, which you can do by capitalizing words, using slang, or even different fonts, which you can copy from here, and then paste into your bio.
What should your name be?
One suggestion is to use keywords in your name, as this acts as SEO on Instagram, and allows your page to be shown when people search for it.
NOTE: Your name is not your handle. The name is something additional that most platforms let you add.
If you believe more people are searching for a term that relates to your page, rather than your name, you should use that term instead, (and if it is short enough, you can still include your name after it). For example "Singer - Musician Guidance"
"Singer" would be used for SEO, and "Musician Guidance" is used to let our fans know who we are!
Should I use a linker.ee?
If you have many links, we would 100% recommend a linktr.ee (or similar service), so that you can professionally show all your links.
Highlights are one of the most underrated features. They literally allow you to showcase anything at the top of your page (which is something everyone landing on your page will see).
As a result, you should have your best (or most important) content there, including songs, merchandise, your website, a place where people can buy tickets to your performance, etc.
It is important to not have too many highlights however, as having 15+ can not only overwhelm your audience, but also make it hard for them to find what they seek. Our recommendation is to have up to about 7.
Furthermore, it is critical to ensure you have similarities between each cover, such as colors, or styles of images (vector art seems to work really well on Instagram). This will increase how professional your page looks. We even have some highlight covers you can take advantage of here.
Let’s face it, captions are something we all know we could improve on, but we either do not want to put in the time, or simply do not know what to say.
What if we told you that effective captions do not need to be long?
It depends on your goal, but some of the most effective captions include a catchy hook, (such as a bold statement, or question), followed by value, and another call to action.
Bold statment: This is the EXACT amount Spotify pays you!
Value: Spotify pays artists $0.00318 / stream, but how does that compare with other platforms?
Click the link in @musicianguidance bio to find out, it’s shocking!
A quick note - always include the tag (@musicianguidance in the example), rather than just saying “link in bio”, so that the user can click it, and instantly, be brought straight to the bio.
More caption recommendations:
Use positive wording / captions. Believe it or not, captions with a negative connotation can actually make a new fan looking at your social page feel as if your page is “not good enough” in their mind.
Sounds crazy, but it’s true. It’s a concept called negative brand association. It is ultimately when you associate something negative to something, because of something completely unrelated that you saw.
For example, let’s suppose you’re reading a blog online and the article suggests something you are strongly against. While reading, (and in-between paragraphs for example) you see an ad for a new car, despite that ad being placed by most-likely Google, (and having no correlation to the article), you may now associate that car brand with that article, which could lead you to never purchase that brand of car, or at the very least, have a negative view of the car brand. That is negative brand association, and it can happen just as easy on your social pages with negative captions.
We have MANY resources on hashtags, including here, but to summarize, we recommend that you use hashtags that include your, 1) audience, 2) topic, 3) niche, 4) location, and 5) community, so that you can pinpoint your exact target market.
This will ensure that the majority of people that find you through hashtags will be interested in your page. In addition to that, we recommend that you use hashtags that are both targeted/narrow (have not too many uses) and broad hashtags (that have many more uses, although the most popular ones are still not recommended for smaller pages, given the minimal time in the “spotlight”) - we explain more about this here.
When using a mixture of hashtags (popular hashtags and less common hashtags), the ones with many uses (popular hashtags) will get your post engagement/traffic soon after posting, whereas the hashtags with less uses will get you more engagement/traffic overtime, which is a recipe for continual engagement.
Lastly, switch your hashtags up from post to post. Many social platforms like when you make updates, because guess who doesn't switch up their attempts? Bots and spam accounts!
Reply to all comments (even the spam ones), because while they could be bots, or simply not interested in your page, one positive feature they provide you is that they help you build social proof, through providing yourself more comments.
Social proof is one of the biggest factors in the world today. It’s one of. the reasons as to why you always see reviews, success stories, accomplishments etc.
So even if you see the comments that say "DM me for promotion" (and it's clearly a scam), replying back with a simple emoji still ads a comment to your post (social proof).
Suggestions for the future
Social media platforms “favor” accounts that use their new features. As a result, whenever new features are implemented, such as reels and guides, implement them right away.
One example is using videos on Instagram. The CEO of Instagram even said that the platform is transitioning more and more into focusing on video content, which is massive, considering Instagram's unique selling proposition when it first launched was that it was a "photo" sharing platform.
When new features are released, the platform generally wants to test them, and as a result, will "push" posts that incorporate the new features.
Therefore, for the best chance to get into the algorithm, use the platform's new features as soon as they are released to your account.
That was a lot of information, we know, and so if you have any questions, connect with us here.