Everybody loves free stuff, it’s the best. But with so many tools out there it can become a little overwhelming. I’ve rounded up nine of the best FREE tools that I’ve been using for Instagram that’ll really up your game as a musician.
Investing your time and energy into growing your social media accounts is a necessity. Using these tools will assist in optimizing your results.
Let’s jump straight in:
This is Facebook and Instagram’s own scheduling tool that will save you having to be sat at your computer every time you post.
Planning is EVERYTHING on social media.
If you’re still going into the Instagram app directly to post, you’re not utilizing your time. This tool allows you to line up your posts in advance and allows you to view the analytics of your posts all in one easy to manage portal.
The actual Instagram app should only be used to share Stories and actually engage with your content (as well as others’).
To post videos and images it’s worth heading over to Creator Studio and making it a habit you follow.
The only set back is that you’ll need to have a Facebook Page and connect it to your Instagram profile – even if you’re only using it for Instagram. This is simply because Facebook owns Instagram.
Every week I make sure I have a week’s worth of content pre-planned, produced and scheduled in Creator Studio.
Then whenever I go into Instagram itself, I interact and share live content (Stories and live streams).
Creator Studio optimises your time working on content if you’re posting multiple times a day.
It is a relatively new tool which means it still has some bugs. So be aware of this when you start using it. The occasional scheduled post might not go out as I’ve experienced.
These bugs only occur around 10% of the time – and it’s a free tool – so it’s worth the small headache.
Oh, and creator studio just launched their mobile app which makes it even easier to manage your content on the go.
Veme.ly has a bit of an odd name but is a fantastic tool for presenting videos for social media.
Because video content is dominating the social media sphere due to its ability to keep users eyes on the platforms longer than just looking at a still image – it’s something you need to invest your time in.
Using other apps such as Adobe and iMovie, etc. to actually create and edit video content is great but Veme.ly is the best for optimizing videos when they’re finished.
Inserting videos into templates that are specifically designed for optimum social media engagement has never been easier.
The app can automatically create subtitles to insert into video too. A large percentage of video viewers have their sound turned off – so it’s important to have subs to reach a larger audience.
Add progress bars to your videos to show viewers how far into the video they are. They’re everywhere at the moment and are actually very useful. It decreases the drop-off rate too which is a double bonus.
I’ve tested many apps out there during the process of setting up multiple businesses and Veme.ly’s functions really stand out.
The free version of the app has very good functionalities – only when you want to start using it on a heavier basis will you need to pay for it – which has very good pricing options.
What with social media using so many different shapes and sizes of content – the app has ready to go sized options on entry.
Click here to download my free resource on how to use veme.ly.
Creating good graphics (even with non-existent skills) for social media doesn’t get any easier than using Canva.
With LOTS of pre-made templates that get updated regularly, there’s always something you can click on and edit the elements on screen to fit your own.
Simply dragging and dropping items on to the workspace is all it takes.
I create nice presentations on Canva for my lectures as well as lots of other useful bits that keeps my content heavy job ticking over nicely.
Sometimes just adding your logo or brand colours onto a free template is enough to create engaging content. Though it’s always good to practise becoming better as it’ll work in your favour.
Compiling multiple links into ONE shareable link is the name of the game for LinkTree.
Musicians tend to have several channels from Facebook to Soundcloud to Bandcamp and all those inbetween.
Using a LinkTree URL in your bio link will allow you to present all of your important links at the same time in a simple linear structure.
Just like your content, you should update your LinkTree links regularly and try to mix it up a little. Just directing followers to your YouTube channel is uninspiring for anybody to click. Try adding a link directly to a video of yours instead (which opens in a pop-up within the Instagram app).
Take a look at my LinkTree – every week I update with new resources and use emojis to try and communicate what media the link is. It could be anything from a video to a blog post to a free download.
When someone ‘meets’ you on Instagram and you send them over to your other channels; the more specific you can be where you send them – the better. Be in control over how followers and fans get exposed to your content.
5. Facebook Pixel
Basically what the Facebook pixel is, is a piece of code you put on your website. Sounds more complicated than it is but you just place it in the header of your website (typically very easy to do in Square Space and other web page builders). This allows Facebook/Instagram to communicate with your website and share data; and vice versa. It opens up a bridge between the platform where Facebook is monitoring traffic on your website. Then you can of course use this data very strategically. Creating audiences, retargeting your visitors on Instagram. Data is power.
The pixel then starts to give you this information which helps you to start targeting your social media ads more efficiently rather than just targeting random, huge lists of generic groups of people.
You can start targeting similar people that have already interacted with you and your brand or have similar interests with your current crowd, which means the new targets are more likely to be interested in you.
Take a look at my blog post on how to use Facebook Pixel here.
The old skool way of setting up audience targeting on Facebook ads was to select the parameters yourself.
This can be risky as you are basing the information on what you think is best.
Facebook has gotten a lot smarter and now its algorithm can generate audiences based on likes, interests, etc. – allowing your ads to be seen by the right kind of people.
The two audiences it generates are either custom audiences or lookalike audiences.
A Custom Audience made from a customer list is a type of audience you can create to help build your reach. It’s made of information – called “identifiers” – you’ve collected about your customers (such as email, phone number and address) and provided to Facebook. Prior to use, Facebook hashes this information.
I’m sure you have all seen those e-commerce products that you left in your shopping chart follow you through your interactions online and on social media. This is all done using Facebook pixel and then creating a custom audience.
A Lookalike Audience is a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to your best existing customers/visitors.
For a more in depth understanding of Audiences and how it can massively help your ads, check out my other blog post: How to Create Facebook Ads That Will Generate Sales.
User generated content should be high up on your content strategy. Sharing content that’s been made already means that you’ll have more content to share.
Snoop Dogg is the DAWG of user generated content. His profile has so many memes and funny viral videos. All he has to do is share the content and add his own thoughts in the caption.
Repost is an app that allows for research and structuring of your user generated content. So when it’s time to get content and post – it’s very easy.
Repost for Instagram makes it easy to #Repost your favorite photos and videos on Instagram while giving credit to the original Instagramer at the tap of a few buttons.
By copying the link of a post, the app will store that content ready to be published to your account. Easy!
This handy software allows you to use Instagram Live directly from your computer.
Live streaming should be part of your reality as a musician.
When using just a phone to live stream a session, it can be very limiting.
When it is time to spy on your competition then head over to this great site.
They have a free tool to quickly check other user’s engagement rate and growth – you know to check out if somebody’s followers are legit and/or active.
Of course the free tool is limited to three searches a day so make sure you plan out your stalking (or go incognito mode and do unlimited searches 🤷🏼♀️).
This is also a great tool to check how strong someone’s brand is. If you’re about to collaborate with someone, then it’s good to know how strong their audience actually is.
For record labels evaluating artists and checking out new talent; it’s a breeze to see their true credentials.
I have always preached it doesn’t matter how many followers you have, if you cannot engage with them in your content and get them to make an action – you essentially have nothing.
An engagement rate is a metric that measures the level of engagement that a piece of created content is receiving from an audience.
The goal is to have a strong engagement rate as you then have a strong fanbase who are interacting in your content.
Good social media tools help you find more content to share, measure performance and generally make life more efficient. And like anything new, it may take a little time to get used to the way they work.
A workman without his toolbelt is as useful as a social media page with poor content.
Load up your belt.