One of the biggest challenges musicians face with social media is creating content – and doing it consistently.
I typically hear, “but how many pictures and videos of myself can I post?” when I’ve told a musician they need to be posting twice a day on their Instagram feed.
Only posting content of yourself isn’t giving fans and followers value. Unless you’re really entertaining like Diplo – it’s just not enough.
You can give value through both your music as well as through your channels by sharing entertaining, educational or thought provoking posts.
Your feed should consist of 20% promotional content and 80% of your content should only be used to give followers something valuable (entertaining, educational, inspirational).
Finding the type of content that works for you will take a little experimentation and it’s likely you won’t hit the sweet spot right away – the important thing is to try.
Once you’ve tested out some different types of content, you can use your analytics and insights to see what got the best engagement. Then simply repeat your best performing posts in a different way.
When you’re confident you’re in a groove, you can set specific days where you post a certain type of content. So you know every day what it is you need to be posting about.
This allows you to pre-plan and pre-schedule your content for the upcoming week. Leaving yourself the rest of the week to make music and engage with fans.
The introverts of music (that’s many of you producers out there) enjoy being behind the scenes. So when the topic of sharing pictures and videos of yourself comes up you edge back and feel it lacks value.
So this week I want to give you some content ideas you can post on Instagram that are not about you.
Content that directly gives value without having the extroverted self promotion side:
User Generated Content
This is a super easy content strategy which can provide a lot of value with little effort. It is entertaining and that’s the name of the game for keeping followers engaged.
The great part is, somebody else is already testing the content for you. By finding a piece of content that’s had a good response on another account(s) and falls in your area of personality and/or expertise; half the work is already done.
If it’s working on another account, it’s likely it’ll work for you and your audience too.
Just directly saving the content and sharing it on your feed is all it takes. However, use the caption to deliver your value, your voice and your personality. That’s adding value to something already valuable.
This type of content usually generates tons of likes, shares, saves and comments which the Instagram algorithm values very highly.
2. Inspiration and Artist Highlight
I often share this idea with musicians and I get the reply, “so you want me to post about other musicians? Isn’t that kinda weird?”. Nope, it is the exact opposite.
Many other musicians have formed and shaped you to become the artist that you are today.
Why not start sharing these inspirations and influences?
Sharing these kinds of posts with historical facts or fun stories allows you to share the history of music which always needs to be preserved and spoken about to educate those who might not know the roots of a certain artist, genre, tour, etc.
A female musician might do a tribute to the women in music who have made a lasting impression on you or if female empowerment is part of your brand.
You could choose to showcase the influences of your latest album or track. Why you chose to use them in your work and what the process was leading to that choice.
By doing this you’re including your fans and followers in the behind the scenes, as part of the process, and that is how you create a loyal following.
And for the shy, withdrawn types – it’s not about you. You’re talking about somebody else’s achievements while sharing yours.
If you’re an educator by heart and enjoy being behind the scenes, tutorials may be a good format for you.
The goal of the tutorial is to teach viewers something and not to promote your brand or talk about yourself.
You are talking about your expertise areas with the goal of teaching others about it.
This will show both the process and decision you make as an artist. You are showing yourself from an expertise side.
For example, take a look at DJ Snake. He posts tutorials of him playing around in the studio and creating music,
Using a sample from Cardi B and then creating a song from it, showing his followers how he created the song step by step.
Using carousels, videos or live streams is the best way to deliver this type of content.
The beauty of doing something like this is that it’s likely going to be a long form piece of content which you can then break down into smaller pieces to be redistributed across your channels as highlights.
More bang for your buck!
4. Tweet Quotes
One of the biggest trends that has swept Instagram in recent times is the tweet quote.
This is basically a screenshot of a tweet that’s presented in a nice format on your Instagram feed.
If you are motivational, have a great sense of humour or have something of importance to say – just go on Twitter and say what you have to say. Screenshot it, edit it, upload it.
If you’ve created some videos where you’ve said some great one liners then Tweet that sh*t and you’ve got yourself some repurposed content.
I actually started being more active on Twitter after I started creating these tweet quote images.
By doing this you are being active on two channels while sharing value. Plus, it’s easy content to create that is not self promoting.
The tweet in itself gives value by creating an image for Instagram. You are also kinda branding that quote because your username and profile picture is attached to it.
5. Political Causes
If you stand for something, SPEAK UP!
There are far too few artists out there who have the guts to have an opinion these days. If when you are starting to get a large following, you will get a larger and larger influence.
You can use that influence and turn it into something good. Into something that can make a difference.
A great example here is Cardi B who has always spoken her mind on Instagram and gone into these rants that were often political.
Every week you can see political content on her profile now that is encouraging people to vote, promoting Black Lives Matter or just ranting about the state of America.
Another approach is how Common does it – he educates his followers on political characters that have shaped black history.
Just by following him you will learn new things every week in this area which also reflects his brand and music as well.
Politics is a very dividing subject that will see many different opinions. Be prepared for pushback if people don’t agree. But you know what, it’s a conversation. And conversation is engagement. And engagement will create more visibility.
See where this is going..?
Musicians and artists don’t always need to be posting about themselves. Content comes in many different forms and you need to try out a few different options to know what works for you and gets the best reaction from followers.
Start following big accounts that have great content and similar followers to your fan base. Use their ideas as inspiration or share bits and pieces of their content with your own commentary on it.
You don’t have to self promote at all given times, in fact it’s much better not to as you need to keep the attention of visitors hitting up your profile.
Educational, entertaining or thought provoking is how you do so.