How to Make the Most of Your Instagram Posting Calendar (Sample Schedule Included)
by Christine Occhino on August 17, 2020 via Bandzoogle
Image of Bandzoogle members Flagship Romance Instagram feed.
With social distancing mandates still in full swing in many places, it’s more important than ever to be effective with your social media. Whether you consider yourself a well-versed Instagrammer, or someone who just wishes they had a magical genie to make it all go for them, I’m here to help!
Let’s start with some Instagram basics to ensure you’re getting the most out of using the platform. First, you’ll want to make sure you are set up with a business account so you’re able to track stats and analytics on your page. In contrast, a personal profile does not give you access to these metrics. This can be easily adjusted in your
account settings. Once you’ve made the switch, you can easily access this data by clicking the menu icon in the top right, and selecting “insights,” which will provide detailed information about your content, activity, and audience. This is invaluable to musicians so you can keep a close eye on what’s working and what’s not with your sharing and marketing efforts.
The next thing you’ll want to get a handle on for effective posting is the Instagram culture. For quick, one-off updates, use your “story.” That’s the Snapchat-like feature that posts quick photos or videos that expire after 24 hours, accessible by clicking your profile picture. Use this for more “live” or time-sensitive content. You can also see stats for stories as well from the same insight page mentioned earlier, or by opening your story, clicking the bottom left “seen by” text, and then clicking the bar graph icon to the left which will display data on interactions and discovery. You’ll be able to see how people are reacting to your story posts, including which types of actions are being taken, how many accounts you’ve reached, how the number of new followers that came from it. Plus, it will tell you what viewers did after viewing it, whether they replayed, skipped ahead, forwarded to the next account’s content, etc. Stories are a great place to promote new releases, show something you’re currently working on, and engage with followers through the use of included features like polls, quizzes, Q+A’s and more. You can even embed your music into the post if you use a distributor like Distrokid!
For posting on Instagram, this is where you put the “good stuff” - things with more staying power. Clever/informative captions, smart use of hashtags, high-quality images and videos... save that for a well-curated page with a strategic posting schedule. Regular posting keeps your followers engaged and excited about what you have going on. As a musician, you want to use this platform to the fullest extent, and challenge yourself to maintain it the way you would anything else that’s important to your music career. Regular, thoughtful posts will help you grow and engage your fanbase, increase your listenership, get more people out to your shows (whether in-person or online), and create more fans of your music! Remember, Instagram is a tech platform, and it works off an algorithm. The more you post, the higher the engagement, the more fans (and potential new fans) will come across your stuff organically! Instagram prioritizes what it’s algorithm perceives as engaging content, so it will bump that up in search results or feeds for your followers, based on who is interacting with your page/posts, effective use of hashtags, and connections with other users. Their goal is to keep the time people spend on the app as high as possible, so they try to ensure that users are getting lots of what they like put in front of them, based on their tracked usage data. If you want to try this for yourself, head on over to the “discover section” under the magnifying glass on the bottom toolbar. This is where Instagram compiles random posts they think you’ll like based on your past activity on the app. See a lot of puppies? Well, you probably follow a lot of puppy accounts and like a lot of puppy videos! Same goes for your music. But then how will people who don’t know your music find you, or how can you end up on a potential fan’s discovery page? Well, it’s all in the posting strategy.
I know it can be hard sometimes to generate consistent content. What should you share? When should you share it? What hashtags should you use? Check out the sample weekly posting schedule below to get some ideas for how you can elevate your Instagram use right now:
#MondayMotivation - Post something inspiring on your story. It could be sharing how you got started, growth stats from an old release compared to a new one, or @Mentioning another artist/band that is doing things that inspires you.
Post a Preview - Share a photo/video of something you’re currently working on that’s slated for release soon. It could be a new song snippet, music video clip, or preliminary details for a tour schedule.
#TuesdayTip - Share a tip. You can talk about why you use thinner gauge strings for certain songs in your repertoire, or a favorite plugin you can’t live without when mixing your songs.
Promote a Past Project - Send some love to past collaborators by @Mentioning, sharing or linking to an old song or project on your story.
#WednesdayWisdom - Share a little-known fact about your niche or link to something educational by @Mentioning another artist or brand on your story.
Share Some Behind-the-Scenes - Post a personal photo or video of a past or present work in progress. A video from a recording studio session, rehearsal, or soundcheck at your show is always cool for fans to see!
#ThrowbackThursday - Share an old photo from when you got your firs instrument or played your first band show. This is a great chance to let fans get to know you better, and also give them a good laugh!
Show Off Your Workspace - Fans love to see how artists work and how their favorite songs came to be. Post a snapshot of your home studio set-up or practice area to your story to share where some of the magic happens.
#FridayFun - Post something fun you’re doing on your story! It doesn’t always need to be promotional all the time, so use this space to have fans get to know your personality better. Whether that means you’re showing off your chef skills in the kitchen, visiting your favorite brewery in town, or sharing a hobby, it makes you relatable so fans can further connect to you.
Offer a Special - Give thanks to your fans by offering them something to share your gratitude. It could be a coupon code for your online merch store, pre-sale access to your upcoming show tickets, or a free song download when they sign up for your email list.
#SaturdayNight - Share what a Saturday night in your life looks like. You can be home shredding, supporting a fellow band’s show, or just kicking back watching the latest viral hit on Netflix. This is another good chance to make your page personal and share what you’re up to in real time on your story.
Post Song Lyrics or a Favorite Quote - Quotes are shared a lot on social media. They can express a ton about how you’re feeling, and are often very inspirational, getting reshared by those who also connect with it. Or post some of your favorite song lyrics, whether your own or by @Mentioning the artist/band who wrote them.
#SundayFunday - Everyone’s Sundays look different, but it’s usually a day to recharge or get ready for the week ahead for most of us. Post a photo or video to your story and utilize the embedded music feature to simultaneously promote your music along with it!
Engage Your Fans - Post something that creates organic engagement. You can ask what their favorite song on the album is, which city they want your band to come to next, or who they want to see you collaborate with by @Mentioning fellow artists and bands in the comment section.
Keeping a schedule like this allows your fans stay connected with you, and lets new fans become exposed to you and your music. The more consistent posting leads to more quality interaction, resulting in more listens and shares - what we all want! Keep an eye on your data and do a wrap-up at the end of the month to see what’s working well and where you’ve seen substantial growth and improvements. Instagram is an amazing (and free!) resource to share what you do with people all over the world in real time. That is a huge opportunity for your career, so get on board and let’s grow this thing!
Christine Elise Occhino is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for the music business. In addition to being a vocalist herself, she is the Founder & CEO of Lock City Music Group, and the Founder & Executive Director of Hope in Harmony, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that uses music to help and heal those in need. Christine holds a BM in Music Business & Management from Berklee College of Music, and is a member of the Grammy Recording Academy, ASCAP, and Berklee College of Music Alumni Association. She also currently hosts the music-based web series & podcast, Soundbytez.