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Setting up an Instagram account for musicians doesn’t have to be difficult.
Even if you think you have Instagram all sorted out, it can’t hurt to do a double-check.
As the dominance Instagram has on the music industry continues to grow, the platform continues to debut different ways to present yourself on the platform.
To avoid being left behind, you should continuously stay up to date with the latest features that you can use to optimize your profile and build on what you have already created on the visual platform.
Getting started on Instagram
If you have never created an Instagram account, this is a perfect occasion to start!
Instagram is one of the world’s most popular social media platforms and can help you reach millions of people through optimized videos and images.
What was initially released in 2010 as a photo-sharing app has now grown into a platform where musicians can share relevant content, advertise upcoming releases, and even sell merchandise!
To create your Instagram account, you have to download the Instagram app which is available in the app store on both Android and iOS devices.
Once the app is installed on your phone, open the app, and follow the instructions to create your account. After creating your account, you can then begin to customize your profile by choosing a username, profile picture, and bio.
Optimizing your Instagram account
After getting your account set up on Instagram, there are many ways to customize your profile to make it more aesthetically appealing and more likely to get picked up by Instagram’s algorithm.
Here are some areas to consider when beginning to optimize your Instagram account:
Your username and profile name should be as close to your name as possible so your audience can easily find you.
If your name is taken as a username by another user, try adding ‘the’, ‘official’, a period or an underscore to your name.
Your username should also match (or be similar to) other usernames you have across your other social media platforms.
Your profile photo is the first image some people may see of you, so it must be an eye-catching high-quality photo.
With your branding and color palette in mind, you can choose to select a close-up photo of your face or something else relevant to your brand like a logo.
Since your profile photo is very small on Instagram’s app, you need to make sure that everything in the image is eye-catching, easy to read, see and understand.
After you select your profile picture, you’ll want to make sure that it’s a perfect square at 110 x 110 pixels to ensure that Instagram doesn’t crop the image again which will diminish the image quality.
Try to use the same profile photo across all of your social media platforms for consistency and to build brand awareness. So if you choose to change your profile photo on Instagram, make sure it’s done for all of your other platforms as well.
Account Bio & Layout
If you are trying to reach a new audience on Instagram, you should be viewing your Instagram profile like a resume.
A quick first glance at your account, bio, and profile layout should say a lot about who you are, what your interests are, and what kind of music you make so someone can choose to follow you or not.
Your account bio must be kept under 150 characters, so use every single word sparingly!
Jot down everything you want to say in your bio, which can include what kind of music you make, a funny nickname you gave yourself, and where you’re from — don’t shy away from letting your personality shine through your bio, make it fun!
You also have the option to mention other relevant accounts or hashtags in your bio.
If someone is intrigued by your profile, you will lose out on potential fans if you don’t provide external links to your music.
You can link out to one website in your Instagram bio, which can be a website that links to all of your music on various streaming platforms.
You can also provide an email address or phone number to contact you or your management — this comes in handy if the press or other artists are trying to reach you for business inquiries, interviews, or collaborations.
Upgrade from to a Professional Creator account
There are two types of accounts on Instagram — a personal account and a professional account.
Having a professional account on Instagram gives you access to your analytics and other features that are not available with a personal account.
Even better, anyone can easily set up a professional account with an existing Instagram account, so you have no excuse not to have one!
To switch over to a Professional Instagram account, go to your account settings and scroll to the bottom until you see ‘Switch to Professional Account’ in blue letters.
You will then be able to choose from a Creator or a Business account — for musicians, the best way to go is a creator account.
You can then select a category for your account to fall under — for musicians, the two options are ‘Musician’ or ‘Musician/Band’ for your Creator account.
Turn on notifications for specific accounts
Turning on notifications for the people you follow will help you stay engaged with your audience and build stronger relationships with them.
You should also have notifications set for activity on your own account so you can see who is interacting with you the most and respond to your fans in a timely manner.
You should also keep an eye on your competition, and follow similar musicians or people in the music industry, and follow music industry publications to keep up with news and trends relating to the music industry.
Bonus: Get Verified
That shiny blue verification symbol on Instagram holds a lot of value — but do you have to be verified in order to be successful?
Being verified is not an attestation to someone’s talent, but most musicians with a large following will end up being verified by Instagram so it’s harder to impersonate them.
With all of the perks of being verified, it would not hold its value without being difficult to attain.
As an individual you cannot pay Instagram to give you the status of a verified account, nor can you sign up to be verified through an official system.
While many sites and videos online claim to have the secret to becoming verified, it’s not that simple. As an emerging artist you might be fairly unknown and may not have enough buzz to constitute a blue check for your profile.
Most accounts are verified through publicists or agencies who have access to Facebook’s Media Partner Support tools (as Facebook is the developer for Instagram) but even then there are no hard documented guidelines on Instagram’s criteria for this.
We’ve even seen artists with followings in the 2K – 4K following range who get blue checks on their profile.
If you have a business Instagram account, you can easily request to be verified through Instagram, although submitting a request does not mean you will be verified.
To directly request verification from Instagram, go to your account settings and click on ‘Request Verification’ where you will then be prompted to enter your full name, information, and upload a photo of your ID to prove your identity.
Then, all you have left to do is wait — crossing my fingers for you to get that beautiful blue badge!
With that said this shouldn’t be your primary focus as verification is a vanity metric.
This is one of those things that if you are consistently producing great content, engaging with fans and developing relationships, your success on Instagram will grow naturally over time.
Meaning you will more than likely get your verification request approved when the time is right.
Final Thoughts on Setting Up An Instagram Account For Musicians
Many other sites have taken a huge chunk of our attention over the last few years, but Instagram is still one of the top social media platforms out there for artists.
Setting up and optimizing your Instagram account is just the beginning of the many possibilities that could come on the visual platform as long as you have a plan and are patient.
Music With Flavor Staff
Helping You Taste Success In Music