How To Promote Your Music on Instagram

Originally a haven for photographers and visual artists, Instagram has blossomed into a social media platform for everyone.

If you’re an emerging musician who aspires to build a career from your art, you’ll find a large and often welcoming community on the platform.

Instagram is a great way for musicians to build their network, refine their music, and ultimately jumpstart their careers.

Read on for some great advice on how you can make the most of Instagram’s power to get your music heard and grow as an artist.

Follow and Observe Artists You Admire

The first step to establishing yourself on Instagram is following at least a handful (and ideally more) accounts that are interesting to you or relevant to your account.

As a musician, you should try to follow established artists you admire or emerging artists whose work is similar to your own.

Be careful of following too many accounts; you may come off as though you’re a little too desperate for attention.

A “following” count of around 50 to 100 is a good start.

Once you start to gain followers of your own, go ahead and expand your network proportionately.

Take note of the types of content your favorite artists are posting on Instagram and use their work for inspiration as needed.

Do you particularly like their in-studio pics or clips of new songs they’ve written on their guitar?

Go ahead and follow their lead — while maintaining your unique personality and point of view.

Engage with Others

Once you’ve followed some fellow Instagrammers and posted some original content of your own, it’s time to start engaging with fellow musicians.

Likes are the standard currency of the platform, so feel free to use them, but also realize that they’ll do very little to help you stand out from the crowd.

If you really appreciate something an artist posted, express yourself in a comment instead.

Direct messages (or DMs) are the most personal form of communication on Instagram, but you should use them sparingly.

Sending out copy-paste messages to everyone you follow won’t get you many replies (if any) and you’ll likely alienate some of your recipients.

Only send direct messages if you have a good reason for doing so.

In most cases, you’ll want to have already established some sort of online relationship before you take to the inbox.

Use and Follow Relevant Hashtags

Hashtags are an important tool for discovering and posting content on Instagram.

Do some research into which hashtags are popular in the musical genres you fit into most naturally. helps you find dozens of relevant hashtags that are related to the keywords you enter.

Also, pay attention to which hashtags industry stars use frequently.

Unlike other social networks, where an excess of hashtags limits the reach and effectiveness of your posts, Instagram encourages users to include a lot of them.

It’s okay to put as many as 30 hashtags per post, but be careful not to include irrelevant ones that could lead to your posts and stories being viewed as spam.

Operate with End Goals in Mind

Instagram has limitless potential to help you connect with musicians who inspire and motivate you.

When you come in contact with role models and peers you admire, have a plan for what you can offer them in exchange for what they’re offering you.

Perhaps you’d like to co-write a song with a songwriter you admire or ask a rapper to do a guest verse on one of your upcoming tracks.

Interaction with a purpose is better than interaction just for the sake of getting noticed.

Whenever you communicate with fellow musical artists, seize the opportunity to ask for feedback and constructive criticism.

If you approach someone talking about how amazing your work is, you’ll likely rub a lot of people the wrong way, especially if they have more experience in the industry than you do.

Always carry yourself with humility and acknowledge that you have a lot to learn!

Best of luck in leveraging the power of Instagram to promote your music and advance your career — we know you can do it!

Stay tuned to the GigFaster blog for more helpful tips and advice

Craig Kelley

About Craig Kelley

Craig helps indie artists book more gigs, promote their music and submit to record labels @ GigFaster and GigFaster University . His latest release is his 7th album, Not So Blue. His band has supported Grammy artists including Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Rick Derringer, Gary Hoey, Joan Jett, Fuel and many more. He is also the host of The 5 Minute Podcast For Musicians.

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