Welcome to the blog of Adva! Every week, this blog will feature exciting arts and music content for you, including tips for social media, touring, streaming your music and videos, monetizing your content, recording & production and the latest trends in the arts and music industry to keep you updated with everything!
My name is Alper Tuzcu and I’m a musician, composer and producer based in Boston. As someone who is immersed in arts, culture and traveling, I will be curating and writing blogs specifically for you, whether you are a yoga teacher, musician, a fitness instructor, visual artist, designer or someone who is involved in arts. No matter which area you are involved in, these posts will also give you a great edge to help you build up your fan base as well. So let’s get started!
Finding your crowd in Instagram
It is no secret that Instagram is one of the most effective social media platforms right now, especially if you know how to use it to your advantage. So I have one good news, and one bad news for you. The good one is that there are many posts and strategies out there, which are about getting more followers. And to be honest, it’s not so hard to get followers on Instagram if you have decent content and if you follow and like people regularly. With a regular post schedule, in a few weeks or months you will get a solid following.
But this is only half the story, which takes us to the bad news: in an ocean of Instagram accounts (especially with stars gathering millions and millions of followers) it’s really not so much about getting followers anymore if you are a DIY artist. But hold on – maybe this is not so bad after all.. I see this more as an opportunity to be honest. – and here is why:
Why is Engagement Crucial?
Think of it like you built a house and you want to find people to rent it out to. Your brand is your foundation. Your pictures and content are the bricks and roof of your house. Engagement and strategy is your realtor. If there is not a proper strategy to position your social media presence, then your house will be on a random cul-de-sac that no one knows about. If this is the case, then it is very less likely that people will know about your house, even if it’s the most gorgeous house ever. So, the moral of the story: Having 100k followers will definitely give you a certain credibility when people look you up, but it is not your foundation by itself, it is merely an advantage.
So, in a world of distractions and short attention span, the name of the game is engagement.
A profile with 10k followers but with better engagement strategy can be more effective than a profile with 75k followers but weak strategy. Think of it like your house for rent. A town house in Greenwich Village will be more in demand than a modernized Victorian in a hidden street located in a distant town in upstate New York.
Here are 10 great ways to engage with your fans:
1) Ask questions to your fans! Remember, it’s not all about you. Sharing content is great, but it’s a great way to get comments under your pictures by merely asking a question. It can be a simple question like ‘have you seen this video on YouTube?’ or it can be more poll based like ‘did you see the game last night’ (great for sports accounts) or ‘what was your favorite concert ever?’.
2) Share events that you’ve been to. Great engagement is about shifting the focus from yourself to your followers. And if it’s a relevant event to your area (concert, workshop, masterclass, cooking class etc.) chances are that your followers were also there! Plus, it shows that you are a social person and makes you more personable.
3) Exclusive content. This is an interesting one, but sharing content to your Instagram followers is a more experimental way of engaging with your fans. You are honoring them by creating the image of ‘you’re the first people to see this’ material. This way, you can get good feedback on a new song, video or online course you’ve been preparing.
4) Share your interests and hobbies. As an artist, it is also important to show who you are as a person, what do you like to do in your spare time, and where do you go. So, if you are a musician, this happens a whole world of doing posts about cars, traveling, sports, fashion, architecture and many more, which hits two birds with one stone: You get to diversify your content, and also make yourself more relatable to your fans.
5) Stories can make wonders. Instagram Stories are a great new feature to feature what are you doing on a day to day – or in today’s world, hour-by-hour basis. Fans can follow you into what you are doing that day and can look into what it is like in a day of your life. Stories are also very effective because they are ordered chronologically. This way you can create mini-stories based on your area!
6) Instagram Live. This is an amazing way to present behind-the-scenes content. It could be a backstage, soundcheck or a rehearsal for a show, or something amazing or extraordinary happening at the time. Definitely open to major exploration and experimentation!
7) Keep track of comments! Comments are an excellent way to directly speak to your fans and to engage with them. Definitely keep those questions answered!
8) Contests. These take a bit more organization, but they can be on a scale of “like this photo to win a Ferrari” or “tag your friends in the comment to win a Maserati” or “regram to win your dream boat” or one of the most popular ones – ‘photo challenges’. Photo challenges are basically to promote a certain hashtag you have created, and the best photo under that hashtag wins the contest.
A quick word about hashtags: Hashtags are one of the most underrated features of Instagram, as they open your world up to literally the whole world when you do so. With the right hashtags, you can both boost your likes and also add many followers. Funny hashtags are a HUGE plus for engagement!
9) Influencing and Partnership. Your profile would get so much more engagement if it was promoted by your favorite artists or artists that your regularly partner with. This can be anything from a quick shout out between profiles, but also covering the songs of your favorite artists and posting videos of them, with the artist’s profile tagged in the video. Who knows, someone might notice it and you can suddenly find yourself regrammed in the world of big leagues!
10) Regramming. Regramming is a great way to encourage your fans and/or followers to create content about you. Let’s say that a follower posted a picture of your concert. When you regard that picture from a follower, you show that their posts are taken into account and it encourages them to create more content about you in the future, and most importantly, it creates a two way engagement path between yourself and them!
What are some of the best ways you use for engaging with your followers? If you have anything else you would like to add, feel free to share them below!
Alper Tuzcu is a Berklee College of Music and Denison University alumni, and a Boston based guitarist, songwriter and producer. You can listen his debut eclectic album ‘Between 12 Waters’ featuring 8 different vocalists on Spotify, follow him on Instagram or Twitter @alpertuzcu, and visit his website www.alpertuzcu.com