Instagram, that is the name of the latest secret weapon that the new and upcoming artistes are using to get their foot in the door. An informal and a flexible medium, this social media platform has given the Snapchats and the Facebooks a run for its money when it comes to music. According to a Nielsen study authorised by Instagram, people who use Instagram are more musically inclined than the others. They tend to spend 30% more time listening to music than people who don’t use Instagram.
Point of the matter being, this encouraged the new entrants in the industry to get on with their promotion and marketing themselves than hire someone to do it the old way. Omkar Potdar of the indie-soul project Flying Shoe has ‘scored gigs’ as he puts it through Instagram. “Instagram is very flexible because it is visual and is very raw. Writing requires more thought unlike pictures which are way more engaging and natural than Facebook or Twitter,” says Omkar. So much so that he does on-request live performances for his fans from the comfort of his house.
An artiste or a performer in his/her element is much more organic and FOMO-inspiring than a dry post which JUST announces an upcoming event. And that is exactly what Instagram aims to provides, a tiny peek inside what goes on behind the curtains. It makes you feel a part of the journey. And given that our attention spans are now that of a goldfish, Instagram has a solution to that problem as well, short videos. A 15 second video is what you can make on the platform and that has proven good enough to spread the word.
And to illustrate that, let’s look at Dist II, a music duo from north-east who play the guitar, the violin, keyboard and who knows, what else! They do a lot of lives when they are practicing at home but prefer properly captioned posts above all. “Posts get us more followers than live streaming because people can watch and follow our work when they want at their convenience,” says Noah Chettri, the violinist of the two. Although they do find Instagram easier to use, Dist II has a social media manager who words their captions smartly and posts to milk whatever traction they can get.
Remember Beyoncé’s baby bump photograph that went viral — Well, it was not a clip from a magazine or a shoot, it was clicked only for Instagram and that’s the power that this pictorial media platform commands today. Who wants only information? A little dirt or cuteness never hurt anyone. And to prove the point, let’s look at Omkar’s room décor which has more likes than his cover of Budapest by George Ezra. And that is what Instagram is, a medley of personal and professional life which makes it a more popular platform. Self expression counts and Instagrammers do take note of it.
A smarter discovery and recommendation algorithm has also helped the newbies. A few shout outs, likes and posts from friends make it easier for other people on the platform to find out who the musicians are and discover their work for themselves.
So, lives, stories and posts are all what helps an upcoming artiste to gravitate to Instagram and go about making their work recognized out there. Add DMs (stands for direct messaging) and prompt replies to it and BAM! It could be the next gig knocking at your inbox.
An imperfect medium for a perfect display of who and what the artiste is!
This article was featured in our February 2018 issue: http://bit.ly/2orgq7w