As an independent hip-hop artist promoting your music and brand online, using Instagram should be an integral feature of your marketing strategy.

Not only is it one of the best links you can have with your fans, but it opens up so many doors for you to head through in terms of the progress you’ll make as an artist.

If you want to start growing a fan base, though, you need to know how to use this software in the right way.

The easiest ways to work with Instagram, though, usually include you having to put in the time and the effort – or the funds – to get spotted. We recommend that any and all artists that are working with Instagram try and include the following plans at all times to ensure they are working towards the right kind of plan in the long-term.

So here are a few tips on how independent rappers can use Instagram to grow their fanbase: 

1) Always build a genuine demographic that you will follow, no matter what. By this, we mean making sure that you know who you want to hear your music and who you want to get involved in the process – this means that if you are looking to try and promote your music you should find the music others are interested in.

2) Start doing some basic posts about what you are listening to and make sure it fits in with the hashtags that your demographic are using – it all depends on your sound, but getting yourself in there with the big names in your industry always makes sense

3) Always follow someone, like what they post, and then comment on something they posted. It makes you seem interested and genuine, and removes the idea that you followed just for a follow; you followed the person because you want to engage which is a powerful change of perception

4) Try reaching out to some people using the same methods as above, who are actively looking for the hashtags you posted. This helps you not only interact but interact with people who may be interested in what you have to say in the first place. It might not sound like much but 100-200 of these a week will really make a big difference

5) If someone talks to you Instagram, talk back! Don’t ignore people as it makes you seem like a stuck-up celeb and this is not the image that grows followers. Talking back gets people interested and they’ll tell others that you spoke to them; it’s enough to get some people interested in what you have to say

Don’t let your follower count build up too much as if you are following too many people who just chat nonsense it can be hard to get the help that you need in actually expanding as an artist.

Always use Instagram to build up a list of people who talk back and are fun to talk with instead of building up a list of people who never respond or aren’t really in your general demographic – doing this keeps you specific which will eventually build up that follower count.

Stick at it and you will see a big difference in the way you are perceived and the way that you tend to be seen by the community in general.

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Written by Hao Nguyen
Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.