How to Use Hashtags to Grow Your Band’s Instagram (The Right Way)

There’s no doubt bands are increasingly using Instagram to reach and grow their audience. Whilst there are a few ways you can do this, hashtags are still one of the best tools you can use to reach new fans, grow your audience and cement what you’re all about. So if you’re not using hashtags currently or aren’t really sure what you’re doing when using hashtags, I got you, so read on.

I want to start by saying that numbers aren’t as important as you think. You should never fixate on the number of followers you have but instead, fixate on the value you bring as artists to your fans. I’ve seen bands with only 2K followers on Instagram and Facebook be offered management deals, overseas touring opportunities and more.

This is because although they had a small audience, that audience was genuine and highly engaged. And of course, the music was good (but that should be a prerequisite to any sort of marketing, social media included).

You have 30 hashtags you can use on Instagram and whilst you definitely don’t need to use all 30, I recommend using at least 20 on each post.

So when utilising hashtags, I firmly suggest avoiding generic hashtags such as #instagood #picoftheday or #potd #likeforlike etc. Whilst these types of hashtags do get your post likes, the likes you receive are shallow in the sense that they are not from people who are going to follow your account long-term, or are actually interested in your music.

Using these kinds of ‘spammy’ hashtags will not only attract a bunch of randoms commenting ‘exquisite feed 👍’ on your photo (so creepy), but reduces the chances of your posts being seen by people who actually might be interested in you.

But Monica, I want to get heaps of likes on my posts!

Oh for sure! I want you to look like you’re creating a buzz online. This is why I created my three-tier hashtag rule that assures your account steady and targeted growth over time. In other words, likes and follows from the right people who are more likely to become genuine fans in the long run.

1. Broad Hashtags

The first tier is broad hashtags. An example of a broad hashtag would be #metal, #metalband, #deathcore bigger bands that you sound like (#bmth #metallica #greenday) etc.

These kinds of hashtags that will reach a global audience and likely have been used millions of times before. They will still boost the likes on a post (making you look like you’re generating a buzz) yet they are less likely to have been applied to any old post like #nofilter or #follow4follow could be. They are still within the subject of heavy music.

2. More Specific Hashtags

Next, incorporate a bunch of more specific hashtags.

These are anything specific to your country such as #triplej #australianmetal #melbournemusic #swedishdeathmetal or other hashtags that have only been used 100 or 10s of thousands of times before, for example, #femalefrontedmetal or #femalefrontedband.

This does require a little research but it’s well worth it because these types of hashtags work really well to draw in an even more targeted audience who are more likely to follow you and become genuine fans.

3. Ultra-Specific Hashtags

Finally, you also want to throw in a few ultra-specific hashtags.  

These are hashtags such as your band name, the name of your new release, maybe a festival or showcase you’re a part of that only happens yearly i.e. #bidsound2019.

Ultra-specific hashtags help you build your brand and allow your fans to find and become more connected to you.

hashtag list for bands

So there you have my three-tier guide on how to use hashtags when growing your Instagram. For more tips, I’d love you to come over to my own Instagram account @monicastrut!

Until next time…

\M/onica x

P.S. I have a free social media training for bands which you can grab below!