Why Music Hashtags on Instagram Are Essential

Looking to grow your brand as an artist, gain new fans, and develop a signature style? Music hashtags are just what you need to get the job done.

A music artist playing a keyboard at a concert.

As a music artist, one should always be looking for ways to grow their influence. Doing so is the best way to get your music out to larger groups of people, develop a promotional audience, and make a living off of your hard work.

In order to grow your influence in the music world, marketing is an essential tool needed. With social media consistently growing, and showing no signs of slowing down, it has become the hub of all marketing nowadays.

Both traditional marketing tactics, such as paid-to-display ads, and untraditional tactics, such as the growth of one’s brand through their social media profile, are common in attempts to gain influence.

One of the best platforms in which to do this is on Instagram. This is because of Instagram’s stratospheric reach. Currently, Instagram has over one billion users and generates 23% greater engagement than similar social media site Facebook.

This feature not only benefits music artists but also highlights the platform's dedication to catering to business needs. Notably, 90% of Instagram users follow a business account, signifying the immense potential for artists and businesses alike to connect with their audience and gain valuable insights into their online presence.

Through the use of customized profiles featuring images and videos, hashtags, followers, likes, and more, Instagram has become an essential tool in marketing oneself as a musician. Hashtags, especially, have proven to be crucial in the connectivity of artists to their potential audience

Read on to learn all you need to know and more about music hashtags on Instagram.

Instagram as a Marketing Tool

An Instagram story with a yellow and orange sky as the picture and the song “Ivy” by Frank Ocean featured as a music sticker.
Above is an example of an Instagram story featuring the song “Ivy” by Frank Ocean. This feature on Instagram is a great way for artists to promote their music. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Over the years, Instagram’s use as a marketing tool, especially by upcoming music artists, has skyrocketed. This is due to features such as

  • Instagram story music stickers
  • The addition of longer videos through Instagram TV (Also known as IGTV)
  • Options for professional accounts
  • It’s ability to appeal to aesthetics
  • Advertising opportunities on Instagram
  • Hashtags

Instagram Story Music Stickers and IGTV

Instagram story music stickers were released in 2018 and allow users to share fifteen second snippets of songs to their Instagram stories. This is a great tool for music artists as simply registering your music to Instagram’s library enables fans to post your music to stories. Essentially, this is word-of-mouth advertising, only on a much larger scale than we are used to.

Also released in 2018 was IGTV. This allows users to post much longer videos than the previous one minute limit. IGTV is especially important for music artists so they can share their full songs with their audience.

Options For Professional Accounts

In recent years, Instagram has created a feature in which you can choose to make your profile a professional/business account. This is very informative for music artists as it allows you to check analytics of your profile, therefore allowing you to see your follower engagement.

Instagram’s Ability to Appeal to Aesthetics

Instagram’s grid design promotes an aesthetic ideal that allows artists to tell the story they’d like to project to the world. Utilizing common color and design themes throughout their posts and profile photo, music artists can appeal to their target audience.

Once the target audience spots their profile, the constructed aesthetic of the musician’s account may entice them to scroll through. This increases profile traffic, leading to increased discovery of the artist, and hopefully resulting in more fans

Advertising on Instagram

The ability to advertise on Instagram, and the effectiveness of these ads, gives the app a huge marketing advantage for musicians. This is due to the way ads work on Instagram.

When an account pays to advertise on Instagram it is extremely convenient because all they have to do is use one of their existing posts as an advertisement. They don’t have to design a whole ad campaign, and Instagram takes care of most of the work.

Additionally, advertising on Instagram allows the user to target specific audiences and see a breakdown of ad performance in order to learn what to focus on going forward.

As a musician looking to grow their following, this is an extremely valuable tool because it is another way to grow one’s influence in a cohesive manner all on one app.

Additionally, the targeting feature of the ad along with Instagram’s algorithm is almost guaranteed to match your music with people who will most likely enjoy it. This is an effective way for a musician to grow their fanbase.

Music Hashtags on Instagram

So, now we’ve covered why Instagram is an absolutely essential tool to have at your disposal as a music artist. Now let’s go over the most important part of brand promotion as a musician on Instagram: Music hashtags.

Studies show that adding a hashtag to your Instagram account is likely to give you 12.6% greater engagement than you would without a hashtag. Let’s learn more about hashtags and the perks to using them.  

A gold, lit-up hashtag.
Hashtags, like the one seen above, are a useful tool in promoting Instagram posts. Image courtesy of Format.

How Hashtags Work

If you are unfamiliar with hashtags, the first thing you may be asking yourself is “how do they work?”. To answer your question, hashtags are essentially a central hub to access posts of a similar nature.

For instance, if you were looking for music in the style of pop, you may search the Instagram search bar for the hashtag: #PopMusic.

This is a useful tool for musicians because they can categorize each of their posts into hashtags, making it more accessible to Instagram users. This will likely lead to more people discovering their music while scrolling through hashtags.

Logistics of Hashtags

When using hashtags it is important to consider a few different things such as

  • How many hashtags to use
  • Formatting hashtags
  • What hashtags to use

How Many Hashtags to Use

In order to increase engagement you should strive to use at least one hashtag, and if relevant to your post you can use up to ten. You should avoid going over the ten hashtag mark as it makes your caption look overly cluttered.

Formatting Hashtags

Hashtags should be typed into your captions for each individual post on Instagram. Usually they are featured at the end of captions, however every now and then you will see them sprinkled in the middle of sentences.

Additionally, when using multiple words in a hashtag, the first letter of each word should always be capitalized. For example, you should never use #countrymusicstyle. Rather, it should always be typed as #CountryMusicStyle.

What Hashtags to Use

In general, hashtags should always be relevant to your post in order to generate the most positive and effective engagement. For music artists, your hashtags will likely have something to do with a music genre or event. Some of the most popular music hashtags on Instagram are

  • #InstaArtist
  • #InstaMusicVideo
  • #NewSong
  • #SongCover
  • #Spotify
  • #NewMusician

Additionally, don’t feel like you need to stick to predetermined hashtags. Once you gain a bit of a following, it may be useful to try and create your own hashtag that your fans can follow your music under.

Other Social Media Platforms Which Make Use of Hashtags

Other social media platforms such as Twitter and TikTok are a great way for musicians to make use of hashtags to promote their music.

TikTok especially, as a video-sharing app, gives musicians the opportunity to post clips of their songs and share them under hashtags. With no photos on TikTok, music-based videos are not forced to compete with these photos, therefore giving them a greater market share of posts.

Get Ready to Promote Your Music on Instagram

Conan Gray, a music artist, performing on stage.
Promoting your music on Instagram using relevant material, such as music hashtags, is important to growing your brand as a musician. Image courtesy of Pinterest.  

Instagram is an extremely important marketing tool for music artists. Features such as Instagram music hashtags give musicians the chance to spread their music influence among countless individuals.

Now that we know this information, it is time for you to try it out yourself! All you have to do is create an Instagram profile, get a few posts up and running, add your hashtags, and watch the impact on your musical influence!

Elyse Endres

Elyse is a marketer, writer, and lover of dogs, dance, and reading. She resides in Columbus, Ohio.
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