Hashtags are the key to helping new fans find you on social media. In this guide, we give you all of the info that you need to use hashtags to their maximum potential for musicians and bands on Instagram. We give you insights on how to select a hashtag and why and at the bottom of this guide you will find a list of specific hashtags that we are seeing working best for musicians, bands, DJs and other music makers.
Hashtag Strategy 101
Think of hashtags as having two different purposes.
- Each single hashtag itself is a new stage on which new fans might discover you. You might do small gigs or be the opening act for another band to get in front of music lovers that have not yet heard your music. The idea is to get in front of as many people as possible, even in small settings, to help more people discover you. Hashtags can work that way as well. Adding some to your posts will get you in front of just a few new people, while others might allow you to hit a larger audience. Combined, the effort is to get a broad reach.
- The combination of various hashtags also helps the algorithms of social media platforms understand who might be interested in your post. The set of hashtags along with other signals that they look for when people engage with your posts tell them who else would be interested in your content.
With that in mind, a good hashtag strategy includes experimenting with many terms and selecting them specifically for each post to accurately match what you are sharing.
Each single hashtag itself is a new stage on which new fans might discover you.
Selecting Your Hashtag Set
Now that you understand the potential benefit of hashtags, we want to help you select the right hashtags to use. When we help a musician develop their social media strategy, we typically help them come up with 8 to 15 core hashtags. These are the ones that they will use in most feed posts, where a large number of hashtags are allowed and, in fact, encouraged.
Let’s walk you through selecting your core hashtags. Here are the categories that might help you build your list.
- Your Name/ Band Name – Let’s start with one or more hashtags that can be used to catalog all that you post and can help capture posts about you done by your fans or the press. If your name is Casey Lynn Smith, that likely would be #caseylynnsmith. If you want to shorten it that might be #caseylynn. For this you do want something that is likely to be only used by you and your fans, so stay away from something as simple as #casey. If you are a band, it would be the band name.
- Music Genre – It is often a good idea to include a few hashtags that help define the style of music that you play. If you crossover a few genres, include all that apply.
- Instrument or Category – Another way to find fans and help define your music is to have some hashtags related to how you make your music. If you are a duo with a singer and guitarist, use hashtags like #singer, #guitar to help define you and find your people.
- Brands/Label – Do you have a record label? You will want to both tag them and include any related hashtags. If you endorse or just use a brand of gear, consider tagging and hash-tagging them. If you are a DJ and use gear by Pioneer try adding @pioneerdjglobal and #pioneerdj to your posts. Many of these brands have their social media teams looking for users featuring their product and they might re-share your post.
- General Hashtags – Beyond those above that help define you uniquely, there are many general music hashtags that you might want to consider using in your hashtag plan. For Instagram, for instance, tags like #instamusic and #band can be helpful in reaching people specifically looking for new music.
Note: Below is a list of suggested hashtags for each of these categories.
Take some time now to work on your core hashtag set. Below you will find a helpful list of nearly 100 of the best hashtags for musicians, all organized in these same categories. Once you have your 8 to 15 hashtag set, you are ready to move to the next step.
When we help a musician develop their social media strategy, we typically help them come up with 8 to 15 core hashtags. These are the ones that they will use in most feed posts, where a large number of hashtags are allowed and, in fact, encouraged.
We hope that you find this guide with the best hashtags for musicians helpful. Have any questions that we can help you with? What Instagram hashtags are working best to market your music? Drop us a quick line in the box below. We look forward to hearing from you and we look forward to seeing you grow your reach on social media.