TAG! You're it!
Updated: Feb 7
Here's a small guide on how to take advantage of this nifty little free tool that most platforms provide. (Again, as how I understand it...)
If you are trying to grow your brand as a content creator this is one good way to help you out. There are two ways that this works from my observation. Passive and Accelerated. Tags work in a passive way if you are not doing any activity on your pages, but it still works nonetheless. It works in an accelerated way if you are regularly posting on your platforms. You'll find that you will get a better number of likes, or even follows (engagement) when you post regularly.
Think of tags as little electronic spiders that creep up on people when you are away from your keyboard. Or electronic flyers that reach out to people if spiders creep you out. (Spiders, web, get it?)
What happens typically is your content gets suggested to people who have previously engaged or are searching for similar content using the same tags. Your content will appear on someone's timeline or homepages when they scroll. What I love about tags is it's a non-intrusive way of reaching out to the right people. The keyword here is "Suggestion."
Let's use Instagram as an example. As it is the easiest to understand out of them all. (This also works similarly to Twitter. Other platforms works differently, but the principle is just the same.) But first, make sure that your profile is well defined. This will not work as best if you have not bothered to do a little writing to define yourself. Also, you might have a hard time on what tags to use. To setup, first, decide on who you really are... You can fill this up as an exercise... (Your Artist Name) is a musician from (Your Hometown).
(Your pronoun) produces (Your genres) music.
(Your pronoun) influences range from (Make a shortlist of your core influences here that the audience will be able to identify with, max 3-5). Here's a little example of what your end result should at least look like. (It does not have to be verbatim...) "Spider Crawler is a rapper from Ohio. He produces music that is influenced by Old School Hip Hop, Rap, and Lofi. His influences range from 2pac, Lil' Yachty, and Kendrick Lamar." Then post that on all your profiles. Consistency is key. The goal here is to organize a bunch of keywords that the algorithms will be able to associate your brand with. Because this is what the algorithms will understand the most. So from this, we were able to define: "Spider Crawler" (Brand Tag) "Hip Hop" (Associated Tag) "Rap" (Associated Tag) "Lofi" (Associated Tag) Algorithms DON'T understand: "A highly innovative rapper that mixes Old school genres with new styles of sound that evokes angst-driven anthems of pure machismo." (although, you can still come up with something similar, but just think of it as just an expansion of your initial thought.)
Then narrow down your content. #hiphop #rap #lofi etc... Then use some generalized terms. (Umbrella terms.) #music #producer #artist etc... You can set up your brand tag grouped with a couple of tags from your narrowed down content, on your artist profile if you wish. (Works best on Instagram and Twitter. Highly recommended). Here are a few examples of how you can use them. On profiles Instagram (passive):
And here's what you can do with your posts... On posts Instagram (accelerated):
On this part, you can completely remove the brand tags if you already have them on your profile. You can also remove any narrowed down tags if you have included them in your profile. Of course, the amount of engagement that you will get is still dependent on what kind of content you are getting out there. So that's something you might need to figure out and experiment on. Results may vary over time. You just need to observe. Tag numbers are also dependent on what platform you use. Instagram suggests 10. Twitter suggests 5 (I think...) Also, make sure you take advantage of the Geo-tagging option if it's available. (Instagram has it.)
Another key concept to keep in mind is: Tags + Regular post activity = Growth Acceleration. If you cannot figure out what tags to use, here's a useful website that might be able to help you out with your research. Now... Something to reflect on... Maybe you'll say, "But hey, some artists I know don't use tags!" 1. They could be established artists that already have a fanbase offline. 2. They could have a lot of friends and connections too. Another thing to reflect on... You might also say, "But, I don't engage with content that has a ton of hashtags. I find it annoying." 1. You don't. 2. Some still do. (I do sometimes.) One more thing... "But, but doesn't that make it look like I am desperate for engagement?" 1. Then don't if you don't want to. That's also perfectly fine. 2. You are just starting out. And nobody knows your work. YET. A little caveat is, too much, it might not work, too little it might also not work. You just need to experiment and observe until you find out what works best for you. Let me know in the comments below if you found this informative. Now go play tag! Another Day, Slackerman Here are some additional resources that you might find helpful. Youtube tagging: