So you’ve seen other DJs on Instagram and Facebook with numerous followers, cool pictures, getting gigs in all kind of bars and clubs, big crowds and all that good stuff. You’ve followed social media tips like posting daily and to create more content, yet for some reason it’s still hard to gain traction.
But what if you can change that? What if you could be one of those DJs yourself? What if you could unlock the secrets of how to book DJ gigs with social media?
Chances are the advice you have been getting — to post daily + get more followers = more bookings — is simply too vague or at worst incorrect.
What if you could unlock the secrets of how to book DJ gigs with social media?
Let’s instead take a look under the hood of the social media machine and figure out the small bits and buttons, so you can drive towards your goals with a sense of control.
Thats what I’ve been doing in my hometown in Aarlborg, Denmark — and you can too.
Before we dive in, a brief note: NEVER approach your scene as competition, because you will lose. When you’re starting out and wish to become an active part of your local scene, you’ll still have to show up to events and parties, talk to people and remember everyone’s names and do real-life networking. and it should open up for positive and fun interactions and get your name seen. Being supportive will get you noticed.
Here are the latest tips for getting results from Instagram and Facebook — some of them are obvious, some are more technical. All are easy applicable.
1. When starting a new FB or IG account, immediately create 9 posts to make the account look legit and active, so it doesn’t look like some fake page that will most likely be gone within a week.
2. Ask or hire a photographer to take quality pictures of you, both regular photos and while DJing. It’s absolutely worth the money, as it will give you quality content to post for quite some time. This heightened impression of you will give the venues where you wish to play something catchy to post about you.
3. Learn basics in photoshop and how to add logos of venues where you will be playing to your photos. Make sure to keep taking photos and documenting your gigs or ask a friend to do it.
(Bonus tip: avoid photos where the dancefloor looks half full. Pictures with a lot of people having a blast will work as social proof for your marketability. Here are are some photography tips to make your floor look full).
4. Ask a design and tech-savvy friend to make a professional logo for you or hire someone to do it. A quality logo is highly useful.
5. Post consistently, at least a few times a week, using reccuring themes (for example: motivational Monday, throwback Thursday etc.). I find that I get the most engagement on Thursdays and Fridays, because that’s when people look forward to going out the most. Stick to posting content that’s relevant and interesting for your followers.
You now run an artist page, remember? So stay on brand. Laidback Luke, as an example, posts DJ related content and a bit of kung fu, but that all fits into his image and brand. We’ll get into more content strategies in another post.
6. Use Instagram Stories, which can also be set to automatically share to Facebook, because that ring around your profile picture will give it look alive and personal. General rule is: posts should be polished and quality content, while the stories are the rough and personal behind the scenes material.
(Bonus tip for stories: Use the same font, color schemes and try to make your stories consistent in style).
7. Using the contacts you’ve gathered from your in-person networking, engage key persons, and other DJs as collaborators and friends. Be an active follower and commenter on your local venues, promoters and DJ’s channels. Bars and clubs are more likely to give you a shot if they know who you are and think you can bring a crowd in.
8. Make your content more engaging by using captions. For example, asking people what their favorite tune is at the moment will show that you care about your followers. Post pictures and stories with other people at gigs you go to and tag them — be an active part of the community you wish to be your crowd!
9. Forget about buying followers. Buying fake followers will destroy your engagement and make algorithms work against you, which will render your account useless. Since fake followers won’t interact with your posts, Instagram and Facebook will flag your content as low quality and hide your post from your real followers. In 2012 it might have mattered and worked, but not anymore.
Tip #7: Be an active follower and commenter on your local venues, promoters and DJ’s channels.
10. Research successful DJs. Look through accounts of the bigger DJs within your genre and find the posts that get above average amount of likes and comments. Try to figure out what they did differently from their other posts and try to apply those things to your own posts.
11. Hashtags. Using #hashtags properly can get you ranking in certain hashtags. Throw in a few highly popular tags too like #dj and #music. Chances are slim, but if you’re lucky, getting a high ranking in those top hashtags will get your post on to the Explore Page — the front page, where you tap on the looking glass in the bottom left in Instagram — and get in front of millions of users.
Tip #10: Look through accounts of the bigger DJs within your genre for posts that get above average engagement and try to figure out why.
12. Look into Ladder/staircase strategy, because that seems to be the way to go right now. Staircase strategy means using a mix of hashtags with low and gradually higher competition, from small to highly popular hashtags.
13. Somewhat unethical advice: Until you get above 1k followers, it’s still best to use follow for follow strategy — follow until you are following around 1k and then unfollow those who didn’t follow you back. DO NOT use automation tools for it, because IG is cracking down on those who do at the moment and will action block you.
Instead, to find those who most likely will follow you back, do this: Look in the comment section of highly popular posts that are similar to your own content. Go into the commenters profile, “like” a few of their latest posts and then follow them.
14. Don’t follow above 200 users per day, because it might get you action blocked for 24 hours. Another way to do follow for follow is to look through the latest posts in hashtags that users similar to you will use. Like those posts and follow those accounts. It’s faster but fewer people follow you back this way. Spending an hour a day on this, you can grow pretty quickly.
Social Media Tip #14: Don’t follow above 200 users per day, because it might get you action blocked for 24 hours.
15. Rules of engagement: Engagement rate is what everyone cares about these days, way more than follower count. If a promoter sees your page with 10k followers and 7-8 likes per post and no comments, that’ll raise a red flag. But if you have around 1k followers and hundreds of likes and comments on every post, a promoter will be way more inclined to book you.
16. To engage with people, use relevant hashtags. Reply to DM’s. Like and reply to comments on your posts. Engage in comment sections of bigger accounts — if someone asks for a track ID on a video of a big account, reply with the track ID if you can etc.
Most importantly, look into your local community through Location on Instagram or through hashtags. Chances are there’s an active community in your area, and participating in it and contributing will make you much more likeable.
Social Media Tip #16: If someone asks for a track ID on a video of a big account, reply with the track ID if you can.
In summation — focus on your audience and sharpen your engagement tactics above follower count.
Stay tuned for more tips on creating engaging content and engagement strategies.
DJ George Garcia spins at a residency in Aalborg, Denmark, the country’s fourth-largest city. This is his first article for DJ Times.
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