At Cyber PR, we get a lot of questions from artists about what they should be posting on Instagram (and Twitter). If you’ve read our previous posts (here and here), then you know just how important Instagram is for musicians, and how it helps you curate your brand and connect with fans. But figuring out what to post is not always intuitive. 

5 Thematics

We really recommend the 5 Thematics approach to curating content. What does this mean? Spend a few minutes thinking about the things in life that are most important to you. Music (probably), family, charity, your pets, food, nature, hobbies… what sort of things define you? This is how you start to build your brand. Try to stick to 5 thematics – any more, and your Instagram (or Twitter) becomes slightly random, and it will be harder for fans to quickly figure out who you are.

For more in-depth info on thematics, listen to this great #TwitterSmarter Podcast where Ariel talks to the brilliant Madalyn Sklar about it in detail (yeah we know it’s called TWITTER Smarter but it applies to Instagram too!).

7 Instagram Rockstars

A great way to get better at something is to learn from the masters. We put our heads together here at Cyber PR, and came up with a list of our Instagram heroes. Let’s check out their profiles, and figure out the methods to their madness.

#1. Ed Sheeran 

Yes, we had to. Ed is an Instagram wizard. Pretty much everything that Ed posts fits into one or more of five thematics. His account is consistent, engaging, entertaining, you want to follow him. Take a look:

  1. Concert photos – we LOVE this. He takes a photo of every audience he plays in front of. This makes them feel engaged and important, and makes us want to go to his show even more than we did before.Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 11.26.27 AM
  2. His friends – he’s a real person! He has buddies, and they do ridiculous things. This makes him relatable. He’s JUST LIKE US! 😉
  3. Merch/self-promotion – he puts up CTAs to check out his latest music, buy show tickets, albums, merchandise, etc. But there aren’t too many of these!! Keep that in mind, young grasshopper.
  4. Family/pets – adorable photos of his godson, his cat… girls go crazy for that.

#2. Macklemore 

No, he doesn’t just post about things he finds in thrift shops.

  1. Family – he has THE WORLD’S CUTEST DAUGHTER
  2. Concert photos – whoever takes these shots is incredible. I want to go to a Macklemore concert yesterday.
  3. Social justice/current issues – photo of Martin Luther King Jr. on MLK Day, gay rights, Seattle Children’s Hospital, etc.
  4. Sports – repping the Seattle Seahawks all the way!
  5. Self-promotion – again, not a ton of this, just the right amount.

#3. Lauren Waller

Lauren is a young singer Songwriter from Los Angeles, and she’s just starting out.  Her fans are loving her highly stylized use of pink and greens and saturated color filters.

  1. Calls to action! Lauren uses vibrant images to help her fans find her across all social media platforms.

  2. Live performances – yep, I want to be there. Don’t you?
  3. Street art and other cool spots around LA! She shows off the city she is from
  4. Her red hair is part of the story too!
  5. She weaves in fun TBTs and selfies / shoots with friends

#4. Zoya

Zoya is a wonderful indie artist.

  1. Friends/family – awww, they’re so cute!
  2. Live photos. That is the coolest venue everrrrrrr!

     3. Self promotion

#5. Jessie Smith

A Nashville-based southern soul singer, Jessie has been rocking Instagram for quite a few years now.

  1. Charity – body positive movement, eating disorder awareness
  2. Mentoring/teaching
  3. #MusicMonday/self promotion
  4. Southern Lifestyle / Nashville / Outdoors
  5. Quirky/funny photos

#6. ATO Records

  1. Official promo pics and videos of their artists
  2. Merchandise promotion
  3. Live photos
  4. Behind the scenes/ATO employees
  5. Promotion of their artists’ accomplishments (song placements in movies, TV appearances, tour dates, etc.)

#7. Rockwood Music Hall

This NYC venue has some stellar shots. Obviously a music venue is going to focus a lot more heavily on the live performance aspect, but notice that they incorporate other thematics occasionally, to switch it up!

  1. Live shows – look, it’s Lucius!
  2. Album covers/promo pics from the artists who are playing
  3. Beautiful photos of the venue itself
  4. Videos – all of the Instagrammers we’ve featured above also use videos, but it’s especially important for a music venue like Rockwood. People who follow Rockwood on Instagram are more likely than the average user to actually click on a video and watch it.
  5. Photos of the crowd inside the venue!


There you go. Seven Instagram accounts to follow and steal ideas from. What have we learned? Choose 5 thematics that define you and your brand. Self-promote sparingly. And most importantly, BE REAL.

Good luck, and happy Instagramming!

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One Response to “7 Great Instagram Users to Follow & Emulate”

  1. Guide To Being Your Own Music Publicist [Ariel Hyatt] - South Carolina Music Guide

    […] is solid. We could wax poetic on ways to make your socials great (check out posts on FB and Instagram), but for now, let’s focus on the nitty-gritty of how to become your own music […]


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