With so many social media apps out there, many teachers are hesitant to put the time and effort into trying a new platform. Believe it or not, though, Instagram isn’t new – it’s been out for almost 10 years!
As a fellow skeptic, I want to share with you today the biggest reason why any music teacher who is running an independent music studio needs to be on Instagram.
My own personal journey to Instagram is a big part of this story, so let me start there.
In July 2015, I opened my account and posted my first photo.
Since it was August, the month for fresh produce and canning (and you all know I love food), I had a little fun posting a lot of food photos.
Then it was pretty much crickets until October 2016 – more than a year later. Eek!
I’m suddenly back in and using Instagram even more than Facebook.
Inspiration finally set in from a session I attended earlier that year at the 2016 MTNA Conference in San Antonio. The session was actually put on by a friend and colleague of mine and was called The Varsity Musician’s Playbook.: Commitment-Building Strategies from Team Sports to the Studio.
I was so inspired by her session, that I asked her to write a 3-part series here on Piano Pantry.
Part 1: Studio Interdependence
Part 2: Studio “Locker Room”
Part 3: Community Presence
Part 3 is where the conviction to start using Instagram again set in. Granted, it took me almost 7 months to gear up to start using Instagram again, but once I did, I haven’t looked back and there’s one big reason why.
Instagram is (one place) where my students go to connect. Every single one of my high school students is on Instagram as well as a few younger students.
Students can see what’s going on in the studio outside of just their lesson. Most of my students go to different schools, so it’s fun for them to see the life of their piano peer’s outside of piano studio life as well as inside our piano studio life.
They can celebrate each other’s achievements and connect with each other outside of group classes. I witness students “loving” (as it goes on Instagram) and commenting on each other’s photos as well as the studio.
I always like to imagine that if I had social media like this growing up, and I saw a photo of a fellow student who has finished a book that I was struggling through, it would have been great motivation to work hard to also complete the book.
My Instagram Focus
Instagram is such an important part of my studio that I try to keep it focused on just that – my studio. Do I share personal things? Of course. Do I share a few Piano Pantry things once in a while? Yep.
If you follow me on Instagram though, you’ll see that I am 95% focused on my students.
Can we use Instagram as a way to market our studios? Absolutely! My mindset, however, is less on “outward” marketing and more “inward” marketing. That is, developing a community within your studio which then seems to radiate outward on its own.
P.S. Just a tip that in order to actually allow outward marketing to also occur, don’t keep your Instagram account private. That is, when you create an account, don’t set it up so people have to “request” to follow you. Let it be a public account anyone can follow. You want the public to see all the wonderful things you do in your studio!
Fun Accounts to Follow
Now that I’ve (hopefully) convinced you to get on the Instagram bandwagon, here are 5 really fun accounts for piano teachers to follow.
Find me on Instagram!
Follow me on Instagram @amychaplinpiano
Hope to see you there!
I went through the same thing. I had held back on Instagram for a long time simply because it was that “one more thing.”
It really wasn’t until this year that I have used it a lot more. There still is a lot more I can do with it but for now it’s my happy medium. I have two accounts, one for my studio and one for my blog. Sometimes there is a crossover but that’s okay because for the most part it’s going to be different audiences.
One thing I love and that it helps a lot is when I post something on Instagram I can choose to post the same thing automatically on Facebook. Time saver!!
It is nice that you can cross-post to Facebook, but I have not always had success with that. A lot of times the function just doesn’t work.
I’ve thought about having two different accounts like that, but it just feels like “even one more” thing to manage. Is it annoying having to switch accounts all the time?
Oh, interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever had that problem of it not working. Though I like to use social media schedulers as much as I can and when I do that I can’t take advantage of the cross-post feature.
It’s actually really easy to switch accounts. It’s just a click of a button and you are there. I was worried about that too, but thankfully they made that easy. I think the hardest part for me was figuring out how to set it up so I could manage both under the same account. But once I figured it out, the switching is super easy.
I’ve been going back and forth on Instagram. It really does feel like “one more thing” but I know that’s where the younger parents are hanging out and they’re not on Facebook as much. I’m going to give it a try and see how it goes. Thanks for the push to get me going, Amy!
You won’t regret it!