How Instagram’s ‘questions sticker’ can influence your career
Instagram’s questions sticker has only existed for a short time, but it’s already been branded a mutable offence by many corners of the online community, with many criticising the feature for the way it promotes narcissism and egotistic qualities. Many users have claimed it makes Instagram stories obnoxiously long and powerpoint-like and even threatened to delete the app if the Q&A sessions continue. However, for producers & DJs, the new tool is a shining jewel in the marketing crown, offering artists a new way to market themselves.
How it works
People have always been able to reach out to the Instagram users they follow and receive replies to their comments by using the messaging feature baked into Instagram Stories. Thanks to a new questions sticker Instagram debuted, you now have a more formal (and fun) way to conduct interviews with your followers, fans, and friends. The button, which Instagram users can add to a story photo or video—just like any other sticker—allows your friends to submit a question to you, which you can then answer in a future Instagram Story post. When you ask your followers to send you questions, they can type up their thoughts by tapping the sticker within your story. You’ll see their questions appear in the same place where you go to see how many people have viewed your story—they won’t just pop up in your inbox. If you see a question you want to answer, just tap it. This will start a new story post, which you can use to write out your reply. The original question will show up as a sticker along with your response, but the asker’s photo and username will not.
If you don’t see the new questions sticker in your Instagram app, make sure you’ve updated it to the latest version for iOS and Android—version 52 is what you’ll want.
The secret tip
What seems to be missing, though, is the basic understanding that you don’t need to say “ask me a question.” That just happens to be the default for the new Questions Sticker function. The person posting the question sticker can type anything — you can call for book suggestions, or ask for thoughts on how good your new track is, or write total nonsense if you want. “Ask me a question” is just a placeholder for other questions or statements that are hopefully more creative and less self-centred, not must-use text. (It only seems that way because users aren’t changing the statement).
Here’s how to fix that: When you add the sticker (if you don’t see it in your stickers tray, update Instagram), tap “Ask me a question” and start typing your text of choice. Keep in mind, this isn’t to say the words friends write on their own will be any less annoying — “Ask me a question” is just the tip of the “let’s talk about me!” iceberg — but the Questions Sticker can be used in many more interesting ways. For example, if you’re not on Facebook anymore you could put out a request for restaurant recommendations. Or, find out where all your followers are travelling on vacation this summer. Social media is full of me, me, me. But the Questions Sticker, despite the apparent evil of its default request, doesn’t have to be so vain.
How this benefits DJs/producers
Simply put, the new questions tool is a gold-mine for your career. Firstly, the tool allows you to get closer to your fanbase and establish a personal connection with many fans who previously had no way of getting through to you. For many ravers, speaking with their hero is the pinnacle, but due to management controlling social media channels, or security providing strict no-access policies at festivals, finding a way to speak to their idols directly is a near-on possible feat. By appeasing such fans, not only will your fanbase grow, but these fans are also likely to spread positive words about you to a friend, thus resulting in an increase for your Facebook likes, Twitter followers, and in turn, Spotify streams. Secondly, the feature is the perfect way of advertising yourself. Rather than having to reach out to EDM blogs and websites to get covered, you are self-promoting. For example, take Corey James, the highly acclaimed young UK producer who is signed to Steve Angello’s SIZE Records label. Corey used the new questions feature to advertise his YouTube channel to fans (see below).
Though many see the new feature as an egotistic and unnecessary addition to the app, few can deny the effective nature of Instagram, which is rapidly becoming the most used social network in the world. By grasping the basics of new features such as this, you will stay relevant to your fanbase, and appear ‘cool’ and ‘current’. For many DJs and producers, particularly those on the road, the long waits in airports etc can take up huge chunks of your day. Why not spend those precious minutes boredom-busting by interacting with your fans, and self-promoting via Instagram questions. Of course, as touched on above, the tool can also be used to gauge reactions to questions like ‘what do you think of my new track?’ or ‘which country should I play in next?’ – There is currently, no other way that it is as organic to get an idea of where your fans are based and what they like or dislike. Instagram questions – if used correctly – will impact your career greatly.