On 24 March 24, 2020, DJ D-Nice was Trevor Noah’s guest on US primetime TV show, “The Daily Show”. He was invited on the show because a marathon set he DJed live on Instagram as a response to lockdown grew to 100,000 viewers, among whom were Oprah, Michelle Obama, Drake, and Jennifer Lopez. Without the quarantine and pandemic, he would never have seen his follows explode so quickly, or have been invited on national television!
While replicating what he achieved is unlikely, you can definitely use these times to double down on the way you use social media as a DJ. In this article, I’ll look at exactly how you quickly pivot your social media strategy to turn this time of no gigs into a time of opportunity.
I’ve concentrated on Instagram, but many of these tips are universal.
Ten lockdown social media tips
1. Stop pre-progammed content
I’m sure you’ve all seen that one DJ on Instagram who clearly just has his or her pre-pandemic scheduled social content still rolling out. Seeing those packed dancefloor photos and the “what a great party!” captions will be highly irritating at the moment to many.
If you’re in the habit of scheduling content with a tool like HootSuite, and you have content that was scheduled before COVID-19, be very careful that it isn’t out of touch. If you want to keep your scheduled images, at the very least, you need to change the captions from “what a great party” to “I can’t wait to get back out there”.
2. Focus on current moods
Top content that reflects the current mood is most likely going to be funny, informative, or inspiring. Informing people about how the virus spreads or the latest death toll is most likely not a good fit for most of our brands, but if your day job relates to that, go for it.
More appropriate may be song lyrics that speak to the current moment. You can post these using a tool like letterfolk.com’s virtual letterboard. To use their site, simply type your message in the box then take a screenshot and crop it. (You can also just pull up an image of a brick wall or some other wallpaper and type lyrics – or a quote – on top of it, using any number of simple graphics apps.)
It’s also fun to make up your own “quarantine”, “Coronavirus” or “Covid”-related words to give your followers a chuckle, such as Coronavirus-positive actress Rita Wilson’s famous Spotify playlist entitled “Quarantunes”.
3. Shift “theme day” posts
“Throwback Thursday” is one of the most popular themes on Instagram. However, any images that are no longer appropriate from my first tip above can instead be reapportioned as tongue-in-cheek #TBT posts. For instance, pictures of big crowds like those at weddings and nightclubs could be fun tongue-in-cheek #TBT posts in the current times.
Read this next: 5 Killer Instagram Tips For DJs
Also, if you normally post, for example, a “#MusicMonday” “#WeddingWednesday” or “#TuesdayTips”, consider temporarily adding new day themes like #SocialDistancingSunday, #HandWashWednesday, or #SantiseSaturday.
4. Start your own livestream show
Nobody is booking DJs right now, but people may still take notice of you if they come across you awesome DJ stream on the ‘Gram.
Check out our recent post listing 10 livestream mistakes to learn how to make a good job if yours (as well as how to best avoid getting kicked off for copyright issue).
Treat your virtual show the same way you would any other show: create a flyer, set a regular time, promote it, and remember to think of it as an opportunity to showcase your skills for future bookings and networking, rather than just a way to pass the time.
Read this next: 2 Ways To Get Great Sounding Audio On Your DJ Livestreams
5. Create your own memes
Memes are huge right now!
The other day I posted a pile of drink tickets I have accrued from one of my local residencies and captioned it, “Got my government stimulus benefits for out-of-work DJs.”
There are plenty of websites that allow you to create your own memes, like Makeameme, Imgflip.com, and Kapwing.com. You can also make your own “Keep calm” memes at Keepcalmandcarryon, Keepcalms, and Keepcalmandposters.
Be sure to use tags like #DJmeme, #DJlife, and #DJnation with your meme post if it’s a DJ-related meme.
6. Major on “Behind the scenes” content
With TV shows worldwide broadcasting live from their hosts’ apartments, behind the scenes is “the scene” right now. It’s a time for transparency, authenticity, and showing your humanity. Throw regular rules of Instagram aesthetics out the window for a minute and take advantage of this socially acceptable opportunity to show up in your sweatpants.
What does your “live broadcast” studio look like behind the camera? How much toilet paper do you have? How has your household changed? Post it and show your followers that you too are affected by this – and that you’re coping.
7. Use Instagram’s “Stay home” GIF
You can dramatically improve traffic to your Instagram stories right now by using Instagram’s new “Stay Home” GIF. To see different formats of the GIF, just click on it. To see other posts with the “Stay Home” GIF, simply click on the “Stay Home” circle at the front of your story feed.
8. Use trending hashtags correctly
Adding hashtags to each post on Instagram improve rates of engagement…particularly when they are super targeted hashtags (#love and #asia type of things are not helpful).
While #COVID, #COVID19, #Coronavirus, #Quarantine, #CoronavirusOutbreak, #Pandemic, and #SocialDistancing might be too broad to be helpful right now, #MyPandemicSurvivalPlan, #QuarantineAndChill, #Coronapocalypse, #StayAtHomeChallenge, #SafeHands, #ViewFromMyWindow, and #TogetherAtHome are trending and more targeted.
Read this next: How To Crush It On Instagram
Bonus: using our hashtag #DDJT can get your featured on our profile and in front of our 150k followers. We feature “regular” DJs like you every week. Click follow @DigitalDJTips to learn how.
9. Be interactive
While most of us are getting tired of all the incoming social media challenges (#GameFaceChallenge is going around the DJ community at the moment) and “tunnels” (images reposted and reposted so much they form a “tunnel” effect), people never get tired of giving their opinions.
Use Instagram’s poll feature to ask your followers a yes or no question, use the question feature to get your fans’ opinions, or use the smiley-face slidebar to gauge how much they like your story post.
10. Prepare future content
In your spare time right now, gather content for when things get “back to life, back to reality”.
Go through old photos/videos and start a Dropbox file where the images that would be appropriate for your DJ brand can be easily, quickly tapped into later. Within your Instagram folder, create subfolders like “Throwback Thursday” or other themes you post about (your volunteer work, your fitness regime, etc).
Read this next: Social Distancing For DJs: 4 Ways To Thrive Under Lockdown
After you go through photos, think of songs that speak to your brand and create a list of favorite quotes from those songs. Those quotes can be turned into content (see tip #3) or used to inspire captions.
Instagram experts recommend posting daily for ideal rates of engagement, so if you’ve only been posting when you have a gig or when you get a new promotional flyer, take this opportunity to prepare extra content for more frequent posting.
Alway remember that right now, it is important to post content that speaks to the current moment. Be funny. Be informative. Be inspiring. Be thoughtful. But don’t be out of touch… or, worse, absent.
And, quite frankly, social media consumption is way up right now as everyone is stuck inside with cabin fever, so you should definitely be treating thes strange times as an opportunity: It’s a great time to increase your following with timely content.
Learn all the skills of DJing
Social media is part of our fifth skill of DJing. The other four are Gear, Music, Techniques, and Playing Out. They’re all outlined on our Amazon bestselling book, Rock The Dancefloor!, and also taught in our DJ course, The Complete DJ Course.
What is some of the most popular content you’ve posted in quarantine?