Promoting your content, products and services on social media platforms is necessary to stay competitive in today’s changing markets. If you have a well-designed website and a presence on Facebook and Twitter then you’re off to a good start, but photographer’s especially also need to be on Instagram – It’s the perfect platform to share your images and to connect with a large audience of people who may be interested in your services.
Utilizing Instagram correctly can help reach that audience with every post. Follow these tips for marketing your photography brand on Instagram.
Promote Instagram account to current social media followers
When you already have a social media presence on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, you can encourage your current followers there to follow you on Instagram. Your current followers have an interest in your services and products, and that addition of such a visual-based platform to your online presence will appeal to them.
It’s important to remember that not all of your audience will have in interest in being on Instagram and you need to avoid excluding them. To keep all of your social media followers current on your posts, link your Instagram account to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Make sure you share all new posts to your linked social media accounts for the greatest potential reach.
Utilize Instagram’s business profile tools
Unlike a standard Instagram profile, a business profile offers you more tools and options to help you market your business and connect with your audience. Within the business profile, you have a “Contact” button, which helps your customers email, text or call you easily. In addition to the contact button, Instagram business profiles have a button for Insights, their term for analytics. These insights allow you to track data including impressions, reach, profile views and top posts. The followers insight gives you an average of your followers’ typical daily Instagram presence.
How to Switch to a Business Profile
Creating a business profile is easy to do within the app. All you need is a Facebook business page to connect to and to enter some pertinent contact information to get started.
- In the App, Go to your Profile and tap the cog icon
- Tap “Switch to Business Profile”
- On the Connect Your Facebook Page screen, you’ll see all of the Facebook Pages you’re currently an admin on. Select the Page you’d like to associate with your Business Profile on Instagram.
- On the Set Up Your Business Profile page, review your business’s contact information, make any changes and tap Done.
With a business profile, you can create promotions from your posts by going to a specific post and clicking the “Promote” button to open further menu options to customize the promotion. All of these business profile tools help you understand your engagement so you can make adjustments and improvements.
Maintain consistent engagement with your followers
Engaging with your audience shows them that you’re paying attention to their comments and that you value them as followers. When a follower leaves a comment on a post, even if it’s a simple emoji, take the time to respond to that comment with a thank you or an answer to their question. Everyone appreciates acknowledgement and this engagement makes you more approachable for your audience.
Encourage interaction with your posts by asking questions or suggesting that followers tag friends who might be interested in what you’re promoting. Tagged friends bring more attention to your brand and can attract additional followers. When someone tags a friend in your post, that friend is more likely to view the post because it comes from a trusted source. If that friend likes what they see, they may follow your account and share your information with even more friends.
With notifications enabled on your Instagram account, you know immediately when someone leaves a comment on a post, tags your brand or mentions you. Acting swiftly on those interactions with meaningful engagement helps create a positive image for your brand, as it shows your genuine interest in your audience.
Create an appropriate quantity of posts
If you’re new to Instagram and excited by the idea of this more visual social media platform, you may be tempted to post several times a day. However, this may annoy your audience and make them feel that you’re being too “salesy” as your posts show up constantly in their feed. Unhappy followers may stop following you altogether. You can avoid overwhelming your audience by putting up new posts at various frequencies and time intervals and checking your Insights to judge the response. Two to three posts a day is a good place to start and varying the times of your posts helps you see when you have the best audience engagement.
As you become more familiar with Instagram and how your audience responds, you should begin experimenting with the number of daily posts until you find the ideal quantity. Remember to adjust your post quantity and times as you gain more followers from all parts of the globe. Tracking Insights regularly will help you optimize your posts for maximum effectiveness.
If you reach a point where you’re struggling to create enough posts to keep your followers engaged, consider reposting content from other Instagram accounts that are relevant to your target market. Always make sure you get their permission first to avoid creating conflict that could negatively affect your brand. When you repost content from a relevant account, you can increase your audience, especially if that account also reposts your content for an even exchange.
Using Hash Tags
Hashtags are still a useful way of reaching your target audience and increasing engagement, but you have to use them correctly. When creating a hashtag, customize it to your brand and encourage followers to use it whenever they post photos with your products they’ve purchased or when they’ve utilized a service you offer. You can then search for this specific hashtag to find those posts and repost them (with the follower’s permission) on your account. Both you and your followers benefit when you repost images with your customized hashtag. Your followers are featured on your page, which increases their exposure, and the post shows that your followers actually use your products and services and are happy with them. In addition, when followers use the hashtag, it exposes your brand to more followers without you having to pay a penny in promotions.
Also make sure you use other photography related hash tags which will expose your photography to new people, if they like your images then hopefully they will follow you.
Some general photography hash tags include:
#agameoftones #ig_masterpiece #ig_exquisite #ig_shotz #global_hotshotz #superhubs #main_vision #master_shots #exclusive_shots #hubs_united #jaw_dropping_shotz #worldshotz #theworldshotz #pixel_ig #photographyislifee #photographyislife #photographysouls #photographyeveryday #photographylover #worldbestgram #iglobal_photographers #ig_great_pics #ig_myshot #shotwithlove #justgoshoot #xposuremag #icatching #collectivelycreate #wanderlust #heatercentral #highsnobiety #shotzdelight
Post creative images
While its perfectly acceptable to advertise your products or services in Instagram, make sure that is not the focus of your account – people won’t mind the odd advertisement post but will quickly un-follow you if that’s all you post. Post teasers of your best work on Instagram, updates around your day and behind the scenes images from photoshoots which will appeal to other photographers and also potential clients.
Instagram is a visual social media platform, so create images that appeal to your followers while promoting your brand. Post images showing your products or services being used in real life situations instead of posed photo shoots. This gives your posts a more personal feel. Instagram’s main image format started out as a square, but thinking “outside the square” by designing unique and creative images will leave a lasting impression with your followers.
Instagram is a fun, unique and interesting social media platform that can help grow your audience and increase brand awareness. With the Insights feature, you always know what’s working well and what needs adjustment. The visual nature and ease of engagement on Instagram appeals to a growing number of followers, and you can start grabbing their attention immediately.
Display Instagram on Your Website
Instagram is a perfect way to compliment the main photography on your business or portfolio website, you can use Instagram for quick snaps or behind the scenes shots to give people an idea of how you work. You could use it to show how you setup for a photoshoot in the studio or at a wedding. By adding your instagram feed to your main website you can show more informal shots alongside your main portfolio pieces.
To display your instagram shots on your website you can use a widget provided by sites like InstaWidget or if you use WordPress for your site, there are a number of free Instagram Plugins you can use.
Connect with Influencers
Influencers are other Instagram users with a large audience, some accounts have millions of followers and most larger accounts will open to some form of collaboration, to check this visit the profile of the account and if they have a contact email listed, sometimes under the heading “PR” or “Collaboration” then there is a good chance that they will accept either paid posts or shoutouts.
Depending on the size of the account, you can ask the person to post an image for you and tag you or link to your website in the description of the image. This is a great way to build your following on Instagram and also drive sales directly to your website. How much you pay will depend on the size of the account and what niche it is in.
One thing to look out for before paying for any Instagram posts is that their follower count is real people, as opposed to bots and fake accounts. You can check this by looking at their recent posts and seeing how many likes and comments they get. A large follower count with low engagement on their posts indicates a fake following and you should avoid these accounts.
Instagram is a great platform for branding and customer acquisition and as a photographer you have it easier than most other users as photography is your bread and butter, you understand what makes a good shot and should have an unlimited supply of new content which you can drip feed to your Instagram profile. By making use of good shots, creative tagging and ensuring your interact and are consistent with your activities on the app you will have the perfect recipe for growing your following. Some of the Instagram accounts with the largest followings are photographers, people are on Instagram to view exciting visual content so make sure you provide that and your brand will grow organically helping you win more customers and sell more products.