Instagram is an incredibly powerful marketing tool. Here are some tips on how you could effectively maximize it.
Starting out as a mobile photo sharing application, Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. It has more than 700 million active users worldwide sharing 95 million images and videos per day and generating 1.6 likes per day. In a 2014 study by the consultancy firm Forrester, the average engagement rate for Instagram for brands was 58 times higher than on Facebook! Mashable considered it the number one iPhone app in the world.
Numbers by various studies substantiate all these claims. For example, there are 15 million business profiles registered in Instagram. 120 million Instagrammers interact and engage in these business through various means such as clicking on their website, sent direct messages, promoting them through other social media channels, or getting in touch with them by phone or email.
It is now easy to see the awesome marketing power of Instagram, especially for you as a professional photographer. Harness that power by increasing your Instagram followers organically. Power up your Instagram and maximize the effectiveness of the app by using these techniques:
1. Create an excellent profile
Your profile is both your Instagram account’s backbone and front-liner. A well-composed profile definitely attracts viewers. Check out these strategies in creating a compelling Instagram profile.
- Name: Include a keyword in your business name, if possible. You can add “photography” or a specific type of photography in your business name (e.g. John David Wedding Photography).
- Username: Make sure it is the same username you use in your website, blog, and other social media channels so that followers on your other platforms can easily find you on Instagram.
- Website: Make sure you link your website’s URL to your Instagram profile.
- Bio: Introduce your brand and convince viewers why they should follow you. If possible, include a call to action.
2. Make a creative hashtag
Using a hashtag (a pound sign and a word) is one of the most effective ways to let others find you easily. Since a hashtag is part of branding, it should be unique, easy to remember, relevant, and eye-catching. The #WhatsInYourBag marketing campaign done by clothing retailer Ryu is an example of this.
Use the Trendspotter app or Instagram’s search function to look for popular hashtags related to your industry, service, or service.
3. Cross promote your hashtag
Increase Instagram followers by using your hashtag in your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts. Embed it in your email signature or instant messaging status. Take it offline and have it printed on your media kit, hard-copy portfolio, business card, print ad, and more.
4. Learn how to use Instagram Insights
Instagram Insights is the equivalent of Google Analytics. It gives you important information such as impressions, reach, website clicks, engagements, and most popular posts. Demographic information about your readers is also available. Check and review your insights regularly so you can focus on areas where you need to modify your marketing strategy.
5. Link your Instagram to your communication tools
Both your offline and online media can help direct your audience to your Instagram account. Put links to your Instagram account in your website, blogs, emails, online newsletters, and other social media accounts. Don’t forget to print your Instagram name on your offline materials.
6. Write captivating and interactive captions
Instagram is a highly visual platform. However, how you choose to describe your images is important in increasing engagement. Check out these simple but effective strategies in creating captions
- Ask questions to peak interest and to increase engagement.
- Try telling a story rather than simply describing the photo.
- Use emojis as attractive visuals to draw the viewer’s eye.
- Try different caption lengths.
- Include a call to action to increase engagement.
You can check this article on how to write engaging and captivating captions.
7. Tag users appropriately.
Increase your audience by tagging other users when appropriate. Tagging them (i.e. type “@” followed by their username) alerts those users to your post, encouraging them to visit your Instagram account, engage with you, or share it with their users. Tag only when your content is relevant; this can backfire if other users find it otherwise.
8. Tag locations
Keep track of where your photos are taken. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, always tag the location of the wedding. If you’re a landscape photographer, tag the location of the latest mountain your climbed. As a call to action, ask your viewers to do the same. When users tag a specific location, they can see all images that anyone (including you!) has taken at that spot. This helps increase your exposure to “Instagrammers” who are looking at photos of specific areas or venues where you enjoy shooting or where they want their pictures taken.
9. Engage in influencer marketing
Visit and follow Instagram profiles of individuals and businesses that you have determined as influencers in the industry. You can learn a lot of about their Instagram marketing strategies. Of course, checking out their photos will also inspire you to improve your craft. Turn on your post notifications so you will be notified when they post new content. You can also interact with them regularly by liking their posts or leaving constructive comments.
10. Join and interact with industry communities
Instagram is a great social media platform for photographers, and like other such platforms, it has communities within it. Look for those communities through social listening, the process of constantly monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand, service, competitors, or industry trends that are relevant to your business.
Once you identify those groups, participate in activities like following their Instagram accounts and liking, commenting, and sharing their content. The hope is that they will return the favor down the road.
11. Develop your own style
With millions of Instagram accounts out there, it is important that you stand out. Developing your own unique style has never been easier than with InstaSize, a photo editing app that helps creatives create their own brand. With InstaSize, you can edit and retouch your images easily on the go, apply one of their many photo filters and add text.
Be creative! Try using unusual angles, unique lighting, central themes, underlying emotions, characteristic color palettes, certain writing styles in the captions—as these ideas can create something truly unique to your brand.
Instagram is a powerful tool and social media platform for photographers. With these tips, you can increase Instagram followers who may convert into loyal customers.