Instagram is a free and simple way to share your pictures with others. The picture or video, can be customised with filters and creative tools so it’s really easy to use. You can find people to follow based on things you’re into, and be part of an inspirational community.
Most top photographers have large followings on Instagram, for very good reason.
They are visual communicators and other social mediums just don’t offer the same ease of sharing or love of commenting on images. With a highly shareable platform, and also as part of Facebook, the benefits of showcasing your work are obvious.
Whilst this is all well and good, it’s important to remember that most images are viewed on a mobile device, quite a small screen, and images need to work for that size. There are also some great professional apps out there with tools to enhance and adjust your images, and by showing a mastery of these tools gives you an added cachet.
TOP 5 THINGS TO DO
- Be consistently good. It’s about quality not quantity. Post regularly but don’t overdo it. Followers want to see high-end photography but not masses of medium quality images just for the sake of communicating something.
- Go behind the scenes. People like to know the in’s and out’s of how skilled work gets done, so quality images of equipment you use or the amazing locations you may be shooting in will go down very well.
- Try different styles and get some feedback. Alongside your safe portfolio, Instagram is a great place to test new products the results that come out of them. There’s the added bonus that will people will doubtless have an opinion one way or the other, so this is the place to ask them to be your sounding board.
- Engage your followers. Whether this for a release you have coming up that you want to generate some anticipation around or a competition for people to win a free shoot, try some different conversations. You will quickly learn what works and conversation will happen naturally as a result.
- The same handle. Your name (or handle) is an important part of people’s ability to remember and share your details. Try and keep this in line, or exactly the same as, your Twitter or Facebook names if possible.
TOP 5 THINGS NOT TO DO:
- Get lazy. As before with Facebook, these social profiles are only of use to you if they are maintained regularly. Pointless otherwise.
- Post too often. As above in the do’s – it’s easy to get trigger-happy with your posting but the key is define your business as a quality destination for customers. The same with hashtags – unless you’re trying to build a mass campaign, or keep a list for yourself (there are better ways), then don’t use them too much.
- Plead or beg. Asking strangers to follow you is a big no-no, and this does not relate to asking friends to like your page.
- Post meaningless photos. Some context to your photo is important in the text, and if you can’t put context in relation to your work then don’t post the photo.
- Bypass quality. Blurry or shoddy images only reflect on your business.
Have fun with Instagram, it’s here to stay and can enhance your business. Enjoy!