Instagram is the leading image-led social platform there is and for obvious reasons. Making Instagram work in your favour will only benefit your business. It is the simplest individual and business-friendly way of showcasing to and accessing a global audience. It benefits from the deep data resource of Facebook behind it too! And if you want to go deeper with a community feature then Facebook can deliver that experience alongside. There are young pretenders and platforms more suited to a younger, teen and pre-teen demographic. But the spending powers attached to those are not what they are with the more mature audience.
Making Instagram work in your favour will only benefit your business. It is the simplest individual and business-friendly way of showcasing to and accessing a global audience.
Here are some tips on making Instagram work for your photographic business…
- Work the numbers and the hashtags. Your skills as a photographer will be most obvious through the images you present – this is your stock and trade. However, the context and hashtagged words placed with those images will take them on a journey and add to your digital story. People search and follow hashtags so alongside the obvious ones (photography, images, wedding) place some unusual but contextually relevant ones.
- Little and often. Post regularly. Daily or more is an ideal target, as this will provide a schedule for both you and your community, so try to get into that habit. Your followers will learn to expect a daily post from your business and if it is of the quality your business expects then if they miss it, they will search it out. Once you establish a routine, a posting content should not take long and it should include a call to action.
- Context. Great images are one thing but adding descriptions, a story will take the post into a much more interesting frame. People want to know the backstory and the reasons why you chose a particular place, a time of day, certain lighting or even just a random anecdote behind the day’s shoot. Receiving some local knowledge about a building, a group or individual is often more entrancing to a fellow local.
- Behind the scenes. Following on from above people want to know the in’s and out’s, the gossip and the tricks. Giving people an insight into your method of work or your choice of equipment will convey your expertise and also your approachableness. If they choose to employ your services, they will want to feel at ease in both your company and your professionalism.
- Get the timing right. It is no good posting when your followers are either unable to engage with it or simply not in the right mood. At times of relaxation, such as commuting to and from work, or in the evening while watching TV are the best times. This doesn’t mean your work has to be done then, so you can do the work on the post at a time that suits you and have it ready to post either yourself or using software to do it for you.
- Be part of your community. This community and band of followers are not static, meaning the communication you put out there is not a one-way street. Have fun, socialise (the key’s in the name) and engage with people’s comments. Engage on other feeds as well, not in a stalky way but in a friendly, sharing, helpful way. What goes around comes around.
- Emotion is a powerful tool. If you work in events, weddings or even studio portraiture you will understand the power of emotion. If you show this through your image selection or even better with the context story that goes with it, the engagement should follow.
Instagram will not solve all your business objectives but as an addition to a raft of digital content around your business, it will be one of the powerful back-end tools helping to spread your footprint and increase your site traffic. Making Instagram work in your favour may not have instant benefits, but the long-term benefit is unquestionable in the photography market.