Market Tips For Instagram
If you think you know all about Instagram – that it is just a way for hipsters to swap heavily processed snapshots of their cappuccino – then think again. Because it's purely based around images, Instagram has become one of the most effective social media vehicles for photographers; unlike Facebook, you're not competing with silly memes or news stories, or all the general chit chat and background noise you get on Twitter. It takes a while to learn how to use Instagram effectively though, so here are some tips to ensure you make the most of the big I...
1) Be there and don't be square
Instagram have made its name with distinctive 640x640 square images, but you can now post images in other formats too. This is particularly good news if you want to post a landscape image, as you won't have to crop bits off, and it also makes posting video a lot easier. Indeed, posting video that wasn't recorded with Instagram apps used to be a real headache; given the growing importance of video in advertising, this change was probably inevitable. So if the square format restriction put you off in the past, you now have more flexibility.
2) Upload your best images regularly
A neglected Instagram feed will put followers off, so as with your other social media properties or indeed your website, you need to keep it populated with good images. Think of yourself as a curator of your best work, rather than regarding Instagram updating as a chore. It's essential if you want to build any kind of following.
3) Be consistent
Again, as with Facebook, if you are using Instagram for business, don't mix messages. It's going to look weird if you are regularly posting serious documentary or travel images, and then start posting goofy selfies or trivia/smut. Or if you start posting heavy human-rights stories when you are known as a wedding or pet photographer....
4) Keep your personal information updated
It is particularly important you do this with your contact details, and they should include details of your website and Facebook and Twitter pages. It's all very well generating lovely images and having a great looking Instagram feed, but it will all come to naught if potential clients can't hook up with you.
5) Don't forget captions
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it can be worth even more if you provide an illuminating or entertaining caption. You can use hashtags in your write-ups to attract people who are interested in similar things (eg weddings) or people in your area. Words and pictures work very well as a package.
6) Make it easy to share your images
Don't get too obsessed about protecting your images or making them hard to copy. You want people to share your images, and start talking about you. If you are that worried, make images small to begin with, so they can't be used at any decent size, or watermark them, but try and do this subtly. Heavy-handed watermarking can put potential clients off.
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