As a photographer it makes total sense to use the only social media platform solely built around and dedicated to images. And as a client you would, without doubt, expect a photographer to have an active Instagram Account.
However, there are a few drawbacks to using Instagram for your business. It’s definitely not as easy to interact with your ‘tribe’ as using a Facebook group for example. Facebook own Instagram and you can pay for advertising there, but it’s far more image based than Facebook’s traditional text based platform. The demographic of the two platforms is also vastly different with Instagram having a younger audience interested in lifestyle, fashion and photography. This article is brilliant if you want to drill down a little more on the stats for each platform
So all that being said, here are our top 5 tips on generating business from Instagram.
Interact With Other Local Businesses.
This is a great way to network online as well as being one of the best ways to expose your Instagram account to local followers. Use the Instagram search function to find local businesses that might have a similar client base as you, without being a competitor and then begin networking with them. Comment on their posts in a genuine manner and share the posts you think your own audience will find interesting.
Concentrate On Content
If a follower finds you from a comment or they see one image from your feed, you want them to have a look at your profile and then be compelled to follow it. Creating great content for Instagram is key to generating a large following. Behind the scenes and candid images are content your followers will find interesting but have a think about other topics that will interest them – perhaps snapping offers while out shopping or techniques on how to soothe their babies.
As a photographer you have so much opportunity to capture video. Not only does the Instagram audience welcome video, Instagram will actually show your video to more users without you doing anything different. Think about videoing parts of your sessions, some of your prop shopping or even just talking to camera about your set ups for the day
You will be used to seeing hashtags used on Instagram to help categorise and search for posts, but it can take some trial and error to find the right combination of hashtags to help your images and account be found. Think about adding a couple of your popular hashtags to your bio and for each post add 7 to 12 image hashtags. Think about the hashtags your clients might be using to find content. For example #kidsstyles #fashionkids #kidsstyle #trendykids are more likely to be used by parents looking for inspirational content than #kidsphotographer so make sure you have a good mix. If you need some help with this, BP4U have a fabulous time saving list of hashtags, covering lots of different genres which you can buy here [Affiliate Link]
Understand The Algorithm
Understanding how and why your images are seen and by whom is key to generating an engaged and relevant following. The Instagram Algorithm has been a closely guarded secret until recently when Instagram revealed that the following 3 factors largely determine who sees your posts:
- Interest: How much Instagram predicts you’ll care about a post, with a higher ranking for what matters to you, determined by past behaviour on similar content.
- Recency: How recently the post was shared, with prioritisation for timely posts over weeks old ones.
- Relationship: How close you are to the person who shared it, with higher ranking for people you’ve interacted with a lot in the past on Instagram, such as commenting on their posts or being tagged together in photos
If you want to discover more about this algorithm, this article goes into detail