Want A Heads Up When A New Story Drops? Subscribe Here
One of the most essential tools a photographer can take advantage of via social media is Instagram.
The key to successful Instagram marketing is to build a following. Here are several ways you can amp up your profile and get noticed by many Instagram users.
1. Make Sure Your Bio Gives Important Details
When an Instagram follower or potential follower visits your profile for the first time, your bio will be one of the first things they take notice of.
Instagram limits the amount of information (characters) that you can include in your profile bio. Be sure that you use that space wisely and list the most relevant and important details. This helps when someone is searching for a particular photographer in a specific area.
Where are you from? What is your business name? What type of work do you specialize in? These are a few details that can make a big difference when looking to gain traffic to your profile.
2. Don't Go Overboard With Posts
Keep your feed polished and coherent. Organize your collection of photos in a separate file and then plan at least one post a day.
Post in the morning, the afternoon, and late evening (or just one of those times per day) to prevent spamming the news feeds with too much at once.
The goal is to have your followers see what you have to offer without annoying them, as people can be quick to unfollow when overwhelmed with too many posts at once.
3. Do A Little Storytelling
Try to keep your caption short, but try to give your followers something they can relate to or may be interested in. For example: “As the sun was beginning to set, love was in the air with this couple.”
Including the location, gear used, and other details, are also a good idea. Your content will depend on your targeted audience. These things help to give a personal touch to your images.
Hashtags can make a big difference when it comes to the amount of exposure you receive on Instagram.
Use hashtags to tell the type of work you do (#boudoirphotography, #weddingphotographer, #seniorphoto, etc).
You can also hashtag anyone involved in the photo, such as hair/make-up artists, hotels or rented studios for the the shoot, location, and gear (Canon, Nikon).
When thinking of your hashtags, think of things that are relevant and that local potential clients may be searching for, or possible businesses and vendors that may share your work.
Put a couple in the caption and then use the first comment to add as many as possible. This will keep your post looking clean and uncluttered in the feed, as the first comment will not show in preview after a few comments have been added. It's all about #EXPOSURE!
5. Tagging Clients
If your client isn't already following you, encourage them to do so at the time of the session. This way you can tag them in the caption and in the photo.
This ensures your client will see it when they log into Instagram and get a notification. This also means they will most likely want to share it, or tag friends and family they want to make sure sees it also. It will also show on their “tagged photos” from their profile.
The more places you can get it to appear, the more love it will receive.
Not to mention, this sets you up for more potential clients and followers, which is what Instagram marketing is really about.
6. Use Screenshots To Share Important Information Other Than Photos
One of the downfalls of Instagram is that, unlike Facebook, you can only share images. However, there is an easy way around this. You can post those important (text only) posts that you feel are important for your followers to see that aren’t images.
If you post something on Twitter or Facebook about upcoming scheduled mini sessions, links to your blog, special offers, etc. Simply take a screenshot of the post, and in the caption add a link to the original post, and share away.
This is a super easy way to get your message across, while at the same time, directing them to your other social media sites.
7. Your Images Don’t Have To Be Automatically Cropped
One of the other frustrating things is that you can't get around parts of your image being chopped off when posting to Instagram.
When I found the “No Crop” app, it really helped me to avoid parts of my images being cut off.
Photographers put a lot of thought and work into framing our images, and every detail matters to us.
The “No Crop” app allows you to add a “frame” to your images that fits perfectly on Instagram.
This means, you won’t lose parts of the sky, watermark, or any other part of the image when posting. The app allows you to do many other things as well, but I use it strictly for this purpose.
I ALWAYS use a white frame, considering the Instagram newsfeed background is already white. It makes the photo blend in with the feed and you don't have to deal with cheesy background frames distracting from your image.
You simply open the image up in the No Crop app, add a white frame, then share to Instagram. For photographers, this app should go hand and hand with Instagram.
Social media marketing can make a huge impact on your business. Photographers should take advantage of every chance of every “zero cost” opportunities to help boost your exposure.