Small pictures can make a big difference in a mobile-driven world. I have found that taking pictures for Instagram is pretty similar to other mediums, but it’s about how you post those pictures. Instagram is a feast for your eyes, and Instagram photography gives you a huge forum.
Think of Instagram as a way of showing your latest work or use it as a daily journal. Not only can you post images you wouldn’t usually put in your portfolio, but you’re also free in terms of content—no need to show a series of work, a single photo will do.
It can even act as your business card. It is also a way to show images in a less formal, more playful way. People are often interested in behind-the-scenes shots, or little things that they would not find on your website. Take advantage of that.
Your username and bio are the first thing visitors will see when they land on your profile—they’re important and should be crafted carefully.
There are only two things that are referenced by Instagram on your profile, your account username and your account name. When you do a search, it will only look for the content in those two fields (as well as for hashtags). Speaking of which.
Hashtags can have both a good and a bad effect on your reach and engagement. If you use them incorrectly you’ll just end up receiving more spam comments and likes from bots rather than real humans.
Don’t write your post description with hashtags on every two words like “this is a #sunset that I #photographed in #Switzerland” because, firstly, it will make you look like a teenager and, secondly, it’s not very legible.
Put your hashtags at the end of your post and try to limit yourself to 15 of them. 30 is the limit, but it’s a big mess.
Keep in mind when you build an audience that the majority of it will expect you to keep posting the same kind of images. For example, I post mostly architecture and editorial photography and my followers like that style.
You shouldn’t restrict yourself in posting only one genre, but try to be consistent in your posts. This will ensure that your images always reach the optimum number of people.
Publishing images should be done regularly. In order to be the most effective, find a pattern and stick to it. I’ve tried uploading pictures every day and every three days and I still had the exact same level of engagement. But as soon as you break the pattern, your stats will just drop.
Forget to post for a few days? Your next image will have weaker impact.
People get used to seeing your content popping onto their feed at regular intervals. The positive thing I noticed when you post regularly but not too often (for example, one image every 3 days) is that your images globally get more reach, because they stay on top of your profile longer.
It is probably the most time-consuming aspect of Instagram, but also one of the most important: when someone who follows (or not) your work leaves a comment, it is good etiquette to answer. It will probably drive that user on your profile for a second time, and they may follow you or simply appreciate the fact that you consider your followers and fans humans and not just like factories.
Because Instagram is open (unlike Facebook and LinkedIn, where you need to be a friend or “connected” to each other) commenting is often a good way to get in touch with potential clients in a less formal manner.
Don’t be afraid to use emojis, according to many studies it increases your chance of getting your comment noticed among others ?
We live in a mobile world, you have a million times better chance that some photo editor will stumble on your Instagram account rather than on your portfolio (even if it’s well-referenced and cross-linked).
The simple reason is that we mostly browse the Internet from the devices we always have with us, our phones or tablets.
People’s attention span is shorter than ever before, especially on this social network. They won’t read a long description. But this isn’t an excuse not to write anything under your images. People are interested in the context as well as the content. Keep your description short and to the point.
It’s lively, it’s fun, and I will continue to use it until the next big thing comes along…