Looking for a social site that can help you promote your photography? Maybe its Instagram.
Instagram has been rapidly growing over the past couple of years. And in a recent press release, their newly announced statistics are definitely something to make you sit up and take notice.
- 90 million monthly active users
- 40 million photos per day
- 8500 likes per second
- 1000 comments per second
That’s a lot of traction And if you’ve been using social in any way over the past year, you know that the potential lies in the action – and 90 million active users means there is a lot of action.
- Facebook has 1 billion monthly active users
- Twitter has 200 million monthly active users
- LinkedIn has 160 million monthly active users
- Google+ has 135 million monthly active users
When compared to other active social platforms, Instagram is definitely handling its own space very well.
While you may have opened an account and posted a few images, are you using Instagram in the right way? After looking through a wide variety of accounts, there are a few rules that will help you dominate the Instagram field.
Dig Deeper: Following Trends and Using Instagram
Rule #1 Post Interesting Images
That sound simple enough, but this is where so many people get it wrong. They take the “cheesy” and “smile at the camera” shots when they’re out and about. Or they put the focus entirely on their brand rather than showcasing their talents and what they can do. Instagram is simply another portfolio of who you are and what you can do. Yes, you could share some of your clients’ work. Yes, you could share interesting photos taken while you’re “in the field”. It is up to you, but the overall goal is to be interesting and get people to enjoy what you have to offer.
Rule #2 Post Like Clockwork
What makes social work? Consistency. If you post once in January, again in March, the following September, and maybe something in December, how many followers are going to follow you? Or maybe you haven’t posted in months, then share 25 images in 3 minutes? Unfollow. If your followers expect it, they accept it. And are far more interested in developing a relationship with you.
Rule #3 Post Often
Slightly different than rule #2, this rule makes sure you use Instagram in a way that gains attention. What would happen if you posted 1 image every day at 6am EST? While you may gain traction that way, you’re probably not gaining instant viewership – how many people around the world are looking at 6am EST? Consistency means posting 5 days of the week. Often means posting 10 times throughout each day. Together it means understanding your audience and giving them exactly what you promise them. Again and again.
Rule #4 Build Relationships
Like every other social site out there, it isn’t all about you. Yes, as a photographer you can post your images and move onto your other daily tasks. But if you want to create an active brand through Instagram, you have to engage your followers. Instagram uses hashtags as well – use them to connect with people and respond to their @replies. You can even create themed hashtags and have people submit things to match your ideas or contests. Instant engagement … and the more you do it, the bigger you’ll grow.
Rule #5 Create themes
Even though you post regularly, you can separate out your photographs into themes by using hashtags. And again, it doesn’t all have to be about your professional services. Yes, you can #babyportraits or something else related to your business. But what about #perfectsunrises if you are a morning person and spend 7 days of the week running as the sun rises? Or #Ilovebeaches if you travel a lot and always end up staking out your space on some of the best beaches in the world? Get creative. That’s what draws the attention to you.
I believe you can learn something from everyone. So if you want to make it big on Instagram, you shouldn’t just look at “professional photographers”. You should also look to some of the top accounts on Instagram and find things they are doing right. And when you do, use that to build up your own account. Take a look at these top 10.
Next lets look at some photographers on Instagram. They may not have the numbers of Victoria’s Secret or Starbucks, but their images speak for them.