Over the years, Instagram has emerged as a new way of presenting photographic work. But how should you Optimize Instagram? How to stand out in the stream of a billion users? How to best manage your account to increase its visibility? For a photographer, communicating via a “simple” website is no longer enough. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and now Instagram have become essential to present work. However, showcasing one’s photographic work requires a little more strategy than simply posting beautiful photos.
Understanding How to Optimize Instagram
The visibility and popularity of a post depends on the social network algorithm. The latter is in the way the brain of the social network works. It is the algorithm that ranks and prioritizes publications in your News Feed using multiple rules – not just in chronological order.
For the algorithm to favor your account, you need to post regularly, have a community following you and interact with them. The more interaction and sharing your photo generates among followers, the more it will be shown to the rest of your followers. The more this cycle repeats itself, the more you increase your visibility.
But things are far from being that simple. So here are a few tips to help you optimize Instagram and create a growing community.
Pro Account and Bio
To increase your visibility, switching to a pro account is essential. With this free option, you will have access to a number of statistical tools that allow you to better understand which posts work and why. You will also benefit from a biography and more advanced means of contact.
It is not a question of writing a novel since you will only have 150 characters to introduce yourself, but it is a way to make yourself known to your followers and make them want to follow you. Do not hesitate to use one or two hashtags and some humour or qualities that characterize you.
- Don’t just follow your friends
If you are new to Instagram, the first thing you need to do is to form your first circle. And to do that, there’s nothing better than to follow the ones already in your Facebook “friends” or in your directory. Then explore the application’s suggestions for expanding your circle. Usually, if you have an interesting account, you’ll quickly get a follower in return. Over time, the algorithm will suggest new accounts for you to follow based on your followers and common interests.
This is perhaps one of the most common mistakes made by many photographers: lack of consistency in posts. It’s more than just posting beautiful photos. You need to create your own universe to build follower loyalty. This is not an obligation, but avoid radical and untimely style changes. Also keep a guideline in the style of your images. If you are used to posting color photos, don’t forbid yourself black and white, but do it consistently. Likewise, if you are used to posting your photos with a white border, respect it.
- Describe your photos
Although Instagram is primarily a visual social network, don’t overlook photo captions. They can be up to 2,200 characters long. However, only the first two lines will be visible in the news feed without clicking “continue”. In fact, remember to include the most important information in these two lines or make people want to know more. If you don’t have any inspiration, stick to the “who, when, what, and where” of your photo.
Choose the right hashtags to Optimize Instagram
Up to 30 hashtags – essential elements to optimize Instagram – can be associated with a post. There’s no need to use that many. If they are irrelevant or redundant, they can pass as spam and Instagram tends to hide accounts that are a little too talkative.
Use hashtags specific to your posts and avoid those that encourage the exchange of likes or subscriptions (#like4like, #follow4follow, #followme) and are too popular (#love #beauty #instagood). We find them so much that your posts disappear in seconds from the feed.
If you lack inspiration, take the time to make a list of popular and little-used hashtags on your direct competitors’ accounts. Use applications or websites such as Autohash or other hashtag generators. You can also create and add your own hashtag to increase audience loyalty.
- Locate your posts
Before posting your photo, you also have the possibility to geo-localize it. This is an additional way to reach new people.
For example, if you post a wedding photo, by geolocating the location of the reception, the future brides and grooms who ask about the venue may come across your photos. Who knows, maybe they are also looking for a photographer.
When you post your photo, you also have the possibility to identify accounts on the photos. These accounts can be those of people present, the account of a place or a brand, but also that of a community. Once the identifications have been made and the photo posted, the named accounts will receive an identification notification.
- Choose the right time to publish
Thanks to the specific tools of the pro account, you will find data to determine the days and hours when you have the most commitments. You will know that the algorithm takes into account the speed of membership. It is better to avoid posting at off-peak hours. You can use tools such as Hootsuite or Later to prepare your posts in advance and schedule them for a given day and time.
In order to increase your community’s buy-in to your work and vice versa, you’ll need to be active and interact with others, i.e., liking. It is especially important to comment on posts, react to stories and why not send messages in private to those whose work you admire.
Interact with your Audience to Optimize Instagram
Even more important, also think about responding and thanking those who take the time to comment on your photos, it’s the beginning of loyalty. In order to facilitate new interactions, look for or even subscribe to your hashtag so that you will be informed when someone uses it. This is the keystone of Instagram.
- Rework your old posts
Because you were already on Instagram before discovering this guide, you can always rework some of your old posts to bring them up to today’s standards and why not delete or simply archive them. It will at least bring consistency back to your account.
- Tell your story
For some time now Instagram has been relying a lot on video and mainly on stories. A good way to build loyalty with your audience is to publish them. You can of course put yourself in front of the camera and tell your life story, If you are not comfortable, you can very well show behind the scenes of your last shooting. You can also show more pictures in the story than on your profile. Above all, create interaction by using specific tools, such as voting, badges, etc.
If you need help with optimizing your Instagram, our team is here for you! Book a free consultation today to learn about how we can support you with increasing your lead generation and brand awareness! Book a Call!