Sometimes the ever-changing nature of social media can make you want to rip your hair out- am I right?! With constant changes to the algorithm and posting trends, it’s hard not to question if you’re doing this whole Instagram thing right. We hear those stories of overnight success and while many turn out to be too good to be true, there are a few quick things that you can do to increase traffic to your Instagram profile and attract the right clients to your page.
1. Choose your image carefully: Have you ever sat next to someone scrolling through their Instagram feed and noticed just how quickly they’re scrolling past each image? It’s no secret that you’re going to need to post images that truly pop and inspire to gain a viewer's attention. Before posting an image, check to see if there is more than one element in the photo that could attract a viewer's attention.
For example, say you worked on a fabulous styled shoot out in the Nevada desert and you have two images that you’re deciding between to post on your Instagram page. The first is a stunning sweeping landscape image in which the bride is off in the distance. The second is a more zoomed in image of the bride against the desert backdrop. How do you pick which picture to post? Well, ask yourself, which image has more than one element in the photo that could inspire a viewer? While the sweeping landscape shot is beautiful, the zoomed in image allows someone to better see the details of the bride’s dress, her hair and makeup, her shoes or the bouquet. This image can still illustrate the overall feeling of the desert shoot but also provide the viewer with more to look at and take in when scrolling through their feed.
2. Target your hashtags: Targeting your hashtags is a great way for your ideal followers and potential clients to find you more easily. While it’s great to include a few of those broader hashtags that pertain to the larger content of your image (#weddings if you’re a wedding photographer, or #flowers if you’re a florist) consider getting more specific hashtags. Think about it, if I’m a bride that’s trying to find a wedding dress that has a boho look to it, I’m more likely to search using something like #bohoweddingdress rather than just #weddingdress. Similarly, if I’m trying to hire a photographer in my area, it would make more sense to search by #brooklynweddingphotographer than just #weddingphotographer. And remember, Instagram allows for each post to have up to 30 hashtags, so make them count! Get specific based on both your business and the individual post for which you’re creating hashtags.
3. Engage authentically: Have you ever received a comment notification and gotten excited only to see that the comment is something random like “Your page is (fire emoji)?” We’ve all been there and I think we can agree that receiving unrelated comments on our carefully crafted posts is annoying. And while it can be tempting to use bots and other services that do the commenting for you, my recommendation is to engage on Instagram authentically. Liking and commenting on posts is a great way to get your name out there while building new relationships with fellow creatives. And I’m not going to lie, doing it “by hand” can seem like a daunting task, at first. So my tip to you is to multitask! Fit in your Instagram engagement during the moments of potentially wasted downtime like standing in line at the grocery store, waiting to pick your kids up from school or (my personal favorite) your commute on the train. Engaging on Instagram doesn’t have to take up hours of your week! You’d be surprised at how a thoughtful comment here and there (while waiting for your morning coffee to brew) can go a long way in boosting your Instagram results.