It seems photography is almost synonymous with Instagram in 2019. The platform is the front runner for photographers to share their work and curate their online presence. Whether you choose to use the platform or not, it can be a great addition to your social media tool kit and helpful for networking, generating leads, and finding inspiration artists. Here are five hacks for optimizing your Instagram usage whether you actually want to spend less time on the platform, make your stream more visually appealing, or crack the instagram algorithm to get more re-shares, likes, and comments.
1. Use the Preview App to View Your Content
The preview app is a great little app from the app store that lets you see your stream before you post. It also includes editing tools, a direct post feature, and a lot more nifty content. I use this to plan my feed in advance and do a little post as well. Super useful when you really just have your phone and want to do a little photography editing or overall re-tool the look of your feed on the fly.
2. Crack the Instagram Code
The key to Instagram in this post algorithm world is to engage! Instagram will try to pigeon you into seeing the same content over and over again, essentially limiting the amount of new opportunities you can view and interact with if you don't make it a habit to click around a.k.a don't just scroll. Engage with the new users that you find (and you're current following) and you'll be pleasantly surprised on how much your followers (and amount of business too) will increase over time. Of course posting three times a day and having engaging content will always come first but for that extra boost, engagement is key.
3. Use Buffer to Schedule Posts
If you want to get really sneaky with how you optimize your time (after all, I'm sure not everyone wants to spend an hour a day on the gram) you can use Buffer (a free desktop app) to schedule posts for your followers. Not only will this cut down on the amount of time you spend on the platform but it will help optimize your workflow and provide an easy way to schedule posts in advance. For those of us that are especially busy, this will help save you time and (potentially) send you more monetary business.
4. Utilize the Highlights Reel
Highlights (found on the profile section of your Instagram profile) are an easy way to promote a specific product or service when people first land on your page. The more aesthetically coordinated or interesting the content that compose the highlights are, the more I've found people are likely to click through and take interest in what you provide. Travel bloggers and travel photographers are a great example of what makes highlight reels work, showcasing the various locations they've traveled to for shoots, business, or vacation, each in their own separate bubble. Try it out!
5. Photographers of Instagram in Real Life
Finally, as a photographer you should get yourself out there and meet other artists, photographers, models, influencers, you name it... The more people you meet who utilize the platform to it's potential, the more likely you are to meet someone who can tag you in a post, feature you in a story, or give you a shout out. Good old fashion real life networking is a whole other skill set in itself (for both photography and the real world) but it's a resource that shouldn't be underestimated when you're looking to grow your account and generate more interest in your photography business.