Instagram is a powerful tool for artists but only if you manage it properly. Here are some tips to kick your Instagram into shape.
Be Social: Don't set your Instagram account to private. This a social network, so be SOCIAL. How can you share your art if someone wants to follow you but has to ask permission? Instant Gratification. If they have to wait for your permission, you've probably lost an opportunity.
Help People Find You: Make sure your website is added to your profile. Add your email at the end of your bio which can easily been seen. Don't make a potential collector have to search for a way to see your work or contact you.
It's not all about the picture: Don't overlook the captions. The image may be the star, hashtags offer context but the caption helps to tell the story.
Hashtag, baby: Be selective with your hashtags. Google common hashtags for artists and then add a few personal ones like a specific location #lagunaart, #saintlouisartclasses, #eiffeltowerart or #arkansaslandscapepaintings. You get the idea.
Make your bio memorable: It shouldn't be long. My bio is Kelley is a southern contemporary painter living in California with less humidity. Make it clear that you are a painter/scupltor/photograhper, etc.
Art Dominate: People generally see the first 3 to 6 posts, so always have artwork included in those first posts. Remember you are trying to showcase your art, not what you had for dinner.
Build your following: Don't just follow fellow artists. If you are looking for potential buyers, you need to think outside the box. Ask yourself "who are collectors"? Most likely people who like to travel, drink wine, go to the theater, love interior design, have second homes, etc. Also Interior Designers or Art Licensing companies.
Timing is Everything: Don't just post whenever. Think about your audience's time zone and what time they most often check their Instagram (first thing in the morning, before going to bed, lunch break, etc.) Most posts have a "shelf life" of 4 hours before getting buried in followers' feeds.
Facebook it: Make sure to connect your Instagram account to post to Facebook. The fewer number of times you have to go to Facebook to post it great because we all know once you're on Facebook, you just lost 20 minutes that you can't get back. :)
15 Minute Challenge #1
- Make sure your Instagram account is set to public...not private
- Add your website and email address to your profile
- Follow and engage with 5 people that are not artists or friends (see clues above). Start to expand your audience.
Additional Challenge - Try to find 5 - 10 new followers every week. Choose one morning a week over a cup of coffee and watch your Instagram followers expand. Think of it as playtime.