10 Tips for Photographers on Instagram

Instagram is one of the best social networks for photographers because it’s visual and you’ve already got the skill and knowhow to take wonderful photos. If you want to use it to promote your photography business – regardless of which niche you serve – follow these 10 tips.

1. Use a real camera.

You’ll be able to get better quality images this way, and then you can edit them according to your preference and needs, then save that version for upload to Instagram. Business profiles can add new photos from a computer or mobile phone.

2. Experiment with various editing techniques.

Try different editing techniques with your original photo to see what you like best. You can even post multiple versions of the photo and ask your audience to tell you which one they like best so you know what to use again in the future.

In addition to experimenting with your editing techniques, you can use a variety of different Instagram filters to change the appearance of your photo.

3. Share a story with each of the photos.

Tell your followers something about each one of the photos. Describe the shoot and what led you to take the photos. Share details of the venue, the couple/family in the photo, etc. Use hashtags where appropriate – more on that later.

4. Don’t treat Instagram as your portfolio.

It’s not where you should post all your photos – you should use it as a platform to drive traffic back to your website. Instead, use it to show your latest work or as a daily journal. You can add it quickly to your Instagram while you work on uploading the entire project to your portfolio.

Use it to post images you wouldn’t normally put in your portfolio, such as a single photo, rather than a series of work. Use Instagram as business card, and give people your Instagram handle if you ever find yourself out and about without cards, or without cards while you wait on another round to be delivered.

5. Use hashtags strategically.

Whatever you do, avoid hashtag mistakes, such as using banned hashtags or using ones that aren’t relevant to your brand or niche. Depending on what kind of photos you take, there are specific hashtags you should consider using to help people find your work.

For instance, wedding photographers can use: #weddingphotography #weddingphotographer #weddingphoto #weddingday #weddingmoments #weddingceremony #weddingstyle #weddingfashion #bridalfashion #weddinginspirations #weddingdetails #weddingideas #weddinginspo #weddingrings #weddingblog #weddingblogger #weddingplanning #loveauthentic #junebugweddings

 #destinationweddingphotographer (if of course, you shoot destination weddings!) #bridalphotographer #couplesphotography #engagementphotos #engagmentphotography #engagementsession #bridebook

Landscape shots can use: #landscapephotography #landscapelover #landscape_captures #landscapes #landscape_photography #pixel_ig #landscape_hunter #landscape_lovers #landscapecaptures #landscapestyles_gf #landscape_specialist #landscapeporn #getlost #landscapephotomag #ig_landscape #trapping_tones #ig_masterpiece #ig_podium #splendid_earth #gramslayers #agameoftones #optoutside #discoverearth #exploretheglobe #nakedplanet #places_wow #earthfocus #ourplanetdaily #earthofficial #natgeo #nationalgeographic #awesome_earthpix

Portraits can use: #portraits #portrait #portraits_ig #pixel_ig #portraiture #expofilm3k #portrait_perfection #portraitstyles_gf #snowisblack #portraits_universe #featurepalette #bleachmyfilm #portraitmood #featurepalette  #rsa_portraits #makeportraits #profile_vision #top_portraits #life_portraits #postthepeople #quietthechaos #2instagood #way2ill #justgoshoot #artofvisuals #l0tsabraids #ftwotw #igPodium_portraits #ftmedd

There are even hashtags specifically for black and white photos and general photography, too. No matter what you’re photographing, there are hashtags you can use to target the right kind of followers – all just a quick search away.

6. Show behind the scenes.

Beyond showing your killer photos – give your followers a glimpse into the life of a photographer. Have someone take photos of you while you’re working on a shoot, so you can show people what goes into planning the photos you take.

Share screenshots of your editing process, that you can use as sneak peeks before uploading a full project to your portfolio. Encourage people to visit your portfolio to see the rest of the shoot.

7. Test your post timing.

Posting content at various times of day will affect how your audience sees and responds to it. You want to post your content at a time when most of your audience is online to engage with it so the Instagram algorithm picks it up as popular.

This way it will have a better shot at landing on the explore tab where you can get a bunch of new followers. Once you know the time that works best for your audience, schedule all future posts around that time.

8. Engage with your followers.

Take the time to respond to their comments when they say something on one of your photos. Check out some your followers profiles and like their photos and leave comments.

When they see you as an active participant in the community, they will be more likely to continue engaging with you, and even recommend your account to their friends and followers.

9. Follow the KISS Principle.

KISS stands for “Keep it simple, sweetie.” That’s exactly what you want to do with Instagram. Don’t post long descriptions on all your images because people won’t read them. Use Instagram automation to help foster account growth while you’re working on your photoshoots.

It’ll help you get more followers, while also give you a way to schedule your posts so you can keep content fresh even when you’re so busy with shoots and editing photos you come home and collapse into bed.

10. Don’t forget to have fun.

Instagram is a social network, so you should be social with it. Have fun with your followers and the shots you post. If it’s all work and no play, you likely won’t see the return on investment you’re hoping for.

Treat Instagram as a community where you can meet new friends and promote your work. You’ll get real feedback that you can use to make yourself a better photographer, and you may even find that you land a few new gigs, too.

12 Ways to Get More Instagram Followers With Automation

There are a number of social media automation tools designed to save you time and effort with your social media marketing. A number of those tools are dedicated to Instagram specifically. Here is how you can grow your Instagram following by using automation.

1. Automate finding and following new accounts.

Though many Instagram automation bots vary in terms of the services they offer, all of them will offer the ability to automate finding and following new accounts. Generally speaking, all you have to do is tell the bot hashtags and accounts you want to follow.

Then, using that information, it will automatically start following those accounts and pick random ones from within the hashtags to begin following. It will gradually follow a certain number of new accounts every day so that your account activity looks as natural as possible.

2. Automate your posting schedule.

Some Instagram Bots will allow you to automate posting to the social network. If you use a bought that does not allow for scheduling posts, many other social media management platforms allow you to schedule posts for Instagram alongside the posts for other popular networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

This makes it easy for you to batch your content creation process so you can focus a certain amount of time every week on creating the posts you plan to share with your audience. This also allows you to keep a consistent posting schedule, posting at times when you know your audience is most likely to be active to engage on the post.

This way, you do not have to manually post content to your account every day and you can focus on other tasks to promote your business that cannot be automated.

3. Automate commenting.

There are some people out there who will advise against automating comments because it can come across as spammy.  However, when done correctly using neutral yet positive comments and including a variety of options for the bot to rotate through, you can still leave relevant comments on photos without coming across as fake.

To make sure you’re not completely wasting time, it’s best to only automate commenting for a few photos every day. Because bots will interact with hundreds of photos every day, it’s impossible to program it in a way that will create context relevant comments for all of the photos it comes across, So that’s why you should set aside some time to craft genuine comments manually every day.

4. Automate likes.

Automating likes is safe to do with an Instagram bot. It won’t come across as spam or get flagged by Instagram. Likes are a non-intrusive way to make people happy increase your odds of Engagement. Likes or a subtle nudge that will only show up on a person’s activity feed. Many people don’t have issues with getting likes from people we don’t know and everyone benefits when their content gets a like because Instagram’s algorithm picks up on it as a signal of it being popular.

Unless you are someone who has thousands of followers, chances are you’re checking your activity feed to see who liked your post and discover new Instagram accounts this way. Automating liking banks on the fact that you’re liking posts from people who will discover that you liked their post and will turn around and follow you.

 Automating likes through a bot is similar to paying Instagram to have your account shown on people’s home feeds through ads.The activity creates weren’t even aware of the fact that you existed. And,because it’s not a formal add that you are running through the Instagram platform, it’s free.

5. Automate direct messaging.

Like with comment automation, you can also automate direct messaging to Instagram accounts. However, because it is also difficult to make contextually relevant to every single follower the bot will encounter, you want to keep it limited to a small number of accounts every day.

You will, of course, have to use generic phrasing, so keep a variety of positive, neutral statements such as, “Thanks for the follow!” in the repository for the bot to work with.

6. Automate unfollowing some accounts.

With this strategy and Instagram automation, you follow users who may be interested in your account using automation tools. then, you wait a few days to see if they follow you back, and if they do not, you use the same automation tool to unfollow them. most of the time you’ll find that 20 to 35% of the people will follow you back.

The actual percentage will vary significantly depending on how effective your strategy is for the people you start to follow. The idea is you want to use filters to make sure you were engaging with users that are most likely to engage back with you.

Using the follow/unfollow method without automation is unlikely to help you achieve those results. Manually following 1,000 users in the span of a week in an active niche compared to automation you may find the manual method only achieves at 10% follow back rate which is significantly lower. When you consider the increased time you spend with the manual method, you have a diminished return on investment and no real reason not to use automation.

Taking the time to unfollow users who don’t follow you back keeps you with a good follower ratio and ensures you’re not wasting time and effort on people who are not going to engage with you keeping your engagement rates high and making your account look more appealing to the Instagram algorithm for better chances of viral posts and increased follower growth through viral activity.

7. Focus your efforts on quality content creation.

Use the time you save with automation to make sure the content you’re creating to post on Instagram is of the highest quality and is targeted to your audience. If you’re posting for quality content, it doesn’t matter what kind of automation results you’re getting because you won’t be able to keep your followers happy.

8. Check on your automation efforts regularly.

From time to time, you want to check and see how your automation efforts are going. If you find that you are not getting a lot of engagement, you may want to adjust your automation to target different hashtags.

9. Take time to answer all comments.

To boost your engagement and to show your audience you care, take time to reply to any and all comments on your posts. Even if you notice generic ones that you believe were automated, taking the time to respond to them shows the rest of your audience that you were paying attention and you appreciate the time they took to comment.

10. Automate to save time – not to completely avoid work.

If you set up an automation bot one time, walk away and never look at the bot or your Instagram account again, you’re doing it wrong. Not only are you doing it wrong, but you’re obviously doing it for the wrong reasons. Chances are, you’re looking for a quick and easy way to monetize your Instagram following and a while this is a respectable desire, it won’t get you very far.

You will still need to spend a certain amount of time engaging on Instagram and creating content for your followers manually. Nothing on the internet that is of the good quality you need to develop stable customer relationships is done with 100% automation.

Yes, there’s plenty of stuff out there that is completely automated, but it’s not the kind of stuff your audience will enjoy or respond to the way you hope.

11. Don’t push your automation tool to the max.

Unless you use an automation tool from the very beginning of your Instagram account, chances are you were only able to like and follow a certain number of users every day.

You want to avoid maxing the automation tool out because Instagram will notice if you go from following 50 users a day to 1,000 users a day. The key is to make the activity look as natural as possible which often means using the automation tool much less than what it is capable of actually doing.

12. Do not use more than one Instagram automation bot.

It may be tempting to double down on your efforts by using more than one automation bots. However, is best if you only use one at a time. You can use one for a certain amount of time before testing on another one to see which one you like better, but using more than one at the same time creates unnatural activity and could possibly cross some wires and create potential flags on your Instagram account.

Everything you do on Instagram from content creation to following accounts and engaging with them should be done with your followers in mind. Without a dedicated group of loyal followers, you won’t be able to reap sales benefits from your social media presence.

10 Hashtag Mistakes Every Marketer Should Avoid on Instagram

#TBT

#Instagood

#Nofilter

These are just some of the most popular hashtags on Instagram, according to a recent analysis. This punctuation mark took on a new meaning in 2007 when one Twitter user began using hashtags to group content and discussion topics in order to make it easier for others to locate topics of interest.

Today, hashtags are used across social media platforms but have become particularly popular on Instagram. In fact, hashtags have become so popular that Instagram instituted a hashtag limit to prevent users from overusing them.

Instagram marketers may already realize that hashtags play an essential role in content discovery and amplification. Here are 10 tips that’ll let social media marketers to put Instagram hashtags to good use by avoiding common pitfalls that can otherwise doom thoughtful campaigns.

1. Ignoring topical hashtags.

Hashtags help those who are not following your account to find your content. In order to reach new followers, social media marketers should incorporate popular hashtags in Instagram posts. Doing so can help brands to reach users who are searching for hashtags taking Instagram by storm.

In the example above, Mercedes-Benz created a piece of content that fits well with popular holiday hashtags. The brand’s social media managers added the hashtags “Holidays” and “Xmas” to the post, which helped to increase reach.

2. Hashtag stuffing.

As mentioned earlier, Instagram does not support hashtag stuffing. Overusing hashtags in an effort to reach a wider audience will often backfire. Instagram users have become savvy enough to spot and avoid content that appears to be spam. Posts with many hashtags will appear to be disreputable and can cause users to form a negative opinion of your brand.

Take a page from the world’s most successful Instagram brands, and use hashtags tastefully. In the example above, Rolex uses three hashtags to promote one of their new watches. Two of the hashtags used are branded, while one is descriptive.

3. Failing to develop a branded hashtag.

A branded hashtag can help to increase brand awareness within Instagram. By encouraging brand enthusiast to use a branded hashtag, companies can magnify their reach beyond those who are following their Instagram profile.

Social media marketers should think of creative branded hashtags that those within the target audience would want to use themselves. In time, Instagram users may begin to organically use your organization’s branded hashtag.

4. Overlooking Instagram’s new hashtag monitoring feature.

Last year, Instagram announced a feature that allowed users to follow specific hashtags just as they would follow an Instagram account. This development has had significant implications for those interested in hashtag marketing campaigns.

First, social media marketers can easily follow hashtags of interest within Instagram. This makes it easier to natively monitor the platform for user-generated content for example.

Second, developing a branded hashtag that has real staying power provides brands with another way for brands to connect with their target audience through Instagram. Some may choose to follow a branded hashtag instead of a traditional branded Instagram account for example.

5. Using hashtags without understanding their meaning.

There are a countless number of social media campaigns that failed because of tone-deaf marketing. Don’t make the same mistake brands like Pepsi and Tory Burch have made by misappropriating social or political reference points for corporate gains.

Similarly, social media marketing managers must be sure they understand what hashtag abbreviations mean. Using #AF, for example, might be appealing because it is growing in popularity among some demographics, but it could outrage others who disapprove of organizations that use profanity in marketing content.

6. Launching an ad campaign without an accompanying hashtag.

The world’s most successful brands usually launch advertising campaigns with an accompanying hashtag. That’s because it encourages members of the target audience to share user-generated content with the same hashtag.

This helps to amplify the brand’s message and makes it easier for advertisers to monitor the reaction to an ad through social media networks like Instagram.

Regardless of the channel through which you launch an ad, be sure to include a hashtag somewhere in the creative.

7. Neglecting to monitor user-generated content.

User-generated content, also known as UGC, is often shared with an accompanying branded hashtag. Often, brands will re-share user-generated content as a form of social proof. By sharing an implicate endorsement from a happy Instagram user, it can help brands to make inroads with other prospective customers on the platform.

Furthermore, including a shout out to a happy customer can help to turn that satisfied customer into a lifelong brand advocate. In the example above, Harley Davidson shares user-generated content and included a branded hashtag to boot.

8. Forgetting to include a hashtag in your Instagram bio.

Adding an appropriate hashtag in an Instagram bio is a great way to make your account more discoverable. Instagram users have the ability to search for keywords that relate to photos, places, or “people,” the last of which is another word for Instagram profiles.

In cases where you are trying to gain traction among a target audience, sharing a generic hashtag used by this audience is your best bet. On the other hand, those who are interested in motivating an existing audience to become more engaged may benefit from included a branded hashtag in the Instagram bio.

9. Ignoring hashtag discovery platforms.

Sometimes it can be hard to know what hashtags should be used when. Often it is best to use a trending hashtag that is free from divisive social or political connotations. To that end, social media marketers can use a third-party Instagram analytics or discovery platform to identify trending hashtags that should be used to increase the reach of a specific piece of content.

Before posting a new image or video to the platform, be sure to take a few minutes to see if a popular hashtag can be included in the caption. This should be a part of your Instagram monitoring workflow.

10.  Focusing on hashtags while forgetting to create a moving caption.

While Instagram hashtags are important in order to reach new audiences or to further engage existing followers, they are just one small component of what is required to be successful as an Instagram marketer.

More important than Instagram hashtags is creating a compelling brand narrative that is aligned with the needs and wants of the target audience. That means winning brands will be the ones that use Instagram captions to tell a compelling on-brand story.

Of course, a part of writing a great caption is using hashtags appropriately, but marketers should avoid obsessing about hashtag use to the exclusion of creating a moving caption.

Conclusion

Instagram is becoming an increasingly crowded social media platform. Over 25 million businesses use official Instagram Business accounts, and 800 million people use the platform in total.

One way to cut through the noise is by artfully using hashtags to increase reach. Selecting popular hashtags can be a great way to acquire new followers in search of an account like yours. Alternatively, using branded hashtags can be a good way to increase brand awareness through Instagram, or to encourage followers to produce user-generated content.