When it comes to social networks, there are so many choices out there. Some would probably say too many! But which ones do you set yourself up on? More to the point, which ones do you focus on the most? If you are struggling to decide, this should help you make your mind up. Instagram is the number one social network you should be focusing on while you market your photography business, and here’s why.
It’s a visual network
The first and most important thing that you need to know is that Instagram is all about sharing images and videos. This means that it’s a very visual network – you literally can’t post anything unless you use that image or video as a starting point. Now, as photographers, that fits right in with our product, which happens to be the photographs themselves. We can share our best images and create an online portfolio, as well as putting together glimpses behind the scenes, and images of items like photo albums or prints that we might have created for our clients.
It’s the best way to share your work, and it means that the people looking at these images are actually interested in them. If you are on Facebook to read your friends’ status updates, you don’t necessarily care about seeing the images posted by the local photography business. On Instagram, that’s what you’re there for. This means that the images can have a lot more impact, and will definitely grab the attention.
Not only that, but it’s a place where there are a lot of normal people posting their blurry phone photos and screenshots. This means that your professional work will stand out, and that is definitely a good thing.
It’s where your clients hang out
Do you shoot seniors? Great, because they all have Instagram accounts and will be updating their pages daily. Do you shoot families? Well, guess what – moms are starting to use it more and more too, mostly sharing updates about their kids and family days out. Do you work with professional models and brands? They are all on Instagram.
In other words, if you want to bring your work right to the place where your potential clients hang out, then Instagram is the place to do it. And bringing your work to them is one of the key pillars of effective marketing.
When someone is checking their Instagram feed five or six times a day, they are that much more likely to see your work. Statistics show that Instagram is increasingly the place where younger generations spend their browsing time, much more so than older networks like Facebook and Twitter. This is a social revolution, and you don’t want to be the last person to join the party.
It offers high engagement rates
Instagram has also been shown to see higher engagement per post than other networks, and that engagement increases the more effectively you use it. If you really know what you’re doing, you could have a large percentage of your followers – and even people who don’t follow you – liking and commenting on every post. That is hugely valuable, for several reasons.
First of all, you get great feedback on your work. By tracking the amount of likes and comments that your posts get, so long as you post at the same time of day and using the same hashtags, you will be able to work out which of your posts are more popular. This could help you to develop your style in such a way that more people are going to want to book you.
You can also help your business stand out with all the great comments and the huge amount of likes you get. Even though photography isn’t a popularity contest, sometimes people can end up thinking that way. You may well find that someone is more impressed by your business and more likely to hire you when you have tens of thousands of followers, rather than tens. Especially if you are looking for clients who will want promotion, like brands, singers, aspiring models, and so on, you will find this to be a fantastic boost to your hire rate. All you have to do is show them how many followers you have and they might start taking you a lot more seriously.
It’s easy to hack
We touched on the point that you can get the most out of Instagram when you know how to use it already, and that’s definitely true. It’s also pretty easy to learn how to use it. If you want higher levels of engagement per post, make sure that you are posting at the highest possible quality and that you are using the right hashtags.
If you want more engagement in general, engage with others more. Like, comment on, and generally get involved with photos in the hashtags you use, and see what kind of response you get.
If you want more followers, follow other accounts. Carry on following them, or unfollow after a set amount of time if you like.
If you want to have a better rate of success in general, make sure you are posting images that are not only high quality but also breath-taking. Make it so that anyone who looks at your feed absolutely has to follow you to avoid missing out on your best post. Drive yourself to only deliver the best, but also post regularly so that you don’t appear to be a dead account.
It’s not something that will happen immediately, and it does take time and effort – but it is certainly achievable. If you don’t have the time to spare yourself, consider hiring a social media manager to post for you and do all of those engagement-raising actions so that you don’t have to. It can really be that easy!
Do you have a social network that you prefer over Instagram? Let’s hear your argument in the comments – can you convince us that your choice is better?