Happy Tuesday all! Today's tutorial is about that neat little app called Instagram. You know the one that has over 150 million users, 16 billion photos shared, and one billion "likes" happening everyday. I think by now everyone has heard of Instagram and most are users themselves. But, just in case, Instagram is a social media platform that allows users to share photos and videos.
There has been lots of debate in the photography community and the effects it has on our industry. But like it or not, it is here to stay. So, why not embrace it and use it to improve your business. Today's tutorial will walk you through some guidelines on how to make it work for you and your business.
First, it is wise to start a separate account for your business. Make the content relevant and post content you would want to see on others. Below are the types of photos you might post:
-Your current work and sneak peaks.
-Behind the scenes (hair and make-up application, outfits that clients brought to their shoot and new props or sets).
-Packaging and branding items.
-Real-time events you are working on (i.e. editing, album design, new website) Literally take a pic of the monitor. 🙂
-Other genres of photography or design related projects. For example I combine my weddings and boudoir into one account, but I post my still life projects as well.
-Travel photos or on-location shots.
Instagram is also a great way to network with other industry professionals (especially local). You can develop virtual relationships with hair/makeup artists, stylists, florists, event planners, etc that can certainly develop into business relationships. So, you may be asking..."this sounds great, but how do these industry people find each other?" To maximize your visibility you will need to use hashtags. Hashtags work just like keywords and enables other like minded people to find your account and photos. Another way to network is to start following their IG account. Make sure to engage with their content by "liking" or commenting on photos that interest you. Most of the time, that user will follow you back. Also make sure you have your web address in your bio section, thus directing more traffic to your website and full portfolio.
Like Facebook, Instagram has enabled tagging and location service capabilities. I love these options, especially with my wedding business. The clients always love that they were tagged in the photo and others are always wondering were it was taken. Win Win!
In my opinion, a mix of photos taken with your smartphone and your professional DSLR make it most interesting. Are you unsure of how to get your professional images uploaded to your IG account? There are a couple of different ways to go about it, but I personally email them to myself or save them from Facebook. Which ever method you use, an image re-sizing app is must. I use Instasize which is FREE! The app will take your photo and feed into Instagram without cropping any of the original into the standard square shape.
If you are new to Instagram, I encourage you to give it a shot. Like other forms of social media, it takes time to build your audience. But, with some diligence you will see the benefits.