Market Yourself: Make the most of Instagram
With more than one billion users every month and with around 90% of those following at least one business, Instagram is the ideal platform for artists to boost their brand, promote their products and increase sales.
Here are our top tips on how to make the most of Instagram:
Before you begin to broadcast your work, you’ll need to create an account. The process is simple – all you need to do is download the app and sign up with your email address or phone number and a password.
Next, you’ll most likely want to head to the settings and click ‘Switch to Professional Account’. This will allow you to share contact information, sell directly on Instagram and set up ads. You can switch to a professional account at any point.
Then, of course, you’ll need to brand your account so your customers know who you are. Update your profile information by uploading a profile picture (the best choice is usually a logo), creating a bio (be clear and concise about who you are and what you offer) and adding a link to your Artfinder profile.
Instagram is a visual platform and great place to get creative. Through its ever-expanding variety of features, it offers plenty of opportunities for self-expression. Here’s a few you can utilise:
Choose the image or video you’d like to post from your camera roll and share it to the app, or upload it directly via the app. Once you’re in the uploading stage, you can use the photo editing tools to make your image vibrant and eye catching, which is crucial for this highly-saturated platform.
You can then share your work with your followers – your post will appear to anyone who views your profile, in your followers' main feeds and could also appear on other user’s explore pages.
Your Instagram Stories only last 24 hours, so are a great way to share impromptu content that adds to the narrative your feed posts are telling. These could be snapshots of something you’re working on before a reveal post or behind the scenes of your studio – anything that will captivate, entice and encourage your audience to engage with you. You can also utilise ‘stickers’, locations and music, creating another dimension of engagement between you and your followers and enabling you to express your personality.
Story highlights allow you to keep your Stories on your profile, avoiding the 24-hour limit. Your followers can look back through the collection of Stories you’ve chosen, which can be categorised however you like. For example, you could have highlights of the month, separate your Stories based on the art projects you’ve been working on or have a section dedicated to your art in customers’ homes.
Be selective with the stories you choose – only save the ‘highlights’ as this feature will most likely only be used by new followers.
IGTVs are long-form, immersive videos that take over your entire screen. These provide a great opportunity for you to get creative – for example, why not film a timelapse of you creating some of your work? Uploading it to IGTV is a great way to get it discovered as people scroll through the feature.
Reels are another form of video sharing, but in short-form. You can share up to 30 seconds of videos using a wide range of creative tools; audio, filters, text and more. Keep it fun, entertaining and creative, and watch your content be discovered by new audiences – you could even make it to the Explore page!
Finally, a guide serves as almost a scrollable brochure that can only be seen by clicking on your account. You might use a product guide to showcase what you are selling or use a post guide to offer a step-by-step tutorial for your followers to learn from.
Try to share something new with your followers at least every few days, increasing as you find your feet. Ensure your content is varied and always keep in mind what your followers want to see.
You can always learn when you’re doing something right from your previous content too. Did you get more likes and comment on a new style of post or did your recent Story get more views?
Join the community
Instagram isn’t just about broadcasting your brand – you can find likeminded people, build a relationship with your customers and learn from other artists. Follow accounts that interest you and engage with the content that catches your eye.
You can ‘like’ posts that you enjoy and comment messages of appreciation and encouragement. Instagram will reward users who are active within the community, so you might find that your content is being seen by more people when you do.
You can also better your chances of exposure by utilising hashtags in your captions and stories. For example, you might see Artfinder sharing posts with #Artfinder and #ArtistsOfInstagram in their captions. Use the search icon to find popular hashtags and add them to your posts, stories, IGTV videos and reels.
Equally, you can join the Artfinder community by tagging us in your content. In captions, it’s as simple as typing ‘@artfinder_com’. In posts, you’ll be given the option of tagging an account just before you post your photo or video, and you can utilise the mention sticker on a Story too.
Use ads to get seen
With a professional account you have access to more features to help increase your engagement. This includes promoting your posts.
When promoting a post, you are turning it into an ad in order to reach more people. You will also choose an advertising goal, such as profile visits, website visits or messages.
When it comes to ads, the options are very flexible. You can choose exactly how many and which posts you want to promote, and how much you want to promote them by. You may choose to promote only a few stand-out posts, such as new artwork reveals, for as little as £5. The results you get will depend on how much money you invest into the campaign.
We have many more resources to help you make the most out of Instagram, such as our article on Social Media Tips.
Don't forget to follow Artfinder and give us a @mention. See you there!