Simple Instagram marketing hacks
**WARNING NO MAGIC TRICKS OR SPECIAL CODING. SORRY TO OVER PROMOTE**
The difference between getting engagement on Instagram and getting engagement on Facebook is to get people to like your stuff on Facebook. A lot of times it seems like it is up to sorcery and magic with a dash of luck. To me it seems a lot like being one of the popular kids in High School. To others it may not. However, you need to find your own clique. Maybe one is not as hard to get into, and another that "gets" you better. So, Instagram maybe a good place for you to try out. Even though they have a new Algorithm, it still is not as snooty as Facebook, and getting your dance card full is not a matter of some spell book your mother forgot to tell you about.
These simple, easy to implement hacks will make the most of your marketing effort and will make it so you can get the most bang for the amount of time you spend on Instagram. These will work best for you if you answer "yes" to any of the following questions:
Do you hate posting that amazing photo that gave you butterflies when you downloaded it just to have no one notice it or engage with it?
Do you go days without getting any followers?
Does no one do what you want once you do post? For example, do people only like your posts in the hopes that then you go like their posts? Or it could even be some kind of Instagram bot?
No one emails you or wants to book your services?
Do you feel like that lost child at the mall who can’t find their parent, so decides to just stand in one place in the hopes that someone good will find them? I hear that most photographers don’t even want to start on Instagram because they are overwhelmed and do not know where to begin. "Social media marketing just takes to much time” and they want to get away from their computer, and not make more work for themselves.
Well, lets get you noticed and get that security guard over here to find your parents.....Or in this case, your ideal client!
These are some of my easiest and proven tricks to get people to notice and interact with your posts. While there are some more detailed tricks to get you bigger results, these are the best ways to get you up and running almost immediately, and get your work noticed. You will be able to easily get your inbox full. THEN, you can start stressing about how you are going to email all these people back, as opposed to stressing out about when your next email will come in.
So let's get you started. Here are a few of my favorite hacks or tricks.
Don’t just post pretty pictures: I know this sounds stupid. Why would you want to put ugly photos on your Instagram feed, how could that work? I do not mean post all ugly photos that do not match your brand. What I mean is post photos that are not always your professional pictures. I know a lot of photographers only post photos that come out of their professional camera, and I do not agree with this. I think this makes you seem less approachable and less likely for people to connect with you. You want to be interesting enough for people to send nice notes to your inbox wanting to give you $$. So post cool artwork you find on Instagram. Post good photos you take with your phone of your day to day life. Post things that inspire you and make you happy. Think of your Instagram as your brand Pinterest board, full of images that tell a story, convey a mood, and show your work.
Have a wifi card: This is really the best thing you can do. If you have a camera with dual card slots then this is easy. Shoot your RAW files on your CF card. Now pop one of these wifi cards in and start streaming your small jpg images directly to your phone. Shooting an awesome wedding or boudoir shoot and your client loves her pictures? Well now you can upload it directly to Instagram right after you take the shot, and tag them in the post within seconds. If you are shooting some "getting ready" photos, you can text them directly to the bridesmaids and have them tag you in the posts and give you photo credit. This gets every one excited and every one in the room will start to follow you. Then, while you are shooting the wedding everyone else will be excited to do your own marketing for you.
Get couple's hashtag before hand and make a special post at the beginning of the day: Before the wedding I come up with a list of hashtags to use while I am on site. I also have all the vendors, bride, groom, and wedding parties Instagram handles in a notes doc, so If I post anything the day of all I have to do is copy and paste. Vendors love getting good photos of their work right away so they can post what they have been working on. It is what will make working with you more fun and spread your Instagram around.
Post an emotionally charged image after the wedding: Either during or after dinner, or when I get home, I post an image full of emotion. It is really nice for the guests to go home and relive the day. I also make sure I push it through to Facebook so that the next morning by the time the bride and groom wake up, people have seen their image and it is showing up in peoples' feeds.
One year anniversary post: This is not only a great way to look like you are busy even if you are not but it is a great way to get your past clients to relive what it was like working with you and possibly even walk back into your doors. It will also re-purpose your past wedding footage and remind people of who shot Sally and Peter's amazing wedding from last year, and who might be getting ready to look for a wedding photographer this year.
Hashtags do matter: Make a point of using at least 11 per post. And not the really generic ones like #instalikes. This will just get you lost in a sea of photos in seconds and there is no post. Try to focus on more unique hash tags. To see a list of some of mine download them here. (INSERT HASHTAG DOWNLOAD HERE)
I change these based on what seems to get me more interaction. I track this through Iconosquare. It will give you a list of what your most used hashtags are.
If you have any other Instagram tricks please leave them bellow I would love to hear them! Also make sure you join our Facebook group to see what others are doing :)