In today's digital age, social media platforms like Instagram have become indispensable tools for visual artists. They offer a unique space to showcase art, build an audience, and attract potential buyers. However, with limited time and a so much to do from posts, carousels, reels, to stories – it's crucial for artists to be strategic in their approach. Here's a guide to help you, as an artist, navigate Instagram effectively.
Understanding the Instagram Algorithm
Firstly, understanding Instagram's algorithm is key. The platform favors accounts that post consistently and engage regularly with their audience. This doesn't mean you need to post daily, but establishing a regular posting schedule is important. Engaging with your followers is just as important as posting.
Posts and Carousels
When it comes to posts, quality trumps quantity. Aim for high-resolution images of your artwork. Carousels allow you to showcase different angles or details of a piece or even the creative process, adding depth to your post. Make your carousels interesting and mix your format. Sometimes do 3 or four pieces and other times do one piece with close-up of composition elements.
Reels for Greater Reach
Reels, Instagram's answer to TikTok, are fantastic for increasing your reach. They are favored by the algorithm and more likely to be shown to users not already following you. Use reels to share short, engaging videos of your work, studio, or artistic process. Remember, you are reaching out to users who do not know you, so focus on quality and let them see your best work. Remember a good reel should be entertaining and informative.
Stories for Engagement
Stories are more about you and your personality. Use them to engage with your current followers – show behind-the-scenes content, share updates, or conduct polls. This is where you might show you rolling around with your dog in the studio or maybe your children with you whilst you're painting. These are seen by your followers and create an opportunity to build a stronger relationship.
Aim for a balance in your posting schedule. Three to five posts per week is a good starting point. For reels, one to two per week can effectively boost visibility without overwhelming your audience. According to recent research, the larger your following the higher your frequency.
Hashtags and Captions
Use relevant hashtags to reach a wider audience. You can use the same hashtags with each post, but it’s a good idea to have 3 or 4 groups of hashtags to mix things up a little. The algorithm does not like repetition. Captions offer a chance to tell the story behind your art. Try to be succinct and write to enhance your viewers' experience. Engage your audience with questions or share insights into your creative process.
Engage, Engage, Engage
Lastly, remember to engage with your audience. Respond to comments, visit your followers' profiles, and engage with their content. This builds community and increases your visibility on the platform. This can be the most time-consuming, but it has a big upside. Think of the impact reaching out to a follower and commenting about their posts can have. Be sincere and authentic.
Remember, Instagram is a tool, and like any tool, its effectiveness depends on how it's used. By being strategic with your content and engaging with your audience, you can maximize the platform's potential to showcase your art and expand your reach. Keep experimenting and find what works best for you and your art.