Instagram?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by DGMPhotography, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hey guys, I was wondering, have any of you had success with Instagram? Any particular strategies you employ?

    I want to get better at it, and could use some feedback on what I've got too. Here's my page:

    Daryll Morgan (@daryllmorganphotography) • Instagram photos and videos


     
  2. Trever1t

    Trever1t Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    @belamourstudio

    how to measure success? I find most of my subjects via social media, IG as a rule is only pictures so as a media works well to preview prospective models.
     
  3. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There is a thread on here with discussion on how to maximize followers on IG. I think it was @jsecordphoto who was involved in that discussion?
     
  4. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm not really concerned as much about increasing my number of followers. Moreso ways specific members have used it to engage audiences, and attain potential clients.
     
  5. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would think that having followers/ie a large audience seeing your posts would be the place to start.
     
  6. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Great idea!
     
  7. OGsPhotography

    OGsPhotography No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One tip I advocate is using different images/content in each outlet you use, i.e don't post the same image to FB/ Insta/ Twitter. Quick way to get deleted. If your posting the same thing why would someone keep hou on each platform?

    If your trying to brand yourself, get and stay consistent, less duck and more gelled lighting. OH WAIT, gell the duck a la Greensberg!!!!
     
  8. jsecordphoto

    jsecordphoto Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    looks like you shoot mostly portraits and events, definitely not my wheelhouse, but I have had some success using IG. I'm a landscape photographer, and all my friends are mostly landscape photographers (some of which are some of the better landscape photographers in the country...not bragging, just saying), and pretty much everyone I know has shifted their focus from facebook to instagram. Yes, they are both owned by Facebook, but IG hasn't done as much to limit your reach as a business. As you probably know, it's getting worse and worse trying to reach your audience via a business FB page, in fact they recently changed their algorithm (again) and it's made things even more difficult to reach the audience you already technically have. Many of my FB posts only organically reach 20-30% of the people who like my page, meaning without paying to promote the post. Anyway, on to IG.

    One thing I'm on the fence about is switching, if you haven't already done so, from a regular IG account to a business account. The jury is still out if switching to a business account will hurt your reach on IG. It was only recently that they switched from a chronological feed, from a "weighted" feed based on which photos IG decides are more relevant to you, of which they'll show you first on your feed. I think it's only a matter of time before IG will change and it'll be harder and harder for a business account to reach their audience, but things are still pretty good on there for photographers. Having a large following will definitely help, but isn't really necessary. If you pay attention you'll be able to tell the accounts that have bought followers, or gamed the system (there are apps that go through and automatically like/add generic comments to other people's photos in hopes they'll follow you), because they'll have like 100k followers, but only a few hundred likes per photo and like 3 comments. At that point having a large following means absolutely nothing, obviously.

    As of today I only have 6300~ followers, but the majority of them are gained organically (I'll get these random bursts of obviously spam accounts), and they have direct benefits. There are lots of articles on the best posting practices out there, but the biggest things are

    -use relevant hashtags, and choose them wisely. I'm not familiar with the hashtags that are relevant for your style, but for example I'll describe what I mean for landscapes. Let's say I'm posting a photo of the Milky Way taken on the coast of Maine. I could just use #milkyway or #astrophotography, and they're definitely relevant, but those tags also have millions of photos. I aim for relevant hashtags that don't already have a huge amount of photos tagged, somewhere between 10-100k or so. That way your photo doesn't immediately get buried under a bunch of other people's photos that they're tagging. Also, if you end up getting a lot of likes/activity on a photo tagged in that 10-100k range, your photo will be at the top of the feed when people search that tag. There are free apps out there that show you relevant hashtags and the amount of photos tagged within them which is super helpful.

    -engage with people in your area/style. This is more to build your audience. If I'm bored I'll just search through relevant hashtags to my area, style, or search within locations, then like/comment on photos that I like. I offer workshops, so I'll search for astrophotos taken around locations I'm offering workshops in, and like/comment on people's photos that I can see need work. I don't even comment anything about our workshops (which would probably be pretty off putting...."decent photo, but you should pay me to teach you how to shoot it properly!"), but just by commenting sometimes those people view my feed, see I offer workshops, and then sign up. Obviously, your situation and type of clients you want are different and you won't necessarily use the same strategy here that I would, but you can see the type of marketing I'm doing here.

    -tag companies or places that you would like to work with. This is how I've picked up gear sponsors and gigs with companies. Again, maybe you aren't necessarily looking for a gear sponsor, but you can use this strategy to try to work with potential clients for events or something. Do not overdo this. I see people going crazy tagging a million companies in every photo they post and it looks ridiculous. Done subtly and occasionally it can, and does work. This is where having a bigger following comes into play, even though I don't stress it too much. Companies and organizations are starting to see how powerful IG can be for promoting their service/brand/product. I know photographers that are leveraging their followings (people with 100k+) and making the majority of their income from IG, some people are calling them influencers, which I find to be a cringe-worthy title. For your case, let's say an event planner sees you have a large following and nice work, they may be more inclined to hire you over somebody with a smaller following because you'll likely mention the gig or share photos from the event. Hate it or love it, that's the way the wind's blowing these days.

    -use the stories!! Showing your personal side (not like your cat or dinner, but behind the scenes type stuff) has been HUGE for me. Showing beautiful photos is great, but using the stories to share some behind the scenes videos or photos helps your audience connect with you on a more personal level. If I'm out shooting sunset or whatever, I'll post a few photos or videos to my IG story talking about what's happening, being candid and excited about the conditions, etc. This is also nice because you're just putting more of yourself out there and it's a side that you can't really show elsewhere (like FB, your website, etc.) and in front of your audience more often. Even if I'm out shooting and the conditions are garbage, I'll just post a few videos to my story showing what I'm doing.

    Hopefully some of this stuff helps! Like I mentioned, my following is relatively small, but IG has been my favorite social media platform for photography. I get free gear, sell prints, sell workshops, and connect with other photographers. IF you put the work into it, the payoff can be very real. There's a lot of dismissive comments about instagram on here, but the fact that 99% of the professional photographers I'm friends with have shifted their focus there is very telling. Eventually, it'll go the way of FB and won't have as many benefits, but the getting is good right now.

    edit: just saw the comment above me saying to post different images to different platforms...100% disagree. Let's use FB for example. Chances are, only a small number of your fans are seeing the photos you post on FB because of their algorithms anyway. I see no reason to share different content across channels and nobody I know does this.
     
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  9. lawrencew841

    lawrencew841 TPF Noob!

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    looking at your instaagram you're doing pretty much everything right, though if you tag companies in the picture, like the make up your models are wearing and so on that could help. just an idea.
    i'm even going to follow
     
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  10. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thank you all for the feedback - very helpful!!!
     
  11. TomW

    TomW TPF Noob!

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    Some great advice and examples on here. I've been looking to maximise my Instagram presence too, I've learnt lots from your question DGMPhotography!
     
  12. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Good!
     

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