Social Media Crashcourse – Instagram

Why Use Instagram?

Not only is it the most visual platform out there with little emphasis on copy, but 60% of people say they find new products on Instagram… pretty heady numbers, so why not be part of that find?

You cannot post to Instagram on a laptop or computer, only mobile device, but there are ways round that using SMMs like Hootsuite (albeit cumbersome at present).

Firs up, download Instagram to your mobile device from the Apple Store or Google Play (they’re both free). You’ll need to sign up, which means using your email and a password. After that, you’ll be prompted to fill out your profile.

Here are some tips on optimising your profile.

Username and biography

Where possible your username on Instagram should match the username of your other social media profiles. This helps with discoverability and continuity.

The only other information that appears on your public profile is your short biography and a live website link (a URL). As mentioned in my article for The Artist, you can change that url to promote campaigns or new pieces of content at any time so you always have a live link to a specific product.

Your Profile Photo

Your profile photo should probably be a pic of you, a logo or one of your favourite paintings. Again, having it match your other social media profile photos will help with discoverability and continuity, since people who follow you on Twitter or Facebook will instantly recognise you when looking for you on other platforms.

Your Instagram picture will be cropped into a circle on the app, so make sure you choose an image that will look good in that shape and although your profile picture will only be 110 pixels in diameter on the mobile app, choose a larger image as it will appear larger on the laptop and computer versions.



Follow Others and Getting Noticed

To kick off your Instagram presence, you’ll want to immediately find and follow some other users you know; other artists, customers, and people relevant to your business.

If you’re unsure about who you might know, try searching industry hashtags (#artist #painter, etc.) and make your presence known by commenting on photos and following people who participate in any discussions there. You’d be surprised how quickly this can expand your following on Instagram.

Lastly, like every social media account, add an Instagram link to your website and other social media profiles for cross-promotion. You can also send out a message or two asking your existing followers to follow you on your other networks.

Good luck and feel free to follow The Harbour Gallery and make a few comments on our posts to get yourself noticed through us!

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