by Andra Bilici
Wondering how to grow your Instagram account? You’re not alone! Probably, the majority of the users accessing the social media platform, turn world-phenomenon, equally desire this. So what’s the secret? Don’t be surprised if I tell you that there is no concealed mystery. The key to success is consistency and keeping in mind a few technical aspects. So let’s get started with walking you through all the recent technical development to help you begin and actually grow your Instagram account.
Make use of the basic features
It probably sounds basic but before you get started working on your content strategy, take a look at your account to be sure that you’re using all the features to your advantage.
Make sure your bio is complete: Let people know who you are. It’s your business card, the first thing someone visiting your profile will see, so you want to leave a good impression. Use it to attract your ideal audience. Start by telling people who you are and why you are on Instagram. Keep in mind what your visitors might be looking for on Instagram. You’re limited to 150 characters give yourself a bit of time to write, read, and rewrite it. Feel welcome to include hashtags too.
- Use Hashtags: You probably heard it so many times before, but hashtags are essential for organic reach. These keywords will make you discoverable. A while back, Instagram introduced hashtags in the bio of the pages. Think of a key-word that represents your art and add it to your description.
- Include a website: Maybe consider using a multiple website service if there is more than one website where the visitors of your profile can be directed. At Agora Gallery, we’re using Linktree and it works great as we can inform our audience about the upcoming exhibitions, invite them to read the recent blog articles or view the virtual exhibition on our website. If you need help building a website, reach out to our designers!
- Switch to an Instagram business account: You probably started your Instagram account to keep in touch with family and friends and to snap, periodically, shots of your day to day life. Before you knew it, Instagram had become a marketing tool and more artists are using it to consolidate their online strategy. So here you are, eager to step up your promotional efforts. I recommend artists to switch to an Instagram Business Profile so they can get access to:
- Analytics about followers and posts. Yes, social media involves a lot of work and research. If you really want to achieve some good results, you’ll have to spend some time reviewing the latest posts, see which had a better reach (the number of users who have come across your post), which hashtags are better, and what your audience prefers.
- Promotion tools so you can start advertising your posts, like links to your Instagram stories, once your number of followers grows considerably (over 10K followers).
Switch to an Instagram Business Profile: Logged in on Instagram, from your profile, tap the 3-lines button on the top-right corner. Select Settings then Account and you will be prompted to choose between a Creator and a Business account.
You can use up to 30 hashtags in each post so do your research before you share a post. You’ve heard it so many times, but whenever I review Instagram posts, I see users not making good use of this feature. Spend some time checking what hashtags other artists use in their posts, see the type of posts you can discover under certain hashtags and if you feel that your work fits, use it! It doesn’t have to be a hashtag used by millions of users, not one used just by use. Again, moderation is key. Make sure that you use hashtags that represent your art, your style, your nationality/location, the inspiration behind your work, or the message of your work.
Pro tip: don’t use the same hashtags over and over again. This means you’ll show your post to the same audience over and over again and I’m sure it’s something you don’t want to do, neither does Instagram’s algorithm.
Find a voice for your brand
It might sound complicated, but, as I said, consistency is the key to success. Always keep in mind who you are and for whom you’re posting. Are you looking to attract more artists or collectors to your page and start a conversation with them? Then present yourself and your work to them. You can always ask questions in your captions so your audience can share their feedback. Whether you choose to ask for an opinion or share the news of an exhibition, make sure to have a consistent tone.
Instagram marketing trends for 2020 & how to increase engagement in 2020
IGTV: Video continues to be king so find easy and creative ways to integrate it in your strategy. My recommendation is to remain spontaneous and not to spend too much time polishing your content. You can share with your audience a walk through your studio, talk about what inspired you, or present your recent works.
Stories: They’re becoming even more popular and versatile. From photos to short videos or Boomerangs, there are endless ways to express yourself. Make sure to add some stickers. I like to use the countdown one until an event or the Q&A one before the opening of a show. The point is to show that your door is open and your virtual space welcomes visitors anytime, at any hour.
Go live: Whenever you have something exciting to share with your followers, go live. If you’re participating in an exhibition or reveal a new series, build some momentum. Announce it with a few posts and stories then go live. You can answer questions from followers in real-time and see how your audience reacts to the news.
Engage: Yes, stay in touch with your followers, but don’t forget to show them your support. Keep exploring to find similar accounts, express your opinions in comments or direct messages. With Instagram things are simple when it comes to engagement, as long as it’s meaningful: you give love, you take love. Keep your comments relevant, don’t be spammy by posting the same comments, show genuine interest and you’ll receive the same type of attention from other users.
Looking to enhance your career and build a presence in New York? Submit your portfolio to us and get the opportunity to present your work to a broad range of national and international art collectors and buyers. Visit our Gallery Representation And Artist Promotion page for more information.
User-Generated Content: We, the marketers, love to come up with fancy terms for the concepts that we use every day. We’re a creative industry after all. But don’t let the term, UGC, scare you. In fact, it’s all about sharing posts from your clients. Did you sell an artwork recently? Ask the collector to send you a photo of the piece in its forever home. This can be the starting point of a conversation with interior designers, artists, or gallerists. Also, it’s a creative way of announcing and posting a sold artwork. And yes, it’s perfectly fine to let your potential buyers know that they can commission similar works.
You might feel inspired or overwhelmed but it’s fine. Start with small steps by putting together a strategy and a content calendar. Being organized will help you grow and achieve more! Growing your Instagram account can seem like a challenge, but I hope that our article will make it easier for you!
Andra Bilici is the Social Media Manager at Agora Gallery where, besides promoting the represented artists on the gallery’s social media channels and blogs, she heads a department that focuses on marketing services for artists. When she’s not developing or implementing new marketing strategies, Andra likes to take photos, go to the theater, or study architecture and interior design. If you’re looking for help with your social media endeavors, reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org