Increasing Instagram engagement

I’ve recently gotten into photography again after quite a few years of letting that particular hobby slip away amongst everything else and after concentrating my efforts on Instagram picked up a few tips for increasing your engagement (and enjoyment) of the service.

I used to post direct from my iPhone to Instagram but after doing my research discovered a whole host of amazing photographers posting images from their DSLR’s. I also noticed that a quick search for tags that I am interested in opened up a whole new world of people with common interests. Now I’m not saying you have to post from a DSLR here just that’s how it opened it up for me.

So here is my tip sheet for getting the most out of Instagram…

  • Be selective; don’t post everything and have a think about the image of yourself that you want to portray. For example if you are into guitars make sure you are posting nice images of your gear rather than random images of your lunch
  • Don’t overload your timeline; get into the habit of posting maybe two or three images a day
  • Like and comment on images; do a search for a favourite tag e.g. guitars and take a look at the images, liking and commenting on the ones that interest you. Remember the more you engage, the more you build a sense of community
  • Get into editing images; there is a great selection of apps for editing your images — I use snapseed, afterlight and vscocam (I’m going to write up my workflow in a later post)
  • Use tagging; using hash tags to let people quickly find your images e.g. if you post an image of an iPhone use the tags (iPhone,Apple, iPhone5c etc)
  • Participate in community; there are plenty of people out there looking at creating communities of like minded people — start with Josh Johnson. I used the tag jj_musicislife when posting images of my guitars, I got spotted, featured and eventually became a member of the community
  • Don’t worry about your follow count; this is important, there are ways to game the system e.g. search for the tag followme and like all of the images (or follow) and you will soon start to see your followers increase. There are plenty of YouTube video’s on this and if getting the most followers is your goal then you are in it for the wrong reasons
  • Enjoy yourself; Instagram really is a great place to hangout for photographers and if you engage with the community and proactively search out tags of interest you can get a lot out of it

There is some room for improvement in being able to add multiple tags at once and reporting an image for copyright but more on this later.

How do you use Instagram?