Are you frustrated that your Instagram posts aren’t being seen?
Learn how to increase your visibility with tips from photographer Rob Hoovis.
Instagram Strategies for Photographers
with Rob Hoovis
The Instagram Algorithm
- An ever-changing mathematical equation that determines how many people see your post.
- Within the first hour after a new post – it will be shown to a limited number of people. IF it gets enough likes, it will be shown to more people.
- If it hits a certain (large) number of likes within a time frame, it can be shown in the “Explore” section. This is what you want. This shows your image to people who are not necessarily following you or any of the tags you listed. This is one of the best ways to gain new followers.
- Having your images shared or reposted by an individual or a sharing hub also increases the number of people to which the app will show your image.
“Follower count is like a currency that legitimizes you.”
- Just like Facebook, if you want people to see your posts, you must pay for it.
Playing the Algorithm Game
- Post often. Try to post at least once per day. There are several different scheduling apps available so you can get some of this work done ahead of time.
- Make it interesting. Post photos based on what your audience expects. Give it some pizzazz. If this is a page to highlight your art, don’t clog it up with photos of your family or what you had for dinner. Try to stick to a theme.
- Take up as much space as you can. Try to keep your images in a square or 4×5 format rather than a 2×3 landscape image.
- Use Instagram Stories. These are 15 second snippets that can be either video or still images. Be sure to tag people or sharing hubs on your images and use the geographical location pin. These show in your feed for 24 hours. You can add to them to make them longer, and also save them in your highlights so they don’t disappear.
- #Hashtags and @People tags. Use CLOSE to the maximum hashtag amount of 30. Don’t use the same set repeatedly – this gets tagged as spam and reduces the number of people who will see the post– so mix it up!
Tag the equipment you used: the camera, the lens, the filter, etc.
- Tag the location. Tag local pages. Tag sharing hubs like @roamflorida, @nightphotography_exclusive, @storm_scape, @NatGeoYourShot or countless others.
- Consistency is rewarded, as is the total amount of time you spend with the app on a daily basis. The more time you are on the app, interacting with posts either through likes or comments, the more likely Instagram will share your posts with more people.
- Comments You need to interact to make this work. Likes are good, but comments are better. Comments on other people’s posts as well as replies to comments on your own posts should be at least 4 WORDS. Emojis don’t count.
- Captions are important. It’s not completely necessary to list the equipment you used, but for the more technical photographers out there, it wouldn’t be a bad idea. Make the caption about the photograph. Tell the story of the image, the inspiration for it, or the life lesson you learned from the experience. Some people will scroll on by a lengthy post, but there is a large group of people that are interested in the personal story behind the image.
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