It’s no secret that Instagram has a complicated reputation among wedding photographers. Think back to a few years ago when the platform rolled out algorithm changes that no one could seem to decode. The panic was rampant. With Instagram now prioritizing videos over images, the relationship has taken another frustrating turn. What once seemed like an easy way to boost exposure has become a complex riddle you must solve to gain followers.
But fear not. Remember that Instagram has a lot to offer small businesses–especially businesses with beautiful imagery to showcase. You already have a leg up on so many accounts out there in that aspect. Simply put, Instagram is a mobile-friendly and free portfolio that can help you find your dream clients–or really help your dream clients find you. With a bit of planning and strategy, you’ll eventually find that sweet spot that leads to Instagram success.
Our Top Five Instagram Tips
We’ve boiled it down to just five Instagram tips for wedding photographers to utilize on Instagram. So clear your head of all the noise and go back to these basics. You may even start to love the platform again (at least a little bit).
1. Find Consistency
When it comes to consistency, there are two variations to add to your Instagram strategy. The first is to post frequently. Posting consistently will increase your post engagement and your post reach. Based on a 2021 study run by Later, posting 14 to 20 times per week yields the highest reach rate per post. Did your heart just race a bit? We’re not saying you need to post 20 times per week.
But if your goal is to grow your following, you’ll want to keep your feed fresh with new posts. And increasing your post rate becomes a lot easier when utilizing scheduling apps like Tailwind or Buffer. There are several options for scheduling apps, so find the one that works best for you.
Second, we encourage you to find a consistent theme or voice for your Instagram account. With a consistent voice, your followers are more likely to develop expectations and excitement around your posts. Which, in turn, leads to more engagement. So when writing captions or choosing photos, stay consistent with your perspective and style.
2. Utilize Metrics
Analyzing your past posts will give you valuable guidance as to what to post in the future. Your metrics can also teach you a lot about your audience. Start by going over the last 10 to 15 posts from your feed. Out of the ones that received the most engagement, can you spot why they performed better? Do you see any similarities among those posts? Is it the time of day you’re posting? Specific hashtags? What do the captions look like–generic or genuine? Are they about the couple or you? Answer these questions, and you can begin planning your content based on solid data instead of guesses.
3. Incorporate Hashtags
Our next Instagram tip is a quick one. We all know what hashtags are and how they’re an easy way to expand your audience. But using them correctly is important too. Being repetitive or adding too many hashtags on one post could result in Instagram shadow-banning your account. To keep things genuine and prevent a ban, here are a few basic hashtag rules to follow:
- Don’t use more than 30 hashtags for posts (or 10 per Story)
- Don’t use the same set of hashtags repeatedly–switch them up
- Check out Display Purposes or other hashtag generators to create new and relevant hashtags
According to Hootsuite, the consensus is that about 11 hashtags is the perfect amount per post, however, feel free to play around with the number and see what works best for you. Also, remember the most popular hashtags aren’t always the most effective.
4. Engage Authentically
Our fourth instagram tip ties in with our consistency suggestion. Along with posting frequently and using a brand theme, you also want to regularly engage with your followers. But do so genuinely. Think about some of your favorite photographer accounts. We bet it’s a combination of great photos and personality that makes their account stand out. Communicate with your followers like you would a friend, showing them you’re a real person behind those incredible photos.
There’s a popular notion that you get out of social media what you put in. To increase your engagement rate, you’ll need to engage as well. Little efforts matter, even when it comes to replying to comments. So instead of clicking the heart next to each new comment you receive, take a couple of seconds to reply and say thank you.
5. Diversify Your Content
Okay, this is the tip you were probably dreading. But hear us out. It can be beneficial to expand your content beyond just single-feed images. The easiest way to switch up your feed is through carousel posts (one post with up to 10 photos). Carousel posts receive the most engagement compared to other main feed posts.
But we recommend taking it a step further by utilizing Instagram Stories and Reels. With Stories, you can experiment with ways to engage your followers. Try out Q&As, polls, behind-the-scenes wedding footage, or even just content that didn’t make the cut for your main feed. You can then save your best Stories to your Story Highlights, which creates more content for followers to explore. Stories that perform well may even spark ideas for a new Reel.