We all remember the beauty of the chronological Instagram feed and the days when no one struggled to get engagement. But the saying “nothing lasts forever” definitely rings true in the story of Instagram’s algorithm changes. Over the past few years, Instagram has made countless changes that have shifted the landscape of the social media platform. Slowly but surely, it’s become less and less enjoyable. Or predictable.
Unfortunately, no one actually knows what’s going on in the mega mind of Instagram—except Instagram. But what we do know is some of the best practices to get noticed, boost your engagement, genuinely succeed on Instagram, and prevent social media burnout. Want Instagram to work for you instead of working for the cursed algorithm? Keep scrolling to find out how!
How To Succeed On Instagram
Show Your Authentic Self
Instagram is all about authenticity these days. The more authentic you are, the more people are going to relate to you. Struggling with motivation? Share it! Or maybe you shot an awesome styled shoot but it took all day? Take your audience behind the scenes and show them all of the hard work that goes into it.
The key is to be yourself. Long gone are the days of pretending that you have your life together 24/7. We’re all human and we appreciate seeing other people go through what we go through. And please, stop feeling like you have to have a perfectly curated feed. Planning content out months in advance can make you feel crazy on an app that is constantly changing.
Consistency is Key
If you don’t post regularly, you’ve probably seen your engagement drop over time or you might have observed little spikes of new followers every time you post, followed by big drops in followers a week later.
Bottom line is, if you’re not posting consistently, Instagram isn’t taking you seriously. If you’re not posting consistently, your followers probably aren’t taking you seriously. However–and this is important to remember–don’t bend over backward to create content if you’re not feeling inspired. We mean it. Don’t post content that you aren’t proud of just for the sake of it.
If you’re struggling to find the time to post consistently, consider automating your workload with sites like Planoly, Sked, or Tailwind. These platforms allow you to see what your feed looks like and schedule posts out months in advance. So you don’t have to spend an hour every day posting content. Instead, you can focus on rocking those weddings, styled shoots, and engagement sessions.
Engagement is Everything
When you don’t reply to comments on your Instagram posts, you’re decreasing your own engagement instead of boosting it. Engage with your followers! Say thank you to people who compliment you and answer others’ questions. Treat your post engagement like a real-life conversation. It can feel a bit silly when you’re first starting out but it’s important to respond to everyone.
This will help boost your engagement and it will create a lasting impression on your audience. Forming friendships and relationships with your followers is important. They’ll be more likely to comment on your future work and they’ll appreciate the time you took out of your day. Who knows, maybe they’ll even recommend you to one of their friends or family members whose wedding is coming up. Or they’ll book you themselves!
This also holds true to the accounts you follow. Don’t be afraid to engage in conversations on others’ posts. Start conversations. Let others—and Instagram—know that you are a credible account who values meaningful interactions. Bottom line–being thoughtfully engaged on Instagram gives you credibility.
Take Advantage of Stories
One of the easiest ways to get noticed is to take advantage of Instagram’s story feature. They’re a quick way to get your name and face out to your audience without having to curate and edit content that will live forever.
Share your day-to-day routine, your favorite photography gear, some of your favorite shots from a wedding you did, and more. The break from careful curation is the best part about stories. You can post whatever you feel like without having to plan.
Use The Reels Feature
It’s no secret that Reels is one of Instagram’s most popular features right now. And while it’s more time-consuming than some of the other features, it’s one of the best ways to get noticed. Look at it this way–as a wedding photographer, you’re naturally creative. Why not bring that to Instagram in short videos?
We’re not saying that you need to be posting a new Reel every day, but use the feature to tap into your creative side. Whether you hop on a trend, share a slideshow of a wedding you just finished editing, or share some photography tips, these short videos are a fun way to get noticed.
It’s okay to feel frustrated with Instagram. We get it because we feel it too! Use these tips and you’ll be able to succeed on Instagram and grow your audience without feeling burnt out. And if you’re still feeling lost, check out these unique Instagram post ideas to help spark your motivation and creativity to try the platform again.