Dos & Don’ts: 10 Instagram Tips For Photographers

Instagram. We know it, we love it, we want the Instagram tips to master it. But what are those tips and tricks to having a successful Insta account?

What started as an app to simply take and share photos with has now become one of the biggest platforms for promoting wedding photographers.

But understanding how to use the Gram to grow your business is still something of a mystery. It can be difficult to know which Instagram tips to take on board when each update brings out a bunch of new features and tools.

Are these always appropriate for promotion, or do they risk doing more damage to your brand in the long run?

To help demystify all of Instagram’s moving parts, we’ve compiled a countdown of the Insta knacks you need to know about – and which ones to stay clear of.

Ready?

Let’s do this.

Here’s The 5 Instagram Tips You Should Be Doing…

Instagram Tip 1: Adopt the Same Username Across All Your Social Media Channels

The username you give your Insta account is like your calling card. If you have a different tag for Facebook, another for Instagram and a third for Pinterest, you’re really going to confuse potential clients.

How will anyone find you?

Streamline the process for your followers — and for yourself! — by choosing one username to rule them all. Then stick to it across all your social media platforms.

Has someone already got the brand name you want? Yeah, that is annoying… and there’s not that much you can do it about.

But rather than opting for a totally different name altogether, why not suffix the account name you want with ‘insta’? Or use periods or underscores until you hit on a name that’s not already in use.

Remember: potential clients will go hunting for you via your name. The algorithm will still find you with an underscore thrown in. It won’t if you have an entirely different name from what they are searching for.

Instagram Tip 2: Increase Your Discoverability

To clear things up: Insta lets you have an account name — @username — as well as place to put your birth name.

When you work as a wedding vendor, including your personal name can be a really nice touch. If you’re going share in a client’s happy day, they’ll want to warm to you as a human being, not just as a wedding photographer.

But if you only put your birth name here, you could be missing a trick.

Insta’s search function scans through the name field too. So if you also include the words

‘wedding’ or ‘photography’ after your given name — e.g. [Your name] Wedding Photographer —  then you’ve got a greater chance of appearing in organic search.

This is a good trick to know about

Instagram Tip 3: Upload A Profile Pic That Symbolizes Your Photography

You’ll have seen that a lot of businesses simply upload their logo as their profile pic. And that’s cool — it’s definitely a wise way to go.

But it’s not the only option: you can also upload one of your favorite shots to use as a profile picture.

Bear in mind, though, how teeny tiny that image will be. You’re better off using your logo if all the detail and nuance is lost when it’s viewed in such small dimensions.

Don’t forget to also double-check the quality of your logo before you save it as a profile pic. Your logo shouldn’t be pixelated or blurry or hard to read.

Instagram Tip 4: Use Linktree For External Linking

Instagram doesn’t let you host linking URLs in post captions or comments.

Sure: this is irritating, but not unsurmountable.

Thanks to Linktree, you can now include a URL in your Insta profile copy. This allows you to embed lots of different links, depending on your campaign du jour.

Before Linktree, you could include a URL which directed followers to your webpage. But that was all: no more advanced traffic direction than that. It was hard to track which elements or offers people were most interested in.

But now, Linktree can redirect your followers to a multiple-choice page, where they can click on whichever destination they’d like to end up at. This can be anything from your website to your Facebook page, booking form, blog, etc.

Thank you, Linktree!

Your followers just got a lot more choice, and you’ve got better understanding of how traffic flows through your promotional channels.

Instagram Tip 5: For Instagram To Really Work for Your Business, You Gotta Post Daily!

All of these Instagram tips and tricks are only good if you’re active on the gram!

And we mean active: every single day.

It’s cool if you don’t have enough photos to post on a daily basis, but you should be putting time and energy into growing and curating your IG account. Every day of the week.

Comment on and share other wedding vendors work; post stories for your followers to view.

Do what you have to do to keep a regular schedule of posting.

If you don’t, then you’ll fall out of favor with the algorithm, which could mean your account will hardly ever be seen by potential clients.

Failing to give your Instagram platform the care and attention it needs is just one of the easy mistakes you can make…

The 5 Instagram Tips You Shouldn’t Be Doing as A Wedding Photographer

Insta No-Go 1: Feeling Like You’ve Gotta Use All 150 Characters in Your Bio

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

IG offers up to 150 characters for you to write your bio: up to 150. And if you look at some of the biggest and most successful companies in the world, their Insta bios are short and sweet:

Nike’s: “If you have a body, you are an athlete. #justdoit”.

Apple’s: “Everyone has a story to tell. Tag #ShotoniPhone to take part.”

Or Sephora’s: “Let’s Beauty Together.”

Flex your copywriting skills and reduce your bio down to as few words as you can, whilst still delivering a strong brand message.

Insta No-Go 2: Another One on Bios: Don’t Mention Other Accounts

You’ve worked this hard to bring followers to your account, so why would you then give them the option to hop off to someone else’s profile?

It’s a no brainer, really. And yet lots of business accounts still misuse this ‘trick’.

“But what about hashtags?”, we hear you say.

Well, that’s a little less clear. The logic is still the same — you don’t want to offer followers a redirection from your content somewhere else — but then, as you see in the branded examples above, Nike and Apple both use hashtags in their bio copy.

Here’s a good rule to follow: if you’re linking to a hashtag that’s entirely owned by you – i.e. Nike’s #justdoit – then go for it.

If you’re considering including a generic hashtag, like #weddingphotography, then skip it.

IG’s algorithm will still search your bio for keywords, whether they are formatted as hashtags or not.

Insta No-Go 3: There Is Such A Thing as Emoji Overuse!

😲It may be hard to believe 🤔 but emojis, however 🍭sweet and 🎉 fun, can 🚩distract from an ❗️important promotional 🗣message 👎.

Yes: you can definitely inject a little informality and playful tone of voice by including emojis in your caption copy. But you can also go too OTT with emojis, in which case you risk diluting the power of your message.

This is especially true if you’re trying to carry sentiment or meaning in your caption or comment.

If you’ve got any doubts, just ask a friend for their opinion.

Insta No-Go 4: Special Characters Can Work Sometimes, For some Accounts. But We Don’t Recommend Them for Wedding Photographers.

You’ve probably seen this on someone’s account and thought, “Huh… how did they do that?”

Maybe they’ve turned their bio text upside down or used a different typeface to the standard IG coding.

Truth is it’s pretty easy to do. Any quick Google search will bring up a ton of blogs showing you exactly how to do this little hack.

But really… it’s not worth it.

Using special characters doesn’t really drive any value for a wedding photographer.

And, in fact, it may weaken your findability through the algorithm. They can also affect how professional you look.

So best to steer clear.

Insta (Kinda) No-Go 5: Is It Worth Switching to A Business Account? In Our Opinion: Not So Much

So, our last one is a biggie…Is it ever worth switching your personal IG account to a business page?

Well, lots of small business owners who have done this have lived to regret the change. They claim that suddenly the algorithm treats them differently, and their visits and engagement levels have suffered as a result.

Sure, there are some good features to a business account: you can track analytics and get additional insights.

But, unless you’re planning to run ads across Insta, there’s not much to be gained from making the switch. At least not in the early stages of building your following.

That’s Our View of The Instagram Tricks You Should and Shouldn’t Do. What Do You Think to All This?

Truly, each business is different.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on what works, and what doesn’t work, for your wedding photography Instagram page.

And if you’re looking for more pointers on how to use IG to grow your brand, we’ve got a really exciting online course on the horizon – Instagram For Wedding Photographers. Come join us there!

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Written by:
Dirty Boots

Connection is what it’s all about. Feel free to reach out to us with any comments or questions you might have, even if it’s only to say hello. If it wasn’t for our beautiful community, this place just wouldn’t feel the same.

Photographer Tips
11 Sep 2019

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