Instagram is one of the best ways to promote your art on social media: So I have compiled a list of the best ways to get your art noticed on Instagram for any emerging artist or creative out there.
I have gathered all these tips from my own personal experience as an artist on Instagram plus with years of researching what works and what doesn’t.
I hope this helps any of you who are just starting out and need a step-by-step guide to help you along the way in growing your art business.
So without further ado, let’s get started and I hope you learn something new to up your Instagram game big-time!
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1. Set Up Your Instagram Profile For Success!
In order to get your art noticed on Instagram, make sure you have a profile picture that stands out: Have it be your logo, a professional photo of you as the artist, or a photo of your art.
Choose your username wisely: I have it set up as just my name (@ShihoriObata) because that’s what I want my art to be known by. If you have a business name like (@PassionColorJoy), you can use that as your username. You can also use a combination such as @AngeMillerArt.
For your Bio, make sure to add relevant keywords (These keywords will depend on your niche… what type of artist are you?). Feel free to also add a little blurb about yourself for a personal touch!
Instagram allows use of one link: You can use it to link to your website, online shop, etsy store, etc
*Here’s a tip to get around this: I use LinkTree to set up a landing page that links to multiple web pages depending on where interested viewers want to go to. That way they have options: Whether they want to visit my Website/Blog/Buy my poetry book/Visit my Etsy shop. They can do it all.
Consider setting up an Instagram Business Account: You will be able to get access to Instagram analytics this way.
2. Make Your Feed Beautiful!
Spend some time learning the ropes of how to make your feed beautiful.
Make sure your lighting is good: Try to take photos during the day.
Also, I find it helps to be in a room with white walls. From personal experience, I live in a rented house with dull, mustard-like yellow walls and it’s a no go when it comes to taking pictures: It skews the colors of any object I take a picture of and it takes a lot of work to readjust the colors as close to how it is in real life.
I definitely wish I had white walls just for this reason!
That aside, even if you take a photo in a well-lit room, you’re still going to have to do some editing to your photos.
If there is just one thing you can do to your photo to take your Instagram feed to the next level is upping the Brightness of each photo. Trust me… it’s going to do wonders. There are some really amazing photo editing apps out there to download onto your phone for quick editing:
My Favorite Photo-Editing Apps for Artwork are: VSCO, Snapseed, and Lightroom.
Image credit: @dope.filterss on Instagram
VSCO is a great editing app with amazing filter options. Filters are the key to keeping your feed looking cohesive with a theme. I have a Pinterest Board dedicated to VSCO filters if you’re interested in creating a theme for your Instagram.
Snapseed has a TON of photo editing tools – You can seriously do some major Photoshop-level editing using this app.
I use Lightroom to balance out or change certain colors in a photo.
I will also edit photos on my Computer using Photoshop if I want to get the colors perfect or want to use fonts, effects, and editing tools not available through the apps on my phone.
I also use the Instagram Planning app, Planoly, to see and adjust the way my feed looks before I upload a photo on Instagram. I love using Planoly because I can see and upload to the grid from both my phone and my computer (Plus, it’s free!). It also has a lot of extra features like its Instagram posting calendar, analytics, and hashtag research tool.
3. Post Consistently
When I first started out with my art Instagram page, I made sure to post 1-2 times per day.
This is very important! If you have a business account with Instagram, you’ll be able to see it in your analytics.
I know for me, the days I don’t post to Instagram, my analytics definitely take a nose-dive on the days I don’t post. If you don’t post, you won’t get impressions, you won’t get engagement, and thus you will not get profile views nor as many followers.
So post 1-2 times a day!
4. Follow Other Artists
Follow other artists you admire, respect, and most importantly, engage with you.
You want to build a fun, supporting community around you, so start making friends and follow other artists! (Plus, they may in-turn fall in love with your work and follow you back).
5. Engage with the Art Community
In order to get your art noticed on Instagram, it’s imperative that you engage with the art community on Instagram. This is the method that helped me the most when I first started growing my Instagram:
Like, like, and like as many posts related to your niche as you can.
Don’t be selective when it comes to likes: Like as many art-related photos as you can.
When you like the photos of others, you are not only helping their Instagram pages, but you are bringing your profile in front of their’s (They will be able to see that you liked one of their photos).
I find that there are many people who will like your photos back or even comment or follow you. So like away, my friends.
When someone comments on your photo, take time to comment back, especially in the first hour of you posting to Instagram.
With Instagram’s new 2018 Algorithm, the more engagement you have on your posts within that first hour, the more that post will reach a wider audience.
Care for your followers: If they show you love, show you care and engage with them.
6. Use Hashtags!
It is so important to use hashtags on each new Instagram post. Instagram allows a max of 30 hashtags per post, and I try to make sure to use a minimum of 11 hashtags at least.
According to Buffer , using 11+ hashtags on Instagram boosts engagement on your Instagram post most.
I do not recommend using hashtags that have over 1 million posts in them unless you have a huge following with high engagement rates.
There are hundreds of people posting photos under that hashtag and in such a short moment, your post will be buried under all the later posts coming after it.
Unless you make it to the Top Post section for that hashtag, people won’t be able to see your post.
That is why, do Instagram hashtag research and make sure to use hashtags you have a chance at ranking in the Top Posts for.
I generally aimed for hashtags with less than 300k posts at first. As you continue to grow, consider using more competitive hashtags.
7. Try to Get Featured by Instagram Art Sharing Pages
There are several pages out there on Instagram dedicated to featuring talented artists and their works.
Choose an art featuring page dedicated to promoting your specific type of art form, whether that be abstract art, art journaling, watercolor, fluid art, etc.
*Tip: Watch out for Art Featuring Accounts where you must pay to get featured. In the end, it is your choice whether you want to use their service, but check the engagement on their posts first. Do they have 500K followers but have only 100 likes on each photo and barely any comments? Most likely, they just buy their followers and you will just be wasting your money using their services.
There are just as many amazing Art Featuring Instagram Accounts that will feature you for free.
It’s just a matter of getting your art noticed by them. Make sure to follow the directions in their profile description on how to get featured – Each Art Sharing page will be different.
8. Collaborate with Other Artists
Another great way to promote your art (as well as the art of others) is to collaborate with a fellow artist.
This may take some creative thinking, but I’ve seen artists band together for charity, to bring awareness to a cause/issue, and just for good ol’ fun!
9. Host an Art Giveaway
Give back to your art lovers by doing a giveaway every once in a while.
The basics requirements of most giveaways are that those who want to enter should 1.) Follow you 2.) Like the giveaway post 3.) Comment on the post
There are additional entries you can add to promote your Instagram page such as giving them the option to tag a friend.
*Tip: Remember to take into consideration shipping of the item you are giving away. International shipping fees are more expensive than domestic, so make sure you check into these costs before hosting an international giveaway.
10. Share on Other Social Media Outlets
Don’t keep your Instagram posts restricted to just Instagram: There are plenty of other ways to promote your art Instagram accounts on your other platforms.
You can use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, your Website, Blog, etc.
Personally, I love promoting my Instagram through Pinterest. They are both visual-based platforms that work great hand-in-hand in bringing even more traffic to one’s Instagram account.
* If you are interested in sharing your art on Pinterest, consider sharing your art on my Pinterest Art Group Board: Any form of art is welcome here! Follow the instructions in my Pinterest Board description if you want to join.*
11. Learn from Other Artists and Their Feed
Study the accounts and feeds of other successful artists on Instagram.
See which posts are doing well for them, and learn from them so that you can apply it to your own feed.
See these successful artists as your teachers: They have been through the growing phase you are going through as well. They have also had years of learning what works and what doesn’t for their own Instagram page.
Watching how someone else works is the basis of how you learn how to do something in any job or field you are in. Instagram is just the same.
12. Use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories is a relatively new feature on Instagram that is similar to Snapchat. Unlike a regular Instagram post, a post to your Instagram Story only lasts for 24 hours.
You can use it in various ways to interact with your followers: Share life updates, share a more personal side of yourself to your followers, share a quote, tid bits of inspiration, share a sale you’re having in your shop, special coupon codes, etc.
You also have the ability to tag users and use hashtags with Instagram Stories, which just adds another way to widen your audience reach.
13. Utilize the Tag Feature
Tag brands and other Instagram accounts when applicable.
If there’s a new brand of paint you are using that you’ve fallen in love with, take a photo and make sure to tag the brand to share with them how much you love their products.
When you tag someone, your post will appear in the tagged section in that user’s profile. It acts as just another step to widen your audience reach.
14. Followers Aren’t Everything
This post by @NatalieFranke on Instagram really resonated with me, and I saved it ever since, always looking back to remind myself of these words.
Remember: Follower counts aren’t everything.
I know this whole post is about growing your Art Instagram page, but I didn’t want you walking away from this article solely focusing on growing your Instagram followers.
I want to instead bring to focus on the mindset that your number of followers does not equal success:
There are in-fact so many Instagram accounts out there that have over 100K followers, but barely have any likes, engagement, and no business profit. Their followers aren’t real, most likely they’ve just been bought to give the facade that their Instagram account is successful.
It might be hard to get out of the mindset that followers=success at first, but it is completely normal that your follower growth isn’t explosive – That’s what we all go through at the beginning.
Instead, take the time to attract the right followers to you: Followers that are real people and are interested in what you are doing.
You’d be surprised how many business have smaller followings with genuine followers, and thus have higher engagement and higher profits than these other businesses.
And more than just followers, you should be building a community of friends around you; Friends who love what you are doing and are excited to see where you’ll be going in this journey of your’s.
I hope you found this post helpful if you are thinking about promoting your art on Instagram. It’s definitely worth it through-and-through: Enjoy the journey and enjoy all the people you meet.
Remember to not get too focused on your follower numbers.
Another way of looking at it is to instead create a beautiful Instagram page that expresses who you are as an artist. Make it feel like home to you. Your art fans will only grow organically after that.
If you enjoyed this blog post, please comment and share below. I love to hear from my readers ♥ So until next time my friends xx