6 Ways Artists Can Use Instagram to Build a Following
Our world isn’t just technology-driven at this point. Right now, we are living in a visual world where artists need to focus on attracting their audience by using the most popular channels for this purpose. That, of course, are social media platforms like Instagram.
Ever since Instagram was first introduced, creating photos and sharing them with a large audience has become extremely simplified. Not only is the process of sharing as simple as it gets, but the results can be magnificent. With great photos and Instagram strategy comes high following and as a result, artists can spread their talent all over the Web.
If you are an artist yourself, there are some tech trends you should definitely know of. Around 73% of adult people who use the Internet have a profile on the social media sites with Instagram being one of the two most often used of them all.
That being said, learning the six tricks below will give you access to a much larger fan base and truly put your talent out there.
1. You Must Start from Scratch
Everyone does it. Even the greatest social media marketers have to start at zero. It eventually gets better and if you invest yourself into it, it becomes great. But, first you need to focus on the basics.
Pushing through this often dull and lengthy period can be challenging, but once you get through it, it becomes totally worth it. With time, likes, followers and fans join in exponentially and in a much faster rate. But at the beginning, you will get a low number of likes on an image, even if it is the greatest image ever. When the 100 followers turn into 1000 followers, this number will simultaneously grow. As you move forward, the numbers will just go higher, which means that more people out there see and cherish your talent.
Of course, your work would still have to be perfect to actually make you grow. Be prepared to start from zero and move gradually while providing quality on continuous basis. The goal is to move forward, not stand in place or lose followers because your images have failed them.
2. Everyone Needs a Strategy
Without a strategy, you can hardly move anywhere. If you want to succeed as an artist, that requires more than just regular sign-ins or activity on Instagram. Basically, you need a strategy. Whether it is to follow people to gather more followers, choose to promote your art with ads on Instagram, or even get in touch with every new follower to build a relationship – you will need a strategy.
Start looking at this as a business and as such, you will know that it demands a good strategy in place. Once you have it, stick to it. When it comes to social media, you need the talent, but also the planning.
There are plenty of ways to approach this. To give you a hint, we are presenting you with a short list of ideas:
- Opt for progression and set a deadline for your goal.
- Develop some story or pattern and use it on your feed to make your profile more noticeable.
- Pick a genre or a theme that followers can identify with. Going too broad is never a good idea.
- Do this for free, but demand credit and repost on other people’s accounts.
3. Hashtags are Still the Key
Hashtags have been trending for quite a while now and, while some thought their power will eventually fade away, they still remain on the top of the list of Instagram tools to use. As such, you sure want to use them. If you don’t, your posts will be incomplete, they won’t really show where they are supposed to, and people will see you as an incompetent Instagrammer.
Instagram hashtags are the must if you want to be found by people who are searching for an artist like you. That’s why you picked a theme or a genre for your Instagram profile – to make it possible for people to identify with you. Well, you need the hashtags to let them find you before they identify.
When you use a hashtag in the comments or the caption of your images, they appear in the hashtag search. You’d be amazed to learn how many people find you in this way. Ideally, you want to reach one of the top posts in the search, which gives you maximum exposure to your target followers.
4. Look for the Ones Who Share and Re-post
Every social media platform strategy has its tricks and when it comes to Instagram – this is it. You want your followers to like and share your art, but the best chance at getting your art to them is by getting it out there. And what better way is there to get your art out in the open than with the help of popular platforms everyone likes and visits?
So, you need help. You need the help of people who have been through the beginning and reached thousands of followers after starting from zero. Thankfully, you can use these people to get there, too, and your art will help you with that.
Search for the accounts that have the tendency to share art like yours. If they have a hashtag that helps them find such art, use it. The better your art, the higher your chances they’ll share it. And each time they do, more and more potential followers will get a peek at your talent.
Next, look for the larger accounts that don’t share the art itself but share the style or the genre. Tag them to make your posts look more inviting. It will give you higher exposure to your target audience.
5. There is Such Thing as The Right Type of Followers
Buying followers seems to be the trend today, but a very wrong one. You will eventually get caught and these followers won’t really be looking at your art or making you a more popular artist. They simply won’t be real, at least most of them. And while it might sound as a fine starting point and a trick to get more followers, you will still need the right type of followers.
As an artist, your focus is to get followers that aren’t just real, but will actually like your work and engage with it. You do this by being consistent with the quality and the posting, as well as focused on a single genre or theme instead of a massive variety of them. This way, you can make sure that the people who follow you really follow you.
6. Engaging with Followers is Paramount
You are planning to use social media to get your art out in the world and with social media, communication and engagement is paramount. People want to interact with people and they love it when they feel valued. That being said, communicating with your followers should come at the top of your to-do list as an Instagram artist.
When people comment on your posts and images, comment back. They took their time to share something with you, whether it is a praise or a critique, so take your time to reply to them, too. It will make all the difference in the world.
It will take some of your time, too, but failing to respond to messages and comments is the worst thing you can do to your art and your Instagram profile. Your communication is vital to the relationship you build with followers, and keeping those you’ve already found is equally important as getting new ones.
These are just the basics, the core of a great Instagram strategy. So, don’t be afraid to come up with your own clever, artistic ways to use in your posts. The important thing is to share your art with the world and motivate them, all while building followers that truly value and like your work.
Kristen Klingensmith is the Content Manager for San Diego-based printing company Nonstop Signs & Graphics. You can reach her at
firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call (858) 568-5133