Guide to Instagram for Wedding Photographers
For any business social media is a big thing, and part and parcel of being a professional wedding photographer is not just your website but also your instagram profile.
From our annual industry survey Instagram came out as the top social media platform to get bookings from, and this was organic without paid adverts. It is easy to see why, Instagram is all about the visuals and as a photographer you have thousands of photos at your disposal to share online, every wedding gives you fresh content to share allowing couples looking for a photographer to see your style, recent work and the ability to get to know you.
Using Instagram to Market your Photography Business
The Instagram algorithm is constantly changing and a mystery to most people, one week you feel like you are winning and then suddenly you feel like your engagement has dropped off. Without knowing the changes it is difficult to know why and what you could be doing wrong, however we can focus on what Instagram wants you to be doing.
As a social media platform Instagram want active users, users who post fresh and engaging content, users that not only share, but also contribute and engage with other users content. They want users to use their new features such as stories, share galleries and use IGTV. Instagram is also a business, they offer this platform for free but will allow you to target your specific audience for a fee via ads allowing them to make their money.
How to Increase your reach
Knowing how Instagram wants you to use the platform allows you to adapt and ensure you are getting the best from it. How often do you post? Do you engage with users who comment on your photos? Do you engage and comment on other user photos? Do you use Instagram stories? Do you post at the right time?
Here are some of our steps and advice on things to do and consider for your Instagram profile.
Keep to your style
When scrolling through popular profile feeds they have a consistent style, from colour, photography style, types of photos and overall feel. When posting photos and using your camera for Instagram ensure it matches your style. You want to scroll down and see your distinct style, a showcase of your work and know that it reflects you and your photography.
If you upload a gallery of photos then tell a story via them, let the shots flow from beginning, middle and end. Do they reflect your best work and are they in keeping with your style and brand.
When writing your caption keep it engaging, write it in a personable way that reflects your personality. Tell us about the couple, the venue, the story behind the shot.
#hashtags are still important and make your content discoverable, however they can also limit this too. First thing it to make sure you don’t over use them and don’t use the same set of hashtags with each post, you need to keep it varied otherwise you may get penalised for over use.
That being said, use them right and it can increase your reach massively. Add hashtags to the end of your caption, be strict with which ones you use and never use more than 25.
When posting think which hashtags are applicable, does the venue in your photo have their own hashtag, highlight the location, think about what stands out in your image like flowers, dress, candles etc. Ideas include; #londonweddingphotographer #destinationwedding, #intimatewedding, #weddinginspiration, #weddingdress or #weddingphotos.
Our hashtag is #YPWPhoto, tag us and we may share your work.
Geo-tagging & Tagging
Geo-tagging is sharing the location of a photo, this is great for including the venue and extends the reach of the photo as it can then be found and viewed by users looking at photos of the location. Potential couples looking to marry there may come across your photos as you have worked there before and will check out your work, follow you and potentially book you.
Where as geo-tagging is for a specific location, you can also tag, and this is great way to include other users, from venue profiles, suppliers and the people in the shot. Tagging notifies the user they have been tagged in a photo, it displays on their feed under the tagged photos tab and again increases your reach and being seen by other users who do not follow you.
As users are notified that they have been tagged they may also share this too, again increasing your reach to new audiences.
We all want thousands of followers, likes and comments, but you must be active yourself. You must engage with others, take time to comment on other people photos, share your stories, advice and tips. Recommend suppliers you have worked with, tag friends that may find something useful. No two word replies, take time to write something useful and meaningful.
You should take time to read and comment on replies to your photos, engage with users that have engaged with your content.
Stories and Video
Going live on Instagram, sharing a video as a post via a story is engaging and very big on Instagram at the moment. Are you using them?
You can quickly share your latests post via a story, share a behind the scenes video of what you are editing, or where you are shooting and working today. You can make your story engaging by asking a question, doing an FAQ, perhaps tell your audience about a special offer, or venues you have worked at.
The important thing is to use these features, find what works for you and what you are comfortable sharing.
Post at the optimal time
By changing your account from a personal account to a business account you then have access to analytics and some useful data. here you can see information about your audience, gender, age range and location, but also when they are most active.
When you understand when your audience is most active you can then post according to that time and day. This then increases the chance of your post being seen and engaged with. You can schedule posts using third party sites such as Onlypult or Hootsuite ensuring your posts are created even if you cannot do it at that exact time.
Call to action
If a couple finds you and loves your style, what should they do? Do you want them to send you a DM, an email or get in touch via your website? Make it clear in your profile description what they should do, you don’t want them to DM you if you only check them once a week.
Where does your bio link take users, to your website homepage or contact page. Think about what you want couples to do and what you want them to see.
Actions to take
There are simple steps you can take that can make a difference, the algorithm is always changing, however you can also change what you are doing too.
- Review your Instagram feed – does it reflect you and your style.
- Make it part of your day – Post daily, share a story, video and posts.
- Schedule your posts – Set up a schedule so posts are made even if you are away.
- Be active and engage – Take time to engage with others
- Keep going – It takes time, don’t expect things to change overnight, keep going and keep engaging.
It is important to think about what you are currently doing, is it part of your day or is it just as and when each week? To get the best from Instagram and Facebook you should try and make it part of your day, allocate some time to post up some recent work, reply to comments and engage with other users.