WIth over a billion monthly active users, and 500 million daily active users, Instagram can be a great channel in which to promote your business. 

With its heavy emphasis on images and aesthetics, it’s particularly well-suited to photography. 

Before you get started on promoting yourself on the world’s third-largest social media platform, there are a few simple strategies you should know about that will help you make the best out of the platform, including: 

  • Swap to a business profile
  • Use Instagram marketing tools
  • Post interesting content
  • Use Instagram stories
  • Use influencer marketing
  • Post at the right time

This article about Instagram in particular. For a broader view of social media strategy, you might want to check out some of our articles, “How to manage multiple social media accounts for business”, or “How to successfully market your business on social media.”

Swap to a business profile

A lot of people don’t realise this, but you can easily change your Instagram profile to a business account in the settings. 

As a business account, you’ll have access to a bunch of additional features, like these:

  • Contact buttons that followers can use to get in touch with you right from your Instagram page.
  • Instagram ads
  • Instagram analytics tools, called Insights, that provide stats about the impressions and reach of your posts.

Changing your profile is the first step, and it’s completely free. 

Use Instagram marketing tools

Instagram insights give you access to statistics about your page’s performance, like engagement behaviour and characteristics. You can get a detailed breakdown of the demographics of your followers, including information on their age, gender, location, and most active hours.

Here are the most important Instagram metrics to pay attention to, and what they mean: 

  • Growth rate: The number of followers you have and how that number is changing over time. This will help you see how well your posts are attracting new followers. 
  • Engagement rate: How many people are engaging with your posts through likes and comments. Engagement rate also gives you demographic information about the accounts engaging with you, such as countries, towns, cities, age ranges and gender breakdown.
  • Interactions: This shows exactly what people do when they engage with your accounts. For example, you can see how many views a post has compared to how many people actually liked it. 
  • Discovery: How many people see your content and where they find it.

With information like this, you can actively measure how well your content is received by different demographics, allowing you to adjust your strategy as needed. 

Post interesting content

Social media is about building relationships, first and foremost, not pushing your products. Your content should pique people’s interest and lead them back to your products organically.

As a photography business, this should be pretty easy because your work can speak for itself. Post pictures of your best work. If it’s from a paid job, mention it in the post and link to customer reviews if you have them.

It can be difficult to strike a balance, but try to think of social media as a public relations (PR) marketing tool instead of a point of sale. 

Use Instagram stories

Instagram stories are the perfect format for a photography business because it allows you to group photographs in a slide show. 

This allows you to control how your work is viewed. For example, you can group different pictures with a similar theme to produce particular narratives, depending on what you’re trying to promote. 

Instagram stories are also shown at the top of the page, so it’s the first thing users see when they decide to go for a scroll. 

And it’s not just photos. Instagram stories allow you to play around with other formats like shorts, live streams, and boomerangs (short clips played on repeat).

It’s worth knowing that Instagram stories only work in the Instagram app. But this isn’t much of a concern because most users use it anyway.

Use influencer marketing

Your main goal when promoting a business is to get as many eyes on you as possible. And the most efficient way of doing that is to find pre-established audiences. 

Social media influencing is an increasingly popular form of advertising, and for good reason. 

Reach out to a popular influencer who’s audience would be interested in your photography business, then reach out to them for collaboration or sponsored promotion. 

If you manage to find the right partner, your business will be seen by an enormous new audience. If you continue to nurture that relationship, you’ll build positive PR with that audience and gain a good reputation that will help convince other influencers to work with you in the future. 

Post at the right time

Figuring out the correct number of posts, and the right time to post them, is almost as important as the content itself. 

When it comes to frequency, once or twice a day is probably the right amount. Not so much that your users’ feeds are swarmed with your posts, but not so few that they’ll forget about you. 

When it comes to times, you want to post on your account when people are most likely to be on Instagram. Generally speaking, this tends to be in the morning when people are getting ready for work and commuting (from 8am to 9am). 

Other popular times are at lunch breaks (from 11am to 1pm), and late at night (around 2am) for people who can’t sleep. 

That said, these are just general trends. You can see when most of your followers are active and post at the best times for them. 

Confidently manage your finances with a 2-in-1 app

Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.