Instagram used to be a great place for still photographers to hang out. That was in the halcyon days before Meta took over the popular social media app, and keeping up with the algorithm became a never-ending game. It’s been tempting to stop posting altogether, especially as Insta seems to be more interested in keeping influencers happy than their regular users.
But does it have to be this way? Is there still a way to use Instagram that can help your photography business? Scott from Tin House Studio seems to think so. Except that most of us are doing it wrong. In this video, Scott shares his personal views and ideas on how to use Instagram to your advantage in 2023.
Scott says that he did a quick test and found that you cannot grow your Instagram following without doing reels. There’s a shock, we’ve known that for a while now. But how can we use reels better as still photographers?
Scott actually has a totally different take on Instagram. Basically, we are going about it all wrong. “Followers don’t matter,” he says. He then poses the question: So if followers don’t matter, what does? It’s a good question. Why are we even using Instagram in the first place?
Scott keeps his Instagram account purely confined to the commercial photography work that he does and the world connected with that niche. He doesn’t post his educational-related content there. This, I think, is key. Choose a niche for one social media outlet, keep it consistent, and keep at it.
Scott keeps his Instagram feed and stories very much aligned with his other marketing. He’s trying to catch the art directors’ attention on their 5-minute tea break when they have a quick scroll on Instagram. So he targets his feed towards exactly that. The majority of his followers don’t matter. It’s all about being top of mind when the call comes in, and the art buyers and creative directors are looking for a photographer.
Once again, it all boils down to knowing your audience. Keep them top of mind when creating your content, and then engage with them and build relationships. Post work on your grid, and post behind the scenes on your stories. That’s all there is to it. It’s not a numbers game in terms of followers.
I don’t know about you, but I find this approach very refreshing. What is your approach to Instagram?