Social media is a powerful method for sharing your art and growing a strong fan base. Instagram, for example, is an ideal platform for artists as it’s highly visual and there’s already a booming community of artists using it. While it may seem like photos of cats, memes, and selfies dominate most feeds, original works of art also thrive and you can use this platform to drive traffic to your Redbubble shop. Whether or not you are just starting an Instagram profile—or already have one—these tips can help you optimize your efforts.
Consistency is key. Creating a schedule and consistent flow of posts can help grow your profile and encourage engagement. It’s a good idea to post at least once per day. It could be anything from a work in progress shot, sketch, or even a video showing your creation process. This steady stream of posts will help keep your art in the minds of your fans and give them something to share. There are many scheduling services out there to help you, one of our favorites is Buffer and it happens to be free for individuals. You can use Buffer to schedule your posts right from your browser, then using their mobile app send the scheduled posts right into Instagram. Easy peasy.
Tip: If you do decide to post more than once per day, make sure to stagger your posts, for example post once in the morning and another in the afternoon.
It might seem like a good idea to add a whole heap of hashtags, but it’s actually more effective to choose tags wisely and not add so many that it detracts from any text that accompanies the post. There has been some research that has found that 11+ tags are the most effective, but the quality of the tags is just as important. Do some research and find tags that are relevant to your work and style, and choose a few of the more popular ones. This precision with choosing tags is like using a laser pointer to pick your potential fans out of a large crowd. The overall goal is to have a good mix of highly popular tags, specialized tags, and tags in the middle range.
Tags can be added to the main text area of your post, or if you want to keep your posts clean looking add them to the first comment. This is especially helpful if you have other social media profiles attached to your Instagram and you share your posts to each one of them.
Tip: It’s a good idea to tag your Instagram username. This way if fans share you work, your username is shared with it.
The most important tip of all is to post great content. With the new algorithm changes to Instagram, high performing content will be more likely to show up in your fan’s feeds more often. Engaging content is more likely to be shared and tagged so that other users can see it. This will greatly increase the visibility and reach of your posts. Make sure your images are bright and crisp so that mobile and desktop viewers always see beautiful content. It might even encourage them to use the new zoom feature to check out all those details.
When taking photos of your works, prints, or sketches, try arranging a little scene to make the image more engaging. Medusa Dollmaker for example, posts beautiful photos that not only showcase her work, but also the tools she uses and other elements she associates with her work. This is a great tactic as it not only makes your images more unique, but also harder for the image to be cropped out. If you want to use watermarks, you could add them to your image setup in a way that adds to the scene and doesn’t detract from the work, so maybe your Instagram handle is seen on a business card or a sticker next to your drawing. Get creative.
So, before you upload anything ask yourself if the image is cohesive with the rest of your feed, compelling, and contributes to the story of your art.
Pro-tip: If you do take arranged images with your tools, make sure to tag the companies. We love seeing artists tag #Redbubble, and so will those that make your favorite pens and drawing tablets.
Connect your Instagram to your Redbubble profile, start uploading great content, and share a link in the comments below.