There is no disputing the fact that there is little to beat the capability of Instagram for showcasing the creative talents of graphic designers. However, it can be a challenge to stand out in the crowd of graphic designers on Instagram because unless you can attract plenty of likes and comments and really engage your target audiences, your entire effort of posting on Instagram can go to waste.
Even though as a creative professional, you may wince at the need for having to market yourself, it is very clear that having the ability to impress on Instagram with a perfectly-curated design portfolio can be the essential difference between you and thousands of other designers vying for a share of the eyeballs of followers. Some practical tips for getting noticed on Instagram:
Create a Standout Bio
The way Instagram operates, the bio section is the first thing that users notice about your account and unless it makes for a compelling read, they will not bother to look further into the accounts. The bio is essentially a summary of who you are, what you do, and the value you can bring to the users following you. You have a maximum of 159 characters to convince people that you are worth following and engaging with. Make sure the bio contains the relevant hashtags that can ensure that your account can be discovered quickly and a link to your website that gives visitors access to your design portfolio.
Use the Algorithm of Instagram to Your Advantage
The way Instagram is programmed; posts with a high rate of engagement get priority on the feeds of followers. Rather than this acting as a limitation, you can do a number of things that will make people spend more time on your account; according to experts the longer people spend time on your posts, the more successful and noteworthy your account is deemed to be by Instagram. In addition to posting very high-quality and visually-stunning images of interesting graphics, you should include narrative text to support the images. However, the text should add value to the posts and not merely be sentences strung together in paragraphs just for the heck of it. Adding carousels and videos can also be good devices to encourage visitors to spend more time with you.
It is necessary to interact with your followers to build up the level of engagement that will translate into trust and enduring customer loyalty. You are expected to be active on your Instagram account by not only publishing your own content but also responding to comments, suggestions, and especially complaints from your followers. You should also take the time and effort to visit the accounts of those who follow and engage with you and like their posts and comment on them to build reciprocity that will be welcomed. It is not a good idea to send canned responses, as that will show that you not really interacting with followers on a personal basis. If you lack the critical mass of followers to create a buzz, think about using Gramblast to acquire real Instagram followers.
Encourage Followers to Engage
Even though Instagram boasts of the highest rate of engagement of all the social media channels, as per https://blog.hootsuite.com, it does not automatically mean that audience engagement is guaranteed. As a smart marketer of graphic design services, you need to devise creative ways of ensuring a high and consistent level of audience engagement. A good way is to use interesting captions that not only give more information regarding the post but also can enthrall users with the narrative style and humor that can bring back users repeatedly to your account. You can also ask thought-provoking questions or hold quizzes that followers will find interesting. The newly-introduced ‘ask questions’ Instagram feature gives a fun opportunity for users to get to know you better. Contest and freebies are always great for raising the level of customer engagement. As a graphic designer, you can really please followers who win with a personally autographed print of one of your creations; it is something that they will really treasure. Another good way of engaging with followers is by reposting any of their content that you find interesting. The fact that you are ready to appreciate the works of others and not only promote your own sends out a strong signal for followers to engage with you. Sharing the content of others is also a good way of filling out your publishing schedule and takes out some of the pressure of producing original content all the time. Devising ways of inviting user-generated content that you can feature on your Instagram account is also a good technique to add variety to the posts and encourage follower engagement.
Collaborate with Others in the Designer Community
Instagram is in more than one way a mirror of our lives so the usual rules of give-and-take also apply. A very effective way of making your mark in the community of creative artists is to offer your services on a barter basis or offer for collaboration. It is easier to make friends when you offer your services for free to another designer and request him to reciprocate. There are a lot of Instagram accounts that specialize in displaying the creations of artists and it can be worthwhile to try and get your works featured on them to get more exposure with the right kind of audience.
Instagram is constantly adding new features that make feeds of users more interesting; Instagram Stories is a great way of sharing additional content, especially with videos that appear right at the top of user feeds. You can also use your own social media accounts to drive users to your Instagram account. Even as you use new features like IGTV to create interesting videos on your smartphone, you should not forget to make use of conventional techniques like hashtags. As with every activity, you will get better results with proper planning. Use the right mix of image types, including behind-the-scenes, and time the publishing of the posts to get the best attention.
Image Credits: Graphic Designer from Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock