Instagram is getting harder for artists to grow their accounts. I opened this account in December 2020 and it used to be just a place for promoting my Redbubble store.
With that thought, I used to post a lot, 3 times a day and everyday. It was easy when I just needed to take screenshots from my RB shop and then post them on my IG. I used to share a lot posts and tag other people who have the same niche as mine on my stories. Most of them followed me and at that time I got many Redbubble friends and we supported each other even on RB. I also did some IG Ads to get traffic to my RB shop. It took time and money. I’d done that for 2 months. I got followers from other RB owners and no one was interested in my artworks, they followed me because they wanted me to follow them back. Some followers also came from my Ads but they weren’t interested in what I’m doing at all.
In February I found Evolution membership and decided to be serious in surface pattern design career. I joined Evolution and got new friends who are people from Evolution and we also followed each other on IG. I felt like I bothered my friends when I shared other RB shops posts everyday and I needed to change my strategy and grow my IG in professional way.
Now I don’t share other posts much because I don’t have time and I focus on my process. I’m sharing more about what I’ve learnt that I think can also helpful for other and what I’m doing to grow as a surface pattern designer. I had to research a little bit about IG and here are what I’m doing now to grow my IG.
Your stories are important. The more you show up the more you reach more people. Take a little time in your day sharing what you’re making or creating as an artist or engaging with other people in your niches. I love when people reply on my stories, so I also do that on stories other.
Your posts and feed are important, because if someone visits your profile that are what they see first. Planning your feed is a good idea. But what if you don’t have such a lot of posts to schedule? You can see your feed via an app called Inpreview. Don’t login via your IG account, I’ve heard IG doesn’t like the third party so you can just see your feed by add your IG name. When you have a post that you want to share just put it into the app and see if it looks good on your feed.
You don’t need to have a finished artwork to share you can also share your Work in progress. The important is your consistency and you show up no matter what.
If you think you don’t have much time, just post at least 4 times a week, but you should post often.
If you have some target hashtags you should put them to your post. Check those hashtags often, like and comment on other posts. Instagram is all about engagement and connect to people.
Choose about 30 hashtags for your post with 5 hashtags are your target which has less than 500k used. If you used hashtags has more than 500k the chance your post to show up is low. (I’m sure everyone knows that).
You should have about 5 groups of 30 hashtags. Because if you post the same 30 hashtags everyday IG will think you are a bot and it will hide your post. You can see your engagement somehow goes down and you get less likes than often. Change your groups of hashtags every 2 posts.
Check your feed and comment at least 3 posts a day from other. Like other posts. Growing IG is a hard work too. But take your time. You can do that by go to IG 2 times a day and 15 minutes for each time.
The important is also show your followers your progression. Don’t show the same photos every time. Telling a little bit about what you’ve learned might also help others.
Join challenges, choose some challenge that the host shares your post on their stories. Avoid challenge that has millions people and the hashtags have already millions users. I used to waste my time with some challenge that I wasn’t interested enough and just joined with the hope that they would share my post. The host even wrote me that I should follow the rules to get chance to be featured on their story. That’s funny! But sometimes there are some IG challenge that I’m super excited to join even I got nothing from the host, except the prompt to practice what I want to spend my time. Take your time and think before you join some challenge.
Learn to make Reels to gain more reaches. That people are doing nowadays to get their accounts to be seen in this platform. I used to waste moneys for Ads on IG and Reels even helps me reach more people.
I’m not professional at making Reels, but from my experience the music you choose for your Reel is important. Roll down all the Reels with high reaches and save all their music. Music has about 100k used is great.
I realized when I put my hashtags to my Reel when I upload it, then I get less reaches. I think Reel actually don’t need hashtags when you have a popular music already. If you want to put hashtags anyway you can put the day after that day you publish your Reel to help it again pops up again. I actually don’t have many tips for Reels. You can research how to make good Reel on Google.
Consistency is the key and keep showing up. If you don’t want to be hurt by the number of followers just don’t care about it, do your work you need to do with IG. Take care of your mental health is important, don’t let the number or engagement or any social media hurt you. Be strong and know what you are doing. You control it! Growing takes time for sure! Just need to be patient!
Some notes from a IG owner and also trying my best to grow it! Hope these can help you!
7th November 2022
I have not posted to IG often recently. But I want to show you one of my popular post that brought me a lot of traffic when I got the algorithm worked for me in March 2022.