Feeling stuck on Instagram lately? We've all had dips in engagement and it can be incredibly frustrating to spend hours on content for what feels like minimal return. That said, as I mentioned in a recent Reel of mine - even one new follower could potentially mean one real human that's a fan of your art and may later become a collector.
So before you throw in the towel on social media altogether, consider that maybe it's time for a little refresh to get your followers (and you) engaged again.
We all know that an artist's Instagram profile can be a powerful tool for showcasing creativity, connecting with other art lovers, and even driving sales. However, as the platform evolves, it's essential for artists to keep their profiles up to date with both current and relevant information.
If your Instagram profile has started to feel a bit stagnant, this article is for you. Read on to explore seven effective ways to breathe new life into your Instagram presence and captivate your audience once again.
1. Add Keywords in Your Bio and Throughout Captions
Keywords are important to discoverability on Instagram. Optimize your profile by including relevant keywords in your bio and strategically using them in your captions as well. This not only helps your profile appear in relevant search results but also clarifies your artistic niche to potential followers.
For example, if you're a watercolor artist specializing in landscapes, your bio could include keywords like "watercolor artist" and "landscape painter". These keywords signal to Instagram's algorithm and other users that your content aligns with their interests.
2. Delete or Update Highlights Section
Your Instagram highlights are like a curated gallery of specific aspects of your career. Take the time to review and update them regularly, or add new sections as needed. Remove outdated stories or highlights that no longer represent your current style, offers, or interests. Replace them with fresh content that showcases your latest work, exhibitions, behind-the-scenes glimpses of your creative practice, and more. If you offer commissions, highlights are a great way to explain your process for them to interested clients. You might also consider an FAQ highlight with your most common inquiries.
A well-organized highlights section can provide visitors with a quick overview of your creative journey, keep them engaged with your profile, and entice them to hit that follow button.
Artwork by Piya Samant
3. Check That All Links Work & Add Current or Relevant Links
Your Instagram bio allows you to include links, making it a valuable gateway to your website, online store, and any galleries you may be affiliated with. Regularly verify that the link is active and directs users to the most current and relevant destinations. Just like with highlights, it's a good idea to update these regularly to ensure you're not still promoting links of past events, sold works, or outdated media features.
Whether you have a link page on your own website (good for tracking analytics) or use an option like Linktree or Biosite, creating a landing page with multiple links allows you to share your website, blog, newlsetter signup or any other pages that might interest your followers. Simplifying navigation for your visitors helps them find what they want quickly and easily, which increases the likelihood that they will continue to interact with your page or content.
4. Consider Changing Your Profile Photo
If it's been a while since you updated your profile picture, it might be time for a change. Your new photo should be clear, well-lit, and representative of your current work. Plus, it's a sales tip! Sometimes the image you use as a profile photo (because it is getting that extra visibility) is the first one to sell ;)
Many artists opt for a self-portrait or an image of their artwork. Choose whichever fits you!
5. Ensure You Have a Call to Action in Your Biography Section
A compelling Instagram bio is your chance to engage your audience. Include a clear call to action (CTA) that tells visitors what you want them to do. Whether it's "Explore my latest collection below" or "Join my newsletter for exclusive updates," a well-crafted CTA can drive user engagement.
Make sure your CTA aligns with your overall goals, whether it's growing your email list, making sales, or boosting community engagement. Need more examples of CTA's? Here's a list.
Artwork by Kelsey Howard
6. Pin High-Performing or Most Important Posts and Reels
Instagram allows you to pin posts and reels to the top of your profile, ensuring that they're the first thing visitors see. Utilize this feature to highlight your best work, important announcements, or other content that aligns with your goals.
For instance, if you're promoting an upcoming exhibition, pin a post or reel showcasing a sneak peek or an installation view. Following this tip ensures that anyone visiting your profile gets the most relevant and impactful content right away.
7. Create a 'Start Here' Post
Make it easy for new followers to get acquainted with your work by creating a "Start Here" post. This could be a single image, carousel, or reel that introduces you and the essence of your art. Feel free to share a bit of your story and any milestones that have shaped your career to add personality.
Include a caption inviting new visitors to engage, explore your profile, and follow along in your creative journey. This post serves as a warm welcome and a useful orientation for anyone discovering your profile for the first time. But, it is also a strategic way to direct people to other parts of your profile as well. You could mention that visitors can "tap through my highlights to see how I handle commissions" or "head to my link in bio to join the waitlist for my artwork releases".
In conclusion, refreshing your Instagram profile doesn't require a complete overhaul. By implementing these seven strategies, you can easily revamp your presence on the platform. Happy posting!