Instagram has emerged as an amazing channel for artists to grow their audience, get inspired and even sell their artwork.
The visual medium, easy uploading, vast audience and built-in discovery tools mean that whether you're creating giant pink 3D elephants or beautiful watercolours, Instagram can be a great channel for you.
But there are some key things you should know to grow your Instagram Art account.
These aren't going to be hacks or bots. For most artists, I think the most valuable thing about Instagram is that it gives them an easy and effective channel to share their work and potentially even make a good living doing so.
These tips are just a few things you should understand and be doing if you're an artist on Instagram. Over time they'll help provide some direction and let you focus more on creating!
In this post I'm going to overview:
- Setting up as a business account and why that's important
- Using your Bio
- Exporting your Insights
- Understanding Hashtags
- Matching up your Audience
- How to backup and analyse your Posts
Turn to a Business Account
The first thing you should do (if you haven't done so already) is turn your account into a Business Account.
You can do so at the click of a button using the link below.
Turning your account into a Business Account will give you access to Instagram insights which lets you learn a lot more about who's viewing and engaging with your posts.Instagram - how to turn your personal account into a Business account.
Keep your Bio relevant
Instagram gives people a quick way to see your work and discover you. But it doesn't provide a lot of opportunities for people to learn more about you outside of your posts, or many places where you can link to items you're selling.
The one place you can place a link is in your Bio.
Lukas Vojir uses his Bio to link straight to his website where he can provide more background and opportunities for people to connect with him.
For this reason, it's important to keep your Bio fresh. Test out new ideas and link to the most relevant / latest post.
Ideally, you want a website where you can have more control over the content. But tools like Linktree also are great for adding dynamic content to your site.
Export your Instagram Insights
This is where you can really understand what works about your account and what people don't respond to.
It's important to know that Instagram itself is it's own channel. What works on YouTube in a video format probably isn't going to have the same effectiveness on Instagram where people expect video in a shorter format.
Instagram gives you access to Insights to understand this. But there are a couple of limitations:
- It only shows insights for the last seven days
- Post insights require you to click in to each post
- That makes it really hard to compare posts or compare data over time
So instead of getting hung up on looking at your mobile every day to check the latest stats, you can export all of your data and get a better insight into what's working.
Gramreports allows you to do that. You can read this quick guide on how to set up a free account and export your Insights.
Understanding the Important metrics as an Artist
Once you have your insights exported, what should you be focusing on?
Here's an example from one such report:
As an artist - these are probably the first Instagram analytics you want to focus on.
Impressions will give you a sense of how many people are actually seeing your work, but what you really want to focus on are reach, profile views and engagement (discussed below).
You can correlate this all against the date to see if there are certain days (or periods) where people are particularly engaged with your account. Or if certain posts led people to viewing your profile where there's a chance they might click through to your website.
Hashtags are one of the few ways you can control how people discover your art on Instagram.
With the above report you'll be able to see three things:
- How many times you've used particular hashtags
- What hashtag you've used on each post
- What hashtags were used in posts where people have tagged you.
Knowing this, you can figure out which hashtags work the best to help people discover you - and what hashtags people might be using when they're looking for similar accounts.
Understand your Audience
Arguably the most powerful feature of having Instagram insights as an artist is the ability to know more about the hundreds or thousands of people that follow you.
This can help you decide what's the best way to interact with your Instagram followers.
Take the example below - I can see that Females aged 25 - 34 make up a fifth of my audience.
Now, this will be slightly skewed purely because that's among the biggest demographics on Instagram.
But if I'm selling large, expensive artwork, perhaps I want to be focused on a slightly older demographic such as females aged 35 - 44 who make up only 3.1% of my audience.
Perhaps Instagram is therefore suited to digital or prints of original artwork.
Similarly, using Gramreports I can understand the country from which my audience comes from.
In the below example, the U.S only makes up 19% of my audience.
Which means if I'm restrictingg who can purchase my art by limited shipping or payment options on my website I'm actually missing out on over 80% of the potential audience.
Understand your Posts
Saving the best for last - you'll also want to use Instagram Analytics to understand your posts themselves.
If you do export your data using a tool like Gramreports, you'll be able to get a full export of up to 1,000 of your posts.
This will provide insight into:
- How many comments each post has
- How engaged people were on each posts
- How many time each post was saved
- What the caption and hashtag was
It's also just handy having an export of all of your Instagram posts (including a link the the photo or video directly) which I think is super important as an artist to have a backup of your work incase anything does happen to your account.
Hopefully that gives you some ideas into how you can use Instagram Analytics as an artist to grow your following and even sell your work!
The goal is really to help you understand your followers better, and take time away from managing the boring stuff so you can focus on creating.
If that appeals to you, you can get started with a free Gramreports account. With a quick 5 minute setup, you'll be able to export a report on your account with all of the above information at the press of a button anytime you like.