Social media is becoming an important tool for all self publishing artists and photographers. So having a presence on both Facebook and Instagram is a great opportunity to get greater exposure of your work and a chance to make more sales.
This assumes of course that your work is genuinely saleable. Let's be honest, if your work is unappealing (ask a friend) and you don't have a focused niche then it might not be worth all the trouble.
If you already use email for marketing then you're off to a flying start. This is because you can repurpose the content from your email marketing on to Instagram and Facebook. In effect you are getting your message out to as many people as possible. It could be a story about your latest artwork, a recently successful sale, a forthcoming show, a special offer, newly available greeting card - the list is endless.
In case you didn't know it, Facebook owns Instagram and it is possible to link your Instagram and Facebook accounts to share posts. Once you link accounts, you'll have the option to share a post from Instagram to Facebook from the same screen where you add a caption.
So how do you get started on Instagram? One of the first things to do is understand how hashtags work. If Instagram was a TV, then hashtags would be the channels, there are hundreds of thousands of them and if you find the right ones they can make your posts discoverable for people searching for art like yours.
Your first plan is to research what hashtags might work for you, the ones that correspond to the type of art you do and that are also popular. Go to the search icon at the bottom of the screen on Instagram and type in keywords that relate to your art, for example seascape photography. Enter this as all one word (seascapephotography) and select tags as the filter.
You're now going to see a list of related hashtags, look for the ones with a healthy number of posts, say in the tens of thousands. Click on one of them and Instagram will display a grid showing you the top posts and also the most recent posts for that hashtag. In addition, at the top of the screen is a bar showing related hashtags suggested by Instagram.
Click through some of the top posts and find artists who have a large following and a good understanding of hashtags. Make a note of the ones they are using and keep a list of the best ones, just be sure to match hashtags that are relevant to your work.
You're ready now to start testing and see how many of the hashtags you researched get you the most engagement.
Don't forget to complete your bio, it's the only place on Instagram where your followers can click on a link. So link to a website where people can buy your art!