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How to use Instagram Stories

29 Nov 2020 2:28 AM | Lesley Samms (Administrator)

Cultivating a successful Instagram presence...

Following on from our previous blog post talking about the Instagram feed, we were delighted to speak to a good friend of PURE and PURE ART360 artist, Hannah Buchanan about her experience with Instagram and she was kind enough to give us her top tips.

Hannah’s Top Tips for effective Instagram presence:

There are thousands of artists on Instagram who are all trying to do the same thing as you, so you need to make sure you are being creative and bold when it comes to standing out. 

Firstly, make sure all your content is high-quality. Professionalism is the priority here. An iPhone camera will be just fine but make sure you are posting sharp photos and avoid blurry, wonky or discoloured images. I will always touch up my photographs by making sure the horizon is straight and the photograph matches the real colours of my paintings and I never use filters. 

Secondly, post regularly. Every other day is a good rule of thumb and it doesn’t just have to be finished work. Show works in progress, your studio space, your colour palettes and anything that contributes to your practice!

Wise words there from Hannah - Professionalism, creativity and consistency really are the key!

In this blog post we really want to talk to you about Instagram Stories and Hannah’s tips for creativity, professionalism and consistency really work here too.

On stories, Hannah says: 

I once read somewhere that the great thing about using stories is that your followers can ignore them if they want to. 

If you are worried about posting too often, think about using your stories instead. Additionally, stories can be grouped into ‘highlights’ which can be shown in little bubbles at the top of your profile.

I have grouped some of my stories into ‘highlights’ with categories such as ‘pop-up shows’ or 'solo exhibitions’. 

I even have a highlight about my studio sunflower! This is a great way of showing your followers events they may have missed and it can show a little more of your personality than a single post.

We also spoke to PURE ART360 artist Richard Heeps about Stories and he said:

Just go for it, they only last 24 hours and can be deleted if you don’t like them. They are a great opportunity to share other people you like and build your community.”

They are both saying what we are all thinking. 

So here are our top tips for Instagram stories: 

1. As we highlighted in our previous blog post about the Instagram feed, the LOOK of Instagram is vitally important. Make sure to utilise ‘Highlights’ to save your stories. Make sure these are ordered, have structure and look good. This includes making the front image look professional and on brand, making sure the title tells you what is included, and making sure you include your most aesthetic Story posts in them.

2. Stories on Instagram act as an easily accessible window to your account. Often people will discover you through stories, so posting on them regularly throughout the day can be a quick, easy and low stress way to stay engaged with your audience. Document your day, your studio, your trip to the art shop (or even shopping online during these times!). Stories take the stress out

3.  As Hannah rightly points out, utilise stories to show your personality. Just as she has a story keeping her followers updated about her Sunflower, use these to show off your family life, your pets, your garden, whatever else you are passionate about. They flesh out the artist behind the perfectly curated Instagram feed. Your audience will love learning more about you and your life.

4. Show off your exhibitions and where your work has been exhibited. Make sure to tag the galleries, other artists, people that visit and any press. This will lead them to you and ensure they revisit your work! Fingers crossed they will also share your artwork again to their audiences. It’s all about cross promotion.

5.  Stories are a fantastic way to utilise those works in progress, those messy studio shots, or just those pictures you don’t want on the ‘portfolio’ of your Instagram page.

6. Have fun with your Stories! Utilise the widgets, the pen tool and the different text options to make them more ‘you’. Play around with colours and make them as aesthetic and interesting as you can. Your followers will love them!

We hope these tips are helpful, and that you enjoyed this blog post.

Next time we will be discussing HASHTAGS # !

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