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How to Grow Your Instagram Account - Part VIII
When to post and other tips
A lot of artists are disappointed with some of the recent changes at Instagram. The algorithm has evolved, as they always do, and some artists are having trouble seeing the engagement that they used to.
But first, in case you missed it, I recently let you know that we, BoldBrush, are addressing this situation. Artists NEED a photo sharing app without all the TikTok algorithm insanity. So we have released a social media app called “Musero” - it is a new photo sharing network that works very similarly to the original Instagram: Easy photo and art sharing. Chronological Feed. No crazy algorithm. No TikTok style insanity. It also has some features that Instagram always lacked - for example - you can embed links to your website into a post on Musero. It also supports groups.
Musero is now live and available in both Apple’s App Store (for iOS) and Google Play (for Android). Once you install the app, there is also a link to a web version which you can use to post from your desktop computer if you find that helpful. Here’s what it looks like:
If you haven’t already singed up for Musero, be sure to do it. It’s free and ready for you to start promoting your art. We plan to start inviting more artists and collectors to join next week.
OK, back to Instagram. The changes are disappointing, however, all is not lost (and our @boldbrush account is killing it under the new Instagram algorithm), today we’re continuing our series to help you understand how to be successful on Instagram and how to work with their algorithm instead of against it. The things you learn in this series are valuable, however, if you pair them with what we covered in the Studio Sale series and the Circles of Art Marketing series you will 10X your results. If you are a paid Sovereign Artist Club member you can review our past article series on our Sovereign Artist Resources page. If you’re not yet a paying member, please consider joining here.
Here’s are the articles we’ve already sent in this series if you’d like to catch up:
1. The Instagram Algorithm
2. Who you should follow
3. What you should consume
4. What you should post
5. What you should post - advanced tactics
7. Your Brand on Instagram
8. Posting Timing and Other Tips
9. Deleting Posts
In today’s article we’re going to talk about your post timing and other tips to be successful on Instagram.
OK, let’s go!
When To Post
Instagram’s analytics often recommend that you post at lunchtime and right after work - noon at 5pm. So lots of people do post at those times. Think about those times like you think about a rush hour: you get buried in a sea of cars. Everyone tries to do the same thing. Every other painter on Instagram or every other artist always posts at the same two times: noon, and 5pm, sometimes maybe nine, but usually noon and 5pm.
If you post at those times, you're going to get buried not in a sea of cars, but in a sea of posts. To help you avoid that, we have a different recommendation for when you should be posting…
Think a little bit about human psychology and use it to your advantage. People are more likely to scroll and pay attention to Instagram after work, at home, with a glass of wine between 6pm to 11pm. I’m guilty of this personally. In fact, I rarely have the urge to even look at Instagram unless I’m relaxed, have wine, and perhaps am a little bored. That only happens in the evenings. Some people may scroll Instagram in the morning between six and 8am. So those would be the ideal times to be posting: in the evening or early in the morning. Of course, if most of your followers are overseas, you will need to alter your times to adjust for time zone differences.
Another reason why people will be more likely to engage on Instagram in the evening is because of the fact that human psychology studies show that people have more willpower in the morning. According to studies, each person has a “set” amount of willpower for the day. And each time you use willpower, you deplete some of it. So a lot of people will wake up and think, ”I'm not going to get on Instagram today!” Or, “I'm going to stay off my phone today.” But by that evening, their willpower has already been used up because they’ve used it throughout the day to perform other tasks or to stay resilient against other cravings. People are more likely to fall prey to scrolling on Instagram after their willpower has been used up. And that’s a good time to be posting. This is the same reason in earlier eras people vegged out in front of the television in the evenings.
Day of the week
One of the best days to post a sale is Thursday. This also comes back to human psychology. By starting a sale on a Thursday, people haven't quite thought about the consequences of how buying something will impact their discretionary income over the weekend.
Do the opposite
Another really cool trick that you can utilize to stand out is to do the opposite (It worked for George Costanza, it can work for you!). If you have a bunch of other artists on your feed who are sharing plein air paintings, post a portrait instead. It’ll stand out. All the followers you might have in common might be expecting some more plein air, but when they see that portrait jump out at them it will be a surprise. And that can help you stand out and get noticed.
How to create tasteful posts
One of the tricks we recommend at BoldBrush is that you find 10 artists who have pages similar to yours or share work similar to yours. Check that their engagement is good: If they have over 10,000 followers, that's a good sign. And an even better sign is if they have 2% engagement. That means likes comments, etc, but especially likes, if they have 2% of their followers engaging with their posts.
Once you’ve found your 10 artists, research their page, find the Reels that have performed the best and imitate them. Don’t copy - imitate. It’s true that great artists steal, but, as a friend of mine Thomas J. Bevan says, “there’s a world of difference between being a master jewel thief and a petty burglar.” Stay authentic to your brand. You want to still be yourself. But you can see how they have presented their work and do something similar in your own style.
Don’t reinvent the wheel. If you know something works, and it has worked for someone else, especially a high performing art page, don’t do something different just to be different.
Another trend that can make the wrong impression, if you’re not careful, is photographing yourself with your artwork. If you do that, make sure that your work is the highlight, not you. If you highlight yourself, at best you are drawing attention to the wrong thing and, at worst, you might attract the wrong type of attention or the wrong type of followers. You want your followers to be people that will take you seriously and seriously consider buying your art. So when you're taking pictures with your work, try to do it in a very tasteful way where you are not the center of attention. There are tasteful ways to do this, even so, we recommend you limit the number of posts with yourself. Of course, have a few, sharing yourself and your artistic story is part of the overall brand, just don’t turn your Instagram feed into a selfie feed and, please, keep it professional and tasteful.
The same thing applies to popular video trends. You probably don’t want to participate in those. Again, you want the work to be the highlight. You don't really want to be that TikTok dancing person because, again, that's just drawing attention to you and not your work. You’ll end up with more followers perhaps; probably a lot of probably young people who maybe won't have the means to be able to purchase your work. They're just going to be there for the entertainment and not so much for the appreciation and purchasing of your work. This is why we recommend that you find other artists who have well performing pages with tasteful ways of posting themselves with their work and imitate that
Next up, we’ll share some advice about deleting posts.
That’s our topic for next week’s article, which will be locked at available in full for paid members only.
If you are a paid member, and just can’t wait to get started, click the button below to watch our video How to Grow Your Instagram which covers, in video format, everything we’re going to cover over the next several weeks.
See ya next week!
PS - Looking ahead, after we finish this series (in two more weeks), we’re taking a break from all the Instagram stuff and will be looking at good old fashioned tips on how to close a sale.