In between puppy pictures, your cousin’s family portraits, and your friend’s DJ set, it sometimes seems like Instagram picks and chooses what you see and don’t see. And in fact, it does. Here’s a quick guide on how to hack the Instagram algorithm and get your artwork seen by the right people.
Let’s all first collectively recognize that we’re not NOT using Instagram because of frustrations with the app and how it’s run. Choosing the right angle and crop, adjusting your exposure, and crafting the perfect, subtly witty, smart-but-not-pretentious caption isn’t enough to get you in front of new audiences. Let’s talk about the most crucial part of the Instagram algorithm-the hashtags. Hashtags help you get discovered more easily by people who are not following you based on keywords. This might feel too generic, but will help you be seen and get discovered by all kinds of people. A few you should think about adding: #art, #artistic, #photooftheday #drawing #painting #artoftheday #instaartist #artwork #artistsoninstagram.
Pro Tip 1: Save the hashtags on your notes app so you can always copy and paste when you want to take a pic and don’t have the energy to remember every hashtag that’s been upping your likes.
Pro Tip 2: If you’re embarrassed for your friends to see that you’re hashtagging, plug them at the bottom of your caption (and put “.” or “ “ for each return) so that they’re not seen “above the fold”, but still work to makes your posts discoverable.
Something else that seems minor but can actually give you a boost is considering the time of day you post. Is most of your viewership based on the east coast but you’ve been busy with your residency in Seattle? Post your Insta in the morning when people are still scrolling while in bed for the most views and if you have the time (and content), post throughout the week during the most popular days, Tuesday through Fridays. You’ll start to notice posting at a similar time of day creates a routine for many people to see your posts and therefore more double taps!
While Instagram is par for the course of being an artist, or really anyone in today’s world, there are more options to help you expand your audience. Marcel puts your artwork in front of the eyes of people who are actually interested in seeing art, including other artists, collectors, gallerists, and curators. When you upload your latest art to the Marcel feed, it can be seen by the rest of the Marcel community. Unlike Instagram, Marcel actually quantifies your views and shares (and yes, we track your likes and send your inbound inquiries right to your inbox) - so that you have a better idea of what’s getting traction.
Though we all have our misgivings about Instagram, having an active account is part of the gig.