For those of you who have been following me, you may know that I have always been on Instagram from its early stages in life. I’m active on the app and enjoy the thriving community of like-minded individuals. It’s not only a great place to look at pretty pictures, but is also a great place to find inspiration and chat with other photographers.
Ever since Periscope came along on March 26, 2015, it has changed how much time I put into Instagram—and that’s saying a lot coming from a photographer! Although it took me an entire month to start broadcasting myself, I now enjoy a healthy list of loyal followers and new ones that pop in and out to see what I’m up to.
This blog post details some important points that I have used over on Instagram, to better myself as a user on Periscope. Keep in mind though, that these points are in no way limited to just these two outlets. If you incorporate these points to other social media outlets like Twitter or Pinterest, you will more than likely be able to enjoy the experience there more as well. For this post, however, I will compare these points as it relates to Instagram and Periscope.
Social media is based around a sense of global community amongst its users. If you play well within these communities, your experience will be that much more rewarding.
Be consistent (with your content and across outlets)
- Instagram: Posting a consistent type of photo plays to your advantage because people will know what your feed is all about. They will come back to your feed because they like what they see, and expect to see similar things in the future. If your photos are all over the place in terms of style and content (much like how mine was in my earlier years), it makes it harder for people to get to know you, and hence follow you.
- Periscope: Similarly, people like to come back to your broadcasts because they enjoy and expect the same type of content from you. Why do we like Claire Waddington‘s (@clairewad) broadcasts? Because we enjoy her walking tours of Paris. Why do we like Mark Shaw (@markshaw)? Because we know every time he broadcasts, he will give us his straight-to-the-point, no fuss tips on how to better use Periscope and Twitter.
- To even further your online brand, be consistent from one social media platform to the next, in terms of what you upload. All of these social media outlets build up to be your online image, so it is important that you get the right message across all mediums.
Engage with followers
- Instagram: Go on other people’s feeds, like their photos and comment on their photos to let them know you like what you see. Start conversations to build relationships with other users. This sense of community will make you feel more involved within the app itself and make for a more meaningful experience.
- Periscope: Go on other people’s broadcasts and comment on what they are broadcasting about. Don’t just say “hello!” but bring in meaningful comments that add value to the broadcaster and other viewers. Broadcasters are waiting to “converse” with their viewers so take advantage of this. This will build better relationships with your followers and it will be much more meaningful for you as a broadcaster.
Acknowledge people’s efforts
- Instagram: Like other people’s photos to let them know you appreciate what they’re uploading. Going along with Point 2, when you engage with the uploader and like their photos, they may be more inclined to visit your stream and like yours too. This is all part of building relationships with your followers.
- Periscope: Give the broadcaster hearts to let them know that you appreciate what they are broadcasting about. This is a great motivator for the broadcaster to continue doing what they are doing on their account. Sharing the broadcast is the one thing unique with Periscope, and is a great way to support the broadcaster by increasing their exposure to others who do not follow them.
Upload on a consistent basis
- Instagram: Upload on a regular basis so your followers don’t forget about you and your style of photography. This way, whenever they see your style, they will recognize it is from you. You’ll be more recognizable this way.
- Periscope: Broadcasting on a regular basis allows you to have more exposure with your followers, keeping you at the top of their minds. Broadcasts on Periscope are only available for 24 hours after you save it. If you have nothing in your Recent tab in your account, non-followers who are curious about you will not have a chance to find out what you are all about. By broadcasting on a consistent basis, you’ll always have something in your Recent list, allowing that to market you while you’re offline from the app.
- Instagram: Hashtags allow your photo to be seen by your non-followers by performing searches. This is a great way to gain more exposure with minimal amount of work.
- Periscope: Use hashtags in your titles so your periscopes can be searchable on Twitter, and can be viewed by web-viewers. The key here is to attract as many web-viewers as possible. Why? Chances are, they are viewing this on the web because they don’t have the app on their mobile device. As soon as Periscope for Android comes out, who do you think these Android users will follow? They’ll no doubt search for people who they’ve been watching on the web!
There are no doubt other important lessons to be learned from Instagram and other social media platforms, but these are what I felt were the most transferable, and important for those that seek to get the best experience out of the apps.
If you have more suggestions, please feel free to let me know in the comments below!