Should I give up on Instagram?
alexw last edited by
@NessIllustration In your opinion, would you say that when you write in the caption to make sure it's cleverly descriptive of the piece but also applicable or I guess contextual to the artwork posted? Is that why I see people sort of "segmenting" the caption to "this is my airplane piece, this is the medium I used....hey fyi, I have a patreon, come check it out!"
@alexw Describing the piece isn't necessarily the way to go. We have to think about how people search for art/artists. They rarely search "pink elephant artwork in gouache on Canson paper"... Instead they search styles, vibes, markets. Maybe media. Keywords like "art, artwork, drawing, digital art, picture book illustration" written in the caption itself not just hashtags, then some describing the style like anime for example.
There's much more to writing an optimized caption, like encouraging engagement or starting conversation to boost our metrics, or calls to action to convert followers to leads or buyers. That's where the segmenting you mention comes in handy - my Patreon! 10% off in my art shop right now! etc
Blitz55 last edited by
I also have a small following.
I've been posting art on Instagram (My Instagram) for just shy of a decade at this point, fairly frequently, but mostly just my sketches, doodles, concepts and ideas. Not a lot of high end finished work or anything. I think at my most I averaged at about 50 Likes a post, sometimes into the 70s and 80s, sometimes in the 20s and 30s.
Today It's mostly about 20 - 30 some likes per image. I've only broken the 100 like mark a few times I think, and only once did I have something get over 300 likes, but that was a Reel, not an image.
While I never have used it to create a name for myself, I'd often thought of it back then, but honestly, I think the days of building a brand on there are all but over. Well, at least without some serious strategy, marketing, and building it across other platforms like TikTok with videos.
But I don't think you should give it up if you enjoy it. At this point, for myself, it's only for friends and family as well as myself. When people ask what I do, I show them my instagram page.
Blitz55 last edited by
- Using relevant keywords in your captions to help Instagram know what it's about. Hashtags have been declining in usefulness for YEARS and don't do much at all anymore.
That is something I've been wondering about for a while now. I think I've been using hashtags just out of habit and not really following what the trends are. But I've honestly been wondering how relevant they are. It was only recently I heard someone mention that using at most 5 hashtags is best and anything more you're just wasting time. Interesting to know.
Excellent post by the way. I may try some of that myself just out of curiosity to see if it works for my own page even though I'm not really worried about growing it, it could be fun.
@Blitz55 It seems like you've been going through the motions for a decade on Instagram. You don't really mind if you're growing or not, but I wonder how much time you end up spending on it every year I bet it adds up to a significant amount!
I've been thinking a lot lately about that, and if we're going to spend that much time on it, we might as well do a minimum of research and simple tweaks to optimize our posts so we can get the most out of our efforts. If not, we might as well just leave Instagram and do something better with out time, you know?
Blitz55 last edited by Blitz55
@NessIllustration I've probably spent more time scrolling on there than posting but I know exactly what you mean. For me, part of it was it was just this social media platform to post images, so I posted art along with other life stuff for a few years. I wasn't really serious about making it as an artist or getting myself out there in any meaningful way. It's a longish story but drawing and posting to instagram ended up being kind of a tool to One: get me back into art and Two: pulled myself out of a hellish rut in life I'd created for myself.
Once I switched to just posting my art and not life stuff or other things I don't think I took on a new mindset of getting the most out of it, as you said I simply stuck with just going through the motions and always kind of have.
My attitude toward who I am as an artist and what I want from it has evolved through the years and my confidence has grown to a point where I think I see myself as the kind of artist who could make something of his work. So had I been where I am today back then I may have focused more on taking full advantage of the platform and looked at it as a tool more than just a place to post art and then let it be.
Even just reading this, and this small interaction with you has me interested in trying something new because yeah, at this point I just sort of post to post to keep it up and it might be more fun to try and change it up a bit and see what I could do with it. Even if it isn't quite the platform it used to be.
@Blitz55 That's such a great journey! It seems like you've gotten a lot out of Instagram over the years I hope it keeps being good for you on the next leg of your journey!
Norman Morana last edited by Norman Morana
I have been thinking a lot about the state of instagram as far as posting artwork and how I want to fit into that. I have taken a break from posting on IG, I have a backlog of images waiting that I'm starting to trickle out. Really, I want to make a good experience for people who view my work.
It sounds a little crazy to me to make art that has to get the attention of an artificial brain and has to fit some equation. I don't think this makes a good experience for the viewer. I see these trends where people stand holding a canvas or paper and they wait a few seconds before revealing the work. Or seeing a video where there's really no content and a whole essay to read in the caption. The caption ones get me. I find them usually long winded and difficult to read given there is a clip looping in the background, obscuring the copy. These all seem to be tricks to try to get the watch time up, so they make a computer happy. I think the work suffers.
Where I'm going from here. I know it's going to be more difficult being out of the algorithm. My hope would be that good work can still shine through. I want to make work that is enjoyable for the viewer and is still good in a decade, regardless of what the algorithm is doing. I want to make work that I would want to view. I want to be obsessed with my work.
The algorithm will change and date all of those sorts of videos mentioned. I think this will also require more work outside of social media.
I have a bias, but I think this really goes along with what @Mimi-Simon posted here, talking about what you want out of IG. I think you should be looking for goals that aline with yourself and the strategy you want to use to accomplish those goals. Do you want to grow an audience while following trends? It does work for people. I do wonder what kind of audience that really is, though.
kayleenartlover last edited by
I appreciate all the advice and critiques and suggestions and I’m glad to see that the chat has been helpful to others in the forum as well.
I haven’t had much enjoyment with instagram for… a while. Yes the numbers are frustrating, and pretty disappointing when “the numbers” make it feel like I haven’t gotten better at art, like it isn’t good enough. I just get so excited to share my progress, but Instagram does not seem like the place to show it.
So it looks like I have options on ways to make the posts better, or maybe I consider not posting for a while, again. It would be nice to learn more about “key words” and how to do it.
I’ll eventually make a website once my portfolio is ready. That can substitute the “location for portfolio” part that I use Instagram for.
I left Instagram after I finally realized I simply wasn't interested in investing my efforts there. I just wasn't a good fit as I had no motivation to make Reels or try to appease the algorithm. It took me far too long to come to terms with the fact that I was really just using it as an archival repository and posting on automatic pilot out of obligation.
I transferred all my work to Pixelfed. Removing myself from the very large ocean of Instagram (where I came to realize I couldn't control comparing myself negatively to so many others) to a much much (MUCH!) smaller pond ended up restoring a bit of my own self-confidence. Pixelfed doesn't have a profit motive nor an algorithm, and "removing myself from the Instagram narrative" was ironically what I needed to start feeling like I had agency.
I don't feel as much pressure now. I don't feel as demoralized. I post without the nagging feeling I'm not doing enough. Of course, I have a significantly smaller number of followers (in a year I have a third of what I grew on Instagram over 5+ years though), and fewer people see my stuff but in the end it's actually a bit of an even wash. My reach on Instagram wouldn't go anywhere without significant effort anyway.
Pixelfed will never be the behemoth and centralized hub that Instagram has become, but after the personal epiphany I had, I'm just... a happier poster. My chances of being "discovered" on Instagram were non-existent anyway, so I didn't lose anything. And the work I'm sharing is reaching actual eyes not bots.
It was a good choice for me. It's not everyone's cup of tea.
Mark Note last edited by
It's important not only to get followers, but also to keep in touch with them by responding to comments and likes, posting new videos, etc. This is very important if you want to develop a successful Instagram channel.
jvartandillustration last edited by
I’ve responded to a similar post before on this topic, but I’ll just state again that Instagram is very different now than it was before. It isn’t really suitable for artists as much anymore, especially if you’re just wanting to post still photos or static artwork.
All other social media platforms are basically just becoming Tik Tok now. YouTube has shorts, Insta has reels, etc etc. If you bounced around from one to another, you’d notice that it’s all cross-posting that started on Tik Tok.
It was a lot easier to develop a following way back when. If you’re serious about building a new following, you have to play the game. Create some short but interesting videos, and you could be successful.
I personally have too much going on in the rest of my life, so I kind of threw in the towel on this one. I’m just too busy, and you have to feed the algorithm, so if you’re committed, I’d say go for it. I would keep in mind that keeping on top of this sometimes means following trends, and changing how you do things.
Good luck to you.
kayleenartlover last edited by
@Mark-Note comments are non-existent aside from the occasional "dm us at such and such for promo" scam bot.