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How to use Instagram: Steps and Advantages for Visual Artists

Do you know about a new trendy thing called Instagram that all the cool young minds seem to be into? Instagram is a social networking app which allows users to share photos and videos from a smartphone.

What is Instagram

Instagram is a social media platform similar to facebook, twitter or any other social networking app. You can also say that Instagram is the simplified version of facebook in which you have to create an Instagram account and then you’ll get your own profile and news feed.

When you post a photo or video on Instagram, it will be displayed on your profile. Other users who follow you will see your posts in their own feed. Likewise, you'll see posts from other users whom you choose to follow.

There are lots of features that Instagram gives you to make your social media presence more effective. Just like other social networks, you can interact with other users on Instagram by following them, being followed by them, commenting, liking, tagging and private messaging. You can even save the photos and videos you see on Instagram.

Creating an Account on Instagram

You can use Instagram only after creating your account. You can sign up via your existing Facebook account or by email. All you need is a username and a password.

By default, anyone can see your profile and posts on Instagram but if your account is set to private, only your approved followers will see your photos or videos on hashtag or location pages.

However, more people won't be able to follow you directly. They will have to send a request and you will have to accept it in order to make them your follower. If you're using Instagram for personal use, then, yes you can keep it private. But when using Instagram to promote your artworks, your account should be public. People are much less likely to follow you if they can't see your images and if they have to ask for permission.

Marketing tool for artists

“I can post a painting and it will sell before the paint is dry,” explains Ashley Longshore, who sells her eccentric pop art for upwards of $30,000 straight off of Instagram.

And, she’s not the only one. Artist Chris Austin enjoys “flash sales” of his latest work, getting emails from eager buyers within minutes of posting on Instagram. With these examples and more in mind, it’s safe to say Instagram has become the social media platform for artists.

Points to remember


Before you can start using the app, Instagram will ask you to create a free account and then you have to set your profile.

The first thing in your profile that attracts the viewer is your profile picture, so your profile picture must be yours.

You should clearly mention your username (Mention your real name) it must be short and simple.


When it comes to posting your artwork on any social networking app select the best picture of your artwork, use a good filter that can make your artwork as original as it is.


Be creative about the caption, if you want to make your artwork more interesting then you must use a captivating caption for your artwork. You can use famous quotes and poems related to your artwork as a caption. 


Tagging identifies someone else in a post, photo or status update that you share. A tag may also notify that person that you have mentioned them or referred to them in a post or a photo, and provide a link back to their profile.


To mention someone, type @ followed immediately by their username (example: "great photo, @shuruart !"). Don't include a space between @ and the username. When you mention someone, they'll get a notification in their Activity Feed letting them know.


After you tag your post with a hashtag, you'll be able to tap the hashtag to see a page that shows all photos and videos people have uploaded with that hashtag.

Things to keep in mind: When people with private profiles tag posts, they won't appear publicly on hashtag pages.

Numbers are allowed in hashtags.

Whenever a user adds a hashtag to their post, it's able to be indexed by the social network and becomes searchable/discoverable by other users. T

he most important thing to keep in mind when deciding what hashtags to use is that you're being intentional — as in, you're using hashtags that your target audience is actually searching for and following! According to Tooby, It's important to switch up your Instagram hashtags in every post to avoid being “spammy.”

Sharing mode

You can share your post on different social networking app at the same time from Instagram. Once you link accounts and allow Facebook to be connected to your Instagram, you'll have the option to share a post to Facebook from the same screen where you add a caption.

Instagram stories

Instagram Story is a feature that lets users post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours. Instagram Stories have only been around for a few years, but they already managed to gain huge popularity, enjoyed by more than 400 million daily users.


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