Tag Archives instagram

#Love #Me—two of the current top three hashtags on Instagram. Perhaps that follows suit with what many of the population think of hashtags being overused as narcissistic, vain, attention-grabbing props, but let me tell you that that isn’t (always) the case and the correct use of hashtags can boost your performance and reach on Instagram. Your chances of tantalizing and captivating new followers, collecting likes, inducing comments, and generally increasing engagement are vastly increased with the correct use of hashtags.

Here’s how they work: 

Every post on Instagram can be accompanied by a caption and up to 30 hashtags. It’s down to these hashtags, along with geolocation data, that photos are discovered by non-followers and potentially appear in the Explore section. Basically, if you want to achieve maximum reach and target a specific, active audience in order to grow, then you need to wise up to hashtag use (coupled with posting things that people actually want to engage with).

The problem is this: Let’s say you’re a travel photographer, like me. If I post a photo, I could hit the caption with the hashtag #travel and expose it to Instagrammers, searching among the approximately 205,296,724 (give or take) photos bearing that tag, and the audience that comes with it. To help with the point I’m going to make, in the time it took to write that last sentence, and progress to this one, there are now 205,296,962 posts with the #travel tag—138 photos posted with one tag within the space of fewer than 30 seconds. So, before the lesson, here’s the point: if you post using a popular tag, you potentially open yourself up to a massive audience, but that audience is very, very quickly lost because that photo of yours shoots straight down the Most Recent feed, constantly replaced by other posts. There are 205,297,745 now—another 783, as well as our initial 138, since I typed out the first number! So, in the time it’s taken me to compose this one paragraph, there have been nearly 1,000 posts onto Instagram with the #travel hashtag, and if we also use it, we’ll likely just get lost in the feed. Let’s beat that!

The trick is this (and there is a trick!): if we want to beat the system, and keep our posts in a place where they are more likely to be seen by people searching tags, then we need to use a less-common tag, but one still appropriate to our post. How about this for an idea to get started: let’s say that our post fits the Travel category and that photo is this one.

I took this shot last November in Eastern Iceland.

This photo could be accompanied by #snow or #reindeer, just as a couple of examples of tags which fit the content. But, in order to get maximum exposure to the people who search the category, we could also use #IcelandTravel #VisitIceland #BestOfIceland, which span between the categories of Iceland and Travel, or get more specific and go for something like #MyStopover, which is a hashtag drawn up specifically for photos of Iceland as a marketing campaign by IcelandAir.

Keeping up? So, if we use a less-common hashtag, we’re still hitting an active, searching audience, but that audience will see our photo for a longer time in the feed than one we post in #travel. If we were to take a moment when posting to consider hashtags and use #ig_iceland or #absoluteiceland, instead of #travel, we’d really open up our reach and our opportunities.

Here are a few more examples:


Rather than #Instafood, how about #CleanEating?

 


Rather than #Instatravel, how about #Italian_Vacations?

 


Rather than #DogsOfInstagram, how about #SquishyFaceCrew? (Credit to Kaylee Greer —with permission.) 

The more specific the hashtag, the more engaged the users are! Let me know how you get on, and go check out my Instagram feed to see my tactics—I’m @HybridDave.

Much love,

Dave

Hi Gang and Happy Monday. I’m on my way out to Seattle today for my seminar tomorrow, and then I’m off to Portland, Oregon for my seminar there, Friday, but before I head out here’s a little tip for a more readable, better-looking Instagram feed, and this tips works about 70% of the time (see below for more on the 70% thing).

Adding Line Breaks to Your Captions
This tip is for when your caption is a little long, or for when you want to separate your hashtags from the rest of your caption (of course, you can post all your hashtags as the first comment, but that’s a different tip). Anyway, it’s a little hidden how to do this on an iPhone, so that’s what I thought I’d share today.

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Above: Notice those two glorious line breaks above? Sure makes reading your caption easier. 

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Above: To add a line break; on an iPhone; tap the “123” button on the keyboard (shown circled above in red).

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Above: That brings up the number keyboard, and with it a “Return” key (circled in red above). Place your cursor where you want it; tap the Return key, and it creates a line break. 

NOTE: Remember the 70% thing I mentioned before? Well, when I went back to older posts and added these line breaks to make long captions more readable, it didn’t work in every case — even though it appeared to work while editing the caption; sometimes when I tapped the “Done” button the line breaks which it just showed, completely went away (by the way — adding line breaks doesn’t just make the text more readable — by taking one long caption and breaking it into shorter blocks of text, the chances of people reading your caption at all go way up because little blocks of text make the time it takes to read the caption seem shorter to people, so they’re more likely to read it in the first place).

Hope you find that helpful (and I hope if you’re on Instagram you’ll follow me there — I post travel photography shots there daily). I’m @scottkelby on Instagram.

Hope you have a better-than-average Monday, we’ll catch ya here tomorrow.

Best,

-Scott

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You guys have probably heard me talking about the role “size” plays on the impact of your images, especially when they’re viewed on the Web, and this tip really reinforces that concept.

Last night I was working on a post for our other blog (LightroomKillerTips), about some new Lightroom presets from “The Creativv” and while I was on their site I saw a post they had written about an Instagram tip —  something I hadn’t realized they added when Instagram recently added the ability to post landscape images (instead of just square images), you can now post images in Portrait (tall) mode as well.

The tip is — if you crop your image to a 4×5 ratio (a built-in cropping preset in Lightroom), your image then takes up pretty much the entire screen (see above right).

Compare the impact of the image on the far left, with the full screen portrait image on the right (note: if you scroll down, you’ll still see the caption for the image, but if you want more impact and engagement, I believe the one on the right will bring a lot more of both).

Here’s the link to their post (with the step-by-step cropping Lightroom details):

IMPORTANT: There’s one thing they didn’t mention in their post that had me scratching my head for a moment, and that is — once your image is in Instagram, you need to tap that little landscape/portrait button in the lower left corner of the image to switch your image to portrait orientation (from square). In the preview, this will show a gap on either side of your image, but when you post it, the gap doesn’t appear (as seen above right).

Also, thanks to all the awesome feedback I’ve gotten from my “How to Build Your Audience on Instagram” online class — as an educator, that type of feedback has us walking on air.

JOIN ME TOMORROW — If you’re a KelbyOne member, tomorrow at 2pm New York Time we have a live broadcast with two of Canon’s awesome super techie guys doing a live Q&A exclusively for KelbyOne members. Keep an eye out on your email for the link to come join us — we’ll be answering questions about the new Canon EOS 1D X Mark II, and anything else you can ask to stump our DSLR and DSLR video gurus (Rudy and Brent know this stuff at a terrifying level).

Hope you find that Instagram tip helpful (and thanks to Creativv for sharing it). :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Why did Adele cross the road? To say “Hello from the other side.” ;-)

First, a big thanks to everyone who has sent some love after watching my new online class  “How to build your audience on Instagram” — the feedback has been tremendous! Here’s one of my favorites:

I have watched the class and applied what you taught to my account (I started 2 weeks ago)… just today I have far more interaction on my images than any I have posted to Facebook. Great class!” —Jason L. Eldridge 

I’ve got dozens more along the same lines from Twitter and Facebook, and as a teacher any time you create a class that resonates with your students, it’s a great feeling, so thanks for letting me know (and I’m glad it’s helping). :)

Posting to Instagram From the Desktop:
Although I talked about it briefly in the class, one thing a lot of folks want to do is something that Instagram natively doesn’t really do, which is to let you publish to Instagram from your desktop or laptop computer. You pretty much have to post from within the phone (or tablet) app itself (there really isn’t an iPad app for Instagram — you just download the iPhone app to your iPad, and then run it at 2x size, so at least then it’s full screen, and you can upload from your iPad).

However, there are a few other options (none of them awesome):

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There is a App for the Mac OS called “Uploader to Instagram” that I bought for $4.99 that lets you right-click on any image upload directly from the desktop. Once you right click on the image (here I right-clicked on an image on my desktop), you go to the bottom of the menu, under Services, and choose “Share to Instagram” as seen above.

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Then this tiny windows appears on screen, which shows you a preview of your image, and it has a slider below it for resizing your image before posting (or you can take a live photo of yourself using your laptop’s built-in camera). This window is really, really small (and I have no idea why they made it so small — that is about actual size that you’re seeing above). Once you click done, the following appears:

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A window pops down from your menubar with a Share to Instagram window. Again, it’s a very small window with a very small field to enter your caption, but you enter your caption and hashtags; hit the Share button, and you’re done.

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Since it doesn’t give you any kind of confirmation that it actually posted, I went to view my Instagram account on my Web browser (instagram.com/scottkelby) and there it was. If you scroll down you see the captions and hashtags, and you can see it worked.

What’s missing? 
Plenty. You can’t simultaneously post to Twitter and/or Facebook, so you have more steps to do manually, which kinda stinks. Also, you can’t add a location, which stinks big-time. Also, it doesn’t suggest any previous #hashtags you’ve used, and all the windows are wayyyyyy too small, and of course there’s the fact that there’s no confirmation that it even posted in the first place, so you have to go and check.

Worse yet — if you don’t post a square photo (you use the slider to post a wider image), it doesn’t tuck your image, and the text, up to the top of the post, like the Instagram App does — instead it leaves this awkward gap of white space above and below your image (see the above image of it on Instagram’s site). Not a good look! This was the deal breaker for me. I’m out.

So, does it work? Yes, but it’s got a long way to go to really be a truly helpful tool. It’s more of a “Well, I might use it as a last resort before my phone battery is dead” type of feature.

There a FREE service called “Gramblr”
It ain’t great. It’s a browser-based service that pretty much suffers from the same problems as Uploader to Instagram, but it has two advantages: (1) It’s free, and (2) it has scheduling, so you can set a time for your posts to release. It does have some decent image editing features built-in, and it lets you freeform crop, and add overlay graphics and stuff, (sadly, it continues the theme of making the smallest text field possible), but it’s still missing enough critical stuff that I’d be hard-pressed to use it.
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So, what do most people do?
It’s all about getting the images from your computer to your smartphone so you can post directly from the Instagram App, and there are a number of ways people do this:

(1) They save their images to Dropbox on their computers, and then access their dropbox to save the images to their camera roll, and then upload from the Instagram App (or see below).

(2) You can save your image to Dropbox and then use the Dropbox app to post directly to Instagram, which just saves you the step of saving it to your camera roll.

(3) You can use Apple’s iCloud (on an iPhone) to transfer images from your Desktop to your iPhone and then save it to their camera roll, and then post from the Instagram App.

(4) A lot of folks email themselves the photo they want to post; save it to their camera roll, and then post from the Instagram App.

(5) You can upload the image to Google+ and share to Instagram from there.

(6)  You can upload an image to Adobe’s Creative Cloud (like you would on Dropbox), and then share it from there.

(7) You can upload directly from Flickr to Instagram

(8) You can use a social media management scheduler (like Hootsuite), but all the ones I’ve seen are pretty expensive, and all but one are still kinda clunky (I thought Hootsuite was going to be the answer, but it still makes you pretty much post it yourself through Instagram — it’s just kind of an elegant reminder).

(9) Export from Lightroom to Dropbox, and upload from there

(10) Insert your workaround here (well, down in the comments).

You know what would be ideal?
The ideal thing would be that Instagram itself let you upload from their Website (or they put their API out there allowing third-parties to upload directly that aren’t phone based). Will this happen? I think it will one day before long (and I’m encouraged by the fact that Twitter is expanding its 140 character limit), but hey, ya never know.

Anyway, just a quick look at a question I’ve been seeing a lot since my class came out.

Hey, speaking of my class:

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The class is designed for photographers, and if that’s you, here’s the link (if you’re not already a KelbyOne member, you can sign up for a 10-day free trial and watch it now).

That’s it for Monday – hope yours is a good one!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Thanks to all the enthusiastic, kind and just plain fun folks who came out to my Richmond and Atlanta seminars last week. Over 600 of you came to spend the day with me, and I’m very grateful that you did. Next stop? Houston, Texas on Feb. 19th. Hope I get to meet you there. http://kelbyone.com/live/

 

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Happy Friday, everybody!

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend (especially if you’re snowed in), I thought I’d share some of my favorite photographers that I follow on Instagram, and I wanted to share some that wouldn’t be the obvious ones that of course I already follow (like Joe McNally, Peter Hurley, etc.). Here are my 12 favs (in no particular order):

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AFAR (Afar Media)
A lot of the folks I follow do travel photography, and I love the collection of images AFAR posts daily. If you go there today, make sure you look at that little ski village shot you see in the first row center.

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ELMAKIAS (Adam Elmakias)
There’s a reason this amazing music photographer has nearly 460,000 followers — he’s got amazing images, a really fun feed, and I love his post processing. Really great peek into a the world of music through his eyes.

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VIKINGSPHOTOG (Andy Kenutis)
Andy is the Minnesota Vikings team photographer and I’d have to say he’s definitely one of the best team photographers in the league and his Instagram feed is outstanding. I just mentioned him to a buddy of mine who shoots sports professionally and he was alreadly following him. He said the same thing I did about Andy — that guy’s stuff is amazing!

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ERIKALMAS
I just love Erik’s style, post processing, and the selection of images he posts (look at that shot in the middle!). Really a wonderful collection of constantly updating images. This guy is good on the both sides of the process!!!

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MOOSEPETERSON
Moose is on Instagram now and he’s posting a wonderful mix of aviation and landscape photography, and I love seeing what he posts each day.

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RESOURCETRAVEL
This curated collection is really just beautiful, and one I really look forward to each day. While that don’t have a crush of followers yet…they will.

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DONALDPAGE
Don is the team photographer for the Tennessee Vols, and even if you’re not a Vols fan, if you’re into football photography at all, you should still follow Don because he’s among the best — not just with this on field action shots, but all the commercial-style promo work, lighting, and off field stuff that he totally nails.

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ALEXSTROHL
OK, he has a million followers, so he’s not exactly an unknown treasure, but I love his wintery world. Great style, composition, and subjects. A great one to follow.

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DANIELKORDAN
His stuff is just absolutely gorgeous. Gorgeous! Nuff said.

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JEFFONLINE
Wonderful images from around Europe from a Paris based photographer. I totally dig his work.

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FAMOUSBTSMAGAZINE
If you love seeing behind-the-scenes images of photo shoots, you will so dig their feed. I amazed at some of the set-ups I see on there. It’s ideas and inspiration all wrapped up in one.

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IGERSRECOMMENDATION
This collection is all over the place, and I think that’s what I like about it. You never know what topic you’re going to get, but they’re always great images. A really fun, fascinating feed.

Hope you’ll give some of these a look this weekend (and of course, I’d love to have you following my feed there, which is focused on travel photography. It’s @scottkelby).

Hope you have a great weekend, and I’ll be seeing some of you next week in person in Richmond and Atlanta.

Best,

-Scott

 

 

 

 

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I know that a lot of you already are on Instagram, but almost daily I have somebody ask why they should be on Instagram if they’re already on Facebook or on Twitter. But it wasn’t really until two things happened recently, that I really got excited about Instagram and started to post there regularly.

The first happened during an episode of “The Grid” where we were talking about social media for photographers, where that same “Why should I be on Instagram” question came up, and when I heard my answer out loud, it even upped my usage of Instagram (I was really, really late to the Instagram thing – I started an account years ago but only used it a couple of times because I really didn’t “get it” but there were other reasons. So today, I’m giving you 7 reasons, including my first one, from that Grid episode:

  1. It’s the only big social media platform based on photography
    Twitter is about text (and not much of it at that). They just started embracing photos recently, but they still penalize you for using a photo by taking away from your 140 character count. Facebook only started really caring in the last couple of years, and that’s only because when Google+ was getting big, it did care about a photo. A lot. That’s why it resonated with the photo crowd. So, that was what I said on “The Grid” that day in answer to that guy’s question — it’s the only big social media platform based on photography – how can you not be there?
  2. They fixed the whole “your image has to be cropped square” thing
    Now you have the choice, and it’s built right into the app. This is a brand new development and it changed everything for me personally (this is the 2nd thing I mentioned above). I used to use a separate app called SquareReady which kept my image’s original wide orientation intact by adding black bars on the top and bottom (kind of like letterbox widescreen in movies), but now that’s it added right in, it doesn’t take me twice as long, and two different apps, just to post one photo. This is a HUGE thing for serious photographers because the original crop is how we saw the scene. It’s our composition. Having to make your image square (or use a separate app with a letterbox effect), wasn’t cutting it. Thank you Instagram for making your app serious photography friendly.
  3. You don’t have to write a lot.
    Unlike the other social media, here your image counts more than your words, so you can say very little, or nothing at all, and its totally OK. Sometimes, I just can’t write another post, but I still want to share an image. Instagram is perfect for that.
  4. Tons of photographers are already there
    All the big name photographers. All the big brands. The whole world is on Instagram, so you’ll be in good company and lots of it. It took off back in 2010 and it’s just exploded since then. I wish I had embraced it a long time ago.
  5. It’s a wonderful place for inspiration
    Just like other social media platforms, you follow the photographers you want to follow and you’ll see the images they post daily (I hope you’ll follow me there – I’m posting lots of travel, portraits/fashion and sports images there each day now. I’m on there under ‘scottkelby‘ on Instagram). There’s tons of inspirational images that keep your creative juices flowing. I see a lot of really wonderful, beautiful, compelling images there every day. You can tap a heart to send a like. You can comment. Or you can just sit back and scroll through a stream of inspiration and fun.
  6. The Instagram App is really good
    It’s simple and clean and that’s a good thing. It’s the least complicated app on earth – you just scroll down through images. If you want to post an image, you can tap the bottom center icon; either upload a photo from your camera roll or take one with the built-in camera. It has built-in filters (it was Instagram that made all those retro looks so popular) and you can apply them with one tap (you get a preview), and that’s pretty much it. Simple is good.
  7. There are photographers you’ll only find there
    Just like you have people who are famous ‘Youtubers,’ you have photographers who have gained their fame from being ‘Instagrammers’ and this is where they showcase their work. They’re getting working from Instagram. Lots of people are. People can get noticed here. Maybe you’ll be next.

 

Of course, there are some things I wish were different on Instagram. For example:

  1. It doesn’t allow you to embed links into your posts.
    You can put a web URL in your post, but if viewers click on it, it doesn’t take them to your link. It does nothing. Ugh. It’s about the only place left on the entire internet where posting a URL doesn’t create a live link.
  2. It gives you very little analytics other than likes and comments 
    I use a Web app – Iconosquare.com (which is excellent by the way) to give me all the stats you should be getting from Instagram.
  3. You can’t post images from the desktop
    You can see them on your computer, but you can’t post images or comment, etc.  without subscribing to an expensive third-party service – you have to do it from the phone app itself. Ack! This is a pain for sure. Plus, there’s no iPad app — you just download the iPhone app and then it runs at 2x size, but the images don’t look nearly as good. Instagram just recently upped it resolution, so I’m hoping that an iPad/Tablet app is behind that move.

Those three things aside (things that I imagine will all be addressed at some time in the near future), I have to say I’m loving my Instagram experience (and it’s now my wife’s favorite social media. You can follow her at kalebrakelby – she posts some really wonderful stuff, and her stories and commentary and either quite touching or really hilarious).

If you’re not already on Instagram, I hope this post at least has you giving Instagram a try. The app is free. The account is free. The free is free. It’s free! Give it a try for a few weeks – I’ll bet you fall in love – after all – it was made for you!

Hope you all have an awesome Tuesday!

Best,

-Scott 

P.S. I’ll be up in NYC all week this week at the big Canon Expo. I’m speaking on Thursday afternoon doing a class “How to Present Like a Pro!” (the class is sold out, so if you’re already signed up – I’ll see you there! I’m really excited about this session – I’ve put a ton of time into making it really valuable for anyone who attends). 

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