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Some of you may not use Instagram as actively as others, but even if you’re not an addict of the app, it might offer a new outlet to build your personal brand. After all, your WordPress.com site is just one aspect of you — if you’re on Instagram, perhaps you can find ways to bridge these two networks and grow your online presence.
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Lead new visitors to your site
The simplest thing you can do? Include your WordPress.com site URL in your Instagram profile, so your followers can access and explore (the mobile version of) your site.
If you post regularly, keep the link in your Instagram profile current. If you’re a travel photographer who has just returned from a recent European adventure, for example, post a collage of favorite images from your trip using Instagram’s Layout feature. In your post comment, direct your Instagram followers to the corresponding post on your site by displaying the post URL in your profile.
Use hashtags wisely
Adding hashtags in a comment is one way for new followers to find your Instagram photos in the Explore feed. There’s a super-active hashtag community in the app — search for just about anything and connect with people who share your interests, from #streetart to #catsofinstagram to #growyourown.
One tip: use hashtags wisely! Don’t tag a photo with every possible term imaginable. It looks messy, and I encourage you to use focused and relevant hashtags. In the long run, you’ll attract people interested in more meaningful, thoughtful conversations, both on Instagram and WordPress.com.
For those of you who run your own blogging challenges or events, spread the word on Instagram with hashtags unique to your challenge or event. Sketch artist Candace Rose Rardon founded the Moment Sketchers community, and established the #momentsketchers tag for participants. Whatever your hashtag, be sure to include it in your Instagram profile so people know where it originated. You’ll create extra buzz and attract new submissions this way.
Spread the logo love
For readers interested in building their personal brand, consider using Instagram’s visual nature to your advantage. Got a logo for your site? Use iWatermark or a similar app to apply a text or graphic watermark to your images. (This BlogHer article summarizes steps to add watermarks to your photos.) Or use tools like Canva or Word Swag to create custom images that complement your brand’s visual identity.
I gather some of you will shout: “But Instagram is instant and easy, and meant to capture our fleeting moments — no way am I spending time on all of this!” You certainly don’t have to add your logo to your pictures, but for those of you who want to experiment with building a visually cohesive online presence, it’s a good start. You’ll make your logo — and you — more memorable.
Create a new side of you
Adding an extra dimension to your online presence — like activating an Instagram Widget to your sidebar or embedding an Instagram shot from your feed — offers a different window, and a new angle of you, to your WordPress.com followers. You can see the Instagram Widget in action on Nicole Melancon’s photography blog, the thirdeyeworld.
Instagram can feel quite intimate. Your followers get a peek at some of the candid moments of your day, and these images will complement the content you publish here on WordPress.com.