Instagram hashtags are the key to new readers and fans

instagramThere was a discussion on Facebook about the best social media platforms for comics. But this applies to everyone who posts on social media platforms. While we were discussing this on Facebook, another platform is better for comics and most things – that’s Instagram.

I suggested Instagram because according to news reports, that is the most popular platform for teens and young adults now. I’m thinking that most people would like that demographic for an audience, along with older folks, of course.

I like the new formatting on Instagram for comics where it allows you to post one comic panel at a time and then the reader can scroll through, reading one panel at a time. It’s perfect for single panel comics, too, but of course, not great for long form comics.

But as usual, many cartoonists are their own worst enemies. They don’t agree with posting on Instagram for the silliest reasons. I guess they would rather continue to post their comics in a black hole where only they see the comics.

In our online discussion, one person claims, “The only gripe I have about it is that it takes a while to type all the individual hashtags for each post.”

Less than smart comment. The hashtags are the key to readers – readers that don’t follow you on a daily basis. People use hashtags to find things on Instagram. If you post a comic strip about bicycle riding, you can use the usual hashtags like #comics #comicstrip #art and so on, but you can also add #bicycles #cyclists #ride, etc. and in that way you are opening up the post to those people.

I live in a seaside community and on my personal Instagram page, I can’t tell you how many boating people follow me when I post pictures of the marina and boats and docks in my neighborhood. They see the hashtag #boats #bay #water and they find my posts. And they end up following me.

I think Instagram makes the best use of hashtags of all the social media platforms, Twitter is probably second, but I’m not sure if it’s good for posting daily comics. I think Twitter is better used for communicating with fans and readers, you know, keeping them up to date on what you are working on, maybe sharing some of your daily life and travels.

Another issue people had in our discussion group was the new algorithm used by Instgram where the posts are not appearing in the order they are posted. But this is a good thing. I’ll explain why in my next post.

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