Posted on Oct 21, 2015 in Choice Words

Instagram and the Visual Arts

by Jennifer Bell, Choice Ticketing Education Manager

If you go to the Instagram website and find the question, “What is Instagram?”  you will get the following answer:

Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures.

But Instagram can be more than this for an arts organization.  It can be a way to connect with your audience, share your process, and advertise.

The Stats

In February PR Daily gave us some surprising stats about Instagram.

  • Instagram counts 300 million monthly active users (Instagram).
  • Instagram is the eighth most popular mobile app in the U.S. (comScore).
  • Engagement on Instagram is 15 times that of Facebook’s (Fast Company).
  • 94 percent of Instagram users are on Facebook (Pew Research Center). Facebook owns Instagram.
  • 58 percent of Twitter users also use Instagram (Pew Research Center).
  • 52 percent of Instagram users also use Twitter (Pew Research Center).

Given these numbers, any organization who wants to extend their reach or connect with their audience should create an account, get to know your filters, and post, post, post.

Benefit for Arts and Entertainment

The one problem with Twitter and Facebook and the visual arts is that it can be hard to capture the real beauty and work that goes into a production through text.  Instagram gives you the ability to show off your venue, sets, rehearsals, and really give your followers a look into your process.

What to do

  • Post.  Post pictures often and on a relatively set schedule.  Just like all other forms of Social Media, the only way to succeed and grow is schedule and engage.
  • Show interesting pictures.  Take a closeup of that really cool detail in your theatre.  Make a video of a fight choreography practice.  Show off the best parts of your day and your job.  Don’t feel the need to stick to single headshots and program covers, get creative.
  • Create a Mission statement and stick to it.  Keep on brand.  If your mission is to give a behind the scenes view of the making of your shows, don’t start posting pictured of the food for your galas.
  • Respond to comments.  Social Media has given us a great avenue to engage with our Customers, but that engagement isn’t one way.

What to avoid


  • Over-posting.  You may be really excited about your opening night turnout or how your set is looking, but try to spread the posts out.  As a rule, don’t post more than three a day.
  • Quotes.  Inspirational quotes with a background might be an easy way to fill your post quota, but people hate them on Instagram, leave things like that for Twitter.
  • Over-hashtagging.  #Isn’t#This#Just#The#Most#Annoying#Thing#To#Look#At?  Keep it to a max of four hashtags per post.

Do you have any other insights about Instagram?  Leave a note in the comments.

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