A feature account (also called a curation account) exists to share other people’s photos. There are a lot of wonderful feature accounts out there, highlighting followers’ pictures about everything from fashion to photography. My personal favorites are the ones dedicated to cities or states–they’re a great way to get to know the undiscovered beauty of any place!
If you’re thinking of starting a feature account, I have a few pointers for you. These are based on what I’ve seen successful accounts do (and what some accounts aren’t doing).
Have a dedicated hashtag
A hashtag for your account is the easiest and best way to build a following because followers can tag their photos to submit them to your page. It also makes things easy for you: just head to the hashtag to see all the submissions in one place! You don’t have to bother with leaving the app.
Include your hashtag in your Instagram bio:
Also include the hashtag in any post captions where you call for submissions to make sure your post shows up under the hashtag.
ALWAYS GIVE CREDIT.
This is a really serious one, folks. Nothing loses you followers (and gets you blocked) faster than simply just regramming a photo from someone else. Reposting a photo without proper credit feels like stealing, and it’s downright uncool.
Including their handle in the photo (the Repost app automatically does this unless you pay) is not enough because it doesn’t notify them that their photo is being used.
To make sure you’re giving your follower the credit right, do these three things:
- Leave a comment on the image you repost, informing them that the image is featured on your page. This is an additional courtesy, since tagging them in the caption and the photo will give them notifications.
- Tag their Instagram handle in the caption of your post. This lets your followers know who actually took the picture and allows people to head over to the featured person’s profile to check out their work.
- Tag their Instagram handle in the photo itself that you post. This is an important one because it increases your exposure: friends of your followers check out pictures they’re featured in, and your image will pop up, which could lead more people to your account.
Here’s how to tag someone in the photo itself: Click on “Tag People” before you share the image.
The image will come up, and you can tap anywhere on the photo to tag someone. Once you tap on the photo, a search box will come up and a tag will say “Who’s this?” Search for the user you want to tag (searching for their handle is easiest) and select the correct user. Then tap “Done.”
Once you get back to the caption page, the “Tag People” field will have a username in it.
And when you post the picture, tapping on it will show the tag and the little “tagged” icon.
Have a theme
Instagram’s Weekend Hashtag Project immediately comes to mind, but several prominent feature accounts have daily, weekly, or weekend themes.
Host a theme by posting an example picture along with guidelines (including how long the theme lasts). If your theme is weekly, consider posting reminder images and guidelines to catch followers who may have missed your initial announcement. Depending on how many submissions you get, you can use Instagram’s Layout app to put them together in a collage.
Include a logo
Some feature accounts do this. Whether you do it or not is really up to you, but I suggest that if you do it, make sure your logo doesn’t overwhelm or obscure the picture. The #JJ community does a wonderful job of this.
Get the word out
People aren’t going to know about the existence of your curation account unless you tell them. Start by following a few similar accounts that you admire. Search related hashtags and leave comments on relevant photos to let people know you’re around. Start building a following by posting (and crediting) a few pictures, so when people find you, they don’t see a blank account.
Do you run a feature account? What advice do you have?