Archery is a colourful sport; that's why Instagram is an ideal social media platform. Catherine Whyte interviewed Caroline Homer, Royal Richmond Archery Club's social media manager, to give her top ten tips for running a winning Instagram account.
It is vital that you obtain permission, especially from junior members and their parents, before posting images on social media. This can be easily done by adding another field to any existing permissions paperwork that you ask parents to sign. It is advisable to get written permission from adult members, too, especially if you are taking pictures of them as they shoot.
Just as a company has brand guidelines, it is best if your Instagram account has a consistent style. For example, all our images have white borders. Stick to a couple of favourite filters.
At the very least, pictures usually need to be brightened (even posts in the driving rain come to life with a bit of editing) and cropped to improve composition. Experiment and try different angles. Don't post blurred pictures.
Archery is not just about arrows on a target, there's all the behind-the-scenes stuff as well. Don't dismiss anything as 'boring'. Even someone carrying a couple of signs can be worthy of a picture, providing it is well composed and your subject is smiling! Misfortune, ie arrows through scoreboards, makes for great posts, too.
Take pictures of everything, always. Store the good ones as drafts on your Instagram account, delete the others (or you'll run out of storage space on your phone). It's also worth gathering support from other members in the club who can send photos from away-shoots that you can't attend. It is impossible to cover everything otherwise. You'll also build your bank of images this way too. Which leads me onto the next point:
I post between three and five times a day, sometimes more if there's been a big event, competition or prize giving. Ultimately, it's up to you. Find your own rhythm and stick to it until it becomes a habit. Use inventive captions to make stored photos relevant.
Using the right hashtags will also help shine a spotlight on your club's account. Popular hashtags include: #archery, #archerylove and #throwbackthursday etc. Don't be afraid to make up your own: #fletchingfriday is one of mine.
This is important. Follow local businesses and other archers, as well. You'll be surprised how quickly your following will grow. Ours rocketed to over 1,000 in the first 12 months. Not bad for a club with only 200 members.
We've touched on this before but it's important to remember. No one wants to see photos of arrows in the ten-ring all the time (as much as we like to see them when we are scoring). We have a lot of fun at the club and that's what I try to convey. The captions you write to accompany your images are also key here.
At the end of the day, the club would be nothing without its members. Let people's personalities shine through. Just make sure someone has their phone at the ready to capture each moment.
Follow the club on Instagram:
Royal Richmond Archery Club @RoyalRichmondArcheryClub.
Written by Catherine Whyte.