How to Post a Better Instagram, According to Our Social Pro
Creating a flawless Instagram is an art form in itself. We always wonder how influencers like Gary Pepper Girl and Oracle Fox curate such exquisite feeds, so we decided to talk to an Instagram pro, our own in-house social media editor, Raleigh Burgan. She breaks down how to post a successful Instagram in terms of composition, editing, hashtags, and everything in between. Scroll through to learn how to make your Instagram posts a smashing success.
If you're just starting out or really want to build your Instagram following, it's crucial to be consistent with your posting schedule. "Don't leave two-week windows between your posts, especially when you want to generate a following," says Raleigh. "If you post sporadically when you're starting out, your viewers will get bored." Don't let your account be forgotten. It's okay not to post three times every day. Pick your number of postings and your timing, and stick to them as much as you can. For example, for your first six months, try posting once every morning at 9 a.m. See how that strategy works (and prove that you can commit to it) before expanding your posting schedule.
Aesthetically pleasing Instagram feeds are not a random array of images. Rather, the account owner curates a color palette and makes sure to integrate that palette throughout the feed. Try picking three general colors, like orange, purple, and cream, and play with the color saturation and value of these tones as you build your feed. "Your color palette conveys a lot about your brand, so chose wisely, but pick something that is organic to you," says Raleigh.
The golden ratio appears in patterns found in nature, in the works of architects like Le Corbusier and on artists like Dalí, and the app Camera Awesome. To put it simply, the golden ratio, especially in the form of the golden triangle, is a composition or form that is perfectly in harmony with nature and immediately pleasing to the human eye. Use the Camera Awesome app to frame the perfect composition for your Instagram. If you want to stick to the Instagram app, make sure to use the grid lines to help align your photo.
"Pick a filter and stick with it," says Raleigh. "You want your entire feed to be cohesive. People will come back to your account for consistency. Filters can be very personal. If you’re not into filters and prefer to edit your own images, make sure you edit them consistently. I recommend SnapSeed, VSCO Cam, and Photoshop Express." If you've experimented with different filters in the past but now you've found the one that fits your personal brand best, consider deleting past posts as you add new ones with your consistent aesthetic. Cleaning up your feed is important when you're pushing for growth. That said, users love to see how you've evolved, so don't wipe out all of your oldies.
From a good selfie stick to a beauty dish iPhone case, you really can't over-accessorize when it comes to phone gadgets. "Diffusers can be great for foodie pics, and I love cases by Ztylus," says Raleigh. "Also, never go to an event or possible Instagram-worthy situation without a fully charged phone. Battery death can kill your mojo."
If you’re trying to build your following or boost your engagement tag relevant companies and add a geotag. "Getting your photo out there is key," advises Raleigh. Tag what feels right to you, but don't be shy when you're trying to build your following. By tagging other businesses, events, and people, your photo will show up on their feeds, which equals more eyeballs.
Your captions really depend on your personal brand as well. "Some people are super funny—no matter what the picture is, they say something funny. Those are my favorites. Some are straightforward. Some use song lyrics. I think it’s about establishing your brand first and foremost and working from there," says Raleigh. Also, include hashtags. The golden rule is seven hashtags is optimal, but don't do more than 11.
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Do you have an Instagram method that works for you? Share with us in the comments.