(All photos via my instagram)
Today's post is all about everyone's favorite social media app! With the recent instagram update that allows you to post full size photos, everyone's instagram game has changed a little. I can't deny that it made me so happy to not have to see a large white vertical border around my images anymore. Over the past few years of sharing photos on instagram, I've developed my own style, found what works for me, and what my followers like to see. I've also created a pattern for posting - the kind of photos, the edits, and the time of day I post. And let's be honest, instagram is all about the aesthetic and "brand" these days, especially for bloggers. But I also think these tips are incredibly useful even if you're using IG as a personal photo diary. Below are my top tips for creating a beautiful instagram feed that you and your followers will love!
I can guarantee that we've all been guilty of posting a not-so-great, kinda grainy photo that we had to blast out the brightness on just to make it even a little bit worth posting. Am I right? It should come as no surprise that this tip is at the very top of my list. Natural light is your best friend when it comes to taking photos with your phone.
Blank space (or 'negative space' as the professionals say) in a photo (especially ones that are being viewed on a small scale, like IG) is so valuable. Take the photo above of my pink bag. The white space around the bag and wallet allows your eye to rest a little and really makes the pink pop. I guess you could chalk this up as personal preference, but for me, I appreciate blank space. Blogger tip: Use a solid white form board to take your photos on, or you can get adventurous and use marbled contact paper as your "blank space."
I always ask myself before I post a photo on instagram: "Would I 'like' this if someone else posted it?" Is the quality good? Does it convey an emotion? What am I trying to say? Now, before you assume I'm referring to only pretty pictures of well-curated collections or a great outfit, let me clarify. "Interesting composition" can be a combination of a fairly simple photo (a sunset, for example) paired with a really great caption. Sometimes, the caption is what makes the photo.
Call me crazy, but I never post a photo to instagram without some sort of editing. My editing cocktail of choice includes: sharpening (if necessary), turning up the highlights and brightness, turning down the warmth (I like for my photos to appear more blue than red), and sometimes turning up the saturation just a bit to make colors pop. My favorite editing app is Snapseed. Download an app, play around, and figure out what works for you and your style.
One of the most significant, contributing factors to amping up your instagram game is posting consistently. I give this same advice when beginning bloggers ask me how to get more pageviews and gain a following. For example, if followers (or readers) can't figure out your pattern they most likely will lose interest because they don't really know what to expect from you. Find your balance, though - having too many posts a day can have the same effect. I post at least once a day and two or three times a day when I'm traveling.
Y'all may think this is crazy or maybe you've just never thought about it, but there is a time of day when your photos will get more likes than any other time. The kicker? You have to figure out when. It's going to be different for everyone. My best advice is to use a statistics site like iconosquare and evaluate your instagram analytics. This site shows you the times when your IG followers are the most engaged, the hashtags that are performing the best, and your follow/unfollow stats. It will change the way you post!
Tagging brands and companies and using popular hashtags is a great way to attract more followers. Let's say you post a great photo of a new necklace and you tag the brand. That brand may choose to regram your photo exposing your account to thousands of their followers and ultimately gaining you some popularity. Amazing how that works, right?
If you have any tried-and-true instagram tips I would love for you to share them in the comments or shoot me an email! Also, if you have any questions about growing your blog or your brand, don't hesitate to reach out!