Everyone’s got an Instagram (or at least, should have one). The number of monthly active users on Instagram is 300 million so it’s no surprise companies and brands all over the world have taken to the photo editing and social storm that is Instagram. A lot of companies are on the app, but a lot of them aren’t quite cutting it visually. So how do you make yours cool? How do you gain the notoriety of Instagram bigwigs, like Nike, Vogue, Beyoncé, and The Sartorialist. How do you make your posts more likable and visually interesting? Check out these tips to achieve Instagram success.
EXPOSURE: Lighten Up!
Exposure is a crucial tool to making your Instagram posts look cool. People like brighter pictures, or at least, pictures with one brighter aspect. High exposure can get you 24% more likes than dark image. Adjust your white balance, photos taken indoors with artificial lighting can look yellowish, easily fix this by adjusting your exposure. Don’t over color your photos, simplicity is key, one dominant color generates 17% more likes than images with multiple dominant colors.
Did you know high exposure photos on Instagram can get you 24% more likes than a dark image? Click To Tweet
REPETITION: Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
One of the most important design principles is repetition. Visually repetition is interesting to look at. Warhol did it best, now let’s put you to the test. Find something cool to take a photo of. Take one strong photo that is both simple and clean. Now splice it together in photo framing app (Layout by Instagram, is really easy to use, and one of the best apps for incorporating repetition into your photos.) Once you have spliced the repetitious photos together take a step back and look at you positioning, is it visually pleasing? What about interesting? If you think you’ve pulled it off, post that baby.
FRAMING / CROPPING
The frame and crop of your photo on Instagram is almost as important as your photo. Adding whitespace or white bars to your photos add intrigue, it can also help a darker photo appear lighter if your photo lacks a good amount of exposure. The best frames are generally white or black. There are loads of “wallpaper” “sticker design” framing apps, these are not as optimal as a simple white or black frame, because it takes attention away from your photo.
A quick note on cropping: There are many best practices of cropping but the easiest to remember is the rule of thirds. The Corel discovery center describes the rule of third as this, “The Rule of Thirds” is a compositional guideline that can improve the balance of your photographs. It basically divides your image into a 3 x 3 grid. The idea is that important elements should be placed along these grid lines, or at the intersections.”
Another important cropping trick to have up your sleeve is one of the simple means. Don’t lop off limbs when the subject of your picture is a person. Don’t lop off limbs, willy-nilly, if it makes sense in terms of symbiotic balance go for it, don’t needlessly chop off half of a person’s’ arm, unless from a visual standpoint it’s cool. Use your eye to determine whether the crop works. Ask yourself, is the placement of this photo strong, is it weird? Play around with your cropping, file through a couple of options before uploading.
The easiest best practice to remember for cropping pictures is the 'rule of thirds'. Learn more! Click To Tweet
This is a newer trend in the Instagram world, thanks to the popular mobile photo editing app VSCO Cam. Fading your photos, gives the photo a softer more vintage, and again intriguing photo. When you fade your photos you are simply lowering the saturation, and upping the haze. Check out this simple guide to fading your photos.
LOOK AT THE GRID
Your grid is one of the first things Instagram users see when they look at your account. Your grid is an overview look at all of the photos you have posted. Many users have mastered the Instagram grid masterfully @viewfromthetopp. The more cohesive and symbiotic your photos are the more visually appealing your Instagram account looks, it makes users who are looking through your photos, continue to look, continuing to search through your images. So when you’re uploading a photo, always check back to see if your filters/colors/frame/crop would look cool next to the previous photo. It sounds tedious, but it’s a detail that doesn’t go unnoticed, it can promote your company’s image as clean-cut and visually apt.
TAGGING / HASHING & GEO TAGGIN’
The photo alone can only get you so far… Make sure you are mentioning (@-ing) other relevant Instagram accounts, in addition to tagging other them. And of course, hashtag all relevant tags, to your company. Geo tagging is a good thing to do to because users can search different tags on Instagram simply by typing in a location. Cover all of your bases and watch all of the likes pour in!
Now that you have the Instagram tricks to set your company’s Instagram on fire (with likes, and visual intrigue.) Put yourself to the challenge, download some helpful photo editing apps, and start posting like an everloving pro. Oh, and follow @redbranchmedia on Instagram!