12 Oct [Instagram] – Candy’s Top 10 tips for your IG feed
If Instagram is one of the platforms in your personal and/or business social media strategy, just know that you are part of a family of 500 million active users.
Owned by Facebook, Instagram went head to head with Snapchat by introducing Instagram Stories a few months back, and not stopping there, you can now zoom in on small details within an image, a feature that some brands have already put to great creative use, and we can assume that the updates will not be stopping there.
So, as this popular visual platform continues to grow, here’s a quick run down of our tips for creating an engaging and cohesive feed:
This first tip is neither a “must-do” or an “Oh God no!”…it’s somewhere in between.
You’ll hear other online social media experts talking about creating a theme based on your brand or favourite colour. That’s great if that’s the way you wish to style your feed. It can be time consuming, and your photos may not always fit ‘that colour mould’.
Don’t panic, it’s not a hard and fast rule, and one size does not fit all in this instance (we have a few examples of themes we love through this article below)
Image Clarity & Focus!!
For our first ‘oh God no!’ – image clarity. Out of focus photos are a big no-no. Whatever device you are taking your photos on, always always make sure that they are in focus. We cannot stress this enough.
Regardless of the actual device that you are using, it makes no difference as long as you stick to (like glue) to the above piece of advice about focus. Oh and FYI – NEVER use the front camera of your phone, except for selfies, and NEVER use the Instagram camera to take your photos. The quality and clarity are simply not good enough.#Instagram top tip from @blingblingsugar: NEVER use the front camera...except for selfies!! Click To Tweet
Composition & Framing
When taking a photo, there are a few things to take into consideration – composition & framing. Look at what is in the background, and foreground. In short, make sure the background is tidy. Are there any areas of empty space? This can sometimes be good though, especially if you are going for a minimal look. See examples.
Light & Mood
Always take your photographs in good (natural) light
Editing & Posting
So, you’ve taken your photo. Rarely is it ready to load immediately to Instagram.
Part of sticking to a cohesive feed is always using (where possible), the same filter on each image, each photo needs to be sized to the correct dimensions (1080px x 1080px), and you may or may not need to adjust things like saturation, contrast, highlights, shadows, exposure etc. You can do all of these things within Snapseed, VSCO cam, and Facetune and all are available on Android and IOS. Facetune is a paid app, and there are paid elements within VSCOcam, but for the most part, the first 2 are free.
Instagram does have it’s own filters, and you can (now) adjust the settings within these filters which you weren’t able to do in the apps infancy. Using these are a matter of choice. Experienced Instagrammers tend not to use the built in filters. The apps mentioned offer so much more in terms of basic editing. With advanced ‘grammers using extra editing options like Lightroom and/or Photoshop also.
It may be time to up your IG game if you have not used any of the above.
Reposting another account users image is another photo-option. The image must be relevant to your feed, and again there are apps that re-post for you.
Make use of Apps
If you take an image that cannot be cropped into the perfect IG square, well guess what? There’s an app for that too e.g. Instasquare (Android version link). It will frame the image into a square background, so your photo doesn’t lose any details. This is usually suitable for photos that are landscape or portrait-rectangular. And then there’s the apps (PicSlit) that will divide an entire image up into squares so you can post as one big image. Nice touch, but don’t over do it.
An Instagram layout is always 3 images wide – try to curb your enthusiasm when posting your finished masterpieces. 3 at any one time is more than enough. There is a fine line between posting regularly, and over-posting.
For so many ‘grammers Instagram is a point, click & post platform, however, we believe by working some of Candy’s ideas in when you next pause to compose your photos you can create a photo feed which grabs people’s attention and interest.
We’d love to see your photos, be sure to say hello on our feed and we’ll pop over to discover your creative side.