We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Instagram is more than just a social media platform with pretty pictures. Over the last few years, this social media outlet seems to have taken the world over by storm.
Today, Instagram is more than just a place to connect with friends, share selfies and use clever hashtags; it is one of the world’s top three daily used social media platforms, with over one billion active monthly users and over 500 million daily active users.
With so many eyes looking at so much content, the competition is intense. The struggle to engage and entertain the world’s population and get noticed on the platform is concrete, whether you’re an influencer, a business or just a regular, everyday, person.
It only gets more frustrating when you try to look online for answers on how to be more successful on Instagram - every article will tell you the very same thing: make better content. The real question you should be asking is how to create better content for Instagram. Luckily, we’re always here to help!
Although it’s so easy to use the “point-and-shoot” technique with your smartphone’s camera, this just won’t do on Instagram. Since this platform is so visually oriented, people want to be blown away when they look at your posts. They want to see more than a blurry selfie, a random street or an extreme close-up of a flower. You don’t have to be a professional photographer in order to attract new followers and increase engagement on your content. All you have to do, really, is pick up some basic tips and refine your picture-snapping technique.
It’s no secret - lighting is the foundation of any good picture. Using natural light, instead of using your phone camera’s flash, will enhance the quality of your picture. This doesn’t mean that you should take every single picture outside, from now on. What you can do in order to utilize nature’s built-in spotlight is get closer to windows or better-lit rooms. Also, make sure the light source is behind your camera, and not in front of it.
This is an old and beloved photography trick. One of the best times to take pictures is during sunset when the sun lays low on the horizon. This illuminates your pictures with a soft, golden glow. It’s nature’s very own Instagram filter and will surely give your pictures a stronger effect.
When photographers (or visual artists) talk about composition, they’re referring to the arrangement of the picture and all of the elements it contains. One of the most popular “rules” of composition is “The Rule of Thirds”, and it’s all about balancing your picture.
Basically, this rule will figuratively “divide” your picture into a 3x3 grid, allowing you to align and arrange your main subject along the gridlines. This will not only help you achieve a visually pleasant asymmetry, but it can really help you with centering the subject you’re snapping like a pro.
We’ll even let you in on a little secret: most smartphones have a “grid” camera setting that will make this even easier for you to apply.
Although it’s easier to just hold the phone up and take the picture, using different perspectives could be a fun way to experiment. This doesn’t necessarily mean hanging out of windows and risking your life, however. Try to kneel down or climb up to the higher ground to take your picture. Hold your phone (or camera) in different angles and heights.
Although we want our subject to be as clear as possible, sometimes it’s better to leave “space” around it, to create a natural frame. If you want the camera to focus entirely on your subject, just tap the screen itself and let technology work its’ magic. This will add an extra depth to your picture and make it that much more pleasing to look at.
This simple photography trick helps draw the viewer’s eye to your subject and adds another dimension to your picture. You can use roads, structures and nature itself as your “guidelines”.
Although today we can always whip out our smartphones and take as many pictures as we want on a whim, with Instagram, it’s better to think a bit ahead and stay within the borders of your “creative lane”.
That means that your posts should not only be niche-appropriate but also feature the same color-schemes and have a cohesive quality to them. Don’t try to win everyone over - choose your favored niche or topic and stick to it.
When we say “editing”, we’re not just talking about Photoshop or FaceTune. Although removing blemishes and imperfections from your pictures is always nice, a visually-oriented platform such as Instagram will require a bit more out of you.
Although Instagram’s filters are beautiful, by their own merit, sometimes a little “outside” help is required if you want to give your photos a bit more “oomph” or a different edge and feel. You can use editing apps such as Canva to edit your photos before uploading them to Instagram.
People have actually researched this thoroughly and found that Instagram posts with emojis in the captions and comments have better engagement rates. It’s a bit weird, really, but if it works - it works! Next time you post, use at least one emoji in your caption to draw in the crowd.
We’ve already covered what hashtags are and how they work in a previous blog post here on GetFans, but in case you missed it, here’s the gist of it.
Hashtags are Instagram’s own keywords that the algorithm uses for cataloging and arranging the endless piles of content uploaded onto the platform at every second of every day. When you use hashtags on your posts, you’re helping the algorithm recognize your content for what it is and as a result, it exposes your posts to bigger, interested audiences. The recommended number of hashtags per post, by the way, is 11. Try and keep your hashtags as relevant as possible and don’t just “dump” hashtags randomly.
It’s well known, by now - most businesses are now officially active and interactive on Instagram. This means that you can now communicate directly with your favorite brands and maybe even collaborate with them (if you have the right number of following and engagement). It’s insanely easy to reach out to brands - all you have to do is tag them.
So, let’s say you’re wearing your favorite pair of Adidas sneakers in a picture and you want nothing more than to let the brand know. If you tag them in a picture showing you’re wearing their product, it will pop up on their feed and notifications, letting them know that you’re interested in interacting. Simple as that.
GEO-tagging, however, means tagging a specific location on a specific post. For example, if you’re traveling and you saw something exceptionally worthy of sharing - just add your location before you upload. This will help you lure in the locals and allow the algorithm to promote your posts for people who are in the same area.
Instagram makes content making and interacting with your followers incredibly easy with its’ stories and highlights features. Not only will they allow you to communicate with your followers directly and on-the-go, but you can also ask your followers what content they’d like to see more of. Getting feedback is crucial for growth, and using polls on your Instagram stories can be a fun, engaging way to learn what your audience thinks. This can be a valuable key in learning how to create better content for your followers’ delight.
These days, success is all about the numbers. Paradoxically so, even. If you want to be successful, you need to have the right numbers from the get-go. Unless you were born to wealthy or famous parents (or you’re wealthy or famous yourself), getting those numbers as soon as you start off on Instagram is virtually impossible. Even if you’ve been on Instagram for years, you may never reach those numbers all by yourself.
That’s where paid promotional services come in handy. Not only will they help you reach those numbers quickly and effortlessly, but they will also help increase your social proof when done right. Everyone on Instagram is buying followers, comments, and likes on a daily basis! When you use paid promotional services, the most important things are to not get carried away, first of all; and second of all, to make sure the followers, likes or comments you’re ordering are generated by real users with organic Instagram accounts.