If you want to attract new followers and boost engagement on Instagram (or any social platform for that matter), you need to create compelling photos and videos. Beautiful photos and high quality video are the key to Instagram growth.
Studies have shown that people can process images and videos about 60,000 times faster than text so it makes sense that visual platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube have steadily gotten more users in recent years. Instagram alone has over 700 million active users, making it one of the most important social media platforms.
But how do you create the most compelling visual content that will capture your audience’s attention and keep them coming back for more? Here’s what to consider before you post your next picture or video on social media.
1. Post Only Quality Images and Videos
Think quality above all else. Posting blurry photos with bad cropping and shaky videos with poor lighting can actually do more harm than good for the long term health of your Instagram feed. And give your followers something compelling to look at… boring photos and videos aren’t going to help you either. That goes for Youtube, Pinterest and Tumblr too. If it’s an image or video you wouldn’t want to click on, don’t bother posting it. Give the viewer something to get excited about and you will get more likes, follows and shares.
There is a tendency to shoot and post everything you see, but it’s better to slow down.. take some time to think about what is going on in front of the camera before pressing the shutter. How are you going to compose the shot? What is a totally unique take on the subject at hand? How are you going to light it? Don’t jump straight in without giving it some thought first. You want to show people something they have hopefully never seen before.
What is a “boring” photo? Check out this great Tumblr with the Worlds Most Boring Instagram Photos!
You can save the less visually appealing content for your Instagram stories… those are more about personality and slice of life, and they disappear in 24 hours too, so there is no penalty if it doesn’t look great. But on your main Instagram feed the image quality determines whether someone will follow you or not.
If you’re having trouble making good quality visuals, you may want to invest in a higher quality camera or even a photography class. These visuals represent your “brand” whether you are an individual or a business, so don’t skimp.
Here at Liked Lab, one of the first things we recommend is going through your Instagram feed and removing the photos and videos that don’t meet this standard. This is especially important for your most recent 12 to 20 posts, as those are the most likely to be viewed by your visitors. And when you sign up with one of our Managed Growth programs we will make recommendation on which images will work for maximizing your Instagram growth, and which images you may want to remove.
2. Be Consistent With Your Color Tones
You want to give your audience a consistent experience when they visit your Instagram profile. Choose a color palette and stick to it. Your color palette may evolve from your brand colors, your subject matter, or even just your personal preference. But keep in mind that recent studies have shown that pictures with blue as the main color tone tend to do 24 percent better in engagement on Instagram than pictures with dominant red or orange tones. Similarly, bright pictures do 24 percent better than dark images on social media.
But don’t feel trapped by this blue tone rule either. There are great examples of popular Instagram feeds that use red tones, even earth tones. The key is to be consistent and only post compelling imagery.
So don’t turn off your audience with a bunch of random pictures that don’t seem to belong on the same page. Instead, turn them on with compelling and consistent imagery and you will get more followers, likes and comments.
3. Find a Good Photo Filter to Use
Similar to a consistent color palette, you should be consistent with any filters you use as well. Play around with the many filters on social media apps like Instagram and find one or two that your audience seems to like best. Can’t decide what looks best? Research shows people like pictures with low saturation, which may be why Walden, Skyline and Valencia are the most popular filters for posting images to social media.
4. Know Your Audience
It’s important to consider who your audience is and what they’re looking for when they view your Instagram profile. Pay attention to which of your posts get the most likes and comments. If one type of post works, keep going in that direction.
It’s worthwhile to look at your most successful competitors and related users to get insight into what works for them. Once you have a sense of this, use information to create posts that will appeal to your audience. And note that you can’t just do this once and never again. You should always be checking your stats and making adjustments. After all, social media tastes are constantly changing, and it’s important to keep up with the trends.
5. Stick to Your Niche
It’s great to be a well-rounded individual with diverse interests. But for social media, showing too many diverse subjects can confuse your audience, and you will lose followers and engagement as a result. That’s why at Liked Lab we are big proponents of choosing a niche, sticking to it, and tailoring your content accordingly. After all, the most popular social media pages are very consistent in their content, and we are here to make you one of the most popular social media players as well! So if you are a Model/Photographer/DJ…well, just pick one! Which is your favorite? Which has the most potential for social media success? Don’t worry. If you really can’t decide, it’s okay to create multiple Instagram profiles and tailor them to that particular niche.
For businesses, this is especially simple. If you are a travel agency, you won’t be posting pictures of a cool new car. And also be specific. If you have a travel agency that specializes in cruises for retirees, your visitors will appreciate nice photos of retired couples enjoying a tropical island and elegant dinners. To learn more about social media for businesses check out blog posts like “how to choose the best social media platforms for businesses“.
So try these tips out in your own Instagram profile, and let us know which of these tactics worked best for you.
And if you need some help growing your following get in touch with us here at Liked Lab. We are ready to be your personal social media manager.
We are always looking for new team members to join Liked Lab! Check out our job listings here.
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