Review a bunch of helpful tips for those who want to communicate with the world via Instagram, one of the most popular social networks these days.
Instagram is one of the rapidly-growing social networks at the moment. With over 1 billion monthly active users, it has evolved into much more than a social media platform. Today, Instagram is where creativity leads to careers, businesses are launched, and influencers become celebrities.
In this digital landscape, it is never too far-fetched, hoping to seize fame one day. If you are creative and willing to do some smart work, people worldwide are eager to encourage your dreams. However, at the same time, the competition is fierce for attention on the platform. You need more than just a skillset to beat the Instagram algorithm. As you are setting out as a beginner blogger on Instagram, you would do well by keeping in mind the following tips.
Land on a Niche
Yes, we know that you have heard this a lot since the dawn of social media. But, today, when everybody is thinking out of the box, you need to find a corner and make it yours. The profiles you come across with the same color palette and similar photo styles are not by accident. These accounts are tailored to look like that, catering to a specific group of audience that seeks such content.
A 2019 survey pointed out that there are over 500,000 active influencers on Instagram. If you follow a random style without offering a signature pattern, it is unlikely that you will get noticed.
Take a look at Victoria Siemer’s profile. She uses her photography with creative editing to portray images in her unique style. It goes without saying that her gallery is a stunner, a niche within photography.
Rich McCor, the man behind the Instagram handle Paperboyo has got a unique approach to his photography blog. He lets his imagination flow through paper cuts that fit right into the image. If you think, his photos are quite simple, what adds an edge to it is his creativity.
Even with a viral post, people will only click “Follow” after checking out your profile. You need to convince them that you can offer value.
Tell a Story
Every brand today is about a journey that led to its creation and how it passes on its legacy. An Instagram account is your brand, and what the audience expects from you is nothing less than this. Behind every photograph is an inspiration, even for a millisecond that made you press the button. Sometimes, it is the story that makes the photo all more interesting.
On Instagram, these stories make for excellent captions, and possibly, more hashtags as well. You might get an incredible shot at dawn when the streets are less crowded. But you will have a better story to tell from a picture that has plenty of people in the frame.
Simone Bramante seems to have got it right on Instagram. Stunning, enthralling, captivating, these would only begin to describe his photos. However, they also make you curious about why Simone chose that frame. And he doesn’t disappoint you with the answers either. Each image has a purpose, making his work worth a cause and more engaging to the audience.
Get Behind the Scenes
While the photograph itself is the ultimate product, there is more than one selling point here. People are always interested in the journey that got you to the picture. Whether you are a professional photographer, work with models, or take street photographs, do not hesitate to cover a little bit of the surroundings as well.
These behind the scenes posts are likely to get you more attention than the post itself. These will give your followers a sneak peek into your life, both as a photographer and a blogger. You can also prepare vlogs on how you are planning for a photo and the creative process behind it. There are exciting ways to include this, such as time-lapses or screenshots of the editing.
David Guttenfelder is a renowned photographer who contributes to National Geographic. However, his photos come with a twist. They are all taken on his smartphone. Not only that, each post is accompanied by a description that gives insight into the subject.
Apply the Rule of Thirds
It is likely that you have already come across this famous approach to framing photos. It is one of the effective ways to compose an image that is appealing to the viewers. It is also very friendly to the Instagram layout, allowing you to plan the photo that sits well with your gallery feed.
The rule of thirds is applied by dividing the frame into a grid of 3 x 3, dividing the picture into nine boxes. The rule suggests that the viewer’s eyes are most likely to go to one of the intersections. If you compose the picture with the subject along these intersections, the resultant image will be more aesthetically pleasing. Today’s cameras, even on mobile phones, allow you to turn on grid patterns while taking pictures. Such compositions will enable you to leave white spaces in the picture, which is perfect for adding text while posting them as stories.
Portrait photography is one of the best ways to emphasize the rule of thirds. On Garrett Cornelison’s profile, you will see plenty of such compositions, where your eyes fall right on the subject.
Keep the Editing Consistent
In addition to choosing one niche, your feed could also benefit from sticking to a single tone. This doesn’t mean the editing has to be identical. For instance, you can create a brilliant gallery with a focus on monochrome or colors. If you mix them both, make sure to follow a pattern for the entire feed. You can mix them around, but it would be better to limit yourself to a couple of presets rather than a mélange.
You will notice this if you look at all the famous Instagram bloggers or photography pages. Everybody has a unique style that sets them apart or makes their photos easily identifiable.
Bonus Tip for Photographers
Instagram tends to compress your large size images when you post it slightly. Even if you are posting the best quality, you might want to sharpen it a bit more so that the final image will be best suited to the original.
Photography is much more than employing a few tips and tricks. You will have your preferences and knacks for achieving the results you are looking for. These tips can certainly help you tweak your photos to a style more suited to the Instagram audience. Having said that, you also need to combine these with some other blogger tips if you want to succeed in the social domain. Here are a few points that you can and should attend.
Make Your Posts Relatable
Being a blogger doesn’t mean you have to stick to one array of content alone. You know the type we’re talking about, with vibrant colors, designer clothes, flowers, and gorgeous cafes. Social media is seeing a significant shift towards relatable content. Brands do not want to come off as unachievable to the audience or set unrealistic standards.
Meanwhile, that is precisely what the audience is also behind. 89% of users want to feel that a blogger is a nice person who is not trying to sell products and someone they can hang out with. Be it photos or videos; if you are hoping to be an influencer by the end of the day, you need to connect with the audience.
Ali Buckley’s gallery is warm and relatable. She makes her motherhood look fun. But her recipe adds a little more enchantment with clever editing into otherwise typical Instagram blogs. Who wouldn’t love a little magic in their coffee to make their day better?
Build Your Portfolio
That said, if you want to use your Instagram gallery merely as a showcase for your photography work, then you are not bound by any of these. As we mentioned earlier, Instagram is one of the best places where you can proudly exhibit your work. You can use it essentially as a portfolio of your style.
Some of the most attractive photography pages are all about exploring creativity. One of the niches getting incredibly popular on Instagram is mixed media, blending in different creative styles. Though it is recommended to consider how each post will fit into your feed’s overall look, it is not necessary if your work demands otherwise.
Street Photographer Travis Jenson has made his Instagram profile into a collection of his brilliant works. There is plenty to learn from here, from his frames, compositions, and engaging descriptions. His editing is also unique by mixing colors and monochrome yet staying consistent.
Use All Formats
Posts are only one part of Instagram tools. The platform is continuously upgrading with stories, reels, and possibly many new variations in the future. The key here is the different layouts that apply for the different formats. When you are taking photos, make sure that it fits the bill for the right format. You could also take multiple shots in various formats, so you do not have to compromise by cropping the image.
While at it, encourage your customers to interact with your posts with attractive call-to-action elements as well. Today, there are in-built tools in Stories where you can nudge a follower to engage with votes, questions, and reactions.
Instagram is all about the reach. And as per the latest algorithm, you need engagement to push your post to the top of the list. These could be compared to how keywords work in search engines. One of the ways to achieve that is by using Instagram hashtags. These hashtags can connect you to an audience whose interests are similar to what you offer.
You need to identify the most popular hashtags for your niche, as well as ones that are unique to your style. Hashtags are the inevitable tool that best enhances your presence on social media, and you should make the most of it.
Post at the Right Time
How well your Instagram post will perform depends heavily on the engagement it gets in the first one hour or rather a few minutes. Sometimes, of course, one of your posts could go viral much later. But that is a scarce phenomenon. So you need to time your posts during peak hours to ensure that it gets the maximum reach possible.
First of all, check your own and competitors worst time to post. Now, the best time for posting will depend on who the majority of your audience is and the time zones they are in. If there are multiple time zones you want to target, you can also use an auto-scheduling tool to publish your posts.
Building a community of followers on Instagram might take a long time. But keep in mind that you are not looking for an increase in follower count, but those who are willing to interact and share your work as well. Rather than the quantity, focus on building quality.
You need to make the quality of your photos a priority while constantly working on their promotion as well. Take time to engage with your followers, respond to comments, and appreciate them sharing your work. You should also reciprocate their kindness by returning compliments and leaving thoughtful comments.
In the end, heed that quality always trumps quantity. Upload your best pictures, have a strategy on when to post, maintain the interactions, and watch while your photography page continues to grow with each effort.
About the Author: this is the guest post by Victoria Davis, an essay writer helper from EssayHub. She specializes in content writing, lead generation, and routinely catches up with new social media tactics.
Title image from Moose stock photos