It’s no wonder top brands have made their way onto Instagram. It boasts 700 million active monthly users—and the best part—you don’t have to be a professional photographer to share attention-grabbing photos.
Instagram allows you to see the world through the lens of everyone’s iPhone. Consumers flock to it for a plethora of fashion ideas, endless family vacation photo reels, weekly meal preps and literally anything else that can offer daily inspiration or pass the time.
The huge draw to this platform means the competition to get in front of the right eyes can be fierce. Instagram’s algorithm requires you to be consistently active if you want to be visible on people’s feeds. But, that’s not enough. User engagement plays an even bigger role. Depending on how often people comment or react to your photos largely determines your spot on their feed.
Posting regularly is important, but it’s only half the story. Keep reading to learn how your brand can earn even more engagement through amazing photos.
Post real photos.
Instagram is not the place for stock imagery. There is nothing interesting about scrolling through generic photos that someone else took. Stock images are typically used to support content. Authenticity is imperative when the photo is the content. Get creative and plan ahead—especially if you’re planning a campaign or just want to have an arsenal of photos to use. If stock is necessary, try manipulating the image and bring it more in line with your brand by altering the color overlay or adding a quote.
Insert your brand.
This is not to say your logo should be thrown into the corner of every photo and you’re done. There are subtle ways you can establish the visual identity of your brand on Instagram through colors, subject matter and the overall experience you’re trying to achieve.
Birchbox’s Instagram account embodies the lifestyle of the customer who uses their products. Notice, you don’t see the actual box in any of these photos, but rather the products being used in different ways.
If your business is more service oriented, incorporating your brand’s colors into photos is a simple place to start. Take Hubspot, for example. The orange in their logo is incorporated into a lot of their photos, whether it’s the color of an object, someone’s shirt or the use of the photo tint. Take a look at the rest of your marketing materials and how images are used on your website. Be consistent on your Instagram account.
Play with placement.
You can turn just about anything into a compelling photo if it’s taken at a certain angle or with the right lighting. Hint: Use natural light whenever possible and experiment with the composition of your photo.
You may instinctively want to place the main subject at dead center, but add some interest by experimenting with a helpful photography guideline called the rule of thirds. Turn your phone’s grid settings on to apply the 3x3 grid on your camera. Make sure your subject is along the grid lines or at their intersection points.
Tag business location in all photos.
Tag your business location in all your posts so that when people click on that location, your photos are included in the search result.
Use filters sparingly.
The edit function allows you to adjust the brightness, contrast, shadows and more on your photo. Use the edit feature before a filter to keep your photos looking genuine and not overly processed. Keep in mind you may also want to use a similar tonality on all of your images.
Tell your story.
Instagram Stories were introduced last year as a feature that lets you share multiple photos and videos in a slideshow format. Use it to give even more context around a particular photo. It acts as another platform to tell the story in more detail through text and drawing tools.
Caption your photos.
Since engagement drives news feeds, don’t leave your photos bare. Include captions to describe the image or the story behind it. Hashtags will also raise your chances of showing up in image searches. A great way to encourage comments is to ask questions in your post.
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