How to Improve Your Instagram Feed
posted June 15th 2017, 8:00 am by Chloe Harbach
People love the 'gram, and we are no exception. Instagram marketing has taken off with organizations utilizing this social media platform to further their businesses. Perhaps that is because it feels so personal and interactive. No matter the reason, we want you to be on the cutting edge with your Insta game. So, we are back with more Instagram tips for you. If you missed our “How To” on captioning, it is right here. Before we begin, let’s reiterate that Instagram is meant to be a stream of pictures. Think of the picture as the meat and potatoes and the caption as the frosting on top. (We won’t judge you for what you eat.) So, basically, you need some killer potatoes. Well, we will help you out with our recipe for success. (See what we did there?)
How to Create a Clean-Cut Instagram Feed
First of all, let’s lay one thing on the table. Your phone. When people are on Instagram, they are usually on this device. It seems pretty obvious, but take a minute to think about what people are seeing when they are looking at your feed through a small screen. Keep this very obvious (but easily-overlooked) piece of knowledge in the back of your mind. OK, now let’s begin.
Mind your grid.
Understanding that your Instagram grid is its own entity is crucial when it comes to Instagram marketing. Remember how two seconds ago we said a phone screen is small? This is where that becomes important. When people are looking at your profile, they are seeing nine+ tiny thumbnail photos right next to each other (this is your grid!). If there is a cohesive theme to your Instagram grid, your feed is going to look clean and professional. So how do you achieve this cohesion?
Tips for minding your grid
- Start with a theme. You can post whatever you want as long as it falls under the theme you have created. For example, if your theme is coffee, you should not be posting pictures of athletic shoes. You have to stick with your theme. Also, this theme should revolve around color, too. If your pictures have a similar color scheme, your grid will look classy.
- Edit your photos consistently. If you are always using the same filters and apps to edit your photos, they can look unified with just a little bit of effort.
- Think of each post as a piece of the whole. Each picture you post should relate to the other pictures that you have already posted.
- Vary the angle of each picture. Back to the coffee example. If every picture you post is a close up of a cup of coffee, your grid is going to be boring. If you sprinkle in photographs of coffee beans, a candid of a person drinking coffee, and a shot of your shop from the outside, your feed's grid is going to be worlds more interesting.
- Plan ahead. Think of things that you can post about and make a plan. This point also coincides with #4. If you are planning ahead, you can plan how you are going to break apart close-up shots with shots of people and with aerial shots, etc. It sounds complicated, but it is really just a matter of using different subjects for your posts. Keep things interesting!
Some Examples of What We're Talking About
Collective Coffee, on the left, has chosen a theme that uses black with bold, highly saturated colors. This feed does a great job of varying angles and subject matter, as well.
Caribou Coffee, on the right, has opted for a softer theme. They use blues and tans to bring their photographs together.
Even from afar, there is unity in the way that each profile is designed.
So now that you have the umbrella understanding of your Insta profile, let’s look into each individual photograph that you will be posting.
How to Improve Your Instagram Pictures
Light is right.
In photography, light is the most pivotal aspect of a photograph. Poor lighting often equals a poor photograph. Keep this in mind when you are shooting, and, when you can, choose natural light (except at high noon).
Be mindful of composition.
This probably sounds a lot like a Photography 101 class -- you’re welcome. Photo composition is its own beast, so let’s keep this simple. People want to look at pictures that are interesting and visually pleasing, so here are some simple tips to help you with composition.
- The Rule of Thirds (or off-centering your subject) can help make a picture look more professional.
- Choosing textured backgrounds for your photos can add interest.
- Leading lines (implied lines that connect the subjects in a photo) can draw people’s eyes into and around a photo. With this apple photo, the apples are leading your eyes through the photograph.
Edit. Edit. Edit.
You have a theme to stick to, so editing is a must! Keep in mind what color tones you want accentuated and then edit all your photos so that those colors stand out. This will make your theme stronger, making your profile more professional.
It may sound like complicated maintenance, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it is a pretty quick way to sharpen your company’s online presence.
Need help marketing your company or have questions about your Instagram feed? Click here for our assistance!