It's safe to say every social media platform has its own aesthetic. We don't post everything from our Instagram on our LinkedIn or Facebook. Each social media app has its own unique way of how it should be used; for instance, Instagram's feed structure alone replicates a miniature art gallery. Whether it is for your personal private account or as a way to market and brand your company, there is a trick to curating a great feed to attract viewership and gain likes.
As a third-year media and film studies major, I learn and focus on techniques and ideologies that circulate around popular media content. I also spend too much of my life browsing Instagram because it's personally my favorite social media site. So if you want some tips and tricks to boost your Instagram game, may it be your Instagram stories or general posts, here are a few techniques to enhance your account. Best of all, some of these tips feature Instagram accounts you may or may not recognize.
1. Stick to one filter.
Whether you are editing via Instagram itself or a separate app, aim to stick with one filter to establish a consistent Instagram image. Not only will it be aesthetically pleasing, but also reflect your taste and identity. For instance, you can try creating your feed based on a black and white filter, as singer Alexander DeLeon does. Just make sure that you are using the same filter each time to provide a cohesive Instagram account feed.
2. Put effort into your captions.
Your captions should be either short and simple, or long and rich. Captions should either be simple for someone just scrolling through Instagram to glance over, or it should be something really interesting that someone cannot resist reading further. From quirky emojis to personal, emotional anecdotes, try to represent the photo and your relationship to the content itself. Check out Instagram influencer and YouTuber Liza Koshy, who has numerous funny, short captions that reflect her personality and her humorous, relatable video content.
3. Use trendy, popular hashtags.
Even though hashtags can a bit cheesy, studies have proven that it does increase engagement. If you're aiming to increase your viewership or develop your Instagram account, use hashtags to gather traffic on your page. You never know who may be a fan of your work, so why not spend just a few seconds to add a popular, trendy hashtag that correlates with your content? People who share your interests may stumble on your account because of your hashtags or maybe be interested because you have something they want to know more about, such as the lifestyle in Los Angeles.
4. Feature candid, authentic posts.
It's pretty ironic to be "natural" when you're basically posing and constructing yourself on Instagram. However, providing a natural, candid display on Instagram allows people to feel more connected to your identity and be more comfortable following your content. For instance, although she's considered the next generation of supermodels, Gigi Hadid frequently features natural poses and content to exemplify herself, not just her brand. By mixing up her page with her Vogue covers and scenic views, Gigi can gather an audience who feel connected to her personality, while also seeing her body of work. This methodology might also be the reason how she gained the most followers on Instagram than any other model in 2016.
5. Remember: instaNTgram short stories.
Your Instagram stories shouldn't be too long unless you're going on a trip or an event, which means you are showcasing an instant, uncommon circumstance. If you're just posting a day to day occurrence, post only a few Instagram stories, but if you want to post longer video content, it would be more appropriate for YouTube. Instagram stories should instantly capture what is happening at the moment, but also be concise so that people will not get annoyed and stop watching your stories. Take the time to also categorize your Instagram stories with Instagram's highlight, which will allow more people to watch your specific content, as it had been conveniently curated for the viewer's interest. For instance, YouTuber and beauty influencer Sazan Hendrix's Instagram stories have all her short stories organized in a way to appeal to multiple audiences with each highlight showcasing her various ventures.
6. Follow the rule of thirds.
The Rule of Thirds is a basic technique used by many professional cinematographers and videographers. It focuses on the composition of a photo with the subjects or the main focus within the intersections of an imaginary grid over your shot. Using this concept makes a photo more visually pleasing to a viewer. Next time, try to take photos by implementing the Rule of Thirds to improve the composition quality of your Instagram post.
7. Embrace your fun creativity.
Your mood and authenticity are what will get people to follow or like your content. Instagram is an app that serves as a form of entertainment for many people, so you should also view Instagram as a way to express yourself in a fun, creative manner. Post stuff that makes you happy or just something that you find interesting, like Emma Chamberlain mockingly reconsidering her life choices. People want to have fun spending time on Instagram, so why shouldn't you?
At the end of the day, Instagram is just a social media site. It can be a powerful tool to build your career or to make connections, but it's crucial to realize that there is more to life than stressing over your next Instagram post. Socializing with others means sharing stories and finding common ground that can be discovered in person or online. So, while these techniques can definitely help increase traffic and followers on your account, the main key to Instagram success is by having your account reflect your amazing self.