One of the fastest ways to gain followers on Instagram is to establish a “look”. A consistent, cohesive Instagram feed will attract new followers and will help build your brand.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you seek a cohesive aesthetic for your Instagram.
Look at the Stats
According to a study by Curalate (links to a really cool infographic) of over 8 million Instagram photos, here is what works on Instagram:
- High lightness generates 24% more likes than dark images.
- A high amount of background space generates 29% more likes than those with minimal space.
- Images featuring blue as the dominant color generate 24% more likes than images that are predominantly red.
- A single dominant color generates 17% more likes than images with multiple dominant colors.
- Images with low saturation generate 18% more likes than those with more vibrant colors.
- Images with high level of texture generate 79% more likes than those without.
Pretty amazing, isn’t it? It’s so helpful to see those statistics. That said, you don’t have to stick to what statistics say “works”. I know plenty of instagrammers who have bright, saturated photos and they are killin’ it with likes and followers.
If you don’t love the aesthetic you choose, it will be hard for you to keep it up. So if you’re attracted to bright photos, then stick with that, regardless of what the statistics say.
Figure out what you like
Now take a look at who you follow on Instagram. Who are your favorite users? Take a scroll through the main feed and see what pops out at you. Do you enjoy color? Do you prefer muted toes?
One suggestion I have is to take screenshots of all of your favorite photos (not to use anywhere or copy, just to figure out a theme). Add them all to an album in your iPhone and determine if there is a common look to all photos.
Do Some Planning
Want to know the secret to a perfectly styled Instagram? Planning. Many instagrammers take dozens of photos during one “shoot” and then use them throughout the week. Not only does having all of your images pre-planned help to maintain consistency (which attracts followers), but it makes it easier for you when life gets hectic during the week.
Edit all photos similarly
In order to maintain consistent branding, consider either picking a filter and just using that one, or using no filter at all. Bouncing around between filters based on the photo is not conducive to maintaining a common aesthetic.
I prefer to pop my photos in to Afterlight (my favorite photo editing app), up the brightness and the exposure, sharpen a bit, and clarify a bit (to bring back some of the definition you lost from over-exposing). That’s my go-to photo “recipe” for photos I add to my lifestyle blog Instagram.
Resist the Urge to Post Things That Won’t Fit In
It might be tempting to post something funny or beautiful that doesn’t fit in with the look you’ve chosen. At some point, you’ll have a photo you desperately want to post but it just doesn’t work. Resist the urge to post it anyway and take to Twitter. Any photos that don’t fit in my Instagram aesthetic go straight to Twitter. Sometimes they are photos that followers would truly enjoy but one photo that is outside of your chosen aesthetic might look odd in your feed.
Instagram is currently the fastest growing social network and will continue to be relevant to bloggers, as we use it to compliment our blog posts. What tips do you have for Instagram?