Last week, Gillian from the Charleston Blog Society asked me to share a few pointers on my favorite social media platform with the Charleston blogger group. I looooove Instagram, and I’m definitely OCD about it, but I was like ummm how am I supposed to tell a group of BLOGGERS how to improve their Instagram??
I decided to just go from point A to point B and describe exactly what I do before I post. I’m pretty sure they think I’m a little crazy now, but I got some really great feedback so I wanted to share with all of you!
1) Take your photo in VSCOcam.
The app, in my opinion, takes sharper images than your camera app, and it gives you control over focus and exposure. To utilize this, tap two fingers on the screen and drag each circle to the area of your choosing. At the top of the menu bar, you have options to turn on a flash (which I never ever use), a grid or a square (so that you can see what part of the photo would be in your gram), and a level (which I use often – especially for work!).
My best and favorite photos are almost always taken with natural light (side note: this ^^ was my very favorite Instagram I’ve ever posted). If it’s not an option, there are definitely work-arounds in the editing process (increase exposure, decrease temperature), but the quality is never as strong.
I’ve tried a lot of apps for editing, and VSCO is my favorite. A few of my favorite filters: N1, S3, G3, C3, and F2. I consistently brighten, sharpen, and cool photos – but that’s just my personal aesthetic. Go for a photo that looks like it may or may not be edited – that’s why I’m not a big fan of Camera+, it usually looks fake to me.
Not necessarily in quantity, time of day, or number of posts, but in the content that you post. If you’re looking to gain more followers, you want a well-balanced grid when they visit your profile. I have to be careful not to post tooooo many coffee shots in a row. I also like to stick to the editing guidelines I stated above. While I love a moody, black and white or faded, subtly colored theme on Instagram,az it doesn’t work well with my bright and sharp personal theme. Some people use the same filter for each photo to achieve that consistency, which is a great idea! Whatever YOU like most, make it your theme. Which brings me to…
This one took me some time to learn. I think the best philosophy on posting photos to Instagram is to post photos that you genuinely love. Whether it’s cliche, unique, new, old, etc. I mean, the aerial coffee shot has been done 10 billion times, but I love it, and I drink a lot of coffee, so I’m probably going to keep posting it. I’m not fishing for likes (although they are nice), I just like those kinds of photos. However, I don’t think you should make every single thing you post an Instagram cliche — avoid that at all costs. When it comes down to it, if you think you’d like that photo if it was on your feed, post it. After all, it’s your own social platform, and people are following you because they like your style – who cares what that little number says?!
- Posting photos of lots of people. I don’t know about you, but I’m a QUICK unfollower on IG, and when people post photos of big groups in the IG pictures, I generally unfollow. Don’t get me wrong, on my old personal account, that’s all there is. BUT, on my blog/primary account, I like to see photography more or less, and I feel weird liking a picture of people I don’t know. (Maybe this is just a personal preference.)
- Posting several photos in a short amount of time.
- Posting unedited, dark, or sloppy photos.
- Posting a photo identical to another blogger or Instagrammer (a little leeway on those #InstagramCliches 🙂 )
- Comment, comment, comment – on EVERYTHING
- Like every photo on your feed
- Enter hashtag campaigns to get reposted by Instagrams like Glitter Guide
- Tag all brands/places for possible regrams
I hope this is helpful in some way. If you have any AWESOME tips that I missed, please leave them in the comments!! I’m always looking for new apps or ideas that I don’t know about so share away. OH, and if you’re not already, please follow along on Instagram – it’s my favorite way to share and chat with you: @anniereeves. (PS: tag me if you use any of these tips so I can check it out!!)