Struggling to gain followers on Instagram?
Wondering why your engagement is inconsistent?
While the complete answer begins with an amazing photo (subject, lighting, framing), and includes countless other strategies (think image content, post timing, hashtag strategy, etc…) here are some simple tricks that will make any of your photos stand out.
#1 - Turn On the Lights!
If your image is a bit on the dark side, either adjust the photo before you upload, or use Instagram's advanced editing tool to amp up the light. You can do this by increasing BRIGHTNESS or HIGHLIGHTS, and by reducing SHADOWS. Use each sparingly and rarely ever all 3 at the same time.
Be careful, you can make your photos so bright that they lose their subtleties (unless this is your "look" - see @joriespaulding below). They should be just bright enough to help catch someone's eye and make the photo feel fresh, regardless of what a viewers phone's brightness level might be set to.
Of course, this does not apply to every photo style or theme, but as a general rule, your average photo will get more love if you turn up the lights just a bit!
#2 - Get Chunky
Notice how the trees in this 'winter driveway' photo create some "noise"? This does allow for significant contrast with the snow for an interesting image, but in a montage of photos, it gets lost in the shuffle (side note - it could be a bit brighter :).
Photos like this can receive solid engagement as they are seen in a linear feed, but are too "busy" to attract much attention in a 3x12 thumbnail gallery where you hope to be discovered amongst the sea of photos.
Photos with chunky blocks of color like the 'blue sky moon' do a much better job at drawing attention in a gallery due to the brains visual perception sequence of Shape, Color, Content.
#3 - Create a “Look”
Be consistent with your tones, coloring and light. You can do this in many ways, from the subjects/colors in your photo, to post production editing in your favorite app, Instagram app edits, and filter application. The easiest technique is to consistently use the same 1 or 2 filters, but this depends on the image you are working with.
The photos you see in GoVermont are often custom edited AND include a filter to get just the right look.
There are many accounts that do this well, including:
#4 - Be on Time
Be timely with your posts, or timeless with your subject matter.
Classic summer photos shared in the winter won’t work well on a consistent basis, but you can certainly post an interior shot any time of year.
Spring flowers popping where you are? Then a picture of fall foliage probably won't do that well. You get the point...
#5 - Give Them What They Want
This may or may not be obvious, but you must give your audience what they want to see. After all, it IS the reason they follow you. Stray too far from what they typically like and you will see your engagement decline.
If you aren't inspired by the photo(s) you are posting, then you won't be motivated to continue to produce quality work. At some point, you have to do your own thing - especially in the beginning. There are millions of Instagrammers out there. Why should someone follow you?
These are just a few of lessons we have learned attracting 100,000+ followers for our clients!
If You Need help with Instagram Marketing or accelerating your account growth, We have space available for a limited # of new clients.
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