3.09.2015

10 Tips For Mastering Instagram

10 Tips For Mastering Instagram

The question on everyone's mind these days has switched from, "What's the secret to life?" to "What's the secret to Instagram?" (not really, but play along). Everyone is always trying to gain more followers, publish great content and "master" this major social platform.

While I'm no expert, I'd like to think I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve that I can share with you all. So here it is: 10 Tips for Mastering Instagram


1. Take a lot of pictures:


Bloggers get a lot of flack for taking a ton of photos. BUT if you think about it, it's smart. Try a ton of different poses, faces, hair placement, feet placement, lighting, etc. From those you're bound to find ONE that you like. This way you can have some options.

Say you had the perfect Instagram but you blinked or there was a photobomb, wouldn't it be nice to have another option? You can see above that when I have time (and a helper) I'm able to try a lot of different photos to get the best one.

2. Try different angles

Leggings / Boots

Kind of piggybacking the above, try different angels for the same shot. You want to constantly create the best visually appealing photo you can but you also always want to keep it fresh. When people see the same angle of photo over and over, it can get boring!

Like the example above, I tried different ways to show off the same outfit while still including all of the same items. This way I can find what angle looks best for Instagram and share that photo. 

3. Know your audience

This changes from person to person but know what works best for your followers. Know what type of content they want to see and keep giving it to them! If they like quotes, throw them up once and a while. If you get a ton of likes on landscape photos, take note and take some more.

For me my readers love mirror selfies, "lips to hips" shots, travel snapshots, downward outfit selfies, New York, Bean Boots and overhead shots. They don't love professional photos, double feature blog photos, pictures taken at night, pictures with my whole face (for reals) and anything related to baseball (#sadface).

Know your audience and keep them in mind when publishing new content (or just screw them and do your own thing)!

4. Know what times work best
Working in social media I always find myself reading a ton of articles relating to strategy and research findings about different platforms. With that, I take away what I can for work and also for my blog. Last week I found the best article ever related to instagram and I wanted to share it with you! It's a Huffington Post article with findings of the best time to post a photo on instagram.

It was pretty interesting to me because I've always been so unsure about timing! I know personally I'm on Instagram all times of the day but that's because I work in social media so I have that luxury.

For a while now I've been posting at noon ET and between the hours of 7-9pm ET. I do this because around 12 everyone is on their lunch break and finding a time to check up on Instagram and between 7-9 people are getting off work, commuting home, or just bored at night.

This article shows a break down of each day, hour by hour and it shows the best times to post. I've started to try it over the past week but I haven't been doing it long enough to really see if it works. But I thought it was so helpful and a really interesting read! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

5. Publish quality content
This may seem like a no brainer, but you'd be surprised. I know I've been guilty of this and I'm hoping I'm not alone. There are days when I just don't have anything to post. To make sure I don't have radio silence online I'll just throw up a shot that I know is just okay and not really all that great. Well, when you know it's not that great, your readers do too. You'll get some unfollows, not as many likes and very little engagement. Now who wants that?

But when you publish something you're proud of and love personally, others will like it too. And even if they don't, at least you'll be happy about it and you'll find that's all that matters.

6. Gather content
Piggybacking (once again) off the above, you want to gather content. I know personally I don't have all the free time in the world to go out in good lighting and take a ton of photos for Instagram every single day. Most of the time I'm at work, my outfit is worthy of a share, the weather is crappy or I just find myself too busy.

When things like this happen, I find myself in need of quality photos (since I don't just want to throw anything up-- see #5). BUT when my weekends are spent wisely, I find myself having more than enough photos for the week. Wether it be snapshots from my weekend, outfits I wore, places I visited, things I ate... anything like that I'll now have to share. So if there comes a random Wednesday and I don't have anything to post, I can go into my "insta ready" folder (yes that's a real thing) and pick out a photo to share. #latergram

7. Edit
This is huge. Edit your photos! Make them the better versions of themselves. I'm not taking about editing to be dishonest but editing to enhance. Brighten it up, add some extra color, get rid of unwanted shadows and maybe throw a filter on it. My photos never come out the same way I see them in real life so I always want to edit them to make them more similar as to what I'm experiencing.

There are a ton of photo editing apps out there and I'd like to think I've made my way through most of them. What I use all the time is snapseed. I was introduced to it by an old blog photographer of mine and I haven't turned back. I love how easy it is and how great it edits photos! I'm not into any crazy type of editing so this really gets the job done.

My favorite feature on the app is the selective adjust. So if you just wanted to edit one part of the photo you can. Example being if there's a weird shadow you can brighten up that one spot or if you want to saturate the photo but not your skin you just tap and edit. It's pretty cool.

8. Straighten everything


I feel like this is a major tip that a lot of people skip over. STRAIGHTEN YOUR PHOTO! People love visually appealing photos and that starts with cohesive images. I set up my camera on my phone to always show the grid so I can always line up my pictures. But if that fails or someone else takes the photo and doesn't understand, there is always the straighten tool on most apps and on Instagram.

You'd be surprised at how many more people will unconsciously like your photo better when it's straight. I always make sure do really check my lines when there are natural lines in the picture (like a skyline, stripes on a wall, streets... etc). It's such an easy fix!

9. Mix it up


One of the big things I always make sure to do is mix up my content. I hate when I post back-to-back images of the same thing (like two mirror shots or two full body looks). Since most of my content is fashion I find myself always doing outfit shots. So what I'll try to do is post an outfit shot every other photo. In between I'll post things like landscapes, accessories, food pictures... anything along those lines other than pictures of myself in different clothes.

Doing this also pushes me to think outside the box of a fashion blogger on Instagram and come up with different photos that help showcase my life. I never want to repurpose the same content and this is how I do it! So mix it up on your feed-- try something new and push yourself to take a different style of photo. This is a collage of your life you don't want it to be boring. 

10. Have fun

Instagram is a place to have fun and share yourself with your followers. Be yourself, have fun and stay true to your voice. Do these things and watch your followers and engagement grow. That's the true key to mastering instagram!

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Hope this post was somewhat helpful and that you took away new tips and tricks for your own Instagram. If you're not already, be sure to follow along on my Instagram @kristarobertso. Have any other advice that I might have missed? Leave it below. I always love learning more :)


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