Spring is finally upon us, and the only thing we love more than the increasing sunshine is sharing how great we look enjoying it.
We are no strangers to Instagram here at Skai Blue Media – in fact, we’re pretty much ‘gram-aholics. Not to brag, but we’ve gotten pretty good at it (see for yourself @skaibluemedia).
With all the excitement of changing wardrobes and picture-perfect plates, standing-out on Instagram can be quite the challenge. Here are our Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts for keeping your Instagram #SkaiBlueApproved this Spring.
1. DO: Use Blues
We’re not just saying this because blue is our favorite color; a study of 8,000,000 Instagram photos determined images where blue was the predominant color generate 24% more likes than images with predominantly red or orange hues. Minimalist images with one dominant color average 17% more likes than busy, over-saturated photos, so don’t sweat it if blue’s not your color – any hue will do!
2. DON’T: Overdo the Valencia
Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in 2011 anymore. Filters are out and custom edits are in. Photos with a lot of filters can look overprocessed and tacky. Keep it simple by adjusting the strength of the filter, or use Instagram’s editing features to adjust brightness and saturation to create a unique look for each of your ‘grams.
3. DO: Capitalize on Face Value
A study by Georgia Tech found Instagram photos with faces are far more popular than those without. Whether it’s a #SelfieSunday or a group shot with your squad, it’s 38% more likely to get likes than a faceless photo.
4. DON’T: Drink-stagram
The hashtag that’s least likely to earn a double-tap? #Drunk. Keep in mind that what you post online is a reflection of yourself, so keep it classy and avoid IG-UI (Instagramming Under the Influence).
5. DO: #Hashtag It Like It’s Hot
The best way to get your photo noticed is to utilize hashtags. Use the weekday essentials (#MotivationMonday, #ThrowbackThursday, #SelfieSunday, etc.), or create your own unique tag – our personal favorite is #WhatWeDo. If you’re in need of inspiration, look to the trending hashtags on Instagram’s search page. Just be careful not to overdo it (See #6).
6. DON’T: #Use #Too #Many #Hashtags
We love the power of a good #hashtag but there’s #definitely such a thing as #too #many #hashtags. Embrace hashtagging, but use some #self-control and keep your hashtags #relevant. Remember, hashtags are meant to increase your exposure by mentioning things that people regularly search for, so ensure that your tags reflect natural language. A strong caption with a few good hashtags makes a much better impression than a flurry of meaningless words like #scarf #scarves #red #redscarf #scarfweather #scarfseason #scarfgame #redscarvesforever etc.
7. DO: Be Social!
Instagram is a social media platform, so be social! Tag friends by @mentioning them in your caption or comment. Insta’s that mention another user’s handle in the caption generate 56% more engagement, which means more likes and comments for you.
8. DON’T: Insta After Dark
Be conscious of when you post your Instagram. Avoid posting late at night or early in the morning – your followers are probably asleep! The most popular times to post are 2:00pm, when people are on their lunch break, or 5:00pm, when they’re checking the Gram on the way home from work. Posting during peak times gives your photo a greater chance of being seen (and liked!)
9. DO: Tag Where You’ve Been
Geotagging the location of a photo increases engagement by a whopping 79%! If you’re Instagramming your Sunday brunch (of course you are), tag the restaurant as your location. Instagram allows you to make your own locations, so you can tag everywhere from your apartment to your favorite park bench. (Pssst… check out photos tagged at Pipeline Philly for some snaps of our office!)
10. DON’T: Lose Focus on the Subject
Too many subjects or too much background activity are total turn-offs to potential likers. Don’t be ashamed of staging your latte in front of an exposed brick wall; empty background space generates 29% more likes than busy, crowded backgrounds. We recommend cropping out anything that could distract from your subject. Example: that handlebar-moustached barista lingering in the corner.