7 tips on how to "tighten up" your Instagram page.

While pitching my creative services to a user on Instagram, she responded "No thanks. I'm already an influencer on Facebook." What many creatives who move on to a new social platform do not realize (at first) is that there is a reason why the new app was not only invented, but also populated. Instagram is unlike any other app out there, and is beloved by significantly different demographics than let's say, a Pinterest board or a Facebook page is. Because of the grid system and the ease of sharing, Instagram has set itself apart from the competition, but it also means that the behavior or users changed. And if you'd like to amass a greater following, you gotta learn some new techniques. 

1. Choose a color scheme or a mood

For whatever reason, I am drawn to dark, moody tones that look cinematic. I love my highlights to be at a full -100 so that the image looks like everything seamlessly blends together. I also love to turn the notch up on the color red. I love when it looks super bright, almost on the side of neon.

Figure out what your style is. Do you like to showcase complimentary colors (like 'giulslively' posted below)? Do you want to go through color phases where you focus on a color and post photos that pertain to only that color like Amrezy

Note how different the colors are for every page. The colors could be based on preference, or to signify what the focus is. The makeup page (on the right) is warm and luscious and hints at the love for luxury products. 

2. Choose a theme

This one is tricky. Find 1-5 things you'd like to focus on and make that your center point of your feed. Remove everything unnecessary. The less categories you have, the easier your feed will be to manage. What are categories? Anything you want to post about.

Mine are travel, architecture, and some lifestyle. Whatever I do, I focus on shooting photos that will cater to those themes. I will not shoot a workout post or closeups of bugs in nature. It's not my feed. Someone whose passion is fitness or nature will certainly compile a fantastic gallery, but I will focus on storefronts, my style (what little I have_

3. Find order in your work

Take a look at how Instagram is laid out. When you look at your gallery, you see 9 squares laid out, giving you an idea of what the account focuses on. When you scroll, you can see a sense of cohesion, perhaps based on the images shown (such as all adventure photos) or strategically selected images that tell a more holistic story of the life of the person/business.

After selecting a handful of topics to focus on, you can map out a creative direction for yourself / your team. You can focus on a variety of content pieces to make sure your feed is always exciting and synchronous. Choose from interviews / portrait shots, details, quotes, videos, illustrations, follower contribution, etc and put them altogether like a jigsaw puzzle.

Let's take a theme like "cooking".  With the theme, can create a uniform strategy with some planning. Let’s say we want to focus on (1) meals, (2) chef interviews, (3) detail shots of food, (4) dining experiences, (5) wine/cocktails. You should try to rotate our lineup of content so that they tell a larger story, and keep the viewer focused on your feed. You don’t have to focus on five themes, but also pick and choose. Certainly, experiment and throw in other themes that your followers may be interested in. 

4. Experiment with creative ways of capturing your work

Your account does absolutely not have to follow any traditional way of showcasing photographs. Take a note from the Russian visual artist Dukhovnoye Litso and all of her amazing stop motion work. 

Never stop trying to create work that is unique to your skills. If your passion is in photography, keep thinking of creative ways you can make your work go further. Can you shoot in a different angle, maybe from way below like Tito? Can you utilize props and bold colors like Brandon Woelfel? What says the viewers after seeing a couple pieces, that it's your work? What is your trademark?

5. Write the most engaging captions

Some things to consider in your caption are that you should make it exciting, fun, and maybe even informative. Share background information about your post or offer advice. I love to showcase an after-and-before post and walk people through how I made the edit in Lightroom. It happened to be one of my most liked and engaged posts. 

Another really easy way to get your users excited and talking with you is by asking questions! You can ask preferences, favorite (and least favorite) music, best desert in town, etc. It doesn't have to be anything serious, but should engage the user and motivate him/her to offer feedback. 

6. Prepare your content for the future

Do not forget to keep business at the center of what you do. It's fantastic to use social media as a creative outlet, but if you'd like to take the medium further, you must think about what kind of sponsors you want your page to attract. 

When I started reaching out to businesses about working together, many said yes, a lot more said no, and most never answered. But what stood out where the comments that reminded me that beauty is not my main category that I work with. 

7. Give people something to talk about 

Get creative by creating content that catches the eye. This is not always simple but it’s lkle a muscle- If you train it often, you’ll see great progress. To create interesting posts, you have to focus on your target demographic and mixing it with what your personality offers. Offer variety not only in the kind of content you post but also in the things you showcase. For example, if your Instagram is focused on style, try to add posts with interesting pieces such as a bold accessory (like a hand-woven clutch or bold shoes) or maybe go as simple as adding a statement lipstick color. Engage your following by setting the trend and making them be curious. I’ve had a friend even recommend boosting engagement by omitting certain details. If you look at Patrick Ta’s accounts, he often omits the name of a bright lipstick. And what happens? His comment section is flooded with questions about where to get the lipstick and who makes it. Peak their interest. Get them curious. Show off bold, statement pieces to get them talking. 

Khrystyna Oros