Instagram is a bit tricky and there are no shortcuts to reach the top; your account either lives or dies depending upon the quality of pictures you are posting. Everyone wants comments and shares of their pictures, actually this is the major reason people post pictures. To get more of this you have to post pictures that are worthy of sharing and commenting. You cannot rely on ads or the contests you put up to drag you the way up to fame, you have to actually put in a lot of effort to reach to the top.
Always keep that in mind before posting pictures, I am going to discuss the top types of images you can post to gain maximum engagement. Usually pictures are attractive naturally, but you have to upload pictures to get that rate of engagement.
- Product Photos While in Use
You don’t need to technologically demonstrate your products to Instagram. You have to display your products being used in the real world. For example, you are making caps; share pictures of people using these caps and share them on Instagram.
You have to ask for their permission though, this way these photos will get even better. They don’t need to be in natural setting all the time, you can stage them as well and ask people to pose better. If you’re making Gym wear, you can take pictures of people working out in your gear.
If you’re making flavored coffee in your café you can do a thing where you can take pictures of people enjoying it outside the café in their offices or bus stops.
A combination can be made with other successful images for more value. These images are based on your users which is a good thing. Including real users of your products in original situations and places is a great way to draw the attention of your audience. This way they can relate to these images and the people using your products. People love their lives being depicted, especially mothers who are in a rut of motherhood. You can use this niche to advertise clothes for infants and other baby products.
- Fan Featuring
I am emphasizing on the point of including your audience in your pictures and another suggestion is to ask your fans to submit their pictures using your products. You are shifting the responsibility of sharing pictures to your users. You can touch them up though to make them more attractive and do some improvements if required, or you can ask your users to post really good quality pictures to be included in the contest.
First you have to ask users to submit their pictures using your products. Always ask them to use a certain hashtag so it’s easier for you to keep a track of the submissions.
Then you can post a comment on each picture individually and then thank them for posting. I suggest use a separate message for each entry to ensure them that you’re not a bot.
You can then select the best one fairly, and send the message asking them whether you can feature their picture on your page or not. Mostly people don’t mind featuring but there are exceptions.
- Use Collages for Less Attractive Images
When we take pictures, it doesn’t mean we take just one and it’s good to go. We all take several pictures and select the one we want to upload after some tweaking, of course. Some are really bad and you delete them right away. There are some which are decent, but not good enough to be used on their own. You will have to set them aside for later. The ‘Later’ is here.
What you can do is take 4-8 pictures from this folder and make a collage out of them. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, there are many applications that you can install on your mobile device and use then to create collages very easily. This turns really average pictures into something really extraordinary. The main idea is to utilize the images that weren’t good enough to be posted alone.
- Images of Animals
Nobody can deny that the number 1 images on Instagram are of animals. These pictures attract a lot of users and with them comes the engagement. There are many general hashtags associated with animals like #adorable #cute #furry #dogs #kittens etc. It doesn’t matter in which setting they are posted, people post replies and share pictures a lot.
The best thing to do is start by sharing pictures of your own pets, then the pets of people who work for you. It doesn’t matter in which position they’re working in your company; it could be someone from the upper management to the security guard.
You can ask them to take 10 best pictures of their pets and then you can scrutinize which ones to post and which ones to not. You can put two pictures of each pet as well.
You have to come off as animal lovers, you also can ask your users to submit pictures of their own pets. Who doesn’t like showing off their furry friends. You can give some extra exposure to exotic animals like birds, reptiles or fish.
- Show Your Employees are Treated Well
These days people have become more aware of companies treating their employees are a piece of equipment that they can fire and hire in a blink. You have to show the world how you treat your employees. Show the world that you care about your employees as much as you care about your brand. You can gain a lot of employment application if you have succeeded in portraying your company as the employee friendly one.
These kind of pictures can range from your employees enjoying coffee in the office or it can be kids playing your newly established day-care. You can show a pregnant employee enjoying her maternity leave or you can show positive customer representative and a customer interaction. Make sure to tag the people in the picture if they have their own Instagram account.
- Throw-back Thursday
Throw-back Thursday or TBT is a trend very famous Instagram. Although this trend is also found on Facebook but to a lesser extent. Why is it called TBT though? The idea is to post old images that show something significant from the past. It could be baby pictures, pets, old car or house that you used to own, pictures of places you visited in the past.
You might have some special resources when TBT pictures are considered, it all depends on your brand. Probably your office is in a building that has a long history. You may have met some really influential people in the past. You can put up pictures of your eventual CEO of their childhood or their football team in high school. You can also put pictures of your products from a decade ago and show how you have evolved in those 10 years. You can ask your audience to post pictures of themselves wearing your product from 10 years back, it is both TBT and great amount of engagement in one photo.
- Contest-related images
Running image-based contests on Instagram is great. You can also run contests across all of your social media accounts, and just promote them on Instagram with images. The choice is yours.
The ideal sort of image here is something interesting and scenery-related, rather than something more subject focused. The goal is to plaster text over top of it without destroying the image or distracting from the text. Create several of these images throughout the duration of whatever contest you’re using, and share them at different times throughout the duration of said contest.
The one thing you should avoid is the pure text image. Instagram users aren’t on the site to read, and they aren’t going to want to read a contest image if it has more than a couple of words. Keep the details to the description or the off-site page. Just post an image of the prize with a contest header and you’re good to go.
- Contest-winning images
Sometimes when you run a contest, the means of submission is an image. You want users to submit their own images, so you encourage it with a contest. You need to make sure that the images submitted are usable on your feed, so make sure part of the terms of submission allow you to do so.
Whether you’re doing internal judging or external, or even just a random or “random” selection, you can feature the winning images on your feed later. People like to see their content on a larger stage than it would normally reach. By sharing the winners, you get to surprise those winners, and you get to fill your feed with engaging content created by your users.
- Celebrity Pictures Endorsing Your Products
This is a more spontaneous way to display your product, you just have to have a set of products that can be spotted outside. For example, clothes, food, accessories etc. Always keep an eye out for celebrities and famous bloggers using your product in their photos and share their pictures with a tag.
This can be easily done with shopping bags and clothes. You can also do it with car accessories, sports equipment and gym wear.The idea behind it is to advertise that high profile people really wear your hoodies or eat the donuts your bakery makes.
- Reach Your influencers
There are leading people on Instagram and they are more popular than you and your account for sure. They are not to be treated a s competition, they are roads to the top.
You have to find someone who is quite popular and is willing to feature your posts or communicate with you on Instagram.
To achieve that, you have to post pictures you think they might like, and you have to tag them in that picture. Usually these celebrities get tons of notifications and they might not see the tag, but their audience will and their engagement can push you post further up. Never be too pessimistic about this, this kind of interactions can lead to potential partnerships and mutual benefits.
- Photos that Spark Great Debate
People on social media take pride in almost everything, their gender, nation, sports teams, cities, countries, political parties, sexual orientation. Where there is pride, competition comes naturally. People rooting for one team will always oppose people rooting for the other.
You can really take advantage of this situation. You can post a picture of a football game you’re rooting for and post it, see how much traffic will it steer its way. You will not be disappointed. You also can place Logos of two opposing teams side by side and post this collage and Voila, you will get a lot of people engaged in this photo. same thing goes around elections you can post logos of political parties side by side and your audience will do the rest.
You have to this tactfully by not taking sides, you have to let your audience decide who they want to support. Same thing goes for political parties; you cannot badmouth a party for their decisions. The best thing to do is post an analytical photo and let your audience discuss. Make sure you’re not causing a riot.
- Post A Tutorial
There are hundreds of thousands of pictures posted every day, now do you open and view a picture over and over again?Your answer might be, No. you can either Like it, comment on it, share it, but that’s probably it. Pictures have a very low lasting value.
If you post a tutorial, then the case if different. They last longer than other media. Make sure they are related to your brand, for example if you’re selling makeup, it would be a really neat idea to post tutorials about your make and its usage. You have to make sure that you’re not sharing anything that’s hurting someone or it could be really bad for your brand and rapport.