Instagram never seizes to fascinate social media aficionados. It takes a long time and a lot of work to create an account that gathers followers. A lot of factors can contribute to growing your follower base.
End of last year, the 7 members of South Korean record-breaking band BTS created personal Instagram accounts. In less than 24 hours, member V broke the Instagram record of the most followers gained in a day when his account managed to attract 15.6 million followers. You may not be able to match his results, but you can nevertheless learn a few tips to build a solid Instagram presence.
When you don’t have the luxury of being a member of one of the most famous music bands in the world, you will need to make do with exceptionally creative content that grabs people’s attention. It makes no doubt that maximizing your content visibility is essential to building momentum on Instagram, using:
- strategic hashtags
- consistent posting
- likes purchase
But your content is the key to getting noticed and followed. Quality, creative, and visually pleasing content can act as a follower magnet. Below we share some ideas to create unique content people want to see.
1. Build a grid theme
Your Instagram feed grid can be created using different layout designs. Experienced Instagram users use the grid to share their visual aesthetic. A cohesive grid is not mandatory for gathering followers on Instagram. However, think of it in terms of expressing your voice as a creator. If your Instagram profile were a blog, you would not vary your tone of voice from one article to another. It would confuse readers or even put them off. The same principle applies to your grid. A consistent grid reflects your creative voice, showcasing your personality and identity.
You can use a color palette as a grid theme, as it allows you to pull together different visual topics. You can also create a similar effect if you use the same filter across all your photos. While colors may vary, the filters will match the light effects and tones, creating a harmonious ensemble.
Minimalist themes are popular for their simplicity, focusing on simple monochromatic hues and photos that consist of a single subject. You can also find inspiration from minimalist designs for quote-based grids.
Perhaps, the most remarkable grid theme is also the most difficult to realize, the puzzle grid. It is a unique theme that will reveal a full image when your followers access the grid; each post consists of a portion of the image. It can be confusing for new followers to get the meaning of individual posts, but it remains a much sought-after design.
2. A unique angle
The angle of the photo is dictated by the way you hold your camera. Selfies, which make up a fair part of Instagram content, are typically captured from two main angles with little variations in between:
- Face or shoulder height in front of a mirror
- At arm’s length, using a facial feature as a focus with slight inclinations either towards a lateral side or from a higher point.
While it is not to say that every picture looks the same, a similar angle will inject the same emotion and expression across most images.
Some angles are hugely popular among Instagram users, such as:
- The mirror selfie
- The long shot of a landscape or sky taking at human height
- The rooftop photo for urban or natural landscapes
- The closed-up shot for candid photos of young children, pets, or events happening in real-time in your surroundings
- The wide eye filter for interior decors and layouts with natural lighting effects
Therefore, it becomes necessary to vary angles and surprise your followers with something unexpected. An interesting way to change the angle is to place yourself at the same eye level as a different view of the scene. For instance, a landscape could be captured from a bird’s view using a drone with quality imaging technology, such as the DJI range, which can be customized to meet your requirements. It’s worth taking drone flying lessons first. With a little practice, you can learn to see familiar scenery from a different perspective and unlock new beauty.
3. My one and only prop
We owe it to Amelie Poulain to add a playful twist to boring holiday postcards by adding a garden gnome to the scene. You can create an exciting and fun feed by building it around a recurring prop. It doesn’t need to be Amelie’s garden gnome.
For instance, a traveler’s feed could use a single object and set it in different surroundings to capture different regions and lights. It’s best to use a small and easily portable item, so you can always keep it with you at all times.
To come back to BTS, in 2021, they launch in collaboration with designers a series of small creatures, each representing one member of the group as well as a creature for their fans, Army: a pink rabbit, a white alpaca, a blue koala, a small dog, a round cookie, a blue horse, a heart-faced character, and a bicoloured robot. Some fans have been using their favourite characters in photos when attending concerts, such as capturing the journey to the concert venue, the excitement in the crowd, and even the celebration post-concert. It is an interesting way of adding a small detail to a scene and making it your own.
Some of the props you can take with you for a meaningful shot can include:
- Soft, small toys such as something you can attach to a keyring
- A small photo of a relative, such as a handheld frame of your grandparents, to place in front of the camera
4. A new eye to the camera
Filters can create a different texture for your pictures. But there is more than one way to play with filters and even create your own manual filter device.
A pair of 3D glasses combining a blue and a red lens can become a playful filter device. You can hold the glasses in front of the camera, which will take your followers into a world of blue and red that brings a new dimension to each image. You can also use colored sheets instead of 3D glasses to achieve the same effects. It can be an interesting design to create a color-coded grid, switching filter hues to build a rainbow-inspired grid.
Rings and similar shapes can also create a funnel you can place over the camera to drive your followers into the heart of the photo. You can also make a circle with your fingers for a more manual touch and feel.
Eyesight correction glasses or glass balls can be a neat filter, but they can distort the image. It can be an exciting effect, but you will need to focus on easily recognizable landscapes and shapes, even using bright colors for identification purposes. For example, flowers and bees can be a great subject that remains identifiable through bright hues, even if the contours get transformed or blurred out through the glass.
5. One scene, many perspectives
Instagram is not only a platform for photos, and you can also use it to share videos. Some of the most popular videos on Instagram come from Tiktok, another social media platform preferring short films under 60 seconds taken with a vertical smartphone camera.
Short videos are easy to consume and digest on social media. They tend to share:
- Dance challenges
- Fun sketches
- Quick visual effects, such as colour fading or texture change
As a creative user on Instagram, you can copy the same formula to design unique and exciting video content. Yet, you need to have a tight posting schedule if you wish to maintain the momentum. Therefore, it can be interesting to use a multi-faceted narrative to reach out to your followers.
Cinema enthusiasts, for instance, can record a short video of a couple having breakfast in the kitchen. Then they can create different videos showing how the same breakfast concept through different film sets, such as what it would look like if Princess Leia and Han Solo were sharing breakfast on the Millenium Falcon or how Bonnie and Clyde would prepare for a robbery over a cup of coffee. It is also a great way to engage with your audience and take their recommendations for future videos.
A similar concept would also apply to portrait and scene photos; however, you would be able to play more nuances in video media.
Building a reputable and strong presence on Instagram is no easy task. While you may not be able to compete against celebrities’ accounts, well-structured and imaginative content can be a source of social media success, either as an influencer or even for your own pleasure. An Instagram presence can serve you as an introduction point in a crowded sector, such as in the arts or marketing industry. But it can also be a useful tool to educate and inform your audience, as many scientists and other professionals are doing.
Masab Farooque is a Tech Geek, Writer, and Founder at The Panther Tech. He is also a lead game developer at 10StaticStudios.
When he is not writing, he is mostly playing video games