While Instagram can be fun, inspiring, and a place to connect with like-minded individuals, it’s also important to be strategic when using the platform for business purposes. Luckily, there are a few small things you can do to help the app reward your content – keep reading to find out more!
Photo Size (Feed Photos)
When posting on Instagram, you want to take up as much real estate in your audience’s feed as possible. And, sizing your photos based on Instagrams recommendations can certainly help boost the performance of your posts. There are two things to consider when sizing your photos, the aspect ratio and image resolution. The aspect ratio of an image is the ratio of its width to its height, and the resolution refers to the number of pixels in the image. For example, 1080 pixels wide is the maximum resolution allowed on Instagram, therefore we always want to size our images to the maximum resolution to ensure our images are the highest quality possible. Here are the ideal aspect ratios and resolutions for Instagram with some examples below:
Photos shot in collaboration with @ohsierracreative
As you can see, the image sized with a 4:5 aspect ratio (1080×1350 pixels) would take up more space in the feed, causing it to be more eye-catching and engaging to your followers.
Many times, photographers will shoot images in a portrait orientation (unless you require photos for your website, which are shot in a landscape orientation), making it easier for you to simply transfer the photos to your phone and start posting right away. Luckily, Instagram has a built-in feature that allows you to change the aspect ratio of your photo from 1:1 to 4:5 with one simple click, see the image below (button circled in red):
Otherwise, you can pre-size your images in tools like Photoshop, Lightroom, or Canva (free). Just remember, you’ll still need to click that little button to make sure your image displays in the 4:5 aspect ratio.
To view all aspect ratios and resolutions for different types of posts on Instagram, visit this blog post by Tailwind.
Another way to maximize your Instagram post is to make use of the location tagging feature. Make sure the location is relevant to the location you were in when taking the photo or the general area (i.e., city). This is a great way to be discovered by people in the area who may be looking for your services locally.
Tagging other Instagram accounts is another way for potential exposure and engagement on your photos. Be sure to only tag accounts that are relevant to your post. It’s not a good idea to spam other accounts by tagging them in a post that has nothing to do with their brand or content. Examples of proper tagging would include, collaboration partners (photographer, makeup, hair, etc.), a specific location (if they have an Instagram account), brands of any props you have in the photo. It’s always a great idea to tag relevant accounts because chances are, they will share the post with their audience too!
Instagram captions are a great way to convey information to your audience, you can even treat them like a mini blog post. Be sure to use long-form captions to keep your audience engaged on your post, more time spent on your post = more valuable to the Instagram algorithm. In addition, I recommend drafting your post in the notes app on your phone to insert line-breaks and to double check there’s no spelling or grammar errors. You can tag relevant accounts in your caption as well.
Hashtags are a wonderful way to get noticed by new audiences. When it comes to using relevant hashtags for your business, be sure to do your research, finding a variety of different categories relevant to your business as well as hashtags with varying levels of posts. The smaller the amount of posts in a hashtag, the easier it will be to get noticed within the hashtag. Lasly, depending on how many times per week you post on the app, be sure to have a few different hashtag clouds to switch out on your posts. You can always create a document storing all of your hashtags by size and use this to refer back to when building out your hashtag clouds.
I hope you enjoyed this little guide on how to maximize your Instagram feed posts! If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message on Instagram or email me!