Below are some suggestions for posting photos to Instagram (or any social media site). And for reference, I have been GUILTY of doing all of the Do Nots.
Don’t: Post the same selfie over and over. Love yourself? That’s great, but if you post the same photo of yourself (same angle, making the same face) multiple times per week, people will eventually unfollow you because it’s boring. Besides your mom or maybe a perv who’s stalking you, no one cares to see that.
Do: Post interesting scenarios. If you post photos of yourself (which I’m all for because I think it’s good for branding if you use Instagram for business), make it pretty, adventurous, funny, controversial, etc. Make it interesting.
Don’t: Post photos of ugly things (unless that is how you want to brand yourself). If you are drinking a shake that looks like poo, there is no need to take a picture of it and show the world.
Do: Make your photos pretty. Instead of holding up your phone wherever is comfortable and snapping, look at the light. Shift things around to make your photo look better (better, not perfect). Turn that poo shake into the Mona Lisa.
Don’t: Put a caption that describes what is obviously happening in the picture.
Do: Provide a caption that ENHANCES the photo. Give context. It can even be a single word. If you can’t think of anything to say, write the FIRST THING that comes to your mind.
Obvious caption: “Being silly in Downtown LA.”
Better Caption: “Ka-KAW!”
Don’t: Use the same 30 hashtags just for the sake of using hashtags.
Do: Use them with purpose so people can find your content. Use hashtags that enhance your photo and/or are truly helpful in attracting the right people.
Don’t: Go overboard on filters. Keep your photo style simple and consistent. The 1 Instagram filter I like to use the most is Mayfair.
Do: Post in real-time as much as possible. People feel connected when they know what you’re doing in the moment. If a celeb is getting ready for the Grammy’s, it is much more interesting if they post pictures as it is happening. If they post it later, “Getting ready for the Grammy’s yesterday,” the excitement has dwindled. *UPDATE: This has changed a bit since Instagram no longer shows things in sequential order.
Don’t: Clog up other people’s newsfeed by posting 10 photos in a row. The term for this is Instagramarrhea.
Do: Spread out your posts to a healthy dose. How often you should post depends on your following. Some bloggers have followers who don’t mind 5 photos per day. For others that is too much. I usually post 1 every few days, more if I’m traveling.
Don’t: Listen to anything I just said. Social Media is not to be taken too seriously. Yes, it can be useful for business but there are more important things to spend energy on in this world. Have fun and post what you want.