Guys – this is crucial information, so pay attention. Sharing photos through Instagram has become a way of life nowadays and we all have to embrace it. Posting to Instagram is an art and a science, and I’m here in an attempt to provide you with some guidelines. If you want a ton of likes on your Instagram post (because no one wants to post a photo and then get an embarrassingly underwhelming response in number of likes), follow these steps.
First, you have to crop and filter the picture the right way. Crop out any photobombers or randos in the background who are unknowingly ruining your picture. Next, focus on who or what is in the picture. Is it a pic of you and your gal pals out on the town? Maybe you need to crop above the tummy because Cindy is wearing a crop top and her food baby is showing (and she’s texting you crying and begging to make her look good).
So be a good friend, and crop the pic in a way that makes you AND your friends look great. If it’s a scenic view, make sure we get the captured moment you intended, filters or not. Maybe you want to go extra fancy and make the sides white, or make a collage (you know you have to for people’s birthdays/celebrations of any kind), side by sides of the same photo or different ones, a tilted view….whatever you go with, make sure it is enhancing the photo.
Filters are extremely difficult. I admittedly have spent hours going back and forth between filters. And it used to be easy! We used to have 10 options, that’s it. Now we have 15, plus we can adjust the amount of filter we want, the brightness, the fade, every single thing you can think of to make you go from Gorilla Zoe to Beyonce.
Once you crop, adjust, and filter your picture to perfection you’re ready for the caption. This is another crucial element in the process of posting your picture. You can literally go a million different directions with the caption. You can be very literal and caption the photo with exactly what is going on, for example “Me and my boo thang celebrating our anniversary #loveya.” Note that for the literal caption, if you are going to use the location feature while you post, you probably don’t need to give us a caption saying the same thing. For example, if you use the location Niagra Falls, you don’t need to caption your photo “Niagra Falls with the fam!” …we know. That’s what the location feature is for, so we know exactly where you are. Don’t be repetitive. So this might be an instance for a witty, funny, punny, or play on words caption.
For example, if your name is Paula and you are with your friend Penelope you could caption your photo “2 P’s in a pod” (because your names both start with P, duh, and if you’re friends then you’re obviously in a pod!) I personally love captions that are like this because it takes some time to think of something that witty and perfect for that particular picture. Or you could always throw it back and do song lyrics like we all used to do in our AIM away messages and Xanga taglines. My last piece of advise for captions is please for the love of all things in the world do not use like 5 hashtags. I really think that one is enough, two at the most, and anything more than that is just annoying. We don’t need to see a picture of your dog with the hashtags “#cute #dog #dogsofinstagram #polly #myfluffy #nuggetdog #loveher #mybestfriend.” Like stop, please…it’s so desperate and not cute at all.
Last but not least the timing of your post to Instagram is the final piece to the puzzle. Here are some simple rules to follow. Don’t post a picture after 10pm on any day of the week. During the week, people are going to sleep to get ready for work the next day and on the weekend people are out and not concerned with liking pics on insty. Don’t post pictures as soon as you get up in the morning for work (aka 7 or 8am). Everyone is too tired and depressed they have to go to work (again) and don’t have time for your happy I LOVE LIFE post. T
he best time to post pics is at around 4-5pm Monday-Friday, Saturday 12-8pm, and Sunday shoot for that lull in the middle of the day, which is about 3-4pm. These are primetime hours for different reasons. During the week at about 4 or 5, people are leaving work and heading home.
If you live in a big city like I do that means public transportation and public transportation means staring at your phone for 30 minutes so you don’t have to make eye contact with the smelly hobos on the train or bus. People are already looking at their phones, they’re done with work so they’re in a better mood, and their fingers are ready to double tap some pics. Saturday is pretty much a free for all.
You’re either doing something cool and fun or you’re laying at home doing absolutely nothing trying not to do an actual sit up to sip Gatorade in bed. Either way, Saturday all day is a good day to show off what you’re doing, or to like everyone’s pics from last night and today if you’re laying in bed hungover praying to the Gods that this isn’t your untimely death. Sunday is everyone’s Netflix and chill day. There’s sometimes a nap that occurs on Sundays, maybe early in the day and you wake up at 3 or 4 or maybe later in the day and you’re getting ready to take a nap at that time. Either way, take advantage of this lull in the easy breeziness of Sunday.
Now that I have bestowed my (lengthy!) wisdom on you all, you now have the tools to go out there and post away on Instagram. Let us all never know the pain of not getting enough likes to have it say a number of likes instead of a name. That is a shameful moment and I hope that we can all now go forward with confidence in Instagram! Insty on my friends!