No doubt, you have a few Instagram accounts you follow because the subject matter is appealing to you. Perhaps you’ve seen another organization’s Instagram account on a “best of” list and thought you would like to emulate them.
Why is it that some Instagram feeds stand out, and others are just okay? Those noteworthy accounts don’t just happen. They take a bit of thoughtful planning.
Here are some tips you can use to turn a "just okay” Instagram account into a “standout” account in no time at all.
1. Choose Your Theme
Decide what story you want to tell using Instagram. You might opt to create one or more themes focusing on a behind the scenes look at your event. You might showcase your attendees or new products being exhibited.
The United States Coast Guard uses their Instagram account as a recruiting tool. All their photos give an exciting glimpse into the job of a USCG service member.
2. Be Consistent
Your Instagram photos should be instantly recognizable no matter who is responsible for posting them. You might decide to shoot all your people pictures up close and in black and white, while your wider view photos all use the Juno filter. Perhaps you tease people with an artistic look at your exhibitors’ products by zooming in and focusing on just a piece and include a hashtag #GuessWhatItIs.
3. Pay Attention to Background
See with your eyes and not just the camera. When taking photos, it is easy to focus on the subject matter of your shot and not what is going on the in the background. A busy background can distract the viewer taking attention away from your subject. A sign that is 50 yards away will look like a label sitting directly above your subject in the photo. A pole might look like an awkward protuberance sticking out of your subject’s head.
4. Consider the Composition
Zoom in to put the focus on your subject and zoom out to create context. Practice the rule of thirds to create a balanced composition. Experiment with angles for a more interesting perspective. Try shooting from below your subject or high above to create impact.
5. Include Branding
Don’t rely on a hashtag or description to brand your photos. Let the photo stand on its own by creating a sign with your event name and logo and include it as a prop in all your photos. If you are taking pictures of attendees, have them hold the sign and include it in the photo frame. If you are taking product shots of exhibit booths, be sure to include the exhibitor’s logo in the shot.
Bonus Tip: Canva
Canva is one of my favorite free/freemium tools for creating professional looking images and is now available as an app for the iPhone and iPad. You can snap a photo, add text, and share it on Instagram. The below image was created and posted in less than sixty seconds right from my phone.
Build muscle memory by practicing each of these skills until it becomes second nature. Then when the big day or days of your event arrive, you will be snapping photos so extraordinary people who write articles about Instagram skills will be including your account as an example.