Instagram is an ever-growing social media platform with a range of uses. Some use it as a personal blog and some use it as a food and travel diary. With millions of Instagram profiles out there, a way to get more followers or more likes is to make your Instagram profile stand out! This article will cover a few tips on how to make your Instagram account original and customised to you.
- Your @USERNAME
Your username should tell people what your Instagram account is all about! For example, if you run a travel diary on Instagram, your username should be related to travelling. A good example of this would be @EverChangingHorizon or @YoungAdventures – both of which have really exciting and fascinating content on Instagram.
- The BIO
Thinking of a bio can be tough and mind-boggling. My advice is to keep it short and sweet. It should describe who YOU are and maybe what your Instagram account is all about. Your favourite quote could also be used.
Hashtags are a great way to attract new followers and organise your posts. A way you can customise your account is by having unique and personalised hashtags. If ever you have a special event or a trip, using a hashtag can make your captions reflect your style and Instagram identity. @ChiaraFerragani uses hashtags effectively on majority of her posts – categorising her posts based on location or purpose.
- YOUR FEED
I would usually say forget how your overall feed looks like, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t trying to make it look appealing. I suggest trying a different way of posting like connecting several posts to make one connected photo (an example of this would be @DylanSprouse’s account). Another way you can personalise your feed is by adding the same border in each and every post. A good application for this would be Squaready. I would highly recommend staying away from posting collages, as it can appear noisy. The key here is that you don’t overthink anything. The more you overthin
k, the less you’ll post. Keep it simple and keep it original.
- Your Theme
There is a difference between the aesthetic of your feed and the theme of your Instagram account. Your theme should be what your account is about. This is less applicable to personal accounts as it is more for those who want to use their Instagram as a type of blog. Perhaps for a lifestyle account, a travel journal or a food diary. Try to keep your theme close to you and something you know quite well. It is going to be hard to constantly post about something you’re not so familiar with.
- A well composed photo is an attractive photo
Composing your photo or video is key! Whether you’re taking an #ootd or your Instagrammable lunch, the composition plays a big part in making your feed and post attractive. Some key compositions you should follow are:
- The rule of thirds: this is where you use the grid on your camera to position the main subject of your photo on one of the intersection points.
- Leading lines: using the lines in your frame to pull the viewer into the picture and into the scene.
- Cropping: bringing in the camera and filling up the frame. This could be useful when you’re posting scenery, a nice pattern on a dress or even food!
- Colour Scheme
In line with composing your post well, you should also think about colour. Think about complimentary colours around you. Do they stand out? Do some colours clash? An example of clashing colours would be pink and red. Some of these colour combinations can make your post stand out when someone’s scrolling through their timeline, which can make them stop scrolling and pause at your post. In terms of customising your Instagram account, try to apply your favourite colour in your pos
ts once in a while. It can give you a colour identity and give your followers a sense of what you’re in to.
- Flatlays, Flatlays, FLATLAYS!
Many travel, fashion and food Instagram accounts use flatlays. This is where you take the photo from above, giving it an eagle’s eye view. @TheDailyEdited and @Margaret_Zhang perfected the flatlay instagram game from posting their food from a local bakery to posting their #ootd! There are a lot of videos on YouTube to help you with creating the perfect flatlay.
- Editing your photos
If you feel like editing your photos, I’d suggest to keep it simple and to not use dramatic filters. I highly suggest to stay away from Instagram’s filters and to use an editing application like VSCO cam or Snapseed. There are a lot of free filters you can flick through and in these apps you have more control over the aspects of your picture. I would usually stick to editing the exposure, contrast and saturation, for example. Recently, the “film effect” is very in style! Instead of applying a filter, try using camera applications that already have a filter in when you take the photo. Some applications like to check out are: Huji and Kamon.
- My Story
My final tip for keeping your Instagram original is by capturing quirky and fun everyday encounters for your story. Sharing this with your followers can give them a taste of who you are and what you like. A suggestion for this would be to keep documenting and keep taking pictures. Instagram now allows you to add in photos and videos from your camera roll so you can look back before posting. Since your story is only for 24 hours, you don’t particularly have to worry about how it looks aesthetically because the main purpose for this is to show your followers a glimpse of your everyday life. Like I mentioned before, keep things simple and keep things you.
Meg Jocson Ong
Illustration by Alice Weil