So, you have an Instagram account. You’ve been following a social media calendar, you know the latest tips and tricks on how to rock your posts and stories with all the essential elements of a social media strategy, and you’ve got a good following. Now… what else can you do to change up your usual Instagram feed? Well, how about curating your profile?
What is Instagram Curation?
Instagram curation is not new, and you’ve probably seen it a million times without even realizing it. Instagram curation involves selecting and organizing the images you post in a manner that creates a specific look and feel to your Instagram profile.
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Why It’s Awesome
Instagram is a fiercely visual platform. How often do you scroll through your Instagram feed without looking at the images? Answer: never - it’s impossible! Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram focuses on the photos posted more than the text, so it’s important to use great images that will capture the attention of your audience.
When a user visits your Instagram and is greeted with a thoughtfully curated set of photos, that leaves an impression. They remember your name, your photos, and will think about your business later on. They might even be so moved by your profile that they visit your website - especially if what you offer pertains to their interests.
How to Curate Your Instagram
First, decide what you want your Instagram to be like. There are several different ways of curating your Instagram, so you should decide how you want it to look when people navigate to your profile.
A few different patterns to follow are:
- Sticking to a rigid color scheme. If you have a color scheme that you like to stick to, aim to use photos that are primarily those colors. Posting images that have similar color combinations can make an Instagram profile look cohesive and on-brand.
- Using a rainbow post pattern. This pattern can be done in an obvious way by posting photos next to one another whose main color scheme is each individual color of the rainbow, or it can be more subtle. The image below is from Lululemon's Instagram profile - notice that the main color in each post of this screen grab is one color: white. By posting a group of images that are comprised of mostly white, then moving on to a set of images with a different color, this creates a more subtle rainbow effect that you can only see by scrolling down.
- Try an alternating pattern. Again, this has to do with colors in your images. Try using photos that have a lot of white space, and alternating them with photos that have darker colors and less white space. This pattern can also be quite subtle, and it creates the feeling that each image has some breathing room and is quite spaced out, even though they’re all close together.
- Create a post type pattern. Try organizing your posts so there is a pattern that appears with each post type. The image below is from Sun & Ski Inn and Suites' (@sunandskiinn) Instagram profile. Notice the pattern of room images that runs diagonally from the upper left to lower right corner. This is a posting pattern that focuses on organizing room images in a diagonal line. It breaks up the other images and creates a subtle flow to the profile by including that recurring element.
Pro Curating Tips & Tricks
Make sure to plan your posts. Sadly, Instagram doesn’t let you move images around on your profile once they are posted. Planning your post sequence in advance will help you stay organized and ensure that each photo will end up in the right spot.
Stay organized. Curating an Instagram takes a little extra time and effort, especially if you choose to follow a specific pattern. It takes more work than just posting because you should still keep posts up to date and relevant but you’re also following a pattern or sticking with a theme. Keep your photos organized and know when you need to post each image to maintain your curated pattern.
It’s much easier to use a visual organizer when deciding how you want your posts to display. You can do this by using a social media calendar, setting up a folder to preview how your posts will appear on your profile (I use Google Drive!), or any other way of organizing your posts that works for you so you can figure out where exactly each image should go and in what order you need to post them.
Take good photos. Curating your Instagram profile has as much to do with the photos you select and take as it does with organizing them for posting. Make sure you have good quality photos to use, and keep in mind what your goal is for your profile - using certain colors, creating color or post patterns, etc.
Know your audience and post things that will interest them. Just because you’re organizing your posts and planning them, it doesn’t mean you have to post irrelevant content. Post things that matter and that your audience will find value in - after all, that is the key to quality inbound marketing.
People might think about Instagram curation as those perfect, idyllic accounts with images that are probably (read: definitely) photoshopped - but that isn’t the case anymore. Instagram curation nowadays means being true to your brand and showcasing what you have to offer in a thoughtful and organized way that shows your creativity and personality.
Now go forth and own that Insta!
Until next time,