Welcome to #TREATSOFTUESDAY!
A LOT of people have been asking me for a post outlining ways to develop a cohesive Instagram feed, not only because I’m a blogger but also because I’m a social media consultant. Though I do give advice to individuals and businesses as a job, I thought I’d share some of my knowledge for free – after all, my readers are ultimately the ones who keep me going each day! It’s the least I can do, so let’s get started shall we? 🙂
Instagram is undeniably the most popular mode of social media for makeup, beauty, fashion and lifestyle bloggers right now. And much like all platforms, Instagram and its users have developed trends. One of these trends is the themed feed, which is achieved in several ways. Now, though my own personal Instagram is slightly themed, it’s not as cohesive as it could be. Recently I’ve been considering/researching ways I can change that and today I figured I’d share my thoughts and findings with you. Before I do, I just want to say that a cohesive Instagram feed isn’t for everyone – it’s restricting and can be high maintenance. It’s quite a big commitment to style every picture a certain way but the pay off can be amazing, which is why I’m slowly but surely coming round to the idea and making moves towards perfection.
If you want to join in on my journey, grab a pen and paper and prepare to take notes as I share 10 crucial steps to developing a consistent, cohesive Instagram feed! Here we go:
Secure your style
Before you start developing a cohesive Instagram feed, you’ll need to a little planning. It’s hard to find a style that fits your personality and will work well with all the things you post, so it does take some deep consideration. My advice is to take pictures of the images you love (from other feeds) and then look in your photo album to see if you can see similarities or something, anything, that would constitute a theme. Of course, don’t use these pictures for your own Instagram – use them as a guide to help you figure out what appeals to you most. If you decide on a style you’re not keen on it’s unlikely you’ll be able to keep it up. It’s really important to secure a style that suits your personality, as that is ultimately what you’re branding as a blogger.
Find your favourite filter
This is probably the biggest step to take when it comes to keeping your feed consistent. It’s also the biggest commitment to make, as it’s really hard to tell which filter will do all of your pictures justice. So far, I’ve not been able to decide on a favourite but I know that eventually I’ll have to… that is if I want to be the owner of a fame-worthy feed.
Watermark your pictures
Watermaking or adding a logo to your pictures is a good idea if you want to ensure copyright. Instagram makes it super easy for people to steal your images and the only real way to get round it is to put your stamp on them. At the moment, my watermark is pretty bold and predominant but you can be as subtle as you like.
Brand your bio
When you’re ‘branding’ your Instagram your bio should be a part of that. Think of clever ways to match up what you say to what you share. This will help people feel like they know a bit about you, and then they’re more likely to follow – especially if it’s clear you share common interests in life. Most bloggers state that they are bloggers in their bio and connect their website link, and quite rightly so. I mean, there’s a time and a place to be minimalistic – this, much like writing your resume, isn’t one!
Create your own hashtag
Creating your own hashtag can provide many benefits in terms of exposure and awareness, but it can also be an valuable contribution to a cohesive Instagram feed. I personally have several of my own hashtags, as many of you know. I believe this helps my readers find what they want to see with absolute ease and lets them know that I have a structure to my posts. Organisation is part of my brand because it’s part of my personality –
Only repost pictures that fit your theme
I’m not a fan of reposting pictures, as I think it’s best to post as many original pictures as possible. There are of course occasions in which it is necessary or tempting. In this case, I would advise one thing and one thing only; that the pictures you choose to repost fit within your chosen theme. Throwing a random repost into the mix will ruin the uniformity of your feed and later annoy you (trust me).
Some people criticise me for not editing my pictures enough. I tell these people to mind their own business, because I don’t really see why I should explain myself. Today, for educational purposes, I will though. I don’t photoshop my images or use extremely heavy filters because I’m all for promoting real women, and I myself am one of them. I know there are visible flaws in my pictures and believe it or not, I’m happy to share them. I’d rather keep the small bruise on my arm (caused by a skin condition called Dermatographia) and the few hairs that are out of place because that’s real. In addition to this point (which I know is a pretty personal one), over-editing your pictures makes it even harder to achieve consistency. No matter how much precise you try to be, there will be times that you up the saturation a little too much or fail to add enough brightness. Shoot your pictures in daylight or under LED’s and you’ll never have to worry about anything other than a filter again!
Fight the urge to ever post something that won’t fit your feed
If you decide a cohesive theme is the way for you to go then you’ll have to be really strict with yourself and carefully consider every picture you plan to post. At some point you will take a hilariously funny or equally beautiful photo that simply doesn’t fit your theme. In this case, fight the urge to take to Instagram and instead forward it to Twitter, and always be mindful of your colour scheme and all the other things that contribute to your personal Instagram style.
Themed accounts for your consideration 🙂
Have you learned anything from this post? Know anyone who would find it useful?
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Thanks for reading 🙂