Instagram feed tips
It’s something you might not think about too much, but having an aesthetic Instagram profile feed is actually very important. Your profile is like a first impression; it’s the first place people go when they stumble upon your account and they want to learn more. Your feed should give visitors a clear understanding of what your brand colours are, or what the mood / vibe of your brand is. It’s a little piece of your brand’s personality in a 3 X 9 grid.
Now that we understand how important having a cohesive, beautiful feed is for your brand, I’m going to give you some tips on how to design one.
1. Decide on your colour scheme.
Having a consistent colour palette makes it much easier to design content that fits. You can use your company’s brand colour, or you can choose a colour based on colour psychology. Ignyte has a helpful guide to the emotions associated with colour:
For example, @cestmaria has chosen a pastel palette for her feed. All of her photos are either pale pink, peach, yellow, or pastel blue.
@stellamariabaer also has a consistent colour theme. She has chosen rusty oranges and reds to complement the desert aesthetic she has created.
As you scroll through each of these feeds, you get a strong feeling of who these people are, and what kind of brand they are trying to develop.
Now before you go crazy editing photos to make their colours fit with your feed: it is never okay to edit or change someone else’s original artwork without their permission. If you are reposting someone else’s photo, or using a picture of someone else’s painting, it is not okay to start editing the colours and cropping it. It is someone else’s original art, and they only intended for it to be seen in its original state.
2. Try a creating a content pattern
Another thing that can give your feed a consistent look is arranging the types of images in a pattern.
The pattern I have had the most success with is the diagonal pattern, or ‘X’ pattern. To achieve this pattern, I post every other photo with a bright strong pink. The alternating photos can be any variation of white or grey. This creates a diagonal pattern of pink images throughout the feed, like so:
I find this pattern the easiest to work with, because whenever a new image is posted, the pattern simply shifts over by one square, without disrupting the overall pattern.
You could try to create a pattern where each image melts together, like @sociallyciara. She most likely designs her whole feed months in advance, creating the images in a program like Photoshop or InDesign, and stitching them together with an app. You can see how her feed is very cohesive, with each image bleeding into the next one, like a magazine spread. What’s great about her design is that each image still makes sense independently.
Some brands choose to create horizontal pattern in their feeds, where 3 or 6 squares of form a larger picture when seen together, such as this example by @prohibitionyvr:
This can be a good strategy when announcing a new product or company update that you want to draw attention to. The downside is that your followers will be bombarded with posts that don’t make sense individually, like so:
It can be a good way to attract followers’ attention at first – they might see this partial photo and be intrigued enough to click on your profile to see what’s going on. But if you continue to post like this for too long, your followers can become annoyed and you can risk getting unfollowed.
Another important element to having a well-branded feed is to make sure your story highlights have consistent cover photos, like @alfreddrinkingcoffee:
Those little circles above your feed are your Story Highlights. Any Instagram Stories that you save to your ‘Highlights’ will appear here, so they represent your brand and contribute to that first impression as much as your feed content does. You can easily add a cover photo to your highlights by tapping on the highlight you want to change, tapping ‘More’, tapping ‘Edit Highlight’, then tapping ‘Edit Cover’. Swipe to the far left of the images available, and you will see a square icon with some mountains. Tap this, and you can select any image from your camera roll to be the Highlight cover photo. In the case of @alfreddrinkingcoffee, he had pre-designed graphics made that he could easily upload to act as the cover photo for his content. They reflect his brand, while contributing to the overall aesthetic of his feed.
Now you hopefully have some awesome, creative ideas about how to choose a colour scheme and start designing a feed! Pack your personality into that 3 X 9 grid and give your followers a first impression that is worthy of your brand. Designed a beautiful feed, but have no followers to look at it? Read my blog post about 5 easy ways to grow your Instagram followers.
Does all of this sound like a lot of work? That’s what I’m here for! Check out my services page and see how I can help your business.