The forgotten essential for Instagram success

The popular app is the king of brand interaction, boasting 60 times higher engagement than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter, according to several studies.

But what is it that makes some profiles more popular than others? Or, in other words, what’s going to attract more followers to your account?

Many of us forget that Instagram is a photography app. Unlike other social media platforms,  Instagram is image first, text second. The photo is everything.

Take a look at the brand accounts you follow. What is it about their photos that makes them so appealing? Chances are it’s the quality of their images. They are light, bright, clear and intentional. There’s no blurriness in sight. No poorly lit spaces. And no half hearted photo attempts.

Studies back this up. Curulate found that high lightness generates 24% more likes than dark images on Instagram, whilst photos with high levels of texture generate 79% more likes.

So make a promise to yourself right now - only post photos that you’re truly a little bit gaga about yourself; photos that wouldn't look out of place on your favourite brand pages.

There’s absolutely no need to be a trained photographer to take great photos for Instagram, and often, it’s more about what you do with your photo after you’ve taken it.

One of the easiest ways to improve your photo before posting to Instagram is to improve the brightness. Experiment with the brightness and shadow editing tools on your Instagram app.

Instagram users are discerning - a quick look at your profile, and they will decide in a few seconds whether they see value in following you. Would you follow your own page? If the answer is no, then get to work on improving your imagery!