How to create a good Instagram post

While there’s no magic formula for writing a winning post on any social media platform (if you discover one, please let us know), there are some best practices you can tap into as a starting point to discover what works best for your particular brand.

We’ve already covered how to write a good tweet, so now we’re tackling how to create a good Instagram post.

Got questions or something we missed? Find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

What image are you working from?

Every Instagram post starts from a specific image. It might be that the image is what you’re posting, it might be the first in a series (and keep in mind that multiple-image or “album” posts now support landscape and portrait options), it might be the still image from a video you’re posting. What you want to do is ask some questions about this image before you just upload it and try out a few hashtags. To really get the best response you want to think about how the photo would look if you cropped it, or if it could be improved with some of the filters or other built-in editing tools if it hasn’t already come to you edited and ready.

Is this the best still image for your video (Instagram will let you pick a different one in its editing tools)? Should you balance out the light? Does the overall look of the image fit with the rest of your profile and reinforce a more cohesive visual content marketing presence? Should you add text to the image or video itself, or leave all of that in the caption? What about music?

Go as deep as you can with this depending on the resources available to you and your brand.

What’s your call to action?

Why are you posting this image or video? What specific action do you want your audience to take as they see it? Do you want the CTA to be on the image itself, in the caption, in the hashtags, or everywhere?

Keep that in mind as you design the post including the caption and the hashtags you plan to use with it.

What hashtags are you using

We say it all the time because it’s true: Hashtags are the key to discovery on Instagram. So if you want your perfectly calibrated post to be seen, you need to be smart about the hashtags you use.

Start with the bigger hashtags relevant to your image and industry and work down to smaller niche hashtags you can try. Spend time picking some out to test and spend time browsing those hashtags to like and comment on others posts, as well as pick up inspiration for your future posts.

For more on hashtags, read this.

Measure your efforts

Start with something simple like our free Instagram account checkup. If you like that, we can always help you go more in-depth. Just shoot us an email if you want a demo tailored to your brand.

Want more engagement on Instagram? Our checkup analyzes the last 30 days of posts, likes and comments on your account to quickly give you key insights into how to improve.

Free checkup