Research says that when we look at images, the areas in our brain involved in emotional processing and decision-making light up. Hence Instagram's enormous power for brands and individuals alike.
When you are preparing to post a picture on Instagram, you should ask yourself, "Does this picture say it all? Or does it leave something to be desired?" The reason is: a good Instagram post captures a moment as well as tells a story. You want to shoot for that moment of quiet before the storm: an image that dazzles, then hooks.
In the meantime, there are some other things you can do to be sure you are not losing followers related to the daily curation of your account. Here they are, the Top Five Mistakes You're Making on Instagram.
1. Your Account Is Private.
For all of you individuals out there wondering why you're not getting followers, is your account set to private? You might be concerned about unwanted attention, but then again, you can't have your proverbial cake and eat it too. Setting an account to private and still expecting followers reflects a lack of commitment to your personal brand. If you got it, flaunt it. The reason people are not following you is because they aren't able to preview your content -- aka scroll through your feed -- before deciding, inevitably, as they will, if it's worth a follow.
2. You're Posting the Same Thing Over and Over.
This cat knows she shouldn't post another selfie.
Cats, selfies, and sunsets. If your cat is doing something cute (...again), ask yourself, "So what?" Does it bring something new to my account? Does it say something about life? When people look to see if they want to follow you, they are easily turned off if they see the same type of pictures over and over.
3. You're Posting Too Frequently.
Brunch, brunch, and more brunch.
Oh, wow, you're on vacation! Oh, wow, you're eating breakfast on vacation! And lunch on vacation! Now you're having drinks on vacation! Even science says that the more often you post, the fewer likes you get.
4. You're Not Keeping It Real.
Through the magic of cross-posting and resharing technologies, Instagram users can post pictures that they've shared elsewhere on social media as well as photos taken by friends on the app. A little of this is not harmful, but you don't want your Instagram feed to become a content repository. In fact, Instagram is one of the best places on the Internet for content creators, and audiences have come to expect a certain level of originality. Plus, technologies like Repost add a lot of junk overlay onto images that looks quite unsightly.
5. "Why'd You Post That?"
As I mentioned, a good Instagram post has two levels: the image, then the story. Not all of us are perfect Instagrammers, but we can learn. I leave it to the folks at Saturday Night Live.