Top 3 Tips to Be an Instagram Star!

Although one of the younger social media channels, Instagram has already grown to be one of the most popular. The U.S. featured 104.7 million users in 2018, only about 10% of the 1 billion users worldwide [RY1]. But every day, businesses log onto Instagram with no clue how to stand out, even if they’re doing well on other social media platforms. As a starting point, these three top tips will set you directly on the path to becoming an Instagram star.

Develop a Pattern

For most corporations and businesses, the actual Instagram content should be seen as secondary to how it’s presented. During the off-hours, funny memes, GIFs, and videos are generally what reign supreme. How do you compete with that?

You polish your presentation. Instead of viewing each piece of Instagram content as its own piece, focus more on the sum of their parts and create a collage that tells a long-term story. A great app for helping to get started with creating your masterpiece is Layout by Instagram: Collage. Like most Instagram apps, this one is designed to heighten the experience by laying out imagery and videos to see how they’ll look when fully displayed to the user.

Alternatively, you can use the Preview app if you prefer their user experience. Plus, they have a thoughtful layout guide with suggestions on how to get started.

Size Your Images Properly

This is an easy one, but it’s a travesty when you see the number of people who don’t do it. Every social media platform has their own nuances that make them special. One of those nuances is differently proportioned imagery.

Whereas an ideal Facebook image is 940 pixels x 788 pixels (a horizontal rectangle), the ideal Instagram image is 1080 pixels x 1080 pixels (a square). Not realizing the difference will lead to your image being cropped by Instagram, usually in a less-than-ideal manner.

But even on Instagram, there is one instance where this isn’t the case: stories. An ideal Instagram story image is proportioned at 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels, a vertical rectangle.

Be Social

Although geared towards visuals, Instagram is no less a social media platform than Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or any of the others. Social media marketing, at its core, requires you to be outgoing. That said, sharing your content alone won’t make you an Instagram star.

One of the best ways to be proactive is to comment on content from A) the profiles you follow, and B) posts that list your key hashtags.

The first one is more self-explanatory as you might be naturally engaged in the content from those you’ve been following for a while. But in many cases, these profiles are the ones with high follower counts giving you easy exposure and social media impressions.

On the other hand, when we refer to “your hashtags” we’re talking about the keywords that are synonymous with your industry. For instance, if you’re a social media marketing business in Chicago, you want to search for #ChicagoSocialMediaMarketing or #ChicagoSMM. If you’re a web designer in Des Plaines, you want to search for #DesPlainesWebDesigner or #DesPlainesWebDesign.

There will be a limitless number of posts under most of these broad hashtags, which provides plenty of opportunity to gain easy impressions and to piggyback on the social media work of others. Work smart, not hard.

Not only can you increase your reach, you can also seize this opportunity and speak about your industry, demonstrating further expertise.


When building your Instagram presence, keep in mind that the road from Instagram rookie to Instagram star is still a long one. But by developing an aesthetically pleasing presence, properly sizing images, and interacting with others in your field, you can go far in making it your number one platform for social media marketing.

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