Social media has become serious business for a lot of companies — sometimes it’s the first impression we get to give to a client, and we want it to be a good one. So how do you create an Instagram feed that's fun but also professional? Infomedia has tips that we use on our very own feed.
We’ve always had a lot of fun with the Infomedia Instagram account, but one of our company resolutions this year was to try to make our account look more professional and tied together. Social media has become serious business for many companies — sometimes it’s the first impression we give a client, and we want it to be a good one.
Since we wanted to try a new direction, we brought in a professional to school us in giving our Instagram feed a little more structure. Kelly Cummings is a photographer here in Birmingham, and she has a gorgeous Instagram account full of photography and flowers and calligraphy and all sorts of beautiful things. Her feed is so good that she’s in-demand as an Instagram consultant in Birmingham, so we brought her in to give us a few tips. Kelly had lots of amazing advice, and here’s a little of what we learned:
Instagram doesn’t have to imitate life
We’d been trying to take pictures of our desks and some of the quirky things we have around the office, but the lighting always looked bad, and somehow somebody’s fast food cup always made its way in the shot. We learned that we can take our favorite pieces from a scene — a few items from a desk, or the best-looking donut of the day, for example — and rearrange them in an area that’s cleaner and has better lighting.
Work within a grid
When you’re viewing a feed on Instagram, you’re looking at photos one at a time. But when you’re visiting a company’s page, you’re most likely to see all their photos at once in a grid view. Kelly’s own feed has a very strong grid effect, and it helps her Instagram look incredibly coherent. Our grid isn’t as strict as Kelly’s, but we do try to alternate light and dark pictures to give our feed a planned look.
Establish a color palette
Another trick to making a feed look coherent is to try to work within an established color palette. For Infomedia, I asked our design team to design an Instagram color palette around the colors of our logo. They took the red color that’s strong in our logo, added some cool blues so it isn’t so harsh, and incorporated a few accents in natural colors like green and brown. When I’m setting up an Instagram picture, I try to incorporate those colors so the feed looks purposeful and pulled together.
I follow lots of accounts that post about books, coffee and other various things (well actually, for me personally, it’s mostly just books and coffee). Most of those photos look great because they’re including more than just one item in each shot — the book photos will also include a cup of coffee or tea, and the coffee pictures often have a pastry or a spoon or a sugarcube in the photo. These little props make the photos look more natural and more interesting, and they’re also opportunities to work in items that match your color palette.
For the Infomedia account, our props are decidedly un-fancy. I basically went to the dollar store and loaded a basket with everything I liked that matched our red-and-blue color palette — I grabbed everything from coffee mugs to headphones to paper clips. Now, when I’m taking a picture of Instagram, I pull out the prop box from under my desk and add a red notebook, a pen, or a candy bar with a red wrapper to give our photos a little extra interest.
Take inspiration from other feeds
Kelly’s feed is a huge inspiration to us, naturally, but she also shared other feeds she really liked, and she reminded us that simply paying attention to the feeds we already love will give us lots of great ideas. You can find Kelly Cummings on Instagram at @spindlephoto to get inspired for your own Instagram feed.
The finished product … kind of
We’re still a work-in-progress, and our photos definitely aren’t perfect yet, but we’re trying.You can find Infomedia on Instagram @infomediadotcom — how do you think we’re doing? If you like what we’re up to, give us a follow and let us know!
Kelly’s a busy wedding photographer, but if you think she’d be perfect for a consultation in your office, contact her through her website, Spindle Photography, and ask about rates and availability. And if all this seems overwhelming (or if you don’t have space under your desk for props), never fear — Infomedia’s website support team can help connect you with help or answers about social media. To get in touch, just fill out the form below.