It’s 2016 and Instagram has gone mainstream.
I know this because Phil, the octogenarian equipment manager from my high school football glory days, just liked nine of my photos and posted a picture of his toes.
Face it: if you’re over 30 Instagram may not come naturally. If you’re not careful, you could end up posting a picture of your toes.
And even if you’re a social media savvy millennial, keeping your Insta feed fresh with diverse content can be taxing.
That’s why we put together this exhaustive list of 27 Awesome Post Ideas from Instagram’s Most Compelling Brands.
Just don’t blame us when you have to turn off your Instagram notifications because your feed is blowing up.
Start with Landscapes. Of all the different types of photos on Instagram, Landscapes get the most engagement. Bnus points for water, nature, landmarks, exotic locales and bridges.
- A strange phenomenon in which the photographer is also the subject of the photograph, in a subversive twist on the traditional understanding of the photograph.
- The beginning of the end of intelligent civilization.
- The bread and butter of Instagram.
Nom nom nom. Who doesn’t love some good food porn? The brands below are masters of this class of Instagram photo. Bird’s eye view shots are popular.
As are so-called food-selfies where the hand of the photographer extends forward to imply imminent inhalation.
There’s just something about puppies. See a puppy on your Insta feed and I guarantee you’ll double-tap.
If you are fortunate enough to own or have access to one, by all means take full advantage and let the world know on Instagram.
Time is of the essence!
In about 6 months that little rascal will have turned into a full-sized terror, who knocks stuff over and ruins your furniture.
Babies are like puppies, but human. Enough said.
6. The Risqué
The best Instagram brands don’t just post boobs, butts and abs unabashedly – their photos showcase their products as well as the beautiful people who use them.
Our friends at Jumper Threads are great at this.
They sell ridiculously comfy undershirts that you’ll want to put on and take off over and over again.
If you’re into cars, you need to check out @american.supercars.
They are a company that buys and sells high-end American cars, and their Insta is a perfect example of how great content can drive sales. (Pun intended.)
Never waste any amount of time doing anything important when there is a sunset outside you should be sitting under.
Actually, scratch that.
Never waste any amount of time when there is a sunset outside you should be Instagramming.
FOR BUSINESSES (THE OBVIOUS)
Take a look at @stadiumgoods, a sneaker shop in NYC, to see how a great brand uses Instagram to promote their products.
A combination of great photos, consistent posting, and a DJ Khaled celeb endorsement has gotten them to over 269k followers.
For more inspiration, check out @taylorcatherwood. She is a puppy loving handbag designer that absolutely kills it on Instagram.
10. Your Venue
Many restaurants on Instagram only post pictures of their food, but they’re missing out on a huge opportunity.The best restaurants on Instagram (like @restaurant1833 below) also show off their interiors. A restaurant is much more than just food after all.
Why should you post pictures of your employees on Instagram? A. They are really, really, ridiculously good looking.B. So they will share with their friends.C. To show prospective employees your awesome company culture.D. Because great people make great companies.
E. All of the Above!
12. Your Signage
@DelawareAndHudson, a Michelin starred restaurant in Brooklyn, uses a chalkboard to announce new specials, events, and to make people laugh.
They share pictures of the chalkboard on Instagram to reach more customers. We love it.
Show your customers you care. Post a picture of them, they’ll share it with their friends, and everyone wins!
FOR BUSINESSES (THE NOT-SO OBVIOUS)
14. Behind the Scenes
“Behind the Scenes” posts set Instagram apart from other advertising outlets. Customers love to see what’s going on backstage.
@TSA (the same TSA that made you miss your last flight) gets our vote for best “Behind the Scenes” content.
They post pictures of all the strange things they confiscate at the airport security line. Hilarity ensues.
15. Partner Showcase
Even Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey’s company @Square is on Instagram.They post photos of the businesses and people that use their products, which makes their customers very happy. Happy Customers = Healthy Company. Too bad we can’t say the same for Twitter ?
16. Products in Action
Don’t just use your stock product shots. Go above and beyond by showcasing your products in action.@Frank-Bod’s line of body scrubs are perfectly Instagrammable.
As are @JumperThreads’ line of undershirts for the young and active.
When I go to cool events, you bet I”m going to humble-brag about them on Instagram. If your company hosts special events, be sure to feature them on your feed.
ALTERNATIVE FORMATS / VISUAL EFFECTS
In 2016 Instagram doubled down on video content, extending its video-length limit to 60 seconds.
Instagram also started showing video “Views” instead of likes.Action!
19. The Inception Shot
A photo within a photo? Leo ain’t got nothing on you…
In 2015 Instagram debuted Layout, an app that lets you easily combine multiple photos within a single image. It’s fun, it’s simple and it gives you a new way to flex your creativity.
21. Big Grid
In the words of Macklemore, this is freaking awesome!There are tons of apps out there that let you splice a single photo into many photos so you can stand out on Instagram. (We like Instagrids.) This is especially useful if you’re using Jumper Media to drive new customers to your page, and really want to make a memorable first impression.@ChefPepeCarmel thank you for this gem.
POSTS WITH WORDS
Quotes get some of the best engagement of all posts on Instagram. They might be cheesy, but they work.
Pablo by Buffer is an awesome online tool that lets you add text to any image. You’re welcome.
23. Blog Posts
Want to drive more page views to your blog? Look no further than Instagram. Use a photo of your latest post to let your followers know it’s live. Just don’t forget to put the link in your bio like the Dash Button Dudes.
24. Announcements / Instructions
@Coachella uses Instagram to get the word out to festival attendees with instructions, announcements, and everything in between.
With over 100,000 festival attendees, logistics can be a nightmare, which is why they use Instagram to complement their other communication channels.
25. Your Shoes
Even if you’re not a hypebeast sneakerhead, a good #shoeshot always plays on Insta.
Just ask our friend @ktschultheis, whose fly kicks are featured below.
26. Your Coffee
Coffee is a language in itself. (And a great post idea if you’re lacking new content.)
We love @thecoffeenomad’s Insta (pics below). She pairs coffee with cool locales and proves that your morning cup of joe doesn’t have to be mundane. #mugsup
26. Your Laptop
The place where all the magic happens. It might sound lame, but a carefully arranged #laptopshot can actually look super cool.
And then there’s the irony. You think you’re showing your friends how hard working you are, but really you’re just procrastinating on social media like the rest of us. 😉