If you’re starting out a brand new Instagram profile, it’s probably best to “go with the flow” in terms of what’s popular to help you find your direction. On the platform, there are a few types of posts that get more eyeballs than others, usually because of its visual-centric nature.
Since its very early days, Instagram was a way for everyday people to post aesthetic images and touch them up using certain features and tools at their disposal. Naturally, this implies that photos of things and individuals are the most common.
However, this isn’t the whole story. As you dig deeper, you may notice that there’s a certain level of complexity in what appeals to audiences.
To put your best foot forward, have a look at some of the most ever-present types of posts on Instagram.
Selfies are everywhere for a reason
Since Instagram took off, people have always been using the app’s unique features to touch up their selfies. It eventually grew and continues to be a selfie-centric network.
It’s therefore probably no surprise to anyone that images with people’s faces on Instagram tend to get more likes. A report by Georgia Tech quantified this phenomenon and found that such images on the platform are 38% more likely to get likes.
This rule applied universally, regardless of the age or gender of the individuals photographed. Selfies still rule Instagram to a large extent, and it’s a launching point that many influencers use to gain attention from potential followers.
Seeing a human face builds a personal connection between influencers and their audiences, so it’s natural for these to be the “go-getter” posts.
Landscapes see some popularity
Besides seeing a human face, aesthetic beauty can sometimes bring a sense of wonder to the mind. A well-shot photograph of a place might inspire the same awe as seeing a beautiful painting in the Louvre.
One good example of this kind of theme is the profile of Loïc Lagarde, a French travel photographer who posts stunning images of the places he visits. The images are often touched to reveal vibrant colors that sometimes make them look more lifelike than the actual places themselves.
These images tend to have a certain “wow” factor to them and can be very successful if done correctly and at an adequate frequency.
Food is a people pleaser
Nothing builds up an appetite like seeing a beautiful crisp image of a banana split sitting neatly on a table. When selfies start to get old, mixing in other types of content like photographing something you’ve recently cooked can keep things fresh on your profile.
This is useful even if you suck at cooking! You can always frame things in such a way to make it look as if though you’re seeking advice on how to improve your meal preparation skills.
Audiences love being asked for input and participation. In the end, you can transform your post into a learning experience for everyone.
Give your audience a backstage pass
If you’ve got a brand, it might be useful to let your audience look behind the veil with some of your images. For example, when celebrating the release of a new product, a software developer can take a picture of the dev team in all its elation.
A sports team can show their players doing a locker room celebration just after a hard-earned victory.
There’s a world of possibilities. All it takes is a camera and a milestone.
Video, video, and more video
Although Instagram started introducing the possibility of video content creation in 2016, the majority of posts continue to be images, as they’re the easiest to post quickly. However, you’d be missing out on an opportunity if you never posted videos.
This functionality allows for an unprecedented level of flexibility in personal interactions. Image posts with some text only go so far to convey a message to your audience.
If you want to say something to them that they’d rather not miss, posting a video may be the perfect way to do it. Done right, this can achieve more engagement than any other type of post.
There’s a reason why major brands and influencers are starting to produce more video content on Instagram. Nothing lights up followers more than a personal “thank you” for their support.
In essence, the popularity of the types of posts shown on Instagram can be summed up to a couple of categories: Human connection, images that convey aesthetic beauty, and posts that inspire conversation.
As long as you give your audience an avenue to feel as if though they’re a part of something bigger than them by following you, you’re doing something right!