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Optimizing Images on Instagram for Better Impact

Posted on the 16 November 2013 by Shellykramer @ShellyKramer

selfie on InstagramAre you using Instagram as part of your social media marketing efforts? Want better interaction and engagement with your images? One thing’s for sure: you’re not alone. And baby, it’s crowded out there.

With over 55 million photos and five million videos shared every day, Instagram is hip, it’s ‘noisy,’ it’s crowded. If you want to get noticed, just like anything else, your images need to stand out.

To help, here’s some interesting data we discovered courtesy of Curalate  that’ll help you optimize your images before you share them on your business or brand’s Instagram account. To figure out what triggered engagement, Curalate, a visual analytics and marketing platform, analyzed eight million Instagram posts using their proprietary algorithms. Over 30 image specifications were considered including background ratio, dominant color, lightness and saturation. These image attributes were correlated with the instances of Instagram “likes” to reveal which types of posts drove the most engagement.

Color Selection Matters

Lightness of color Instagram

People tend to respond better to clear, well lit images. According to Curalate’s study, images with a high degree of lightness generate 24 percent more likes than darker images.

Dominant Color Instagram

It was very interesting to see that images with blue as the dominant color generate 24 percent more likes than those with red as the dominant color. This makes sense as blue has a calming effect on people’s emotions. The color blue even tends to lower blood pressure, unlike the color red which evokes powerful emotion responses such as fear, anger and passion.

Number of colors instagram

It looks like when it comes to colors, monochromatic themed images fare much better. Images with a single dominant color generate 17 percent more likes than those that feature multiple colors.

saturation of color instagram

On Instagram, the less color, the better. Color saturation is the measure of how much a particular color is mixed with white. High saturation translates to more color while low saturation means white dominates. Images with low color saturation generate 18 percent more likes than those with higher saturation and more vibrant colors.

Photo Composition Is Key For Like-ability

Aside from color considerations, composition also matters if you want to generate more likes. Images that include an ample amount of background space are more popular, generating 29 percent more likes. Not only is the image with more background space more pleasing, it also allows viewer to better focus on the subject.

Adding texture is beneficial too. The study revealed photos with a high level of texture generate 79 percent more likes over images without much texture.

Backround on Instagram

Texture on Instagram

BONUS: Best Time To Post On Instagram

In addition to color and composition, when you post is also critical to generating engagement. In addition to regular business hours, it’s no surprise that evenings and weekends are also a great time to share your photos and videos. People are more likely to consume content during evenings and weekends because they have more free time and are subject to less distractions.


If you’re a business or a brand using Instagram as part of your social media marketing efforts, generating high levels engagement, whether through likes or comments, might mean increased visibility, brand awareness and effectiveness – oh, and of course, sales. Rich media is important as part of your integrated marketing efforts and there’s an audience using Instagram that responds well to great images. If you’re going to spend the time, money and effort on being there, make sure your efforts have a chance of paying off.

Do you love Instagram? I do – it’s my daily dose of eye candy. Do you use Instagram as part of your social media marketing efforts? What strategies do you use to generate engagement on Instagram? Are they working? You know I wanna know.

Image Credit : Curalate

Optimizing Images on Instagram for Better Impact is a post from: V3 Kansas City Integrated Marketing and Social Media Agency

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By Joanna
posted on 20 February at 13:59
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