How to tell if your Instagram feed sucks
There comes a time in every social media-obsessed person’s life when they have to ask themselves, does my Instagram suck?
Maybe it’s because your last selfie got 20 less likes than the previous one you posted, maybe it’s because your follower count has been stuck just below 2,000 for months now, or maybe, like Kim Kardashian, you have a suspicion your flow isn’t consistent enough.
While it’s arguably a first world problem, wanting to step your Instagram game up doesn’t make you a bad, shallow person. It just makes you a person who a. understands how Instagram works now and b. isn’t kidding themselves.
We’re all at least a little ruled by our own vanity and social media is the closest to being famous most of us will ever get. Plus, the more followers you have, the more likely you are to be able to become your own cash cow, and if that isn’t the American dream, then I must be Russian. Shhh, don’t tell.
While your friends will probably never be completely honest with you about how good or bad your Instagram feed is, we will.
So if you really wanna know if your Instagram feed sucks or not, keep reading.
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1. Your feed makes it look like you’re trying too hard
The golden rule of looking cool on Instagram is seeming like you’re genuinely too cool to be that thirsty for attention, which is ridiculous. If you’re posting a picture of yourself on Instagram, it’s probably because you want attention.
But that’s okay. We all do it so we’re all in the same boat. What’s so wrong with wanting attention?
Just like how it can take over an hour to pull off the perfect no makeup-makeup look, getting that perfect DGAF Instagram pic is more complicated than taking one photo, coming up with an caption in .5 seconds, and hitting the share button.
Sometimes you genuinely do have a brilliant idea for a photo, but most of the time, it’ll take you a minute before you really find the right pose.
Because if you want your Instagram to pop, you can’t take any old basic photo. It’s 2017. We’ve all already liked thousands of basic photos and now it takes a little more to get a double tap. If all you’re doing is taking a picture showing that you own a shirt that says “Harry Styles and some pizza slices,” only your best friends are going to like it. And that’s only because they’re being nice.
That being said, don’t overthink it. Instagram is supposed to seem off the cuff, so if you’re spending 15 minutes writing an essay about body positivity or trying to come up with the perfect caption, you’re probably gonna overwrite it and come up with something that seems just as corny as this:
Literally I don’t know what I was thinking or what this was supposed to mean. Was I trying to imply I had a one night stand with Harry Styles when he was a child, but then he got famous and he moved on to Taylor Swift? Or was I just trying to show off that I knew the lyrics to a very popular Drake song?
Let’s just say this is an example of what not to do.
The caption is wack. The picture is wack. And you can tell because it only got 15 likes. That’s embarrassing. But hey, that’s what you get when you post something where you’re clearly trying so hard to be cool. You look like a dork and people scroll right past you.
If your Instagram flow looks like this picture could fit in with it, delete your life and start over again.
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2. Your pictures don’t make people think to themselves, “wow, goals”
People are entitled to their own opinion, but if you think Instagram is about anything other than stunting, you’re wrong.
Sure, your mom might use Instagram to just share any old photo she took, but do you really want to be using Instagram like your mom?
No matter how much you love her, the answer is no.
If you want to be good at Instagram, it all boils down to one thing. Does your picture make people think to themselves, “Wow, that’s a goal” or “she’s so cool”? Or does it make people think, “oh, she tried” or “well, that’s a picture”?
Mostly, this is something you achieve in the photo portion of your Instagram. Here’s a prime example of the Galore staff doing this right.
Even if you don’t personally know Victoria, don’t you want to double tap her pic? Slash be her friend?
This is literally what Instagram is about, people. Making this kind of content.
No matter if your brand is thotty to the maximum or DGAF, this is what you’re aiming for.
3. All your pictures are selfies
Look, I don’t have anything against selfies. Selfies are great and anybody is entitled to post all the selfies they want to post, but there’s a reason why celebs and influencers don’t post selfie after selfie after selfie in a row anymore. Those aren’t the pictures that get the most likes.
Seriously, I spend a lot of time doing Instagram analysis, and most of the time, pictures taken by someone else get more likes than a picture a person takes of themselves.
Because selfies rarely make you jealous over a person’s life. They’re rarely goals. They’re just pretty or vaguely LOL.
But pictures somebody takes of you where you’re doing cool things and/or making cool poses? Those can be envy-inducing.
So by all means post a selfie when you feel like it, but make sure you balance them out with photos of yourself that you didn’t take yourself.
4. You’re allergic to light
Another tip I picked up from my many hours of Instagram analysis is that if your picture isn’t well-lit, people won’t like it.
Honestly, it makes sense.
If nobody can see what’s going on, then how could you picture possibly stop anybody in their tracks?
READ ALSO: Ivanka Trump is bad at Instagram
5. Your engagement is wack
Unless you work in media or are absolutely psycho about Instagram, you’ve probably never used the word “engagement” to describe how many likes and comments you get.
But that’s the word we use to describe how people are interacting with a post and your engagement can tell you a lot about the quality of the content you’re posting.
If you’ve got thousands of followers but your pictures aren’t getting hundreds of likes, then sorry, something’s off with your content.
Andrea Angarica, the marketing manager for Galore’s model and creator agency Kitten, told me that the average rate for good engagement is 2%. Anything less than that is cause is for concern.
To figure out what’s up with your engagement, simply add the number of likes you have for a photo with the number of comments and divide that by how many followers you have.
If you’ve got over 7%, congrats, you’re doing a great job. If you’ve got 2-6%, well, the good news if you’re average. If you’ve got less than 2%, it’s cause for concern.
But hey, if that’s your life, at least you’ve got some helpful hints so you can rebrand ASAP.