27 Cool Things to Post on Instagram: Ideas from Top Brands


It’s 2017 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. How do you know what to post on Instagram?

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.

The Go-Tos

1. Landscapes

Start with Landscapes. Of all the different types of photos on Instagram, Landscapes get the most engagement.  Bonus points for water, nature, landmarks, exotic locales and bridges.

2. Selfies

Sel-fie (noun)

  1. 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.
  2. The beginning of the end of intelligent civilization.
  3. The bread and butter of Instagram. 

3. Food

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.

The UNFAIR

4. Puppies 

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.

5. Babies

Babies are like puppies, but human.  Enough said.

6. The Risqué

Sex sells.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.  ?

7. Cars

Vroom vroom.

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.

8. Sunsets

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)

9. Products

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.

11. Employees

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.

13. Customers

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.

 

 

17. Events

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

18. Videos

Instagram has 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…

20. Layout

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

22. Quotes

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.

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.

THE NEW CLASSIC HASHTAGS

Because #throwbackthursday is so 2013. Spice up your Instagram posting with one of these up and coming classics.

 

25. #FacadeLovers

 

26. #RoseAllDay

 

27. #IHaveThisThingWithFloors

 

Know of any other great hashtags to use for Instagram? Let us know in the comments 🙂