What to post? Instagram ideas can be tough to come up with whether you’re brand new to the platform or have been active for a long time!
But growing a following doesn’t have to be difficult – you just have to know where to start and what to post on Instagram to engage your audience.
So, what makes a good Instagram post? And what do top performing Instagram photos have in common?
This guide to amazing Instagram post ideas features gorgeous content examples plus answers to common questions like:
- How do you post creatively on Instagram?
- Should you post on Instagram every day?
- What should you not post on Instagram?
- What to post on Instagram stories? And how are instagram stories different from posts?
Ready? Set? Let’s get started!
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links and I could earn a small commission if you make a purchase using one. This comes at no additional cost to you and all opinions are based on my experience.
How do you post creatively on Instagram?
Being creative on Instagram means posting your own content.
In order to create great content, you should invest in the right tools.
Every small business and aspiring influencer should have the following:
- high quality camera – I use a Sony a6500 mirrorless camera
- photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom
- some photo props for shooting product shots and flat lays
- tripod – I have a Joby GorillaPod and a very basic one
- step stool – I use one like this to shoot flat lays most of the time
Here’s an image I created for a Mr. Clean campaign.
It was shot using my Sony a6500 and the standard 16-50mm kit lens.
Editing was done with the mobile version of Adobe Lightroom – with an Adobe subscription, you get access to both the desktop and mobile versions of the app, I just find enhancing my images easier on mobile.
This image could have easily been shot with a tripod and camera remote but since my mom was there, I asked her to point and click!
Props add personality to your images – and since this cleaning product is lemon scented, a fruit was enough to add some life.
Should you post on Instagram every day?
When I started my brand new Instagram account, I posted between once and three times a day to grow from 0 to 1,000 followers in 28 days.
However, there was some strategy involved and this included:
- using trending and relevant hashtags
- posting at the right times
- leaving comments on recent and top posts
- commenting on Instagram friends’ photos (turn on notifications for friends who comment back!)
- creating a memorable Instagram feed aesthetic
- writing captions to engage followers
Alternatively, there are also a couple of time wasting activities you should avoid doing if you want to build an organic Instagram following. These include:
- Instagram engagement groups*
- following and unfollowing
IG engagement groups can suck up hours of your time and are against Instagram’s Community Guidelines (see Foster meaningful and genuine interactions) – meaning, your account can be deleted for using them.
Following and unfollowing is just plain annoying and will get you blocked by plenty of people – think about how irritated you feel when you’re on the reciprocating end.
What should you not post on Instagram?
The answer to this question is a bit different for every influencer and small business but as a general guideline, it is best to stay away from the following when trying to grow your brand:
- low resolution images
- images that aren’t consistent with your feed’s aesthetic
- content that isn’t directly related to your brand
- reposts – save these for stories and always credit the original creator!
What to post on Instagram stories? How are Instagram stories different from posts?
Instagram stories are a little more flexible since they’re not static posts – unless you display them on your profile, they’ll be archived after 24 hours where you can review them to see if they resonated with your audience.
A lot of small shops and influencers I know tend to go with vlog style stories that can be quite entertaining.
As a rule of thumb, remember that shorter is better – something that’s also true with IGTV.
So how long should videos on Instagram stories and TV be?
HubSpot found that Instagram videos which receive the most comments averaged at 26 seconds long – so, consider sticking to short videos for your posts and two 15 second slides for your Instagram stories.
Since Instagram TV is in a format comparable to YouTube, aim for the 2 minute mark HubSpot notes.
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365 Amazing Instagram Post Ideas to Explode Your Following
What should I post on Instagram every day? If you use this guide, you could be covered for up to one year!
So, get out that notepad or simply pin this post for reference. The massive collection of IG post ideas below includes ideas for:
- personal use and lifestyle bloggers
- small business
- ideas for your first instagram post
Personal Instagram post ideas for lifestyle bloggers
- introduce or reintroduce yourself
- share the changes you’ll be making this new year
- share a tip
- post a throwback
- celebrate your anniversary
- celebrate your birthday
- share your work space
- ask for advice
- share a video
- collaborate with a brand
- collaborate with a friend
- share your latest blog post
- share a tutorial
- share a holiday post
- create a flat lay featuring printed photos
- share your morning routine
- share your evening routine
- share your latest shopping haul
- post an outfit
- share a product you love
- take a photo at your favourite local work spot
- share a behind the scenes image
- create a social media graphic using Canva or PhotoShop
- take a photo in front of a colourful backdrop
- share how you take your coffee
- share productivity tips
- share what you did on the weekend
- share how you spend your time off
- top down photo of your kicks
- celebrate a milestone
- celebrate your blogging anniversary
- announce a new business or achievement
- host a giveaway
- create a quote graphic with Canva or PhotoShop
- host a challenge
- share what you’re listening to
- share what you’re watching
- share what you’re playing
- post a collection of photos
- share what you’re reading
- share your goals for the month
- share your goals for the year
- ask your audience what they want to see more of
- run a poll
- top down image of a beautiful meal
- celebrate a micro-holiday
- share your fitness routine
- share a recipe
- share ideas for unwinding
- share statistics related to your niche
- create and share a freebie
- introduce your family
- introduce your pet
- post a photo from your latest trip
- share a photo from a hike or in nature
- share a photo of beautiful local architecture
- share your planner
- share organization tips
- share a funny quote on a letter board
- celebrate the start of a new month
- celebrate starting a new year
- share your best nine
- celebrate a national holiday from your heritage
- talk about your cultural background
- share a memory from your childhood
- talk about a defining moment in your life
- share your latest manicure
- share a photo with your kids
- share a photo with your significant other
- share a photo of your steering wheel
- post a photo of a newly renovated or decorated space
- share a photo of a project you’re starting
- share progress teasers for the above
- share a twinning photo
- post a selfie
- post a top down photo
- share a styled photo
- share your beauty routine
- share your skincare routine
- post a photo of seasonal decor
- product launch
- what’s in your bag
- share a discount
- visit a garden
- share your garden
- treat yourself to a bouquet
- share a deconstructed flat lay – food, tools, etc.
- use white space
- capture the sunrise
- share a challenge you’ve overcome
- time management tips
- share bad habits you’ve broken
- share changes you’ve made in your business
- share a mirror selfie
- try a new hairstyle
- try a new makeup style
- share a new experience you had
- share a beautiful interior
- share a DIY idea
- share a money saving tip
- share an interesting stat
- talk about a current event
- share user generated content – always ask for permission first
- post an animated image
- share a special offer
- before and after – space, hair, etc.!
- share a real life moment
- share a heavily photoshopped image
- colourful background
- create a grid layout
- share something you recently indulged in
- celebrate independence day
- create a flat lay of your office tools
- share a flat lay of your beauty products
- create a meme
- share a beautiful travel photo
- share your current point of view
- share an incredible view
- share a drone photo or video
- share an image of a famous spot in your city
- post a photo of you at work
- share a photo to make your followers laugh
- create a collage
- talk about an event that changed your life
- ask your followers to do something
- share a product collection or set – lipsticks, etc.
- create a nature flat lay
- tell a story
- share why you started your business
- share an opinion
- share what motivates you
- post a photo from a recent event you attended
- share a photo from a concert you attended
- share an image of your Black Friday haul
- share a Black Friday special
- share a photo of your Christmas tree
- share an image of the bottle you’ll be popping this new years
- share a photo that uses a SnapChat filter – here’s a cute one by BougeMama
- share another platform your followers can find you on
- share an update
- answer a question you get asked often
- feature an employee, friend, or family member
- post something inspirational
- unveil a new product – could be a new category of your blog
- post a video tutorial
- post a photo of a photo
- post a photo of you taking a photo
- share a photo of a healthy meal or shake
- share a hyperlapse video
- share a beautiful interior
- post a photo of your Thanksgiving feast
- share your Halloween costume
- share what’s in your little one’s Easter basket
- share a photo of fun in the sun!
- share an accessory focused image
- style an outfit with a wide
- start an Instagram post series
- share a blooper or Instagram photo fail
- take a walk in the park
- share beautiful lights
- jump for joy
- share a point of view photo – i.e. veggies for outfits
- recreate a photo you’re audience loved in the past
- create a scene – use props, top down photography, and other creative thinking
- get your back into it – post a photo of you looking away from the camera
- show off your top knot
- top down of a meal at one of your favourite local restaurants
- point of view of what you’re doing right now
- a day in the life photo collection
- family selfie
- family twinning
- post a photo you can describe using just emojis
- feature a local start up
- share a local event
- share what’s in your suitcase for an upcoming trip
- share a seaside photo
- share what’s on your coffee table
- put your feet up – shoot a photo from your perspective
- have a seat on the counter – set up a tripod to take a whimsical shot
- share a handwritten message
- create a tutorial for multiple ways to do the same thing – i.e. messy bun
- fill up your cup – pour something
- top down photo of your kicks and a welcome mat
- share a selfie with your mom
- share a selfie with your dad
- the view from your office
- talk about a situation that inspired you
- talk about your community
- share your greatest fear
- talk about a hobby you have
- share a list of fun facts about yourself or your business
- encourage followers to pay it forward – give an example of how you did this week
- share teasers for something to come
- create an image to promote a blog post – i.e. organization ideas could be you tidying up
- open up about something you’ve struggled with
- discuss your health – i.e. disease, challenges, issues, etc.
- talk about your cultural background
- discuss life as an immigrant or child of immigrants
- share a vintage photo of your parents – talk about how they made you who you are
- put the spotlight on a friend or sibling – talk about how they’ve given you strength
- share what’s on your computer screen – be sure to tag brands
- post a photo from your last date night with your significant other
- talk about what your days off look like
7 Days of the week Instagram ideas
Trending hashtags are the perfect way to improve your content’s visibility – so, why not utilize seven days of the week worth of content themes?
By ranking amongst the top posts of a tag users are actually searching, you’ll get more impressions and engagement on your content – I like to think of it as SEO for Instagram!
For example, #SalesSaturday is a hashtag shoppers can use to discover new businesses’ that are promoting a special discount for that day or the weekend – talk about an extra push to take your new potential customer from Instagram to your website.
Six of my other favourite days of the week hashtags for Instagram are:
- #SelfCareSunday – show your followers how you made time for you today!
- #MusicMonday – I love sharing the music I’m listening to – my Balkan playlist is embedded in this Spotify tutorial
- #TipTuesday – share advice relevant to your niche
- #WellnessWednesday – the perfect day to share healthy living tips or a new workout!
- #ThrowBackThursday – post a special memory to connect with your followers
- #FeelGoodFriday – post an image or create an inspirational graphic for your audience
Want more IG post ideas and hashtags for days of the week? Be sure to pin all 7 days from the post below.
Instagram post ideas for moms
- share a family twinning photo
- share a piece of advice for working / stay at home moms
- share a photo of you and your significant other and talk about how you make things work
- share a photo of you in your favourite mom tee
- showcase a room in your home
- share a milestone one of your children has reached
- share a tough moment in your motherhood journey
- talk about one of your proudest moments as a mom
- share an image of you and your kids
- talk about something you wish you would have known before becoming a mom
- talk about who you were before and after motherhood
- share a fun activity to do with kids
- talk about how you schedule your days / week / month and showcase your planner
- share how you make healthy choices for your family – show an example
- share something that makes life as a mom easier
- talk about how you practice self-care
- talk about how you incorporate fitness into your day as a mom
- share details about your wardrobe and/or go to looks for momming
- feature another mom you admire and talk about why
- share a photo of a day out with the family
- talk about how current events have impacted your family
- share what you wish for your children
- talk about the importance faith plays in raising your family
- share a throwback from your pregnancy
- talk about your daily routine as a mom
- share your perspective on being a stay at home mom / working mom
- post about an activity that keeps your kids busy while you work
- share meal ideas for fussy eaters / toddlers / starting solids / etc.
- share bedroom organization ideas for kids
- post a photo with your significant other and talk about how you make time for one another
Related: 120 self-care ideas for moms
Instagram post ideas for fashion
- share your outfit of the day (#ootd)!
- showcase a flat lay of trending seasonal items you’ve picked up
- post a top down photo of your favourite shoes in a circle
- share a photo of your closet – talk about how you keep it organized
- share tips for how to take great care of your clothing and accessories
- review a popular new accessory or beauty product
- talk about your wardrobe staples
- do you have a capsule wardrobe? Share how you built it
- an image featuring a piece of clothing you love and have had forever
- post a photo of you in a trendy outfit at home / or work
- share tips for being stylish at work
- do a try on session video – be sure to speed it up!
- how do you store seasonal items? Share ideas
- share tips for keeping your purse organized
- show off your kicks – whether from a top down point of view or feet up!
- flat lay an upcoming outfit – post yourself wearing it later that week or in your stories that day!
- talk about how you plan your outfits
- share your favourite fashion websites or publications
- feature an outfit made up of only one brand – be sure to tag them and use their brand hashtags!
- create a jewelry spotlight post – i.e. feature your arm candy or your earrings
Instagram post ideas for fitness
- post a workout routine tutorial
- share an image of your favourite space to workout
- feature a favourite supplement
- flat lay of what’s in your gym bag
- share your fitness playlist – add a link to your Spotify playlist on your website
- post a list of ideas for working out when you’re super busy
- share one of your go to meals
- flat lay of your workout clothes
- create a workout graphic – i.e. highlight a move’s benefits
- post an image of you doing your favourite workout – I love my Peloton!
- share before and after photos of yourself or fitness clients
- feature a healthy snack or meal idea
- talk about how you incorporate supplements in your day
- share your workout schedule
- talk about how you spend your days off from the gym
- talk about the turning point in your fitness life – what made you get serious about fitness?
- feature another Instagram user that inspires you – link to one of your favourite tips or workouts!
- share ideas for working out at home
- post ideas for working out on the go
- feature the benefits of exercise – talk about your own personal experience
Instagram post ideas for writers
- a flat lay featuring a book you’ve written – hard copy or ebook open on your tablet
- stack of hard copy books you’ve written or publications you’ve been featured in
- feature a snippet from an upcoming piece
- introduce or reintroduce yourself with your author photo
- post an image of your workspace
- share an image of a workspace outside of home that inspires you
- a photo of your laptop and what you’re sipping on
- create a graphic with a quote from one of your most popular or favourite works
- share tips for overcoming writer’s block
- talk about the use of technology in your field – feature your favourites
- share a story from your early days as a writer / in the business
- talk about how the industry has changed since you started
- share your favourite writing / inspirational resources
- feature another author that inspires you – have an image of you and them? Post it!
- talk about your favourite books / courses / content related to you field
- share what you’re reading right now
- talk about your creative process – how do you go from intro to conclusion? Plot development?
- share what made you want to become a writer
- have you ever taken a break from writing? Talk about why
- talk about your proudest moment as an author
Instagram post ideas for photographers
- an image from your latest shoot
- one of the best images you’ve ever shot
- a photo from a memorable photo shoot
- an image from an editorial or other publication
- post an image of that press piece – i.e. flat lay of a magazine open to that page
- experiment with a new style of photography and ask for feedback
- a before and after or an image you edited
- a photo of your equipment
- try shooting at a new angle
- photographer selfie – an image of you taking a photo with your setup in a mirror!
- offer your services \ invite others for a collaboration
- thank your fans / business partners
- talk about a recent event you attended / photographed
- post a collection of tips for new photographers
- create a tutorial for how to replicate one of your most engaged photographs
- share tips for how to take a good portrait – or selfie!
- share a funny story from one of your jobs
- talk about the realities of being a photographer
- share how you got into photography and what motivates you
- create a photography challenge and invite fans and fellow photographers to participate – tell users to use your special hashtag!
Instagram post ideas for realtors
- share a new listing
- post an idea for how to improve a home for selling
- share a staging tip
- share tips for renovating to sell
- post a list of things you should look for in a home
- create a list of trends in modern developments
- share a beautiful outdoor space and suggestions for creating one
- post a kitchen organization tip
- share energy saving ideas
- collaborate with a local home improvement shop / contractor
- share a top down photo of your business card and/or other marketing materials
- share a photo of your office space
- share details for an upcoming open house
- create a list of things you can do to improve your home’s value
- start a know before you buy series – condo / townhouse / house / commercial property
- start a tips for selling series
- share a list of home maintenance you must do monthly / yearly / etc.
- share your favourite organization tips for small space / large families / etc.
- share tips for first time home owners
- offer suggestions for downsizing / upgrading your home
Instagram post ideas for small business
In 2017, 70.7% of US companies were expected to be on Instagram and it’s not wonder since Instagram can be an incredible tool for business.
Here are a few IG post ideas for business.
- feature a new product
- host a giveaway
- offer a discount
- advertise an affiliate program
- have a sale
- collaborate with an influencer
- share a photo of your warehouse
- share of photo of your office
- introduce the business owners
- feature an employee
- share behind the scenes
- talk about production and manufacturing
- share how you got into business
- share a funny story from when you first started your company
- talk about your logo
- invite customers to follow you on another platform
- create a tutorial for how to use your product
- repost a customer’s photo or testimonial
- share somewhere your product has been featured
- thank someone for supporting you in your business
Ideas for your first Instagram post
It’s both exciting and a little nerve wracking to get started on a new social media platform.
So, it’s important to keep in mind that…
Your first Instagram post doesn’t have to be perfect!
Instead, you should focus on finding your online business’ style – whether you want to use Instagram for your blog or to grow as a social media influencer.
Use your first Instagram post as a way to show viewers who you are and what you’re all about.
Make it a beautiful photo of yourself or of a product that captures the essence of your business.
Still in pre-production? No problem! Post a photo of you and/or your team in the workspace and talk about your line.
Chances are, your first image won’t go viral – but providing some sort of introduction or starting point is a great way to get potential new followers acquainted with your brand.
Here are five ideas for your first Instagram post:
- introduce yourself or your team
- feature a superstar product
- an image of your store front of workspace
- show what goes on behind the scenes
- feature your tools
Holiday Instagram post ideas
Special occasions and holidays are a perfect way to connect with your audience – there are also plenty of fun and unique hashtags you can use to promote your content.
Some popular special occasions and holidays in the US and Canada include:
- New Year’s Day
- Valentine’s Day
- Family Day
- Cinco de Mayo
- Memorial Day
- Canada Day
- July 4th
- Labor Day
- Veterans Day
- Remembrance Day
Holiday Instagram posts should make your audience feel good – get them excited about the upcoming occasion and where possible, incorporate branding in your images.
To start planning for the spookiest day of the year, check out this post on Halloween social media ideas – you’ll find 31 days worth of spooktacular content 🙂
Check back later for other holiday Instagram post ideas for 2020.
What type of Instagram content will you create next? Share your latest post in the comments below so we can check it out 🙂