How do some architects get their Instagram feed to look so clean?
When it comes to Instagram, we all understand how important aesthetics and presentation are to the growth of our accounts. Even so, not many of us have an actual plan for how we’ll improve the look and feel of our feeds.
In this post, I’ll share three tips you can follow to make your Instagram feed more appealing, and a free Instagram template for architects who want to speed up their social media workflow.
But first, let’s take a look at an example of an account that’s doing a great job with their feed.
There are loads of minimal, aesthetically pleasing architecture Instagram feeds out there – but I think Sydney-based architects Trias Studio capture many of the strategies I teach to my clients, so I’ll use their Instagram feed to demonstrate a few of these ideas in action.
Here is a screenshot of Trias’ Instagram feed.
Why does this account look so good?
A lot of architecture firms want to achieve this kind of look for their Instagram accounts.
It’s neat. It’s consistent. It’s simple.
But how do you get your account to look like that? It doesn’t happen by accident.
Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients that make Trias’ account so easy on the eyes. Then you can try to replicate these strategies on your Instagram account too.
Force Instagram to show the images in portrait and landscape by using a border template.
Do you notice how the images in their Instagram feed aren’t square, or cropped automatically by Instagram?
Trias have used a border around their images to force Instagram to show their architectural photography in it’s original aspect ratio when you scroll down their feed… rather than the normal square crop.
Architectural photography really doesn’t look great in the square aspect ratio, and it isn’t what the photographer intended when they composed the image.
If you post your images as is, they’ll look okay for your followers in their feeds, but your profile feed will look messy.
So, to get your photos looking as good as they can in your profile, you need to use a Photoshop template to help squeeze them into Instagram’s square 1080 x 1080 format before uploading them to Instagram.
It’s a little bit of extra work, but when my clients have added this one simple step to their Instagram workflow, it’s made an immediate difference to the look of their feed.
To save you time, I’ve created two Photoshop files. One for landscape, one for portrait. You can download them from the button below.
Download the free Instagram template for architects 👇
Don’t have Photoshop? Me neither. I just use a free browser-based tool called Photopea.
Use Instagram’s own background colour for your borders and drawings.
What colour is Instagram’s background?
If you guessed white, you’d be wrong. It’s actually slightly grey.
Hex code #fafafa to be exact.
If you use white borders, or white backgrounds in your images they won’t blend in nicely with Instagram’s own background.
Trias Studio not only make their frames grey, but they go even further and make the backgrounds on their drawings the same grey as Instagram’s background
Take this image for example.
Notice how it clearly stands out from the white background of my site. On Instagram, it just blends right in without any visible border at all.
Start using #fafafa on your image borders, drawings and sketches. You won’t believe what a difference it will make to the look of your Instagram feed.
Don’t leave your process images to chance. Create a plan.
Using borders on your posts and the right background colours are great first steps, but what really sets some firms apart on Instagram is the consistency and quality of their process images.
Since these process images will usually make up the bulk of what you’ll post throughout the year, establishing a consistent visual language and a set of guidelines is key to ensuring your feed is both attractive and consistent in the months between new projects.
On top of that, creating a repeatable system for generating these images, and preparing them well before you need them, will mean you’re never left stressing because you’ve run out of images.
Here are the steps I recommend to create consistent process images.
Step 1: Decide on the types of process photo you’d like to add to your feed.
A firm will usually specialise in two or three process image types, such as modelmaking, renders and landscapes, and make them the hero of their feed.
A few different categories you could choose from might include:
- Model photos
- Travel photos
- Site visits
I recommend specialising in two or three, rather than all of them, because it’ll make planning and producing images much simpler if you have fewer categories to worry about.
Step 2: Determine how many images you’ll need to prepare for the next 3-6 months of posts.
Say you post once per week, on average, and a third of your posts will be model photos going forward. That means you need to prepare 9 images to fill your model bucket for the next 6 months. It’s much less daunting when you think about it that way.
You can repeat the calculation for each of the categories in your feed and work out exactly how many of each type of image you’ll need to prepare.
Step 3: Find examples to emulate.
You don’t need to re-invent the wheel. Build a moodboard for each of the process image categories you’re looking to add to your feed. You’ll be able to refer back to it for inspiration when it comes time to create your photos.
Step 4: Identify any gaps in your equipment, or skills.
Once you’ve found images you like, the next step will be to figure out how to create images that are just as good (or better).
For example, do you need a new camera or lens? A backdrop of some sort? A tripod or a light? Do you need to sign up for a simple online Instagram photography or Photoshop course?
Step 5: Create your images and aim to make them as consistent as possible.
Whether you’re posting renders, landscapes, site visit photos, or models; you’ll want to pay attention to saturation, contrast, brightness and colour to make sure the images blend together and compliment each other.
Here are some examples of different images categories on the Trias Studio account.
I’ve chosen a render, model photo, site visit, material flat-lay and finished professional photo to demonstrate how similar these images look, even though they each focus on totally different subject matter.
Beyond being mindful about consistency when selecting materials and subject matter, some firms will also use Photoshop or Lightroom filters that they’ve bought or made in-house to ensure consistency in their feed.
Alternatively, you can use an app like VSCO, an image processing app that works just like Instagram’s filters, but it has a store where you can buy different filter packs to help you achieve a more unique look.
Step 6: Schedule your posts in advance to save time.
Once your image library is ready, you can schedule them to post automatically days, weeks or even months in advance using a tool like Later. I’ve written another post on Instagram posts, hashtags and scheduling if you’d like to learn more.
Like good branding, a clean Instagram feed creates a positive first impression and makes a promise about the quality of the account.
Accounts that present themselves consistently and attractively in the feed will convert a higher percentage of visitors into followers. Over time, that really adds up.
If you’d like to learn more about how to create an effective Instagram marketing strategy for your architecture firm, click here to check out my recent 2-hour webinar that covered all of the strategy, tools and tactics that I’ve learnt from advising 100+ architects on Instagram marketing.