It’s been a big month for our favourite photo-sharing platform. Instagram introduced their advertising API (application programming interface), enabling marketers to purchase Instagram ads in a similar fashion to how Facebook and Twitter operate. They removed the burdensome native square frame parameters that would result in inevitably cutting off someone from those group shots (landscape photographers the world over rejoiced). And our favourite day dreaming account Tourism Australia won Best Branded Instagram Account at the Skifties – the awards for the most effective travel brands on social media platforms.

But the news that caught my eye was the meteoric rise of a Barbie parody Instagram account. Yes, you read that right. SocalityBarbie’s account embodies every #liveauthentic cliché you can imagine – misty locales, immaculately dishevelled clothes and knitted beanies, meticulously presented cups of coffee – you’ve seen or snapped them all.

In between the barrage of side profile shots on deserted beaches/rainforests/mountains, there’s a lot we can learn from this popular account. While it is a satirical jab at “the curatorial artifice masquerading as spur-of-the-moment authenticity”, it employs many best practice examples of how to create engaging and effective content. Here’s some things your brand can adopt from @SocalityBarbie:

    1. #hashtag

 Research shows interactions are highest on pictures that feature 11+ hashtags. The good news is there’s no evidence of a saturation point, so aiming for 11 or more relevant hashtags will only help in growing your follower base. Looking for relevant hashtags? Use Iconosquare to search and measure tags used that are the most relevant and effective, and search for more like it.


  1. Share your successes.

 Just like Facebook and Twitter, this is a platform to get your successes out there and share with your audience. Won an award? Snap and share it. Got an awesome review? Upload a photo and quote it in the caption. Landed a cover story? Share that baby!

  1. Keep your captions short

You’ve only got a split second to grab the attention of those people having a leisurely scroll through their Instagram feeds during a coffee break. Short and snappy captions that accompany beautiful images will prove more engaging than an essay that someone has to struggle to read on their phone screen. Show your brand’s personality and add a bit of sass or excitement in your writing.

    1. Make the mundane beautiful.

 Don’t think your product or business is Instagram worthy? Think again. There’s nothing a VSCO or Snapseed filter can’t make look beautiful and whimsical. This sort of flexible content resonates with the Instagram community who increasingly values aesthetics over content. 

  1. Mix it up

Found your content is getting a bit stale? Try mixing it up a bit. Shots of people, pets and food consistently perform well.  A smattering of flatlays (taking photos of items from above, typically on a white background) and selfies are the hallmarks of a well-rounded Instagram account. Use simple design programs like Canva to create inspirational and regrammable graphics.

What accounts do you follow that follow these best practices? Let us know on our Facebook.