Trending...#2016. How to achieve Instagram greatness 8 different ways.

I get asked constantly how my clients can improve their Instagram game. Constantly. And it's one of my favorite questions to answer because it changes daily!

If there's one thing I am well versed on, a student for life, it's social media. I don't talk about my job too much on this little blog of mine but I can tell you I know what I know and in this's Instagram. I could not even calculate the hours I have spent staring at those little boxes and hashtags trying to up my game for my clients and then eventually...myself...all in the name of this little blog. I'm passionate about it and I love it. Sometimes I hate it but all in all, I'm infatuated with the conversations taking place.

So let's talk about #2016 and what trended HARD on Instagram, shall we? The world moves fast when it comes to social which is why I take tips from the pros and adapt it to my own life so it remains authentic to my brand. Make sense? So what did trend this year and what should you take note of? Read on...

1. Flowers always win: Any color, pick a bunch. (get it, bunch? Nevermind.) Arrange your grocery bouquet in a beautiful vase like above or create a simple flatlay with the new beauty products that hit your mailbox. Flowers add color, texture and it's a nice content block between outfits, food shots or your kids. Flowers make people happy and guess what? You get to implement a whole new set of hashtags along with your post which is key to growing your fan base. 

P/S Peonies are the whore of Instagram if you want instant gratification.

2. Flatlays: I am a total nut for flatlays. It doesn't matter what the subject is...just arrange it pretty and I will double tap the shit out of it. Food is kinda my favorite but you have to do it right otherwise it can appear pretty gross. It needs to look like it's been enjoyed so think texture when it comes to your surface along with unkept napkins and utensils tangent to prepared dishes + raw ingredients. That is the secret sauce - the raw ingredients.

P/S The Instagrammer above kills it in this arena...follow her!

3. Travel: Vacations = winning. Particularly blue waters. Even better, take the people out of your post if possible. Landscape, tall buildings, architectural brilliance...they knock it out of the park on the 'gram. Only get in the shot if you have a bright, colorful outfit like pictured above. (i.e. look cute or don't post. I wish I were kidding but I am not, sadly).

4: Shoes: Everyone loves a good shoe shot, baby. Extra points for tiles and colorful walls. Rule of thumb: if your audience is female - post your dang shoes. Better yet, do it once a week. Just make sure to have someone stand behind you and snap the pic or your body is going to contort so hard that you'll become frustrated and have 842 shots that are blurry. Not that I know...

5. Selfie: Ahhhh, the dreaded selfie. Such a bitch to nail but if done good. The 'grammer pictured above is queen of the selfie space. Rarely her face, and this is key, she posts her cute lil' body which happens to be perfectly bronzed at all given times. What I like about her posts is that she mostly wears basics offset with pretty, minimalist jewelry. There isn't a lot of pomp and circumstance which is nice in a world of Loubies and Chanel bags once in awhile. It also reinvigorates my closet styling!

6: Walls: Vibrant walls are always top performers. There are entire IG accounts dedicated to the subject alone and no shortage of content if you live nearby a metro area. If you want to find some walls in your area: 1. pay attention to your local feed and 2. ask your peers where the coveted wall location is over IG DM. Most people are willing to share the love...most. 

7. #OOTD: Sometimes the less styled parts of life are more appealing to your fans. Lets them know your human and not walking around with a team like Kim K. The mirror selfie is not hard to perfect at all. Get dressed, aim and shoot. Cute pets are a bonus. Just hide the clutter before you shoot...please, for the love of Baby Jesus. No one wants to see last night's pajamas rolled into a ball. #fail

8. Matcha: How damn, get yourself a matcha latte and call it a day! Clear the table, throw in your shoes - SEE!, and you have Instagram gold! Wow, did these become popular this year. Sometimes I want to grab peonies and a matcha latte and get real crazy. Just watch the numbers climb. In all honesty, I think it's the color amidst a neutral setting that grabs people's attention so have fun with it. There are entire feeds dedicated to matcha. There ain't matcha we can do about it so switch up your skinny vanilla and jump on the band wagon, stat!

Inspired? I hope so. If anything, I hope you follow these accounts because they pretty much nail it every time and start practicing! Instagram is all about practice. I've learned a lot from my peers and my photographers. Like I always say, if it starts to become a chore and you're not having fun with it...take a social break. There's beauty all around you.

PSA: If you really want to learn more, come attend one of Oak Street Social's workshops. Details here and below!