Are Your Instagram Filters Helping or Hurting Engagement?
If you use Instagram, you already know it’s a platform that can have a fabulous impact on traffic, engagement, and sales. Instagram developers have worked hard to add features that have transformed this from a social app to a powerful retail platform.
At the same time, you’ve probably noticed just how competitive things can be. Many brands struggle to stand out. It’s important to always be on the lookout for new ways to boost engagement. That brings us to the topic of filters.
Do Instagram filters add any value when it comes to engagement? They do, but it’s important to follow some best practices to get the results you want.
First: What Do Filters Do to Increase Engagement?
Instagram filters can increase the number of comments and shares your posts receive. Specifically, research published by Yahoo Labs shows that Instagram posts with filters are 45% more likely to receive comments. When used correctly, filters can make images more attractive and engaging.
If you are trying to draw attention to your products, Instagram filters can enhance image quality and add clarity to your product pictures. There are also AR filters that allow your followers to interact with your posts like never before.
Instagram Filter Best Practices
Filters are a powerful engagement tool. Unfortunately, like any other tool, they can be misused. This misuse can cause your Instagram video marketing and other strategies to fall flat. These tips will help you get better results:
Choose Filters that Fit Your Branding
There are plenty of fun, engaging, and popular filters available for your Instagram pictures and videos. Be selective when you choose which ones you will use on your Instagram posts.
Don’t select filters simply because they are popular or they have gotten good results for other brands. The filters you choose should make sense within the context of your brand identity.
For example, if your visual branding tends to be bright and colorful, the filters you use should work with that. You wouldn’t want to select a filter that gives your images a gray or antique look.
Don’t Avoid Filters Because You Aren’t Getting Viral Results
You can use Instagram filters for free. So any positive results you get equal a good ROI. There’s no need to avoid using filters simply because they aren’t causing your posts to go viral. Instead, think of filters as a way of nudging your engagement numbers in a positive direction.
Excessive Use of Filters Can Raise Suspicion
Social media users have a contradictory relationship with filters. On the one hand, they absolutely engage more with posts that use filters. Users enjoy AR filters and seeing the results of placing them on their own posts, as well as viewing filtered posts from brands.
At the same time, people often see filters as inauthentic. In fact, more than 287 million Instagram posts use the #nofilter tag. However, 11% of the posts that use this tag are actually using at least one filter.
So don’t overuse filters or layer too many in a single post. Absolutely don’t use filters in a way that misrepresents the product you are trying to showcase.
Filters Won’t Reverse Terrible Production Values
If used correctly, filters can enhance the more attractive elements of your posts. They can make images and videos more attractive, add cool engagement elements, and cover up some minor flaws that come from slight imperfections in photography and videography.
You can even use them to highlight features you think your audience will find appealing.
Just make sure you understand that filters can only do so much. In some cases, rather than using a filter to cover or attempt to repair poor production values, it’s best just to start over with a better image or video.
Instinctively, it may seem as though using a variety of filters is the best approach. You might think that would be more likely to attract engagement and make your posts more interesting to your followers. However, in many cases, that simply isn’t true.
About 60% of the top brands on Instagram use the same filter across all images. This uniformity is maintained because the effects created by filters can truly become a part of your brand’s visual identity.
Research the Filters You Plan on Using
There are several filters to choose from for your Instagram posts and even more for your stories. Before you settle on the ones you want to use, do a bit of research. Learn how other brands in your niche are using filters and what results they are getting in terms of engagement.