Many savvy marketers are looking to make the most out of social photo sharing sites such as Instagram and Pinterest, but the secret to viral success has been more than a little veiled. Sometimes, the why behind sharing seems pretty mysterious. How does a picture manage to stand out from the crowd in an appealing way?
A recent study sheds light on that question, and just in time. Instagram has started placing ads in their feeds, making them a more valuable platform for businesses than ever before.
It turns out that Instagram users are typically drawn to pictures with a single dominant color. With that said, of all colors, they like blue the most. Shots with a blue hue received a whopping 24 percent more likes on average than pictures with a red or orange tint.
It’s surprising, but should it be? Blue isn’t the most exciting color, but perhaps that’s part of the appeal. Blue is calm, soothing and scientifically proven to elicit feelings of trust and security. Also, a majority of app icons are blue. Look around and you’ll find blue dominating the web in interesting ways starting with the original hyperlink.
In addition to dominant color, the saturation of the photo matters, as does background space. Lower saturation pictures received around 18 percent more likes than more vibrant photos, and lighter photos also fared better than darker ones. In addition, Instagram users valued pictures with more background space. Shots with 90 percent or more background space generated 29 percent more likes on average.
Texture is another interesting factor to keep in mind while selecting photos as well. Shots featuring a high amount of texture scored 78 percent more likes than those with less.
Making the most of these new findings is fairly simple: Focus on blue shots with low saturation and high amounts of background space and texture. In other words, choose pictures that will be a space of calm tranquility in an otherwise chaotic feed. Instagram users will thank you for it in the form of likes.