September 21, 2016

Instagram: To Edit or Not to Edit?

I've been seeing a TON of posts on the topic of Instagram as of late. "How I Edit My Instagram Pictures." "How I Actually Edit My Instagram Pictures." "Why I Stopped Caring About My Instagram Theme." "Why Your Instagram Aesthetic Matters." The list goes on, and every post contradicts the last. Don't get me wrong— I'm not judging, and I read most of, if not all of, the Insta-related posts that pop up on my Twitter feed or in my inbox, but they're all just so similar. Is one social media platform worth so much talk?

So... to edit or not to edit? And if you do decide to edit, how much editing is too much editing? These questions are inherently subjective, and the importance of the answers to these questions is just as subjective. Where do I stand? I don't know. Being me, I tend to over-obsess about things. I sometimes think that I'm way too much of a perfectionist to have an Instagram at all— seriously. Like, maybe someone should take my account away from me because there's a lot of thought that goes into the content I'm posting; is that okay when the content is just a grid of one by one squares?

If Instagram is just a visual representation of your brand, maybe there's a way to navigate all the VSCO filters and color schemes to both optimize your brand image and keep time spent editing and curating pictures to the amount that you deem appropriate. Let's be real for a second: no matter how anti-theme or how pro-post-what-you-want-it's-your-life you are, you know when you see a bad picture that it's, well, bad. Maybe the content is something you'd expect to find on Snapchat, or the quality is poor. That dim lighting wasn't achieved through careful manipulation of exposure, contrast, and shadow... it's just bad, dim lighting.

Again, I'll pose the question: to edit or not to edit? I think you should. And here's why.
(Disclaimer: For the purposes of this post, editing = curating a theme.)

+ Even minimal editing makes a difference. 
Back to what I said about recognizing a bad photo: there are some really simple adjustments you can make that can fix that. You don't even have to know what each tool does, really; sliding the scales up and down and noting the effect it is has on your photo can work.

+ It will give you a better idea of how you want your brand to come across.
Maybe you don't like the idea of editing because you think it's inauthentic or you simply don't care, but you won't know unless you try it. If you're a blogger, chances are you've spent time thinking about your visual brand, especially if you've worked on your blog's HTML or on a custom logo or header. This "image" of you can translate over onto your Instagram and help reinforce your brand on another platform that might bring in new readers.

+ You'll have symmetry across your social platforms.
Say your blog interface is beautiful; you paid extra for that special theme, and since upgrading, you've seen lots of new traffic. The feedback on your design is overwhelmingly positive. Of course, you have links to all your social profiles on your blog. A brand comes across your site and clicks over to your Instagram, only to find a page full of underwhelming photos that don't seem to match the impression they had of you based on your blog design. Now, they might not deem you a fit for promoting their product. The same goes for readership. Someone might love reading your content but might get the impression that you don't care about your Instagram account and the content you share with your followers on that platform, so they won't tap that green "follow" button.

I want to know: did you like the style of this post? And where do you stand on the whole editing/theme thing?


  1. I 100% agree with you. Loved reading your stance on this. Great read!


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