Instagram is a must-do social media network for pretty much most brands. It’s an image-first network focusing on enabling establishment of great relationships with your followers. But when it comes to images, the question always is: “Should I use professional photos or amateur photos, taken with my phone?” What do you do?

It’s not one or the other, it’s actually both. I’ve been using this approach for a while now and trust me, it has paid off. There’s a reason behind it.

Instagram isn’t a typical social media network. Brands don’t use a very strong promotional language, their focus is on visual and personal experience. With these two experiences in mind comes a clear distinction on when to use professional and when amateur photos.

Visual Experience

It's okay to double dip with Rolled Chicken Tacos.

A photo posted by Taco Bell (@tacobell) on

You know that great photos you see on Instagram and go: “WOW, that’s amazing!” Those are probably professional. If you’re a brand, take photographing your products seriously. When I posted professional photos for my clients on Instagram, the response was always amazing. People notice that you took that extra step. If you have a chance, test your followers with posting some professional photos of your product, yourself or whatever works in your niche. I promise you – the results will be amazing.

Personal Experience

Winter solstice date? Naturally. #CoffeeDate

A photo posted by Starbucks Coffee ☕ (@starbucks) on

Instagram is an amazing tool for establishing a personal connection between your (potential) follower and you. Yes, professional photos work GREAT when there’s visual experience in mind, but magic happens when posting amateur photos, taken with your phone. Users get a feeling you opened the backstage door to your brand or company. An actual person took that photograph. You’ve let them in, showed them around. They absolutely love that and that means they’ll be willing to convert FASTER than before.

Spicy Conclusion

When posting photos on Instagram, use a combination of both approaches. Take professional photos for professional content, such as your product, team introduction, special events. And take amateur photos for creating a personal experience and establishing a personal connection with photos of your parties, sneak peeks of your new product, just a random coffee break with your co-workers.

And don’t forget to add hashtags, ok? 😉

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