SMU fashion professor gives Instagram tips

By Sydney Dawson

Instagram is a large part of the social media obsession that is taking over the lives of young people everywhere. Among the 500 million users are celebrities, celebrity fan pages, Instagram celebrities, bloggers and artists of any kind and average Joe’s like us.

This Boomerang posted by Plastinina was viewed more than 7,000 times and generated 28 comments. Photo credit: Plastinina’s Instagram

One of those 500 million users is Kira Plastinina, SMU professor, fashion designer and entrepreneur and Instagram queen to an audience of 113,000 followers. We sat her down and got her five biggest tips for how to up your Instagram game.

1. Be selective with what you post. “With the new algorithm-driven feed, quality of photographs is more important than ever before,” Plastinina says. “Make sure that your posts are relevant to your audience, aesthetically pleasing and not repetitive in nature.”

Plastinina’s feed has a fun balance between photos, videos and Boomerangs.

2. Experiment with photo editing apps. “I use several different photo editing apps to enhance the photos to make them truly Instagram-worthy,” Plastinina says.

Her top picks: Afterlight, Facetune, ElementFX, Instablend

Pro-tip: Be careful when experimenting with too many apps or effects at once. “You don’t want to over-edit and over-filter to the point where your posts lose authenticity and your account has no personality,” said Plastinina.

Plastinina’s photos are filtered coherently and the editing is subtle, adding a level of realness of her feed. Occasionally she throws in a classy black and white filter.

3. Don’t overthink the caption. “Keeping the captions light and conversational is an easy way to drive engagement and establish your voice,” Plastinina said. When in doubt: emojis.

4. Selfie it up. “I’ve found that photos of me typically generate more likes and comments than abstract photos or photos of objects,” Plastinina said. “Although I’m not a fan of selfies, for some reason, they perform best with my followers.” On the other hand, if all you post are selfies I will unfollow you.

5. Pay attention to aesthetic elements like lighting and color. “Finally, lighter images with white rather than yellow undertones tend to get more likes,” said Plastinina.

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