What makes a great Instagram post in 2019?

We know that social media plays an important role in everyday life. Whether you’re tweeting during the latest award show to share your opinion or updating your Facebook status with something funny your kid said, it seems sharing is here to stay. But with more and more people uploading more and more photos and social media updates, how do you stand out? This is the million-dollar question for brands especially.

So we thought about it and asked ourselves this: What makes a great Instagram post in 2019? Is it the photo? The caption? Both? Here’s what some of our team members had to say.


The experts weigh in.

“Photography is still king on Instagram. You can have the funniest or the most moving caption, but if the photo itself isn’t well taken and visually engaging, no one will stop scrolling long enough to read that caption.” – Nicole, Senior Art Director

“I think it’s the filter on the photo. The filter gives you the vibe/energy the Instagrammer is feeling when they post. Ya know what I mean?” – Adina Pera, Senior Project Manager

“I think a good Instagram post is rooted in the community built around the account. For instance, a few of my favorite Instagram accounts are:

  1. @shutthekaleup – Jeannette Ogden, lifestyle influencer
  2. @rachaelgoodeats – Rachael DeVaux, registered dietician and NASM trainer
  3. @heatherkmcmahan – Heather McMahan, comedian
  4. @hellocharlieblu – Cait and DeeJay, Rochester jewelry designers
  5. @mackenzies_table – Mackenzie Piccarreto, Rochester wellness influencer

Each of these accounts has formed a community around the content it provides, which in my opinion makes me feel more connected and inspires me to engage with them. Sure, it helps to post an eye-grabbing photo (especially when it comes to some of these women’s meals!!!) paired with a catchy caption, but these accounts really take it a step further with the personal interaction evident throughout their comments and stories.

With stories being a newer feature on Instagram, I find myself following along with more stories rather than scrolling these days. I find enjoyment in the open conversation, polls, and opinions as each of these ladies open up to her followers. While yes, a majority of these women are influencers, they promote only the brands they wholeheartedly use and support. They provide content you can actually relate to and that really hits home, especially when you compare them to all the ‘influencer’ bologna accounts available today.

All in all, I believe it’s not just what you put in an individual post, but also how you portray your brand to your target audience on social media – that’s what really makes an account, individual, or company great!” – Briana, Project Manager

“I love a good background. It immediately provides context and makes the post stand out in my feed. I can always appreciate an unfiltered picture with something captivating going on behind the person, product, etc. We’re constantly seeing this with ‘Instagrammable’ locations and pop-ups tailored to capturing the perfect photo. You can’t force a moment, but you can build or utilize a worthwhile backdrop!” – Jillian, Public Relations Account Manager

“I think a good Instagram post can be anything. It depends on the person viewing the post and what resonates with them personally. That’s the beauty of Instagram. There are so many different types of content and subjects – there’s something for everyone. I like cinematic imagery, but on the other hand, I like photographs of artwork, and images of my friends and family in their daily lives. It’s all about your tastes and what motivates you.” – Nolan, Director of Photography

“My personal thoughts vary about what makes a good Instagram post in 2019. After all, it depends on what the account is about or what the goal of the post is. Here’s what I think when it comes to effective Instagram posts:

  • If it’s a post from a product or an agency, it should be a high-quality image, especially if it’s a picture. And adding filters to give it clarity is important to demonstrate the effort and consideration that went into the post.
  • Hashtags and tags are designed to get exposure and attract followers rather than adding to the experience of a good post. Hashtags can become long, annoying, and hard to read when it overtakes the caption or image. However, I believe that hashtags are necessary, especially if exposure is one of the main goals of the post. Selecting the right people or groups to tag is important too, as well as understanding the audience following that hashtag. Is the group you tagged one that reposts and shares? Taking these things into consideration could increase the number of people who see and engage with your post.
  • Is the post informational? Is it trying to highlight an event? It’s important for users to understand that less is more when it comes to content, and they should allow an image to speak. Cluttering an image with too many words may cause viewers to be overwhelmed and decide to ignore or move on from the post.
  • I believe what makes a good post in 2019 is the ability to connect with it emotionally. Maybe it’s a quote or an image that piques my interest. Ultimately, that’s what will capture my attention and time. In a world that’s so fast paced, we struggle to know when and where to place our attention before moving on. So if a post “speaks” to me, I am more willing to spend time on the post and even like or repost it.

From an analytical perspective, I believe a post should have the proper tracking URL (like a bit.ly) if the post is sending users to a different page or promoting a URL on the account. These trackable URLs allow my department to collect data for reporting purposes. Any post that engages users and provides an analyzable metric is considered a good post in my eyes.” – Mike, Junior Analyst

“The caption is just as important as the visual. Captions are powerful and can be used to encourage likes, comments, and even visits to your website. For me personally, if the caption is clever, you get an automatic like.” – Paige, Social Media Manager


There you have it! Want to tell us what you think makes a great Instagram post in 2019? Feel free to contribute by hitting us up on our Instagram, @crowleywebb, or even our Facebook page, if that’s more your style. And if you haven’t already, check out these related posts: our favorite Instagram influencers and how to respond to any social media comment. Until next time!