Instagram filters for Business

POSTED ON: 2 May 2016

If you are not using Instagram for business, it’s time you discovered its potential. If you are, you know that the social media network is now a household name boasting over 400 million users with over 80 million photos being shared every day. The charm of Instagram lies in ability to share “in the moment” photos often taken with a mobile phone, whether it’s capturing the perfect sunset or the suppleness of a supercar. For business, it has become a platform that lets you share a more personal, behind-the-scenes moments and letting brands better connect with their customers.

One of the big differentiators of Instagram lies in its various photo filters that let you instantly change or enhance the appearance of an image before posting it. You can instantly turn a photo to black and white, or increase the contrast, brighten the colors, or make it look like an old film development.

While the use of filters is one of the main prerogatives of Instagram, its use requires some thought especially if you are using it for business purposes. Here is a breakdown on how to choose the right filter and how to use it for optimal results.

Science behind filtering

In a 2013 study, researchers at Yahoo Labs and the Georgia Institute of Technology examined 7.6 million photos uploaded from mobile to Flickr. Examining the number of views and comments, they found that photos using filters are more successful in engaging viewers. Specifically, an audience is 21% more likely to view a filtered photo and 45% more likely to comment on it.

Why use filters?

Using a filter gives your images a professional finish, giving you a credible and polished appearance online. When using one filter consistently, it can result in branding for your feed, which your followers learn to recognize. It can be used to achieve various results including improving aesthetics, adding vintage effects, highlighting objects, manipulating colors in order to make a photo appear more fun and unique. Given the fact that majority uses their mobile devices to take photos without much editing capability, filters are an instant solution that let the user achieve results without software or a camera.

“By using the same filters over and over, you establish a style that will become recognizable to your followers.” Evan LePage, blog specialist for Hootsuite.

How to choose a filter

Instagram provides a range of filters from black and white, to sierra to opaque. With so much choice how do you choose a filter that is right for your images and feed? First, define what it is that you are looking to achieve; are you looking to highlight a product, or are you looking to communicate an experience? Determine the feel of your brand. For example, refrain from using a vintage filter if you are trying to communicate a modern cutting edge feel.

Popular filters

Here are 5 most used filters with their effects explained: 

  1. Lo-Fi is effective for photos that lack depth, as it will heighten the contrast of the colors and the shadows to make the subject of your photo stand out. It’s perfect for accentuating the bold, vibrant colors of a car after an installation!
  2. X-Pro II is one of the most striking effects of X-Pro II is the “vignette,” or darkened corners of the photo. This emphasizes the center of your photo, so use it for close-up, detailed shots.
  3. Valencia will tone down the brightness of your photo, giving it a more muted, softer look that is perfect for nostalgic shots
  4. Mayfair is a jack-of-all-trades that will complement any photo with a subtle brightening in the center and a thin black border around the edges!
  5. Rise gives your photo a soft, yellowish-gold glow that will warm and lighten up dark, underexposed subjects. It’s a reliable filter for bringing out hard-to-see details in your photo.


The overuse of filters created in a movement tagged with hashtag #nofilter. It is mainly common on sunsets and natural scene indicating that the images have gone untouched and that you are seeing exactly what they were seeing. Some pictures do not need any filters, as they communicate their purpose in its raw state.

Stay tuned for updates as our team is always on the forefront of what's happening next in the fast paced world of social media. For more on Instagram check out our previous post 5 easy steps to get started on Instagram for general tips.

If you’d like to learn more about integrating Instagram into your social media strategy, contact us today and let us help you take your business to the next level. Get Started today! 

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