Toward the end of 2014, market research group Forrester released an incredibly powerful study demonstrating how infrequently consumers engage with brands on the social web. On six out of seven social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, engagement was reported at less than 0.1%. Instagram was the outlier, soaring above the rest with an engagement per follower rate of 4.21%. This is a really big deal.

One can credit a ton of different factors for Instagram’s storied success. It has a simple layout. Ads are infrequent. And for the laymen, uploading a photo or video is a generally easy social ask. Yet while ease of use is important, it’s not exactly a game-changer. This naturally begs the question:

What makes Instagram so darn irresistible?

Instagram’s quick adoption is indicative of a much larger behavioral shift. Increasingly, consumers are electing to share stories and experiences using pictures, not words. Of course, Instagram is all about images. And brands are just now beginning to recognize how profoundly this is impacting not only social engagement but communication itself.

Engaging the Visual Consumer

Whether on social, your site, or in your physical store, your customers want to engage with your brand visually, with images they can relate to and experiences they can aspire to. So, how can you create the types of visual experiences that make a mark? There’s no shortage of articles that aim to dissect Instagram engagement at the pixel level to determine what makes a photo “good.” As a data-driven company, we’ve conducted our own studies, too. You can find one of them here.

Yet while our previous content (and that of many others) has attempted to look at some of the science behind what works on Instagram, there’s no denying that Instagram is very much an art.

how to take better instagrams

To that end, we’ve enlisted the help of 12 top Instagram influencers to help you become a better one. In our latest guide—Instafamous!—you’ll find:

  • 25 ideas for creating beautiful, compelling images;
  • Free or cheap tools that can enhance your photography skills;
  • 20+ visual examples from award-winning photographers and top Instagram influencers to inspire your next photo shoot.

So, what are you waiting for? Pick up your phone, and start snapping.