5 Captivating Ways to Post for #ManiMonday
Since I started posting to #ManiMonday on Instagram last year, it has helped me accomplish a few goals in my social media. It has helped me to have regular content that followers look forward to and even interact with by tagging me to show me their manis. Posting for Mani Monday has also kept me motivated to keep my nails looking great, which is a must for fashion and beauty blogger pics...not to mention all of those lifestyle Instagram picss where my nails just happen to be in the shots.
There are several common compositions for #ManiMonday. And while I urge you to put your own spin on it, here are some ideas on where to start. Photo above via @20mas3
First, let's break down the three main compositions, then we'll get into those captivating details.
1. Simple close-up of hand, sometimes holding the bottle - brands love this one, because it shows off both the color and the brand. But for this one to look great, you can't have any imperfections in the mani, and your hands should be well-moisturized.
2. Flat lay containing just the nail polish itself - this one is the perfect way to showcase a collection. For example, if you're obsessed with one particular brand (I'm quite partial to essie), you can show off your growing collection.
If you have the money to invest in an entire new collection at once, for example the essie Spring 2017 collection, you can showcase the set with items that reflect the collection. Brands love this type of post and are likely to regram and promote you on their own pages if you can get a great shot.
3. With your hand out flat, not holding the bottle - I rarely see this type regrammed by brands, unless it is a very high-quality manicure and photo. Though it is a favorite among fellow lifestyle bloggers when done right. For example, this shot here, which includes some pretty rings in the mix, and pretty flowers in the background.
Now let's get into the details. Because if you've made your way to this blog, it isn't because you simply want to post a random nail polish pic on Instagram, it's because you want to get noticed - regrammed, followed, and noticed by brands and followers alike. There are a few ways to take any of these basic shots up a notch, from a mere pretty pic to something captivating.
1. Add Texture. This is one of my favorite #manimonday shots, because it still shows the color off while adding interest to the shot. And it's so versatile that anyone can achieve this look using things from around your home. Whether it's a pretty scarf, a cozy knit sleeve, or a throw blanket or blouse you like; you can use just about anything to add texture, pattern, and color to your pic.
Adding fabric can really hold the viewers attention. Rather than looking at just pretty nail polish, the eyes can't help but wander to the surrounding fabric. And then instead of looking away, they wander back to the nail polish, then back to the fabric, and so on, at least a few times.
2. Add a Background. Just because you're trying to showcase the polish, it doesn't mean you have to keep the background blank and boring. I do love a clean white background for a mani pic, but sometimes a pop pf color or pattern behind it can make the picture come alive. You can achieve this with a patterned fabric, scrapbook paper, or simply by getting outside and using nature as the backdrop. Spring is of course the perfect time for beautiful flowers, and fall is of course the time for cozy autumn leaves.
Tip: to get that crisp image, with the focus on the nail polish and the background blurred, hold the camera as close to the object as possible without it losing focus, and hold the nail polish at least a foot away from the background.
3. Give Context. A manicure shown off in a car, at a work space, or at a pretty cafe...these all make me wonder about the person behind the mani. Are they working on a new blog post? Did they find a cute new coffee shop. The answer isn't as important as the question. By creating these questions in the viewers mind, you are pulling them in long enough to wonder and long enough to read your caption.
4. Add Other Objects. If your #ManiMonday pic is more about the product itself, a flatlay of the nail polish, paired with other pretty objects is a great look. This pic below contains a few of my own favorites. The magazine, for example, is turned to a pretty page. This is something I frequently do. Who says you have to only use the cover of a magazine for a flatlay? Flip through to find beautiful images that match your color scheme and to add visual appeal.
I love the use of the faux branches as well. You do not have to use fresh flowers and greenery all the time. Pick up a few pretty faux flowers and branches from the craft store that you can use again and again, regardless of the season. These faux sprays, for example, are perfect for a professional-looking flatlay.
You can also add fun object that correlate to the nail polish color. I love how essie paired the pretty pinks and red below with pink and red lip candy. It's fun to create posts like this alongside holidays. This one, I'm sure, was posted near Valentine's Day.
5. Play with Shapes. If you have a large collection of one particular brand, arrange them in a circle or a heart, and you're guaranteed to get the brand's attention. You're also bound to capture the attention of your followers as they scroll.
Our minds like things we can easly recognize and process, while at the same time, something bold and unique will catch our eyes initially. This essie heart below fulfills both of those things. It's that perfect combination of something both familiar and unique. The heart being the familiar and the fact that it's a heart composed of beautiful nail polish is of course not something you see on Instagram everyday.
6. Use a Pretty Dish. Creating the most beautiful and eye-catching nail polish pic can be as simple as placing the product in a beautiful little bowl or on top of a pretty marble surface.
7. Hold Something. You don't have to hold the nail polish just because it's a ManiMonday pic. Whether it's a cup of coffee, a cocktail, or a cute handbag; holding something from everyday life will make the viewer feel a connection.
Extra Tips for Getting Your #ManiMonday Post NoticedPlay Up the Names. Some nail polish brands have some pretty fun color names, as well as collection names. The essie "Balet Nudes" collection was regrammed by essie when @jenniferrosa photographed it with ballet slippers. The regram of her pic gained over 17,000 likes. I'm guessing that got her a few extra followers!
The use of a map as a background was also a perfect way to play up their new 2017 "On the Roadie" Spring Collection.
Focus on What's New. The big nail polish brands are always trying to promote their latest collection and shades on social media. In fact they may even have a specific hashtag dedicated to that collection. If you want to get regrammed, you will greatly increase your odds by featuring one of those new products.
Reflect the Current Season. People on instgram (myself included) are obsessed with the seasons. If it's Spring, incorporate some pretty flowers. If it's fall, take your mani selfie over some fallen autumn leaves. And don't forget to use the corresponding hashtags like #hellospring or #autumnleaves.
Keep those hand looking camera-ready. I know, I know...we don't want to feel the pressure to be perfect all the time. But if you're trying to stand out and impress followers and brands, remember that you are swimming in a sea of countless others trying to to the very same thing. You have to stand above the crowd.
Let's say you come up with the coolest composition and have the most beautiful mani, for instance, but someone has done something very similar. And while their hands are soft and smooth, while yours look dry and worn. Which one do you think essie or Butter London or Opi are more likely to repost?
Pay Attention to the Brand's Aesthetic. Keep in mind the brand you're going to feature and look at their Instagram page. Chances they have an overall look, whether it be clean and minimal, bold and colorful, or soft and feminine. No matter how amazing your pic may turn out, if it doesn't fit in with the overall look and feel of their brand, they aren't very likely to repost your pick, so do your homework before you come up with the visual concept of your image.
Popular Hashtags for Mani Pics: #manimonday #mani #instanails #motd #nailsoftheday #notd #lacquer #nailstagram
So that is your homework this week, ladies! Pick out your favorite in-season nail color, pamper and prep your hands, then create an insta-worthy manicure for next Monday. Show us how you captured it with the hashtags #ManiMonday and #CaptivatingtheCrowd for a chance to be featured, and feel free to leave your link in the comments below so we can all look at each other's posts!