Takeaways from Instagram's 2017 Most Popular Posts


Articles listing the best and worst of the year in culture, sports and politics usually start to fill our newsfeeds just after Christmas when we're bored of holiday content and there's really nothing else to talk about.

Instagram is ahead of the game this year, with the early release of its 2017 Year in Review – a list of the most popular posts this year that not only provides a couple of minutes of thumb-stopping fun but also a how-to guide for anyone wishing to launch themselves as a social media megastar in 2018 [just kidding]. If red carpets, fancy dinners, sports cars, and celebrities are on your #2018goals list, here are our tongue-in-cheek takeaways to finding fame and fortune on the world's third most-used social media platform [800 million users and counting].

1. Most-Liked Posts: Tap into People's Emotions

Instagram has tallied up our double taps and it looks like babies have won the Insta-game this year – four of the five most-liked posts in 2017 were first looks at newborn babies. Coming in first place, Beyoncé's Pre-Raphaelite pregnancy reveal not only received 11,180,238 likes but broke the record for the most-liked Instagram post ever, with the follow-up announcement of her twins, Sir Carter and Rumi, placing in fourth. Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo kept it real with a series of more candid baby selfies, while the wild card was Selena Gomez's kidney transplant. So it would seem the key to Insta-fame is no pain, no gain – have a baby, undertake major surgery and get posting about it. 

2. Most-Liked Celebrity Videos: Show-Off Your Personality

Take your cue from Ronaldo – two of the most-liked Instagram videos of 2017 are of his fully customised Bugatti. Get creative with your posts and come up with something unique to you. Find inspiration and collect visuals, colours, accounts etc. that speak to your brand. When creating our social media content, we seek out interior design, architecture, fashion, beauty, food and wellness brands – all things that influence us in our every day – for stimulus and ideas, as well as our tropical island base for the natural elements that form the roots of our brand identity.  

3. Most-Followed Celebrities: Be Original

Hitting 100,000 followers doesn't mean you can sit back and relax. Insta-stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Ariana Grande, Kylie Jenner, Dwayne Johnson and Selena Gomez gained the most followers in 2017 because they smashed creative barriers to do something different. Like these Wolves music video teasers from Selena Gomez – did she take a selfie? No, she upped the ante and had someone take a video of her taking a selfie. While creating original visual content might be time-consuming and require particular skillsets that you don't have readily available in-house, a truly original graphic holds great power. It can attract customers, press, and even search engines. Do your research, look at your peers and competitors and what they are doing, then branch off to create your own creative genius. Read our blog post for behind-the-scenes insight into how we created our visual identity here.

4. Most-Followed Pets: Use What You've Got, Like Your Fur-Baby

And you thought the internet was all about cat videos on YouTube. While no one is immune to a cute kitty doing something silly online, the most followed pets on Instagram really know what they're doing. Jiffpom, Nala Cat, Doug The Pug, Shinjiro Ono and Grumpy Cat all work to create Instagram gold in the form of adorable outfits, cheeky poses and celebrity selfies. According to Business Insider, even big box brands like Urban Decay, Mercedes Benz, and Budweiser are putting their products where the pets are – partnering with animals instead of humans for adorable results. This tail-wagging trend even reached Cayman in 2017, most recently in Car City's mission to find The Most Famous Dog in Cayman. If our pets can put out good content without having opposable thumbs, then so can you.

5. Most-Instagrammed Cities: Be Consistent

The most-Instagrammed cities of 2017 include the usual suspects – New York, Moscow, London, Sao Paulo and Paris. People want the same stuff all the time, every time. Times Square. Big Ben. The Eiffel Tower. Just so, the best Instagram accounts follow the same template again and again and again. But it can be challenging to take amazing photos on a constant basis, and even harder to ensure they all feel like pieces of the same puzzle. It's a colourful world out there but if you've been following Not Your Standard on Facebook and Instagram, you'll know we're a little bit OCD when it comes to projecting a cohesive image. Find a look that you like, and fits with your brand, and stick with it. The difference will be wildly apparent in your Instagram grid after less than nine posts.