If there's anyone who could teach a course in Instagram, it's Selena Gomez.
Earlier this year, the pop music star knocked her best friend Taylor Swift out of the top spot on the photo-sharing app.
And while the 23-year-old pop star probably won't be giving an actual workshop on Instagram any time soon, she has dropped some subtle tips and tricks on how to master the app, which we've compiled into a handy tip sheet.
Whether you're a budding influencer looking to build a following or a casual user looking for your best angle, here are Selena's tricks to nailing the perfect Instagram.
1. Don't Overthink It
While plenty of high profile celebs use social media consultants, Gomez doesn't put a whole lot of thought into what she posts.
Her feed isn't colour-coded or categorized, the 23-year-old just uploads.
"It comes in a moment when I capture something happening, and I go, 'Oh, that would be great for Instagram. I should post it.' I know it's boring, but that's genuinely what I do," she tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Whether that moment happens while grocery shopping in Saskatoon, walking through a gas station or sipping iced coffee, if it works, it works.
2. Offer Variety
A side effect of not worrying about having a meticulously curated feed is having a variety of posts to share.
The former Disney star doesn't limit herself to sharing professional shoots only.
She freely uploads impromptu selfies, silly snaps eating with friends, dance videos with fans and pictures with concert-goers at the gates after her shows.
In an interview alongside comedian Kevin Hart and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom with The Hollywood Reporter, Gomez revealed that she uploads all of her posts herself, and everyone there agreed that you can definitely tell when a third-party takes the reigns.
"I try to find a good balance of just being 100 percent myself and knowing when to post a really good selfie with good lighting," she tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Sharing a quirky mix of posts makes your feed interesting to scroll through and has a more natural feel.
3. Customize Your Edits
Makeup artist Hung Vanngo revealed for a brief moment just how the "Kill 'Em with Kindness" singer edits her selfies.
The post has since been deleted, but the Internet remembers all, and we took notes.
For Gomez's selfie of this makeup look, Vanngo listed the steps used to edit the image, and no there was no need for a filter or retouching app.
They simply toyed with photo editing tools: brightness, contrast, warmth, saturation, colour, vignette and sharpen.
Playing with these gives you a bit more control over the feel of your photos and can help give you some variety from the Valencia filter that tinges most other pictures on the 'gram.
4. Be Selective With Sponsors
Instagram can be a money-maker for bloggers and online personalities with a decent-size following.
For Gomez, this could mean up to $550,000 a pop for sharing a sponsored post on all of her social media channels, according to a list of the top social media influencers compiled by data company D'Marie Analytics.
Gomez tops the list in terms of how much she could make on a post, but still, she doesn't flood her profile with sponsored ads.
So far she's shared only a few campaigns with Coca-Cola, Pantene and Kmart.
"Personally, I think it's because she's being smart and she's aware that over-saturating her social feeds with sponsored content could negatively impact the relationship she has with her audience," Frank Spadafora, CEO of D'Marie told AdWeek.
Keeping her Instagram focused on real life events and photos keeps it feeling authentic and beloved by her fans.
5. Get Personal And Interactive
"I am very interactive with my fans so a lot of the comments I’ll read," Gomez told GQ in an interview about her Insta habits. "They’re very invested in my life, as I am with them."
Gomez makes a habit of casually revealing honest facts about herself and it makes her feed feel less posed and more connected to her followers.
It ends up being her die-hard followers who will remember the tidbits down the line, like that she has a thing for "Big Bang Theory's" Sheldon Cooper, or her love for pickles.
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