In today’s world, social media is a big part of our day-to-day life. It’s often how we stay connected with friends and family far away. It can also be a useful tool for businesses, small & big, for artists and performers and to, generally, make your name known. It can even become a source of income on its own. A hugely popular social media app is Instagram and today we are going to look at how to get more Instagram “likes” to boost your social media presence.
A bit of history
Instagram, which allows users to share pictures and videos, was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and launched on October 6, 2010. It quickly became quite popular, reaching 10,000 users in the span of a few hours. It reached the million users mark in two months and now has more than 500 million users. It is a hugely popular app and an excellent platform for those who want to increase their presence online.
What is the appeal of Instagram?
Instagram is essentially a picture and video sharing app. It also allows you to follow other users and to like their posts. “I can do that on Facebook”, you may think. However, Instagram has extensive filters and special effects available to transform a simple picture in a stunning one. It is primarily a mobile application enabling you to post professional looking pictures on the go. There are many tutorials and instruction guides out there to help you learn how to use Instagram.
How to get more “likes” on Instagram?
In social media, everything is based on the number of “likes” a post or a photo gets. You can rely on luck and hope that people will see and like your photos, but there are things you can do to improve your chance to get more “likes”.
- Post often. It seems obvious, but the reality is that the more often you post a picture or a video, the more chance that you will get “likes”. The quality of today’s cell phone cameras makes it easy for almost anyone to take good pictures or video wherever you are. You should have plenty of opportunities if you keep your eyes open.
However, it doesn`t mean you should post every picture or video you take or several time in a few hours. There is such a thing as over exposure. You should avoid posting for the sake of posting. The images you are sharing should mean something, touch people in one way or another. It must somehow speak to the people who are viewing it. It can amuse, pull at their heartstrings or speak to their artistic sense. The one thing, those pictures cannot do is leave the viewers indifferent.
In order for your picture to speak to people, think of what make you click on “like” when you are looking at a picture. Is it because it is funny or touching, artistically pleasing, or does it send a message in an interesting way? Whatever the reasons, chances are other people click “likes” for the same reasons you do.
If you are seriously trying to build your brand, it may be a good idea to choose a theme and stick to it. Whether it is highlighting your work as a jewelry designer or promoting your dog grooming business, chose something relevant to what you do and keep at it. Eventually, other users are going to identify you with the theme.
- Post at the right time. For people to like your picture, they need to see it. There are times of the day when people are more likely to be online. In the middle of the night, chances are that most people are in bed, asleep. However, after dinner or in the early evenings, people probably have more time to go online and check their social media accounts.
If you post something at a time when most people are unable or don’t have the time to go online, no matter how good this picture might be, it will probably get bury amongst the posts that other people have made more recently.
Also, try to keep to a schedule. For example, you can decide to post every Sunday night. If you have a regular schedule, people will come to expect a new picture or video from you on the chosen day and may make a point of looking for it.
- Use the filters offered by Instagram. Let’s be honest. A lot of the photos we see online have been retouched, whether with Photoshop, with Instagram filters or other apps.
Filters are a good and easy way to add interest or appeal to a picture, to give it a polish look. Using the filters offered within the app is easy and it can transform a picture from blah to something that people will stop to look at and eventually “like”.
Figure 1 : https://www.pinterest.com/pin/460493130620223494/
There are quite a few filters available in Instagram. Try a few before deciding which one you are going to use. Some of them will give a vintage look to your pictures; others will brighten it or add contrast. Some increase the yellow tint of it, others brighten the reds. Some work better with portraits, other with landscape. It is really up to you and what you are trying to achieve.
- Use the caption option. Saying something about the picture can give it more contexts or add interest. You can use captions to tell the story around your picture.
It is important, however, to remember that your picture or video is the star of the show. When scrolling through Instagram pictures, people won’t stop to read a caption unless the picture captures their attention. On the other hand, if they read your caption you want it to have meaning.
A good caption adds to your picture. It can be funny, thoughtful, but it should, but it should show who you are, what you are all about. You can try and develop a style on your own. Some people like to use lyrics or quotation from a book; others always indicate where the pictures have been taken. Whatever you do, make sure that your caption is free of spelling or grammar mistakes.
Your caption should also be relatively brief. You have a maximum number of characters of 2,200. It may seem like a lot, but it can be used pretty quickly, especially if you are planning to add a link or some kind of call to action. Additionally, Instagram is cutting your caption at about 240 characters and only 3 lines of it are visible. This means that you should put the most important information at the beginning of your caption.
- Use relevant tags and hashtags. A hashtag is a piece of coding that makes your picture, post, or video searchable by search engines on the Web. It means that people will be able to find your picture when using the keyword, you hash tagged.
When you choose hashtags, it is crucial to choose wisely. They are essentially keywords and. like keywords, they need to be relevant to the content. They should also be popular ones; the ones people are most likely to use in a search. There are lists available online of popular hashtags to help you.
On Instagram, you can use up to 30 hashtags per pictures. However, it does not mean that you should always use the maximum allowed. A few well-chosen one are better than 30 hashtags picked without thought.
It is a good idea to always use your user name, so people can search directly for you and see what else you have posted. You may also get a few new followers that way. Popular trends that apply to your picture or video are also a good idea.
- Keep abreast of the trends. One good way of doing that is to follow other users. Seeing what people are doing and what they “like” can give you a good idea of what is popular currently. You may see some of them in hashtags: #tbt, #picoftheday, #bestoftheday, etc.
Jumping on the band wagon of a trend does not mean abandoning your own style or theme. Most of those trends are easily adaptable to different contexts, themes or styles. By taking advantage of those trends, you gain visibility as more people will likely get to see your picture or video.
- Connect your Instagram account to your other social media accounts. Connecting your account to other social media networks and sharing your pictures or videos on other social networks gives you more visibility and the more visibility you get, better are your chance that someone is going to start following you on Instagram.
For this to be successful, it is a good idea to wait to have a good amount of content already available on Instagram. You want to have something to show to the Facebook or Twitter user who decide to click on your link, so there is a chance he decides to follow you.
Whether you are trying to build your brand, get more sales or simply increase your online presence, Instagram can be a precious ally in your quest. Getting more likes on Instagram is not going to happen magically, but smartly using a few strategies can get you on the way to achieving your goal.