More than 80 million photos are posted to Instagram daily by its 400 million users. As a business, it can be challenging to cut through all of that noise, but with a daily average of 40 billion likes, there’s plenty of engagement to be shared.
Wondering how to get more Instagram likes? The answer is simple: audience engagement. One of the easiest forms of social media engagement is the “like.” Although quick to dole out, Instagram likes represent a positive sentiment around your content.
It’s a minor gesture, but Instagram likes can have a major impact on your marketing strategy. Not only do likes establish a connection between you and your audience, but they act as a form of feedback—more likes means you’re doing something right with your content.
Attract followers who’ll engage with your content by incorporating some of these best practices:
1. Fill Out Your Entire Profile
This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget. A lot of people sign up for sites and save filling out their profiles for a later time. But if you skip this simple step, you might forget to come back to it later.
Your Instagram profile is pretty short, so if you’re missing even one element, it’s noticeable. And an incomplete profile could lead viewers to believe that your account isn’t official. With copycats and fan-made profiles regularly popping up, you want to be sure that people are following the right account. If people are confident you’re who you say you are, they’ll be more likely to follow and engage.
Put your best foot forward and make a strong first impression on new followers by ensuring your profile is complete and taking the time to craft a stellar Instagram bio.
2. Maintain a Consistent Schedule
There are numerous studies that look at the best posting times for social networks. CoSchedule rounded up the best data and found that Instagram audiences are more engaged on Mondays and Thursdays at 2 a.m., 8-9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
It’s also worth noting that most major brands post content on Instagram an average of 1.5 times per day. Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t post more often. But if you do, make sure you’re doing so with purpose and not just uploading media for the sake of publishing content.
There’s no rule that says you must upload photos at the same time every day or on the same day of every week. Post frequency will be different for everyone. That said, you should always try to shoot for some amount of consistency. If you upload daily and then disappear for a few weeks, you’ll find it’s hard to build a loyal following.
3. Use Strong Captions & Calls-to-Action
Instagram is all about media, so it’s easy to overlook the description accompanying your photo or video. But just as important as it is to take a good picture, you need a strong caption to drive users to take action.
Make sure you package your image by writing the best caption possible. And keep in mind that posts including the words “like” or “comment” in the caption receive 89% more likes and 2,194% more comments. Sometimes asking for what you want is the easiest way to increase Instagram engagement.
Another example of how to get more Instagram likes is to include @mentions in your caption. Those that do this typically earn an average of 56% more engagement. It’s also beneficial to include @mentions in your responses so commenters know when you’ve replied to them.
4. Add a Location
When you want to increase audience engagement on Instagram, @mentions aren’t the only way. A 2014 study from Simply Measured found that posts tagged with a location receive 79% higher engagement.
Adding a location to your Instagram content is easy to do, but it’s not something many brands have adopted yet. Only 307 of the 6,075 Instagram posts included in the study had a location tagged. Their loss is your gain as this is a great strategy for local businesses looking to build a geography-based audience.
Anyone who’s searching for Instagram posts in their neighborhood or city, or at a popular landmark or venue will likely come across yours. What better way to spark conversation than by showing off your common interests?
5. Be Generous With Your Hashtags
Hashtags are an excellent way to give your content a visibility boost across social platforms, and especially on Instagram. Images that include hashtags receive more likes than images that don’t.
You don’t want to litter your post with hashtags, as that can come across as spammy. More isn’t always better. Although you’re able to use up to 30 hashtags in a single post, we recommend using less than that.
Track Maven found that, for accounts with less than 1,000 followers, posts with 11 hashtags received the most interactions. Accounts with more than 1,000 followers leveled off around five hashtags.
The USDA just announced that eekeepers lost a staggering 44% of their honey 🐝 colonies last year. Yes, the ees are disappearing but you can help us! Tweet or post on Instagram without using the letter 🐝 and we’ll plant 1000 ee-feeding 🌸s to help #bringbackthebees. Click the link in the profile so learn more about this year’s colony loss and get posting!
You’ll definitely want to hashtag brand keywords and specific campaigns like #bringbackthebees from Burt’s Bees. To create more awareness and grow your follower count, incorporate some popular hashtags into your captions.
Not sure if a particular hashtag carries weight? Just open the Instagram mobile app and follow these steps to get more information about it:
- Tap the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the screen.
- Select the Tags tab.
- Enter your hashtag word or phrase into the search bar.
As your hashtag autofills, Instagram will display the number of posts that include that tag. This is a great way to determine if a particular hashtag is worth including in your caption. But if you do, make sure that it’s relevant to your post. An organic fit is the best fit. Don’t clutter your caption by hashtagging every other word. Doing so will turn off engagement more than attract it.
6. Choose Your Instagram Filters Carefully
Most viewers probably can’t tell the difference between Amaro and Earlybird, but there’s a lot of data behind Instagram filters and colors featured in your posts that’s definitely worth noting.
A study by Canva, for instance, discovered Clarendon is the most used Instagram filter in not only the US, but worldwide.
Clarendon is an all-purpose filter that brightens and highlights. Brightness is key in attracting views and, more importantly, likes. In fact, there’s a 592% difference in the number of likes received when comparing bright photos to darker ones.
That’s not to say that every photo should be washed out, but it’s worth experimenting to see if the brighter filters make a difference on your level of engagement.
It’s also important to know images featuring blueish tones generated 24% more likes than those with red or pink. Again, this doesn’t mean that your posts can’t ever include the color red or always have to feature blue, but it’s something to be mindful of when you’re editing.
7. Share the Spotlight
It’s your Instagram account and you absolutely want to highlight your products, but it’s important that you’re able to share the spotlight with your most valuable assets: your customers.
Incorporating user-generated content into your marketing strategy is very rewarding. It gives you fresh content, recognizes your customers and it’s often received better by potential customers since it’s coming from other consumers and not a marketing team.
This is a great opportunity for you to incorporate a branded hashtag into your Instagram posts. Encourage your audience to upload their own photos with your products and tag them with the hashtag. Then pick your favorite images or videos to feature from your profile. Just be sure you credit the original poster in the caption.
When you’re looking for UGC to share, try to choose images that include faces. Instagram photos that feature faces get 38% more likes than those without faces.
8. The Obligatory ‘Have Fun & Don’t Be Boring’ Tip
It seems that every “how to get more Instagram likes” guide includes the vague “have fun and don’t be boring” tip. While it offers no real strategy for doing so, it’s not any less important than the other tips mentioned here. If your content feels forced, your audience will pick up on it. If you’re bored with the images you’re uploading, guess what? Your audience will be too.
What makes your brand unique? What are your favorite things about the company or product? What are some lesser-known facts about your business that customers might be interested in knowing? Think about these questions and brainstorm ways you can use Instagram to answer them. If you find yourself in a content rut, experiment with something new and find the fun again.
9. Learn From the Best
There’s a reason why Bark Box gets tens of thousands of likes on their Instagram content–it’s unique. Unlike other dog supplies vendors, Bark Box has decided to post silly memes, animal videos and other comical content.
It really doesn’t portray the service or explain what the brand does, but the company gets so much engagement that it has more than 1.2 million followers. There’s a lot you can learn from Instagram experts by seeing what makes other profiles unique. Know what your customers like and capitalize on it.
Additionally, you should always inspect what those in your industry are publishing. But if you choose a truly different approach, make sure you stick with it and make that style of Instagram content yours.
10. Monitor, Measure & Adapt
Instagram engagement isn’t built around one individual tactic, but rather a combination of elements. With so many moving parts, it’s important to know what’s working and what isn’t.
Sprout Social’s Instagram analytics tools give you the ability to track post performance, monitor trends, track comments and hashtag usage and measure audience engagement.
Increasing your number of followers and likes isn’t a one-time thing. It’s a continuous goal that requires a smart and creative strategy. Measure your performance and make changes where necessary to ensure your Instagram efforts always align with your larger business objectives.
This post How to Get More Instagram Likes Through Customer Engagement originally appeared on Sprout Social.