Getting more likes on social media makes you happier. Science says so. And since I want you to feel happy, dear reader, I have decided to figure out exactly how one goes about obtaining likes and followers on that most enigmatic of apps — Instagram.
Instagram itself has been tight-lipped about what gets users to hit “Like,” so I turned to the next most logical source: superstar Instagrammers with heaps of followers. It turns out that while becoming Insta-famous isn’t exactly a walk in the park with an “Earlybird” filter, it’s not impossible, either.
Courtney @Mose.ax, aka @Mose.ax: , a resident of Nakuru, owns Baseline Marketing , an Online marketing company . Moseax has more than 48,000 Instagram followers since he created his account back in 2014.
TIP NO. 1: HAVE A SHTICK
Really successful Instagram accounts tend to stick to a theme: a designer who posts behind-the-scenes peeks into the fashion industry; a food artist who does amazing things with rice and string beans; a world traveler with a flurry of snapshots from Paris, Portugal and Peru; a crafty celeb obsessive; and, of course, an abundance of adorable puppiesand kittens.
TIP NO. 2: STICK TO A SCHEDULE
It’s very important that your followers know when to expect a new picture. “If you’re going to be daily, you have to post daily,” “Your audience will expect that rhythm.”
TIP NO. 3: DON’T BE BORING
If people are coming to your account for photos of your frowny-faced kitten, you probably don’t want to throw in a picture of your morning soy latte. But giving the people what they want doesn’t have to mean posting the same photos of sunsets and cityscapes over and over and over.
“The worst thing for me is to look at my own feed and be bored,” . “I know what type of photo is going to get more likes, but I still do my best to make posts that I want to see and share. I like symmetry, I like lines, I like buildings. But it’s not like I don’t shoot landscapes or portraits as well.”
TIP NO. 4: USE INTERESTING HASHTAGS…
Hashtags are seen as the ultimate way to get more eyeballs on your post, but they don’t necessarily keep people coming back for more. some Instagram experts tend to eschew common hashtags like #dog or #love, because, as I pointed out, “If I’m going to post a photo of a bike, why would I hashtag it #bicycle? There are literally millions of photos with that hashtag.”
Instead, they tend to stick with a handful of unique hashtags that speak to the theme of the account or of a particular project. For instance, I always use the hashtag #Nakuru
TIP NO.5: …BUT DON’T USE TOO MANY
Hashtags are a great way to reach out to strangers who don’t know about my Instagram feed,” but she added that the tags should be relevant to the post. “I don’t believe in using too many hashtags as it gives an impression that you are desperate for likes.
TIP NO. 6: INTERACT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Even if you’re not a slave to the almighty “like,” you should take care to acknowledge your audience in some way. “I’m intentional about responding [to commenters], even though I’m not able to respond to everybody,” . “I want them to know that I appreciate them.”
TIP NO. 7: TAKE A GOOD PHOTO
There’s a reason professional photographers tend to have such sizable Instagram followings: They know what makes a good photo. “I shoot [a mobile photo] as carefully as I would a Canon can shot,”.
You don’t need to be a pro to master a few photo basics. A lot of what makes a good snap is just intuitive. Is your subject in focus? Do the colors contrast in an interesting way? Are there any particularly enticing angles? Are you photographing something that people will actually want to see? Take a quick online photography tutorial if you really want to hone your skills.
TIP NO. 8: EDIT YOUR IMAGES
You should also invest in a good photo editing app, instead of resorting to Instagram’s limited filters and editing tools. My go-to app is Afterlight,VSCO CAM and Snapseed.
TIP NO. 9: GET FEATURED
No good Instagram account exists in a vacuum. Most accounts that see a surge in followers have been featured in one of three places: the app’s blog, its Explore page, or, if they’re very lucky, its suggested user list, which shows up under “Find People to Follow” in Instagram’s settings.
TIP NO. 10: TAKE SMARTER SELFIES
Hubspot social media scientist Dan Zarrella did a little digging into the data of what makes a selfie go viral, besides a gorgeous face, of course. Looking at more than 160,000 images tagged #selfie, Zarrella noted a few surprising trends on his blog:
A. There Are “Correct” Colors. Images featuring cool, earthy tones, like blue, green and beige, received more engagement than warm reds, yellows and pinks.
B. But No Filter Is The Best Filter. Zarrella looked at the average number of likes that filtered photos received. Willow came out on top, with Normal taking second place. And selfies tagged #nofilter saw a nearly 10 percent increase in engagement than selfies without the tag — even though nearly one-third of #nofilter selfies actually did have a filter. Other high-contrast and high-saturation filters, like Toaster, Mayfair, Sutro and Hefe ranked highly, while Inkwell, Sierra, 1977 and Rise rounded out the bottom of the list.
C. Fine, You Can Use A Bunch Of Hashtags. If you really want to pander to the lowest common denominator of Instagram engagement (which, honestly, we don’t advise; see above), tag your post with something like #follow or #likeforlike. Sadly, the cheap ploy seems to work, at least a little bit. Zarrella notes that selfies with the tag #likeforlike received 5 percent more likes than the average selfie. By the same token, the more stupid tags you tack onto a post, the more likes you receive.
Just don’t tag your selfie #drunk — that will net you 40 percent fewer likes, according to Zarrella. And rightly so.
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