I’m giving up tips for getting more followers and likes on Instagram. Let’s get straight to it:
1. Post at the right time.
Before you post your photo to Instagram, there are two things to keep in mind: your audience’s time zone and what time your audience checks Instagram.
Most Instagram users login in the morning and evening on their way home from work or school. According to Simply Measured, the best time to post is on Wednesdays between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
For brands, the least favorable time to post is in the middle of the night. An Instagram photo typically only has around four hours before it gets buried in the news feed.
Post when you assume your followers have down time and can check their accounts. For example, if your company targets high school students, post your photos in the afternoon when the students are on their lunch breaks.
Or, if you’re a business with a lot of followers in New York City or London, post during rush hour when you know folks are stuck on trains or busses and have nothing to do but check their phones.
2. Use popular hashtags.
Depending on your industry, there are popular hashtags you can use to get more visibility for your photos. The best way to discover popular hashtags for your industry is to use a simple Google search.
Some of the trendiest Instagram hashtags include: #tbt (throwback Thursday), #instadaily, #photooftheday and #instagood.
But don’t go nuts with your hashtags. A hashtag paragraph, as I like to call it, at the bottom of a photo is not savvy. It can look overzealous and cluttered. Instead, stick to one to three relevant hashtags per photo.
3. Ask questions in photo captions.
One of the best ways to get more likes on your photos is to ask a question in your photo’s caption. This is a great way to drive not only likes, but comments.
4. Host a contest.
Hosting a contest is often the most effective way to boost engagement and get new followers on any social network. Since Instagram has grown in popularity (buy instagram followers), it’s one of the best social media platforms on which to run a contest. Test a tool like Statigram to create and run a challenge on Instagram.
Here are some best practices and tips for hosting a successful Instagram photo contest.
5. Share teasers.
For product-based businesses, upload photos that feature teasers of soon-to-be-released products or an exciting event that’s around the corner. Teaser photos are great for catching users’ interest and driving photo likes.
6. Share candid shots.
Think of your brand’s Instagram account as your followers’ backstage pass or behind-the-scenes look at the inner-workings of your company. People don’t want to see the same polished images you use in advertisements; they want to see images that are more relatable.
Your Instagram (followers on instagram) account should strive to highlight your employees and the work they do. Even if your business employs hundreds of people, featuring just a few of the faces behind the brand allows your company to appear much more transparent.
Remember, the content you post on Instagram doesn’t always have to be marketing based—it can be just for fun. After all, candid photos often get the best engagement. Stop thinking so much about how to get your branding message across and focus on the essence of the platform, which is human-centric and playful.