“Why?” you may ask.
Well, not only can you leverage it to promote your personal brand, but you can use it to promote your business as well.
When I first started using it, within the first few days my account climbed to one hundred followers, but then it slowly stopped growing. I was still gaining a few followers a day, but it wasn’t significant enough to gain any traction as my one hundred followers resulted in no more than thirteen likes on any one of my images.
So, over the weekend I started learning everything about Instagram: what causes users to like images, what causes them to follow others, and how you can get more people to find your images.
I then applied what I learned to my account. Now, I am consistently gaining over two hundred followers a day, and my images can easily get well over a hundred likes. Best of all, I am able to achieve these results by only following 5 people (I know, I need to start following more people).
If you want to get more followers and likes on your Instagram photos, here’s what you need to do:
Connect your Instagram and Facebook accounts
This is probably the most obvious way to grow your Instagram account… 20% of all users of the service are also on Facebook.
When you connect your two accounts to each other, your Facebook friends will notice it and start following you on Instagram as well. Based on the data from my own account, 3% of your Facebook friends will start following you on Instagram. If you happen to post a status update on Facebook asking people to follow you on Instagram, that number can increase to just under 5%.
Use popular tags
Just like with Twitter and other social sites, Instagram users prefer certain tags over others. If you use these tags within your photos, they are more likely to be discovered by other users. Here are the top 20 tags on Instagram:
The most popular hashtag on Instagram is #love
Use popular filters
Similarly to using popular tags, users prefer photos with certain filters over others. Here are the 10 most popular filters you can use:
Instagram users prefer commenting over liking
If you want your images to get more likes or comments, you need to start engaging with other users. Before you do, you need to understand that people do more liking than commenting. Every second people create 575 new likes versus 81 comments.
Every second people create 575 new likes and 81 comments on Instagram.
So, if you take the time to comment on someone else’s profile, that person is more likely to come back to yours. People will not only comment on your photo if you comment on theirs, but they are 401% more likely to follow you in this case.
Liking other people’s photos generates more followers and likes for you
For every one hundred likes I did on random photos of other users (whom I didn’t follow), I generated 21.7 likes on my photos and 6.1 more followers. I did not have to follow people back for this to work.
By analyzing my account data on Statigr.am, I learned that by liking hundreds of photos of individuals that weren’t my followers, not only did I increase the number of my followers, but I also had people from outside of my friends’ network liking my photos.
Because I was liking hundreds of photos a day from random accounts that I didn’t follow, 43.26% of all my likes and 31% of all comments on my photos came from people who weren’t my followers.
Timing is everything
From analyzing 46 users and over 1,000 photos on Statigr.am, I’ve determined that Monday at 5 PM, PST, is the best time to post a photo. That is when you are most likely to get the greatest number of comments and likes on your photos.
The second most popular time to post a photo is either on Wednesday or Thursday at 3 PM, PST.
Also, a photo is the most active during the first three hours. 46.15% of all comments happen within the first hour, and 69.23% of all comments happen within the first three hours. So, if you can’t get traction within the first three hours of posting a photo, it is probably not going to gain traction down the road.
Are you showing off and being personal?
By analyzing the likes of over 1,000 photos, I’ve found that images that are about lifestyle (fancy cars, homes, living a luxurious life, etc.) or that are personal tend to get the most engagement. Photos that don’t contain either of those two elements tend to get 11.4% fewer likes.
Combine your images
Images like the one above are multiple images combined into one. You can create them through apps like Diptic. My business partner Hiten Shah posted the image above and quickly got 75 likes and 5 comments. Images like those tend to get 19.41% more likes and 22.4% more comments than images that aren’t collage-like images.
If you want to get the most traction with your photos, take the extra time to take multiple shots and then combine them into one image.
If you want to grow your account by a few hundred followers a day, the best way to accomplish it is to randomly like thousands of images a day. This is a tedious task, but as you can see from the growth of my account, it works really well. The biggest flaw with this model is that 16.6% of your followers will be fake: they will either not participate or they will be bots.
Based on the data above, you should ideally be:
- Taking multiple lifestyle and personal images
- Combining those images into one with Diptic
- Using no filters on the image
- Using the tag #love
- Posting at 5 PM, PST, on Monday
If you follow the suggestions above, you’ll maximize your Instagram likes and grow your follower count faster than if you just shared your shots randomly.
So, what other ways can you boost your likes and followers?
If you want to follow me on Instagram, my user name is neilkpatel.