The Science of Instagram: How to Get More Followers and Likes

instagram

I never really used Instagram, but once I learned that it has over 100 million users, I had no choice but to start using it.

“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:

  1. #love
  2. #instagood
  3. #me
  4. #tbt
  5. #cute
  6. #photooftheday
  7. #instamood
  8. #iphonesia
  9. #picoftheday
  10. #igers
  11. #girl
  12. #tweegram
  13. #beautiful
  14. #instadaily
  15. #summer
  16. #instagramhub
  17. #follow
  18. #iphoneonly
  19. #igdaily
  20. #bestoftheday

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:

  1. Normal
  2. Earlybird
  3. X-Proll
  4. Hefe
  5. Rise
  6. Valencia
  7. Amaro
  8. Brannan
  9. Lomo-fi
  10. Hudson

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.

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

diptic

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.

Conclusion

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. ;)

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Comments

  1. Great post Neil Patel, as usual.

    I’ve got to agree with “timing”. That is probably the most important thing here when dealing with Instagram.

  2. Grea post Neil. I am inspired to jump onto Instagram now and surely, I am going to follow you there! Thanks for the great insights.

  3. The timing Info was really good I am sure it will work great .. Thanks nail ..

  4. Great post Neil, it almost made me want to use Instragram for business. My big resistance to joining Instagram is the fact that there seems to be an endless amount of new/trendy social media tools. I think I’m going through social media overload. One minute it’s Facebook, then it’s Pinterest and now it’s Instagram. What next?

    • Yea, that can easily happen. You just have to pick the social channels that are most related to you and your potential audience. For me it is Facebook and Twitter.

      Pinterest doesn’t work to well for my audience. I will soon find out about Instagram too.

  5. Neil, Do you use any bots to automate the picture liking? Also, would this high activity annoy your followers? I’m fairly new to Instagram and have seen similar problems with highly active Facebook users.

  6. If you have the time to do this then great (liking and commenting on others photos) but even with that kind of approach it’s hardly targeted marketing…. still I enjoyed reading the stats so thanks for that! :)

  7. Good post.

    1. It’s about being YOU.
    2. It’s about your niche (visual niches work best)
    3. Commenting back to your community
    4. Reaching out other people in your space (making friends)
    5. Contests, contests, contests

    Instagram is a tool for driving traffic, but I see are really only GREAT for niches that are highly visual like Weddings, Shoes, Fashion, Celebrity, to name a few.

    If your business isn’t visual, no worries, it’s just not the source for you and your business.

    • I never thought too much about contests on Instagram, but from what I read up on it, people have been having great luck with contests.

      I’ll have to give that a try.

  8. Neil,

    That’s some really interesting data you’ve found – Any thoughts on Instagram’s benefit to B2B companies?

  9. Great advice! I just liked 100 pictures. This is so much fun. Not really work. Thanks.

    April

  10. Nice post Neil but what has it got to do with monitizing, it takes half a week to do fb and twitter and I think going down this road is going to blow up in our faces for no benefit except to fb etc… lots of work but its time to get real and dispense with this social media crap brfore we are taken from the wheel dead.

  11. Maybe I’m missing something but enough is enough how much manipulation can we take before we rake the walls down. Facebook is a joke Twitter is probly the best but Google is forcing us into something we rebelled against years ago, its time for a rethink… find us on facebook is the greatist load of b******t it should read find us at our .com or are am I mad. Think people before they catch
    you!

  12. Neil – What software are you using to like/comment photos? I doubt you’re doing this manually…

  13. Hey Niel,

    In the beginning of the article you mention that you can use this to promote your personal brand / business.

    I took a look at your account and noticed you just had a few pictures that were relatively benign / personal in nature. With the focus on getting more likes and follows–are these just vanity metrics for fun, or is there a more defined strategy that you’re going for / measurable goal? Maybe just for personal brand awareness?

    Thanks!

    • Right now I am just using it to promote my personal brand. Later on I will shift focus to promote my business.

      I don’t have key measurable metrics, but may later on in the future.

  14. Great tips Neil…thanks for putting in the research and sharing it with us! Going to try some of these tips for a client. Starting now, since it’s 5pm on a Monday!

  15. So far, I’ve only been using Instagram for personal photo sharing. This is a great idea. I’d like to maximize Instagram’s influence for my business. I know this one tip that will give you lots of likes and comments for the #love tag – post pictures with quotes. They’re very popular among the loveful and lovelorn and younger users. They also work on other social networks, especially Tumblr and Facebook, and maybe Pinterest too.

  16. Just this past weekend I was trying to start using Instagram but quickly lost patience. There is some blog that is mostly images that I like to read. The blogger was posting less and less and is now saying that she is mostly on Instagram (I gess it’s just much easier). So I thought that I’d sign up for Instagram. Man, what a pain. I went to it through my computer, the Instagram’s website is next to completely useless in terms of getting people started. I had no interest at this point to check it on my iPhone. All I wanted to do is to view on my computer some bloggers’ images that they post on Instagram. Turns out for that you have to pay $4.99 to get it on your computer. And even this basic information was not readily available on Instagram itself, I had to google for such information. So I just said, “Forget it. It is ridiculous.”

    What I don’t get is this. I can see if someone sets up a regular website (such as this one) and then uses FB, Twitter, Instagram etc to promote it. But some people just set up or operate something in just one of those social media and seem to forget that lots of people are not on that social media.

    Really enjoyed this post though, Neil! Did you get many people then go from Instagram to your neilpatel.com site? Also how do you deal with the fact that you have several sites (neilpatel.com, quicksprout.com etc)? Can you link to different ones from your Instagram images?

  17. Your post interests me to try Instagram and get some good followers and likes. Your list of popular tags is wonderful. Why don’t you tell us the secret of finding the popular tags?

  18. Good One Neil, felt happy while reading it. I too agree with the point that combining the images will get you more likes and comments. I will definitely try out the tips you have mentioned.
    Thanks for sharing this useful tips.

  19. great article.
    I love that you put effort in determine the right time to post.
    I do think it will affect impression and reach.
    thanks for sharing!

  20. As always you have done it again. I like to keep coming back to your post because I know I will get to learn something new and fun. Using instagram to promote your business, I for one had not given it a thought. Your post is definitely a guide to do it right in promoting your personal brand or business with he maximum effect. Thanks!

  21. Hi Neil Patel ! Thank you for sharing new ideas to reach large number of audience with minmum cost. It will really helpful to establish a brand. I have been blogging sice a 2005, but did no know this kind of idea. I will try according to your guidence. I appreciate your contribution.

  22. What also matter is quality of pics, how often and which field/industry.

  23. Neil, I wonder, does what you use for running this blog allow one to easily incorporate as part of the post a survey question(s)? I mean, it could be interesting, for ex., to post in the post itself a question whether readers use Instagram and if so whether they use it for pleasure or business or both and also how often and for how long.

    I read a couple blogs that are in livejournal.com (what an odd place for people to have their popular blogs there, but livejournal.com is nonetheless huge and very popular among some). They have an easy option there for the blogger to easily add a survey question so that readers can answer. It’s actually fun and very informative.

    THANKS for all your effort!

  24. Great post Neil, I was curious to see as to what works and doesn’t when dealing with Instagram, i especially enjoyed the bit about commenting vs. liking. Thank you

  25. Leslie Drechsler (@ppcbuyers) :

    Great post Neil. I assume web.stagram top tags list is most used tags vs most searched tags? I’d like to see list of most searched tags, know if that exists?

  26. Nice Article, this will really help the beginners like me to attract more traffic and more follows.

    I will give a try by opening an account with instagram and link to facebook and le tme see the results.

  27. Great Article… Much of the information is relevant to so many sites. Thinking about how catchy, funny, controversial or spreadable any thing you do on facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram is so important. Title it right to catch attention and then post it at the right time. As one of your commenter noted it can be overwhelming, but it is life now.

    You note some of the weekdays to post, but I have seen alot on posting on weekends at certain hours, as it is about traffic online vs competing post or ads online at that hour too.

  28. Instagramm is great no doubt. However I still find it difficult to convince small businesses from investing time and resources towards building their presence on Instagram. For Twitter and Facebook, the benefits seem more obvious.

  29. Thank you Neil for sharing the tactics you implemented for growing your network in instagram. Timing plays a important role in almost most of the social networks.

  30. Combining images is literally a key point to remember when trying to go high with instagram. I always had this idea in my mind. Those kind of collages were already a part of my facebook profile from a long time. Its quite true that we need patience at everything. Social media has helped businesses to promote themselves in a pretty different manner.

  31. Really cool idea of combining pics.. will check out all your suggestions on growing readership base for my instagram

  32. Neil, this is amazing! One thing concerns me a bit. I see about 5-6 images in your instagram that were big hits prior to Nov 19 when I assume this post was published. Did you base your “5 PM PST on Monday” assumption based on the results from 5 individual incidents? Not questioning your authority, just want to understand where the trick is:).

  33. Hey Neil, I just started using Instagram as well. I have found a way to drive traffic by using images that attract interest, that interest gets them to look at my profile where I have an offer. They click a link and it takes them to my page. Free traffic! Awesome post!

  34. Hello Sir, Gr8 post. Could you also please tell me How to make our app a sensational hit. Any Tricks or Tips?? It may sound ridiculous as if there would be something like this, every Appreneur gonna use it. I just want to know to make it a successful app. I am working on my very first project, it’s an android application. Thanks!

  35. I have not yet used instagram but even celebs are using it there might be some catch to it which can help in increasing traffic as well, but its more of a social presence than the actual traffic

  36. I think leaving a few days between your uploaded images help. If you upload them in one go you aren’t going to get as many likes as if they had time apart.

  37. Great article Neil, been waiting for some analysis on Instagram. I’m curios though, is Instagram a worthwhile investment for gaining website traffic? With my experience, I haven’t seen much referral traffic from Instagram though interaction on the app itself is good.

  38. THanks sooo much!! it worked!! as i was reading what tags to put, i went back to myold photo and tagged it with that and instantly withing 3 minutes i got 5 more likes :) from people who arent even following me!

  39. Follow me on instagram: Ghanemhassan ;)

  40. I did as instructed and I’ve been getting many likes, but I can’t seem to get many followers. Any suggestions? My Instagram is @lucky_finds

  41. ^^^ Ok i will add this ;
    tagging more common words with a # such as #igdaily #instagram #contest #winner #look #me
    Also by having interesting pictures and communicating with your followers through comments.
    OR some people buy their followers thats why others have crazy numbers of followers. Here’s one. This one is legit coz i bought some from them. They got reviews too. Read more: http://bit.ly/N4yJbz

  42. Great takek on various ways to maximize instagram.

  43. Justin Ortega :

    This is so helpful! I always follow back : @Justinortga

  44. jJustin Ortega :

    Justinortega * lol stupid auto correct

  45. neil,

    does it realy work when you like 100 foto’s and then you get some likes back and followers ??

  46. YESS thats how thing goes in instagram !

    would you please check my photos
    you wont regret *

    @Aliaa_4

  47. Follow me on instagram @abdionisio

  48. Seems very vain, shouldn’t your focus be taking great pictures and enjoying what’s out there. Do you actually like the photos you “like”

  49. I heard about Instagram but didn’t try it ever. Your experience with Instagram is good. So I am going to check it out now.

  50. Rafael Baldini :

    i’m from Brazil, Rio , And i dont understand Your reference for the best time to post ! The fuse here is like, 5 hours

  51. Rafael Baldini :

    5 hours more than NYC for example

  52. Follow me :) and I’ll follow back
    @dddeniel

  53. My old instagram – @haleyttaylorr got hacked. i made a new one – @haleysurfer , but i still like my old one more. What should i do?

  54. Follow me please, I’ll follow back 😃

  55. The best way is to use a site like LikesPro, http://likespro.com. I use that site everyday to get literally thousands of likes from target audiences. It’s absolutely free. Try it and thank me later!

  56. It is really helpful, thank u so much Neil for sharing the article

  57. I’ve always need more followers. Good post!

  58. HEllo!,,,,,

    Hi!,,,,,Great tips Neil…thanks for putting in the research and sharing it with us! Thanks,,,,,,,,,

  59. I never comment on blogs or posts i find on google mainly because im too lazy but i HAVE to say something about this one…I liked about 20 photos so far and I have gained 5 followers in 7 minutes. I haven’t even used the tags or even gotten to liking 100 photos yet! It’s exciting!

  60. Please Follow me on instagram – @miiryz ill follow back promisse

  61. Follow me for some turquoise inspirations! :)

  62. Follow me on instagram: _ballsohard23_1

  63. Follow me on instagram: _ballsohard23_

  64. follow meh!!!! kaitlinsawesome13

  65. Thanks for this useful post. I love the fact that it is not theoretical but you’ve applied these strategies yourself and showing us what you’ve learned.

    Keep it up and keep sharing great posts.

  66. I disagree.. I bought a few followers from http://socialmediacombo.com and them guys supplied followers which look real and boosted my account with real followers as well but for some reason I knew that wasn’t the right thing to do..

    For entrepreneurs its good to have a good number of social followers. it increases credibility at the same time it also adds a good confidence for their blog or business website. Tt will definitely help as a short term goal, and you have an ample time to build your real followers. you can buy Instagram followers cheap here – Social Media Combo.com

  67. Only use hashtags that are related. For example, #iphonesia is used for Instagrammers from Asian countries, so why would an American use it? Also, there’s nothing more annoying that seeing several lines of hashtags on a picture. Frankly, it looks desperate, and obvious.

  68. Please follow me on instagram @yajairanieves.. help me out guys

  69. Omg thank you so much for posting this… Just recently joined instagram and no one was following me and now after seeing thus like tried out the liking of loads of pictures and it actually works! Didnt think it would :O out of about 30 pics i liked 4 people have asked to follow me :) thank u again xx

  70. What’s up, yeah this article is truly nice and I have learned lot of things from it concerning blogging. thanks.

  71. Ok you mentioned how you like photos of people you don’t follow, and people who don’t follow you will like your photos… how does that work? I only see photos of people I follow in my feed..

    • I’he liked about 250 different photo’s and I haven’t gotten any followers, so those of you who commented, FOLLOW ME AND I’ll like ALOT OF YOUR PICTURES! (I need you all to help me so I can win a bet) so follow and you’ll get likes on all your pictures, I have 700 exactly and I need 300 more so follow me @Prince_of_Africa17

  72. I have only one doubt, i always get likes on my pics with random people that have more followers than following, they have like 15k followers and maybe they just follow 200 or less, are they robots? How do they get that quantity of followers?

  73. Follow my ig @Lingg___

  74. I’m just now starting to use Instagram, so this article will be very helpful setting up and understanding how to utilize it effectively. Thanks for the great article!

  75. Follow me on instagram: @cbresk I follow back.

  76. At this time I am going away to do my breakfast, afterward having my breakfast coming
    over again to read other news.

  77. Thanks! This helped a lot, especially the hashtags. With those hashtags, the second I post something I immediately get 6 likes and it goes up to 50! :)

    @xxlannahxx

  78. Haha, this stuff actually works. Doing an experiment with @knowtheiam – let’s see how long it takes to can get 1000 followers. Did you have any further insight into the “cheap labour” for liking photos?

  79. I think there is also few nice application that allow organic and best way to photos like and follower , just check yourself may be it will be best in your knowledge

    faceend.com

  80. Can I get a shout out

  81. Neil, thanks for the valuable tips! Shout out my profile @kaiioleal plis?

  82. follow me on instagram urban_hype

  83. This is exactly what I was looking for. I’ve heard so much about Instagram, but didn’t know how to get started to make it work for my business. Thanks!

  84. That worked for me thank you and please please please please follow me on Instagram and like my photos please only got a small amout of people so my username is @naweednawaz thank you if you do that god bless

  85. follow me on instagram @wonderful_me_

  86. Here is my advice;

    -Get followers from http://HitGram.com
    -Add tags to your stuff. That way when people search tags, they will see your posts.

    I’ve gained about 5000 followers in the last few hours. I take my own advice

  87. I have so much followers but i cant get past 30 limes how can that improve

  88. Please follow me @inngab

  89. Great post Neil, I think the key here is timing, proper tagging as well as posting about 5-6 pics a day to generate buzz. Feel free to follow @ thekacar

  90. Hi this actually works thanks

  91. Shannon7leahy :

    Follow me!!! Shannon7leahy

  92. Good article but how will 75 likes make money

  93. Btw did you know that Follow me @flow_steez Thank You hehe

  94. This isn’t really helpful at all! Instagram’s main power lies in it’s freshness. There aren’t any accounts like fan pages. Build those and turn them into communities. It won’t be too much of a targeted market, but that’s how I opened up my first successful news website :D

  95. Follow me on instagram @brian_young_jr

  96. follow me on instagram @ahmedwalli

  97. Instagram : lemowchi

  98. Thanks for the tips! I will certainly use them. I don’t know why but I want more followers and likes on my photos. Please give me a shoutout @cray_23 Thanks again!

  99. THIS IS ACTUALLY GOOD ADVICE BUT I TAUGHT I HAD TO FOLLOW LOADS OF PEOPLE TO GET FOLLOWED BACK SO NOW I END UP FOLLOWING WAY MORE THAN WHAT FOLLOWS ME WHAT CAN I DO?

  100. This is amazing and it really works! Thanks so much! I followed you on instagram do you follow back? I’m nicki237

  101. Follow me on Instagram I follow back nappyhairasian

  102. Follow me – Babyluvve

  103. Ummmm I Liked Photos From Explore Is That Okay? Uh, You Also Said Like Random Photos Of Unknown Users, Do I Just Search And Like Random Pics Or Just Check My Friends’ Following And like Their Photos please Help Trying To Reach more than 500 followers an I only get like 3 – 6 max new followers and more likes please help

  104. Yall Followme on instagram ibittersweets :)

  105. Nice tips….am kinda new on instagram,pls ff sasafrass01 nd I will gladly ff bak……#love.

  106. Great post Neil! I’m glad someone like you made this. It’s actually very accurate. What’s your Instagram? I wanna chck it out and follow you. Btw, follow me @michelle_always_ Thanks for the post!

  107. One of the best articles I have read. So informative and clear. I never knew why so many random people come on my account and randomly like my pics, it all makes sense now.

    Please follow me: chocolate_lova

  108. You say monday 5 pm is the best time… But when is 5 pm for you? I am on the west coast

  109. Follow me!!! @asterrrites

  110. Kendall Hunt :

    Follow me! @kendall_joyyy

  111. Follow me !!! :D

    jesslrcook
    @jesslrcook

  112. follow me!! :D

    jesslrcook
    @jesslrcook

  113. LissaSpanelli :

    Great tips! FOLLOW ME: @nyprincess_12 #peace

  114. Instagram account:

    adam_chini

  115. I had no idea timing actually matters. Monday at 5pm? Pretty exact! But hey it sounds like you know what you’re talking about lol. Nice article! Instagram is @nwannem :-)

  116. Follow @_fashion_istaaa_

  117. I want 1 million followers. after searching whole day . I had got a person who will give me 1 million instagram followers in $1500
    Is it cheap ?

  118. Great article! I have created my instagram account 2 days ago but feel like a pro after reading this.

  119. Thanks for the insights, Neil. I’m finding both Diptic & the web.stagram.com link very useful!

  120. Follow me @ltyrellj

  121. Great article. Congrats on your growing followers and best of luck , my mind is freaking BLOWN that some pages have 708k and more… INSANITY.. I am completely unsure how people climb that high in the social ladder… My shop insta is @indigo_bird , for chicks who want inexpensive indie threads

  122. A definite read guide for all those Instagram freaks! As you mentioned, putting many photos together into a single one is sure to give a boost. :-)

  123. How to Get More Followers and Likes…

    [...]Can you tell me why buying fake Instagram ‘Likes’ And Followers Is a bad idea for bloggers ? very couple of Instagrammers that choose to become popular overnight by all means use this, from our point of view, these are undoubtedly properly worth checking out[...]…

  124. Aw, this was a very good post. Taking the time and actual effort to make a top notch article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

  125. Follow me on Instagram! @madsimoose

  126. Hi:) great post ! Thanks for sharing this …. I did what you said and I only got 1 followers /100 photos I like… Is there anything I did wrong ? My instagram is mainly about beauty , so in always go for beauty or beauty related tag… What I use dot do is like pop pictures likes pictures … 10 pictures per person, that helps me gained more followers about 2/10 people I liked pictures followed me on a good day which means ….Do you think this is a flow? Some days I get like 250 followers but some days I can only get like 20 :( which is annoying …

  127. Have you found any tools that let you post at predetermined times, the way HootSuite and Buffer do for Twitter and FB?

  128. Haha bsvvs:sketches and fashion!

  129. hi, this is an awesome article, i have learned a lot from this.this will really help the beginners like me to get more traffic and more followers.

    • William, awesome! Glad I could help :)

      • When I first got instagram I didnt get very many likes, so I started following more people and adding more tags. Then my friend found tagsforlikes so I used that and everyday I’d get about 25 new followers and 50 likes on each pic or more, I never really changed my name on instagram it was always @live_4_softball9309 then not to long ago I wanted to change my name to refuse_2_sink9309 after I changed it I stopped getting followers and likes by people that weren’t folowing me. Now only my followers can see my pics I upload.. so im getting about 10-20 likes. And im still using tags for likes. So I tried changing my name back and it still doesnt work. So I tried experimenting. I tried deleting tagsforlikes and re getting it. Witch didnt work. I tried changing my name back witch also didnt work. So im gonna try to like and comment on more photos of people im not following and see if it works. Do u have anymore ideas for me?

  130. I love your research!
    -Instagram: @_shaiiraa

  131. most of my followers are fake accounts, i thought it was like 11% that were fake, more like 90% are fake

  132. realinsagramfollow.blogspot.com Free Instagram Followers !
    No? tricks ! Just Real Followers !

  133. Hi Neil! I really enjoyed reading your research, testings, and findings on the science of Instagram. I thank you! But I have a few questions and some added research of my own.
    First question is, why do I notice that some people have many many followers (thousands) but tend to have only about 10 to 15 pictures posted on their instagram? Do they delete a majority of their pictures over time? And if so, why is this practiced?

    Third question is, why do I tend to attract so many “ghost” followers? And is their a way to prevent from this happening other than making my account private? I want to be able to attract real people to my photography but if I go private the potential to gain new followers is obsolete.

    I truly agree that timing is everything but I also noticed that at times outside of the 5pm pst window I tend to get more likes for some reason. For example, I posted a very basic picture at about 9pm pst on a Monday and instantly received over 200 likes. It happened instantaneously… I was very shocked and havent been able to achieve this ever since. I used basic tags like “vodka” “cocktailshaker” and a few others. Do you know what may have triggered this? And if there is a way to actually do this again more often?

    Now in my findings I have come to realize that if I dont gain momentum on a particular shot (which at the most I have received were 26 likes from my follwers) I will put it to rest for a couple of days. Than I will return to the pic and begin to add hashtags (30 at a time which is the most allowed on a pic) I will begin to regain momentum. And this could be up to 2 weeks from when I posted the pic. Which is the longest Ive gone without tagging one, but strongly believe that there is no time limit. BUT once you have used those particular tags you cant reuse them to gain more views. I tend to delete the tags after about an hour and post up a newer set of tags to gain more views. It works great but every time I delete the tag it also removes it from the tag pool, which sorta makes sense.

    Any suggestions or newer findings will be greatly appreciated, even suggestions on my findings about later tags would be helpful.

    Thanks again for you helpful Instagram research!! It was highly informational!! :) I will be sure to try the commenting on others pictures.

    Julzy

    • Julyz, great questions. Here are my responses:

      1. They may just not have the time to post pics, but have spent an enormous time building out their following

      2. Ghost followers will be there no matter what you do. They are hoping for a follow back in most cases

      3. I think it just depends on your picture. Sounds like someone may have helped you out there (someone who has a lot of followers) and other people saw the pic on their following feed.

      4. I think overall just provide content and follow people back, while liking their pics.

  134. Neil, how good is that to “BUY” Instagram followers. I have analyzed many popular accounts who seems to be buying that.

  135. hey neil
    i’m a 15 year old boy- i’m a artist- drawing is my passion-and i really like ppl following me- i’m new at insta i have only 2 pic the fist have 84 like and the second have 112 like i now have over 150 follower and i’m following 40
    do u think following back ppl is good?
    cause i have met a account that follow ppl back the onner of this account gain about 200 follower per day she follow every person that follow her do u think that is great idea to have alot of follower in a littel time
    thx for helping me
    i will mean allot for me if u follow me :) @anthonykhawand

  136. *@stefivela

  137. Hi Neil,
    I became a big fan of your work since reading this article, finally someone really meant to help out people who want to know marketing and not just after a quick buck! Practiced what you thought and did it on my instagram, got to say, I had gain 300 followers in few weeks, I haven’t been ‘liking’ thousands though. So I was completely sold on your method.

    My question is, could you possibly write something similar for Facebook? I found all the advice/guru out there are all so confusing, mainly providing informations on how to create tabs, not teaching us how to gain more followers in a stategic method like the one you mentioned for this post.
    Thanks a lot,
    Sisi

  138. Unfortunately I come realizing the potential of this day instagram with this psot, I just saw it as a platform for ek lose time, but I’ve seen it not, thank you very much for giving us these wonderful tips Neil!

  139. Hey Neil,
    There is this problem going around that many users have. it’s happening to basically everyone. When pic are hash taged the hash tags don’t work. The pictures aren’t shown under the hash tags and it doesn’t matter how many hash tags you use or which one of them or if popular or not. Some say it’s because instagram doesn’t want new users or because some don’t have Facebook but I doubt that. In the beginning I was getting a bunch of likes but now for a pic I get 3 a day. Tgis very annoying since many users have contacted instagram to report this problem but instagram doesn’t respond to any of them. I think this is sad since many are planning to delete their account. I personally love instagram but it’s no fun if the hash tags don’t work and pics aren’t shared with the rest of the world :(
    Do you have any advice ?
    P.s the accounts are not set to private and also haven’t been tagged
    This is my ig; miss_eliane

    • Elliane, that has never happened to me. That is very interesting. I think you may need to contact the instagram team or someone at tech support. I do know, however, that sometimes if the hashtag is against the terms set forth by instagram they will not allow it. I think that is the best I can offer at this time. Let me know if this gets resolved. I am curious too.

  140. katie da Silva :

    This was SO helpful to me! I am just starting out and I need a lot of followers to promote my fantasy novel- You Decide the Fate of the World (about videogames). Thank you!

    If you love videogames and all things magical…follow me @katiedasilva1 on Instagram! I follow back!! ^_^

  141. After a barrage of spam followers on IG, I was curious on how to gain real followers.. you know.. people who are active users and are not ghosts. I stumbled across this article, and thought I’d give it a try. I picked a hashtag I like (16x9fordays) and began liking tons of photos, and commenting on ones now and then. Within a few minutes I was receiving likes and comments back. A few minutes more, I had more followers. With maybe 10 minutes of scrolling through a few tags, liking and commenting, I had gained 20 (seemingly real) followers! Thanks for the tips :-))

    • Adam, that is awesome! I think if you follow all the conventional rules of instagram you can see tremendous results. It just requires some reciprocity and determination. Keep up the great work :)

  142. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site thus i came to “return
    the favor”.I am trying to find things to improve
    my site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!
    !

  143. follow me ;-) @isabellelarsen

  144. Great information Neil! Thx for taking the time to analyze this and put it out here for us in a concise, complete way.

  145. Follow me cause I’m AWESOME: inthenameofme

  146. PLEASE click on my link. This show is going to rock! http://jamplify.com/S7MBCu
    Thanks!!

  147. @yvette_tadeo

  148. Suzanne Gregorian :

    Thanks for the tips. I am going to try them ASAP.

  149. follow me on instagram plz ppl i will follow ppl back if ya follow me at @_fredoo_ @_fredoo_
    @_fredoo_ @_fredoo_
    plz follow me and let me get for than 1000 followers

    • hi fedo. if you want lots of followers you dont have to make hassle anymore. exclusive offer 2000+ high quality instagram followers instantly faster then other and cheaper also. the best instagram seller on seoclerks.com just explore the site and see more offers.

  150. Follow me @rodolfo_moraa

  151. Hello Neil,

    I haven’t used Instagram to brand myself or my business. Now that I have read your post, it seems pretty simple and fun. I love photos. Thanks for sharing these awesome tips.

    F.Y.I. I’m sharing this post on my website as a recommended resource. Credit it all yours of course:)

    To Your Success,
    Stacie Walker
    Woman in Leadership Founder

  152. Check out my photography on my page @theedavidd . Follow if you’d like & let me know what you think :)))) thanks!

  153. Please follow: @anyabiersack

  154. follow me @giulynomyyy

  155. I’m an Independent Business Owner [with MCA & wakeupnow], and all I do is use Instagram to advertise, nothing else! It’s where all of my money comes from… Love it!

    Follow me please & I’ll follow back! @makemoneywithjus

  156. Great post Neil!

    As many of us I have been working on social media and trying to “try” and leverage these networks as best as possible. The resources were very helpful in understanding the popular hashtags.

    P.S. My thumbs are numb from liking photos… lol!

  157. I regularly post photos in instagram. However I never followed these tips. It might be one of the reason for less number of followers. I will follow your great tips and try to get more number of followers and likes.

    Thanks for posting such an awesome post :)

  158. Hi Neil…
    I believe, I have more followers with this tips. So, I say thanks a lot for this and wish you all the best :)

  159. Follow me @clarahnails :)

  160. Thanks for this article Neil. I need to start experimenting with Instagram, this is a great guide.

  161. By the way, I can’t believe that you’re replying back to these comments in 2014… this article was written in 2012.

    You are awesome

  162. This is a great article, and I especially love that you crunched the stats. Thanks a lot for the tips!

  163. Thanks for this wonderful idea Neil.
    I will look for how to implement them for my advantage ASAP.

  164. Hey Neil,

    Awesome post! Really enjoyed the data and work you put into your research.

    I’ve been wanting to get more involved on Instagram—this post and the data has definitely given me enough ammo to do that—so thank you.

    I noticed you haven’t used your account in a long time though (62 weeks as I post this). Does Instagram no longer have the value for you that it used to?

  165. I’m kinda new to instagram, follow me (:
    @lupejayy

  166. Hello Neil,

    1 thing which I noticed while reading your popular posts of all time is that your every post is very lengthy and detail explanatory in nature, probably that is one of reasons it ranks well on search engines. I have very few followers on Instagram, but if follow your tips, I might increase few ;)

  167. Nice article on Instagram, thanks Neil :)

    • Sohail, glad you found it helpful. Please let me know if you found any of the tips useful for your instagram account. Looking forward to hearing from you :)

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  170. Follow and shout me out on Instagram please everyone :)
    My username is: @v1ct0r1aa_park

  171. Hello this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  172. Every weekend i used to pay a visit this web site, as i want enjoyment, as this this website conations really good
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  173. Nice Article Neil, This explanation helps me to be more active on Instagram even I would like to expand my business opportunities too.

  174. # tags are getting more important than any other thing, by using hash tags we can engage and get in touch with targeted audience if we use them in smart manner. moreover you already described everything in details here. :)

  175. I have learn several good stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how a lot attempt you set to create any such fantastic informative site.

  176. What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable know-how regarding unpredicted emotions.

  177. Good Post Neil; here 2 more ways to increase instagram followers:
    1. Attend Instameet. 2. Add your instagram link to zeddes.com dashboard and get followers from fb, twitter, pinterest, stumbleupon, reverbnation, vk, soundcloud etc.

  178. IG is addicting and distracting but hey @arijastuff :)

  179. I think this is among the most significant information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general things, The web site style is great, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

  180. Hi Neil, I am a photographer and just started using instagram, I am interested in knowing how many images to post per day is the perfect amount to increase followers and likes? Secondly how far apart should they be uploaded? Is there a magic time and number /recipe for this success to rapidly build followers/likes?

    Also do you have a link to a site where I can find the best and most effective healthy food and fitness ..keywords/tags?
    Great article thanks.
    If you have any data on the Australian market that would be great too.
    Cheers

  181. This design is wicked! You definitely know how to keep
    a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own
    blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really loved what
    you had to say, and more than that, how you presented
    it. Too cool!

  182. Those are natural ways to get followers on Instagram, however they are pretty slow returning.

    If you want to get thousands of new instagram followers instantly, i suggest http://www.instafollowers.co

    They sell instagram followers for cheap prices, their system is fully automatic once you pay your order starts automatically and you start getting new followers almost in minutes. They also sell picture likes.

  183. my followers so litle, may be this article can help me fast

  184. I used http://www.instabot.co.uk

    Been using the bot for 12 months and have well over 100K active followers.

    Its a simple bot designed to auto like photos of your chosen #Hashtag.

  185. Follow me @yakovdrutman and I will follow you back (only have 38 )

  186. Hey All,

    It seems like a lot of folks on the comments have used hashtags to successfully gain more likes/followers. Shameless plug: http://www.TagsForLikes.com is great for finding hashtags relevant to your picture.

    I made TFL and if you have any questions feel free to contact me!

  187. Very well written, and deeply informative. thanks alot :)

  188. Wow thanks for these great tips! Timing is really everything haha. Hashtags seem so silly sometimes. Follow me on instagram! @cshagi

  189. Jenna Golding :

    Neil, there’s a new app called Stickie. If you upload using that app you get a LOT of likes.

  190. It’s going to be finish of mine day, but before ending I am reading this fantastic post to improve my experience.

  191. Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice whilst you amend your site,
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  192. Hey guys! follow me @lemonypies. Will follow back! :D

  193. @asmakhunji????

  194. Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really useful
    & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back
    and help others like you aided me.

  195. One way to get more follower and likes is to buy a real instagram follower. This would surely help in advertising a business

  196. Follow me @RecklessRunner_ !!! I follow Back

  197. Great tips! I have been experiencing the same tips. Thanks.

  198. Hi Neil !
    Thank you for sharing the science of instagram and how to get more followers and likes. I think your ideas is is more practical. i will certainly examine it.

  199. Hi dear Neil
    i wonder if you can help me please. i’d found a girl on instagram (from a country else) and started to follow her. after a time i’ve become a bit more friendly with her (by putting some comment on her photos and she answered me). but now i realy like her and i wanna ask you would it be rude if tried to be a real friend with her by this way (using instagram) ? what should i do?
    thanks.

  200. Great article that sharing Science of Instagram in this post i really love this article too much! Thanks for this post!

  201. Great article. Thanks
    I have just started a new niche and joined your site as a member. So far I have learn so amazing tips.
    http://www.lawfullysocial.com

    Anna x

  202. Fantastic post however I was wanting to know if
    you could write a litte more on this subject?
    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more.
    Many thanks!

  203. Just to share withi managed to raise my instagram profile from zero follower to 1000+ within just few weeks, by just using #love hashtags

    i am targetting 5k followers in 4 weeks

    wish me luck Neil!
    Thanks again!

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