We all like to see our followers and “likes” going up on Instagram. It’s not only validation that others like our feed but with IG’s new metrics, the amount of likes an image receives can also affect who and how many see your photo. Below are seven tips for getting more followers and likes on Instagram.

1.Post pretty photos. I know this sounds obvious but there are plenty of poorly composed and poorly lit photos on Instagram. Before you randomly point and shoot, take a moment to think about the angle and the composition. Take several different shots and then choose the best one. Instagram is your own personal art gallery, so before you post that blurry photo of your lunch, stop and ask yourself “would I like to see this photo in my feed”? If the answer is no, then don’t post it. Also, as much as it pains me to say it, cliche photos get lots of likes. It seems people just can’t get enough of sunsets, lighthouses, white sandy beaches, flowers, and any other pretty image even if it is cliche.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

2.Use the color Blue. Do you know that Blue is consistently chosen as the number one favorite color world wide? It’s also the preferred color on Instagram as well and photos with lots of blue receive more likes then any other color.

red buoy Nantucket harbor

Linda Holt Photo

3.Post bright images. Instagram metrics show that bright and light images receive many more likes then darker moodier images. I think this is primarily due to the fact that bright images are easier to see on a small phone screen. If your image isn’t inherently light there are plenty of camera apps with filters which will lighten it.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

4.Be consistent. Posting without any planning or thought will not easily increase followers or likes. People need to see your images and if you are only posting randomly and infrequently then you will have neither. The general rule is to post three times a day but once a day or even two to three times a week is fine as long as you are consistent.

5.Use good hashtags. There has been a lot of discussion about hashtags and a lot of conflicting opinions on how many is ideal and what the hashtags should be. Instagram “pros” say six hashtags is optimal but others believe the more the better. Personally, if I see a dozen plus hashtags I find it annoying and it looks like spam. I think a good rule of thumb is to keep the hashtags to under ten. As far as which hashtags to use, type in what is applicable to the image. Sometimes really common ones like #interiordesign, or #fashion are not all that helpful because there are millions of photos a day posted with those hashtags and your image will be lost in a sea of others. Try using hashtags that are more specific to your photo such as #paintedfurniture or #redshoes. Some hashtags have their own fan base and are a great way to get more followers such as #tiletuesday, #fashionfriday or #Ihavethisthingwithfloors. Do a Google search and see what hashtags are trending for your particular business. Lastly, if you search a hashtag and you are the only one using it then it is not going to be useful for gaining followers. So skip cleaver hashtags like #it’sagreatdaytogotothebeach and use ones that are more targeted and focused to what others will actually search for.

6.Be true to your brand. Spend some time thinking about your message and what your goal is for your IG account. If you are a business looking to attract more clients, post photos that are representative of your brand. For example, if you are an interior designer then post design related images. It could be beautiful rooms, travel inspiration, or a behind the scenes look at your job sites. It should not be a photo of you and your friends drinking margaritas or a video of your son learning how to ride a bike. Last year I attended a talk about Instagram given by the founders of the design firm Tilton Fenwick. They have 33K followers and an IG feed full of beautiful design related images. One of the founders said she would occasionally post a photo of something non design related and the response “was crickets”. So stick to images that reflect you and your brand and use your personal Facebook page to post the others.

7. Be an active member of Instagram. Take the time to reach out to others, make comments and give likes. You can’t expect others to interact with you if you don’t reciprocate. Like Facebook, Instagram is social media so join in and be social!

The photo below is my most “liked” image on my Instagram. In relating it to the seven tips; it’s pretty, it has blue in it, it’s bright, it has six hashtags, and it relates to my brand (designer/photographer). It also received 315 likes.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

I hope these seven tips are helpful and if desired please share your IG account in the comments as I would love to follow you. To follow me on Instagram simply click HERE.

If you missed last weeks post about taking better photos for Instagram you can read it here.

Note* No matter how anxious you are to build up your numbers on Instagram, you should never buy followers or “likes”. They are worthless and although it might look impressive to have tens of thousands of followers there will be zero engagement and that will actually hurt you in the long term.

Linda Holt | Interior Designer & iPhone Coach

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