It's no secret that Instagram influencers can make good money. But if you've spent any amount of time on the platform, posting without a plan, you also know that getting those coveted likes isn't as easy as you'd like to believe. It requires a bit more than just snapping a picture and posting it with a pithy caption. If you want to get more likes on Instagram, you have to have an Instagram strategy in place. Fortunately, if you're wondering how to get more Instagram likes, you've come to the right place. In this article, we're going to walk you through everything you need to do to get more likes and engagement on your Instagram posts, Stories, Reels, and IGTV.
How to Get More Instagram Likes in 2021:
- 1. Find Your Target Audience Early
- 2. Research Your Competitors
- 3. Test Different Content
- 4. Share Eye-Catching Photos
- 5. Post More Video Content
- 6. Use Instagram Stories
- 7. Write Engaging Captions
- 8. Include a Call to Action
- 9. Post Consistently (At the Right Time)
- 10. Use the Right Hashtags the Right Way
- 11. Promote Using Paid Ads
What Are Instagram Likes and Why Do They Matter?
Instagram likes are, perhaps obviously, other people telling you that they like your content. And, admit it, it's nice to open the platform and see all of those nice little notifications letting you know that your content resonated with people, isn't it? Of course, while it's nice to get likes on your posts, those little hearts mean quite a bit to Instagram influencers who are hoping to increase their reach and authority on the platform. Instagram likes are one of the ways the Instagram algorithm decides which content gets pushed out to a larger audience and which creators have an easier time sharing their content. Think of them as ranking signals similar to what search engines look for when determining how to index and rank websites.
And, just because Instagram is playing around with hiding the number of likes a post receives, don't think they matter any less. Even if the number of likes isn’t public, the number of likes is still an important influencer signal for the platform, so it's vital that you create an Instagram marketing strategy designed to get more likes and engagement on your content. Keep reading for our tips to get more likes!
How to Get More Instagram Likes: 11 Tips
Getting more likes and follows on Instagram isn't easy. Just ask any of the top Instagram influencers about the time and energy they've put into building their following—and how much time and energy it takes to continue growing. But just because it's not easy doesn't mean it's impossible. In fact, there are three areas you can address to start on your path to racking up more likes right now:
- Create Better Instagram Content: What you post on Instagram matters. Since Instagram is such a visual social media platform, it's important that your content is visually appealing. The content that you post has a big impact on who you attract to your account and if it's not great, folks aren't going to stick around.
- Promote Your Content: Once you've created great content, you need to promote it using cross-posting, hashtags, and more.
- Collaborate With Other Creators: Brand account takeovers, partnerships, and even just engaging on the content other creators are posting can go a long way towards earning your content more likes and engagement.
Now that we've covered the three key areas you need to focus on, let's get deeper into exactly what you can do in each of these areas to increase the likes and engagement you get on your Instagram content.
1. Find Your Target Audience Early
One of the most important things you can do to set yourself up for getting more Instagram likes is to find your target audience. You don't have to be everything to everybody, and you shouldn't try. Your target audience is your people, the ones who are interested in what you have to say. Write your Instagram profile with that target audience in mind and build your content marketing strategy around reaching them. This kind of targeting practically guarantees that you'll get the genuine likes you crave.
2. Research Your Competitors
Just as you should know who your target audience is, you need to know and understand your competitors. This can also help you get new ideas for the content you want to create and share on your own Instagram account. That doesn't mean you copy them, of course. But definitely check out what they're posting, paying particular attention to the content they share that gets their audience excited. Adapt that content to match your own style. You can even check out who their most engaged followers are and start following them and engaging with them to lure them away.
3. Test Different Content
While Instagram started out as a place to share beautiful pictures, it's grown into a multi-dimensional platform that offers tons of opportunities to experiment with the kind of content you provide. Testing out different types of content will keep your content fresh and your audience interested. Over time, you'll figure out what types of content really resonate with your audience so you can focus more on that. Here are a few ideas for different types of Instagram content you can try out:
Yes, we know. Posting quotes on Instagram can be a snoozefest. However, we're not talking about "Live, Laugh, Love" here. We're talking about quotes that directly relate to your brand and your industry like fitness influencer Hayley Madigan does:
Behind the Scenes Photos
More and more, users are interested in what goes on in the day-to-day of the influencers and brands they follow on the platform. Your audience follows you for a reason—usually because they like you, your products and services, or the content you provide. Sharing what goes on behind the scenes is an easy way to connect on a deeper level with your followers. That's why business influencers like Chalene Johnson are so popular. She regularly shares what's going on in her life, giving a lot of value to her followers even if they aren't members of her marketing academy. If you're not excited at the thought of sharing about all aspects of your personal life, you can take a page from the Lobmeyr Lighting page and just show behind the scenes content from the business side of things:
Use Carousels (Multiple Images)
Carousels are a great way to share collections of images with your followers. You can show off multiple products, a group of photos from a photoshoot or event, sets of user-generated content, or even tell a story with your carousel posts. Comic creator Alec With Pen uses carousel posts to share different panels in a single comic strip:
4. Share Eye-Catching Photos
Instagram is a highly visual social media platform. As such, you need to share visually appealing content if you want to get more eyes on your content—and the increase in likes that comes from reaching a broad range of people. There are two easy things you can do to ensure that your content is eye-catching: take high-quality photos and use filters consistently.
Fortunately, if you have a smartphone, you already have a high-quality camera that's perfect for capturing stunning images. To get the most from your smartphone's camera, choose a place to take photographs that has great natural light, and make sure that there's not too much going on in the background. Beyond that, choose a filter that makes your photos pop and stick with that filter. While it can be fun to play around, using the same filter on all of your photos adds to your visual identity and makes it easier for your followers to identify your photos in their crowded feeds because they "look" like you.
5. Post More Video Content
Video is incredibly engaging and stands out in the midst of endless still images in crowded Instagram feeds. We recommend posting more video content, especially content that doesn't rely on audio. How-to videos are particularly popular on Instagram. Including captions is important for reaching users who don't listen to audio when scrolling (and there's a lot of them). Plus, captions are great for accessibility, which is rightly becoming a mark of brands and influencers who are posting content for more than just increased sales.
6. Use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are one of the Instagram marketing trends that just continues to increase in usage. They offer brands and influencers a chance to be more candid and authentic. You don't need video production for this popular Instagram content. You can now also highlight Stories that you want to keep available longer than the standard 24 hours. This is incredibly useful if you find yourself continually answering the same questions from followers or if you want to highlight user-generated content or share promotions. Danish comedian Sofie Hagen uses Story highlights to great effect, including an FAQ, a welcome highlight, and a whole lot more:
7. Write Engaging Captions
Your Instagram captions have to be engaging and interesting if you want to get more Instagram likes. While that beautiful image is enough to grab attention, your followers are going to be expecting a little bit more than that. We recommend using your caption to share a story, your thoughts, or your feelings about the image and make it personal, either sharing something of yourself with your followers or relating the image and your caption to them. You can also ask questions of your followers to encourage engagement. Your images get scrollers to slow down, but your captions are what get them to engage.
8. Include a Call to Action
Your Instagram posts should include a simple call to action. This could be something as simple as asking followers to "double-tap" if they agree or follow the link in your bio. There are also tons of accounts out there that use their call to action to expand their reach by asking their followers to tag a friend. Michigan-based tattoo artist Leila D'Amato regularly includes a call to action to her followers letting them know how to get in touch for an appointment:
9. Post Consistently (At the Right Time)
To give your content the best chance to reach your target audience, you'll need to post when your audience is most active on Instagram. While the best time to post on Instagram can vary depending on the type of content your post, your niche, and who your target audience is, there is research out there that can give you some good starting points:
- HubSpot research found that the best time to post is between 2 PM and 3 PM on Thursdays.
- According to Sprout Social, Wednesdays at 11 AM and Fridays between 10–11 AM are the best times to post.
- Expert Voice also found that Wednesdays are the best day, at 11 AM and 3 PM.
- Later doesn't specify a day but found that the best time of day to post is 9 AM–11 AM EST.
We recommend testing your engagement for different times and days to find what works best for your specific audience. This doesn't mean that you can't ever post outside of the best time you find, but your most important content should be published around that time. Chances are, you're going to be posting more than just once each week, anyway.
10. Use the Right Hashtags the Right Way
Hashtags carry a lot of weight on Instagram. They're a great way to reach potential followers and customers and, if you're a location-based business, you can even use targeted local hashtags to reach customers who are nearby. While the optimal number of hashtags to use tends to change, Chalene Johnson recommends using 10–20 hashtags, including your own branded hashtag. She tends to not use the hashtags in the post itself but instead adds them to the first comment on her posts:
You'll want to include a mix of hashtags that's relevant but not too niche. And, while it's important to stay up on trends and trending hashtags, don't use them if they aren't relevant to what you're posting or relevant to your brand and niche. Using unrelated hashtags might get your content in front of more Instagram users, but that doesn't mean that they're your target audience.
We also recommend adding hashtags to your Instagram profile to help users find you in searches and increase brand recognition. Since your bio itself isn't searchable, hashtags are a great way to show visitors what you're all about.
11. Promote Using Paid Ads
If you have the budget for it, Instagram ads can be a great way to reach people who don't already follow you on the platform. Instagram and Facebook have the same ad platform that allows for highly targeted ad campaigns that can really extend your reach for not a lot of money. Using a combination of organic content and paid ads is one of the best ways we've found to reach the people who are interested in your products and services but may not have heard of your brand or don't know that you're on Instagram.
Get More Instagram Likes Quickly and Easily
Getting more likes on Instagram can help your brand grow and reach a broader audience. While the 11 ways to get more Instagram likes we've included here are an excellent starting point, they aren't the only things you can do. Teaming up with influencers and other brands is another great way to expand your audience and get more likes on the platform.
There's also a lot of benefit to engaging with your followers when they comment on your content as well as engaging with other influencers and brands on their own content. It's social media, after all, so a big part of achieving success is being social. You can tag important accounts in your content, comment on popular content from others, and follow more people in your niche to boost your own follower count—and an increased follower account brings more opportunities for getting likes!