It can sometimes feel like everyone else is becoming Instagram famous, while you’re stuck at a few hundred followers. Even those with thousands of followers started with their first like and follow.
In our article, we present 11 of the greatest tips for getting more likes and followers on Instagram.
10. Think Blog Rather Than Portfolio
Instagram is a way of showing your work or your photography skills, but it’s more like a diary. If you wait to only add those images going to your portfolio, the posts will be few and far between.
You are free to post as you wish, so take advantage of it. Your website is for your portfolio, Instagram is to show others what you are doing. It doesn’t need to be a series of your most high-quality work.
Instagram is less formal and way more playful than other ways to show your photography. This is the place to showcase your behind-the-scenes shots, rather than your website.
In today’s world, Instagram marketing is a powerful tool, but you have to do it right to become Instagram famous.
9. Keep It All Neat and Tidy
The first thing people look at when visiting your Instagram feed is your bio and username. If you want to be taken seriously and you want to be famous on Instagram, then leave your 15-year-old gaming tag id behind.
These need to be crafted carefully. Don’t forget those two necessary things: your email and location. If there is no email in your Instagram profile, how will people contact you? Without a location, no one knows where you are based.
Your profile, account username and account name are what Instagram references. When Instagram users search, it will look at these fields.
8. Find Those Important In Your Field
There are many ways to get Instagrammers to notice your work, and I wish I could say it was down to only posting amazing photos. To become Instagram famous, you need to show people your talented photography.
One successful way is to post photos with accounts that repost other peoples content in mind. If they like what they see, they might re-share your image.
Some of these accounts have a huge following. Consider one of my favorite Instagram pages – #AccidentallyWesAnderson.
They repost Instagram photos from photographers that look like they could be part of a Wes Anderson film. One image has 2,170 likes on the photographer’s page. The reposted image gained 42,539 likes.
This is a great way on how to get more likes and new followers on Instagram. As you see, Instagram for photographers is a great tool.
7. Hashtag the Right Way
Instagram hashtags can be both good and bad on your reach and engagement with the online community. If you do not use them wisely, you may end up with more spam comments than anything else.
Personally, I don’t use the super popular hashtags or trending hashtags. Everyone uses them all the time. My images would appear for a millisecond before disappearing into the depths of the internet.
#photographer is overloaded, so your images will never be seen. It is way better to use something a little more niche. Don’t go for anything over 250,000, unless it is very specific.
Also, don’t post captions using Instagram hashtags. I #love this #sunset makes you look immature.
Put them at the end, and limit yourself to the 30, but have more than 15.
There’s another great guide to using Instagram hashtags you should check out here.
6. Be Consistent
When you start gaining Instagram followers, the majority of them are expecting to see a flow of similar images. If I post portraits, my followers are going to be interested in portrait photography.
If I post some architecture shots, I will get less engagement rate in the form of likes and comments. This is because most of my followers like portraits, and not, necessarily, architecture.
You don’t need to restrict yourself, but try and be as consistent as possible. If you post 50/50, see if they go together. Street Photography is where you expect to see both worlds.
Think about this too. Most people are going to see your top nine posts immediately. If they are an inconsistent mess, you may lose follower count.
5. Are You Square?
This is the chosen format for Instagram images. You don’t have to stick to it, of course, as you are able to share your images in any format.
A square format doesn’t necessarily make you look like a photographer. But your image is the same as the preview, so people don’t have to look closer.
Vertical/portrait images look great and show a lot more detail when clicked on. However, you have no control over what part of the image becomes the thumbnail.
A horizontal/landscape shot is classy. You get to keep the ratio, which is much better for landscape images. However, again, you can’t control the thumbnail image.
Adding a white border shows people you are a serious photographer. You have more control over the image’s orientation. Plus, Instagram can’t crop them as squares.
4. Timing Is Key
Publishing needs to be regular to have the strongest impact. To be the most effective in gaining followers and becoming Instagram famous, you need to find a pattern and stick to it.
I have tried publishing images every day, twice a day and even every three days. The engagement has been the same, but as soon as I break the pattern, the engagement level drops.
My next image gives me a weaker impact than the one before it.
By posting regularly, people get used to seeing your content at regular intervals. One benefit of posting every three days rather than daily is, your images stay on the top of your page, giving you more of a global reach.
On top of that, different regions have different time slots for highest interactivity. Study the table below and experiment to see if you get more followers and engagement at different times.
3. Reply to All Comments
One of the most time-consuming aspects of Instagram is engaging with your followers. It is time-consuming because it is one of the most important areas of making a name for yourself and getting that Instagram fame.
When someone leaves a comment, it is not only good etiquette to answer, it is necessary. This show of respect and interest might drive the person to return a second time, or even follow you. You don’t need to send them a direct message, a reply to their comment is enough.
Instagram is different to other social media sites. Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, where you actually need to be ‘connected’ to post or like the user’s content.
With Instagram, as long as their account isn’t private, you can explore, like, and comment on any image.
Commenting is a great way to get in touch with people. Some photographers actually found work through their comments, rather than emails.
Don’t be afraid to use emojis either – they stand out.
2. Use Your Visibility
In this mobile world, you have a higher chance of being noticed through your Instagram account than your portfolio.
This visibility comes from most people browsing the internet from the handheld devices we have with us. Instagram is a haven for curators, companies, brands, products, and agencies – all looking for material.
The bigger you grow, the more attention you will receive. Attention turns to possible job offers, which in turn brings more attention and more work. It is truly a great way to reach out to brands you couldn’t approach usually.
1. Keep It Simple
The key is to keep it simple – your username and information is a start, but what about everything else? Well, our mobile world also brought with it a short attention span.
If your work doesn’t captivate a viewer in a matter of seconds, you have lost their eyes, hearts, and minds. Studies show that you have 8 seconds to make or break it.
You need to write something about your image, but keep it short with quality content. One thing I hate is not seeing a story, a few words or, worse, a location alongside a great shot.
The context is just as important as the content. Without it, how do we see the personal side of their work?
Don’t take things too seriously. Sure, you want to use it to help your business. Or become one of those travelling super-stars or travel bloggers who pose with products on a sandy beach. Instagram is supposed to be light-hearted.
Share what you want to share and keep your cool. With a little time and effort, you’ll be turning heads and getting thumbs up left right and center. Act too professionally and viewers could get bored with your content.
Instagram is a wonderful place with a great community of followers. There are spammers (have you checked your spam folder in your email account lately), but by and large, we are all in it to have fun.
Why not check out our post on the most iconic photos for some inspiration!
A note from Josh, ExpertPhotography's Photographer-In-Chief:
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