It can sometimes feel like everyone else is becoming Instagram famous, while you’re stuck at a few hundred followers. Remember, even those with thousands of followers started with their first like and follow.
In our article, we present 10 of the greatest tips for getting more likes and followers on Instagram.
1. Use Instagram as a Social Media Diary To Look More Approachable
It is true that Instagram is a great way of showing your work or your photography skills. But it’s more like a social media diary. If you only add those photos that are from 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. Your Instagram feed is to show others what you are doing. It doesn’t need to be a series of your most high-quality work. It needs to be personal!
Your Instagram profile 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. Take advantage of this and post creative images and stories to which your audience can relate.
In today’s world, Instagram marketing is a powerful tool in your hands. But you have to do it right to become Instagram famous.
2. Choose A Username And Fill Out Your Bio So That People Can Find You
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, be conscious about building your profile.
You need to build your Instagram account with a careful strategy. 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. This is essential especially if you have a Business account.
Your profile, account username, and account name are what Instagram references. When Instagram users search, it will look at these fields.
3. Find Those Important In Your Field for Reposts and Targeted Campaigns
There are many ways to get Instagram users to notice your work. I wish I could say it was down to only posting amazing photos. But to become Instagram famous, you need to show people your talented photography.
One successful way is to post photos with accounts that repost other people’s content in mind. If they like what they see, they might re-share your image.
Some of these accounts have thousands of Instagram followers. Consider one of my favourite Instagram pages – #AccidentallyWesAnderson. They have 1 million Instagram followers at the moment.
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.
You can also find different magazines or collectives which feature emerging artists and photographers.
Another excellent way to get more likes and new Instagram followers is to set up an Instagram Business account.
This way, you can get useful insights and analysis of your followers. You can also start promoting yourself by setting up paid and targeted campaigns. You can choose your target audience’s location, demographics, interests and behaviours.
This is a great way to find those that are relevant for your account.
4. Use Niche Hashtags to Make Your Photos Stand Out
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.
I don’t use the super-popular hashtags or trending hashtags. Everyone uses them all the time. By using these, my photos would appear for a millisecond before disappearing into the depths of the internet.
#photographer is overloaded, so your photos 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.
Make sure you 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 hashtags. But remember to have more than 15.
There’s another great guide to using Instagram hashtags you should check out here.
5. Be Consistent to Gain Relevant Followers
When you start gaining Instagram followers, the majority of them are expecting to see a flow of similar photos. 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 my followers like portraits, and not architecture. They already have an idea in mind what kind of posts they come looking for on my page.
You don’t need to restrict yourself, though. 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 of the genres mentioned above.
Think about this too. Most people are going to see your top nine posts immediately. If they are an inconsistent mess, you may lose followers.
6. Think About the Format to Avoid Cropped Photos
Square is the default format for Instagram photos. But you don’t have to stick to it, of course, as you are able to share your photos in any format.
A square format doesn’t always make an image better. But your picture 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. But you have no control over what part of the image becomes the thumbnail.
7. Schedule Your Posts to Build Engagement With Your Followers
Publishing needs to be regular to have the strongest impact. To be the most effective in gaining followers and becoming Instagram famous – make sure to find a pattern and stick to it.
I have tried publishing photos 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. If you become inconsistent with the timing of your posts, people can lose interest.
On top of that, different regions have different time slots for the highest interactivity. People like to scroll in the morning and during lunchtime. Then they get active again after work, around 7-8 pm local time.
If you have an Instagram Business profile you can always track down your analysis.
Consider these time frames when choosing a posting schedule.
8. Reply to All Comments to Broaden Your Instagram Network
One of the most time-consuming aspects of Instagram is engaging with your followers. It is time-consuming and people often fail to do it. But 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.
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.
9. Use Your Visibility To Reach Out to Brands for Photography Opportunities
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 an excellent way to reach out to brands you couldn’t approach usually.
10. Use Simple Captions to Keep People’s Attention
The key is to keep your Instagram profile simple. Your username and information is a start. But what about everything else? You have to make sure you catch and keep people’s attention.
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 photos. 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. A caption can give the photo a whole new meaning.
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 it cool. With a little time and effort, you’ll be turning heads and getting followers from all around the world.
Instagram is a wonderful place with a great community of followers. Take care of your feed and you can end up with getting unexpected opportunities.
Eager to learn more about how to take your photography business to the next level? Why not check out our ebook Profit from Portraits next!
Why not check out our post on the most iconic photos as well for some inspiration!