When it comes to getting noticed on Instagram, there are basic rules to follow as would be the case with any social network – post regularly, interact with users, include an interesting description with your photos that will get other users attention. Beyond that, there are a few Instagram-specific ways to ensure that you can gain more followers, gain more likes, and pretty much win at Instagram.
We’ve listed five Instagram tips and techniques we’ve tried out ourselves and know that they are a gold mine at getting noticed, getting likes, and getting followers on Instagram. So in no particular order, here they are.
Use Popular Hashtags
Hashtags are the first place to start when it comes to getting more likes for your photos on Instagram. Think about the subject matter, so that other Instagrammers taking photos of the same things will be able to find you. Tagging on Instagram isn’t just limited to your subject matter – you can tag your photos based on the style of photography or processing, can be tagged with the apps that you used to process your photos, or the Instagram filter you used, or based on your location, and of course with the popular Instagram hashtags that regulars use: #instagood, #photooftheday, #igers, #instagood, and more. Just take a look at hashtags being used by other users or better yet, keep track of the top Instagram hashtags here.
Because it can be a hassle adding tags on your phone, you could always post the photo from your phone, and then use Instagram’s web-based interface to copy and paste hashtags from a saved document, or a draft in your email. (You could also use this method on your phone if you don’t have access to a computer – simply save your favorite tags as a note or in a draft email). You can also use sites like Tagstagram to easily find, and copy and paste, popular tags.
Take Part in Community Activities
There are a ton of Instagram activities taking place on the mobile social network. The biggest one is probably JJ’s daily forum. Started by Instagram user Josh Johnson who has almost 280,000 followers, his forum has grown to thousands of members, and a network of editors working with him to highlight Instagram photos on a daily basis. To take part, all you have to do is follow Josh Johnson to find out the daily theme and hashtag to use to submit your photos. Themes are based on styles (e.g. black and white), content (e.g. reflections) and more. If Josh or one of editors notices your submission, you could be featured by one of the editors or Josh himself. There are many other communities worth participating in. If you’re a fan of black and white photography, check out Monart, Insta_pick_bw and Streetphoto_bw. For general photo features, keep up with Photooftheday, Ink361, all_shots and contestgram. If you’re an Instagram-purist – using the app to share mobile photography only, be sure to check out the incredibly vibrant mobile photography community Ampt, who are also running challenges on Instagram’s competitor, EyeEm.
Give and Take
Like any social network or community, Instagram is all about engagement. It’s all about the give and take. The more you interact and give your time to other users, the more they will do the same for you. Liking other users’ photos is a great way to get noticed, and leaving thoughtful comments is even better. The more you like photos shared by users outside of your circle of friends or personal network, the more you’ll gain both followers and likes. We’ve also found that when users like your other photos, some of their friends and followers will notice you too.
It’s also not just a matter of randomly liking photos left and right. It pays to engage with users who are interested in the same types of photography, shoot in the same city as you, or just have a common interest. That way you’re more likely to find genuine engagement beyond an anonymous or faceless like.
Using a third party service like Statigr.am can be a great way to keep track of your engagement, to make sure you’re responding to comments, and to easily like and comment on other users photos.
Get Creative with your Photo-Editing
Don’t limit yourself to Instagram’s filters. While they’re great, there’s simply no limit to the great iOS and Android apps available for avid mobile photographers. Whether its photo-editing apps like Snapseed and Adobe Photoshop Express to really make your photos pop, or creative apps that let you create gorgeous collages like Fuzel or PicCollage. Find the app that works for you, and put your mark on your photos. By sticking to a distinctive style or niche, you’ll find it’s easier to get noticed and build a following.
Get Featured by Instagram
Getting featured by Instagram could gain you thousands of followers per day, but that of course is easier said than done. Instagram hasn’t really let on how it chooses users to add them to their ‘suggested users’ list. If you are added to the list, you’ll stay there for one week, giving you maximum exposure on the social network. (If you haven’t checked out the suggested user’s list before – you can find it in the app under Settings > Find & Invite Friends > Suggested Users.)
The list of suggested users is varied – if you have an interesting perspective, style or niche, and continue to get noticed by Instagram users, you may eventually catch Instagram’s eye.