20 Ways to Get More Likes on Instagram

Grow Your Viewership and Influence

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
Young man on cell phone on city street at night

 Nazar Abbas Photography/Getty Images

In many ways, the primary barometer of Instagram popularity (and many other social media services, for that matter) revolves around likes. The more likes you get on your content, the more it tends to spread and exponentially grow in terms of viewership and influence.

Getting likes is often tricky and the entire process can become pretty frustrating in a hurry. Hope isn't lost, however, as following some or all of the suggestions below can help grow your number of likes both organically and through more direct methods. Obviously, this list isn't a guarantee of increased likes. Two things to keep in mind: 1) Knowing your audience goes a long way towards getting likes and 2) Having lots of patience will help keep you from feeling defeated.

Post Regularly

Perhaps nothing makes a follower base lose interest in a social media account quicker than sporadic or a low number of posts, and Instagram is no exception.

We're not saying that you have to share something every day, but having some level of consistency with the frequency of your posts has proven to keep your followers engaged and in turn lead to more likes in the long run. If you're leaving for vacation and don't want to be bothered logging in for a while, schedule posts in advance using a tool like Hootsuite so that your account remains active.

Use Hashtags the Right Way

Hashtags are one of the most powerful tools when it comes to organically increasing your Instagram audience and in turn the number of likes you receive. Unfortunately, they are also the most misused, leading to posts not always getting the views they might deserve.

You should only include popular or trending hashtags if they are applicable to the particular post. This also applies to hashtags that might not be so well known but make sense for the caption in question.

Adding hashtags that have nothing to do with your post just because they might get you some extra traffic is a big no-no, and you'll be looked upon as a spammer by anyone who stumbles upon your post.

Another bad habit is stacking all of your hashtags at the end of your caption, which ironically is what most users tend to do. This isn't necessary, as you can spread them out throughout the text so that they stand out more and are easily readable. If you absolutely must place them all at the end, try separating them by creative spacing or punctuation.

Don't Forget to Tag

Each time you tag another Instagram user in one of your photos they receive a notification, which in many cases will lead to them viewing the post and perhaps liking it while they're there.

This can be especially useful if you tag profiles with large follower bases, in particular, those that are deemed influencers on the platform. With that said, don't tag accounts just to tag them. There needs to be some kind of tie-in with the post, such as their product being featured in the photo.

Just like hashtag abuse, tagging without any relevance is essentially spam and is frowned upon within the IG community.

Using the "Add Location" Feature

Instagram provides the option to include a location tag with each of your posts, noting to viewers where the photo was taken or where you happen to be. This increases the likelihood of your post getting viewed (and therefore liked) by users other than your followers, as many people utilize IG's search by location functionality. Simply choose the Add Location option, select the correct value and post.

Follow Others and Like Their Photos

Just as you'll want to interact with your follower base to secure more likes, following others and liking their content is also key. While you shouldn't automatically expect the same treatment back from these other users, reciprocation of likes is often a common way to grow your numbers. While the IG platform can certainly seem a bit self-involved, it's always key to remember that it isn't all about you.

Be Interactive

Vying for Instagram likes is far from a one-sided deal. It isn't enough to just post photos, videos, and stories and wait for the accolades to pile up. Respond to your followers when they post comments or inquiries. Proactively send them messages when the situation calls for it. Let your personal or business personality shine through by taking part in conversations on a regular basis.

Find Your Niche

The sheer number of Instagram profiles in existence can make it pretty tough to stand out, especially when you're posting similar content as many others. If you're floundering in your quest for likes, focusing on a particular topic or genre might be your best bet. Of course you'll want to choose something that you're both knowledgeable and passionate about, otherwise, your IG experience will become tedious instead of enjoyable.

Utilizing Instagram Stories

Since its inception in the summer of 2016, the booming popularity of Instagram Stories has surprised even some folks within the company itself. While Stories disappear after 24 hours and you can't technically like them, they do offer another way to express yourself through IG and therefore provide the ability to gain more interest in your profile. The trickle-down effect of this is typically more likes on your photos and videos.

Post Quality Photos

It doesn't take much effort to share any old picture on Instagram, but low-quality photos will not garner much interest and therefore not lead to many likes. If you want to increase your likes you should post mostly high-resolution, eye-catching images.

Adding Video to Your Repertoire

Once a photo-only platform, Instagram also provides the ability to share video content with your followers and the general public - something you should be doing if exponential growth in likes is your main goal. While static images are still the main bread and butter of IG, supplementing your pictures with the occasional video post almost always results in an engagement boost from your followers and others.

Just Be You

A common pitfall of Instagram revolves around the perceived pressure to always seem interesting, humorous or exceptional in some way. This causes many users to try too hard when being themselves is often more than enough to develop a following and start raking in those likes.

Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously

While it's important to come across as the genuine article, a trait that cannot be faked for long, it's just as essential to have a sense of humor about yourself. Social media brings out critics and trolls aplenty, and having the ability to be self-deprecating in certain situations can win over even the harshest commentator and make you seem down to earth – a combination that almost always leads to added likes.

Don't Overdo It With Filters

For many people filters are the heart of Instagram, allowing you to instantly tweak your photos in several unique ways with just a couple of mouse clicks or finger taps. Because it's so easy to apply these filters the temptation to use them across the board can be strong, something you often see throughout the service. Many photos are fine in their original state and probably should be left as-is. Also, some filters perform better than others so practice makes perfect over time. The bottom line is it's often best to pick one or two filters that you like the most and seem to be working best and stick with them for consistency's sake. A profile that uses too many different filter types can appear disjointed and cause followers to stray.

Put Some Effort Into Your Captions

So you've got a really cool photo or video and you can't wait to share it on Instagram. Not so fast! A quality image or clip may not live up to its full potential in terms of exposure and likes if it isn't accompanied by a carefully-constructed, well-written caption. Without overthinking it, just make sure that your caption relays the point you're trying to get across without being unnecessarily wordy. Also, if you're attempting to convey a certain image with your IG profile than your caption verbiage should be in line with that vision. Finally, make sure that your caption contains relevant hashtags.

Solicit Responses From Your Followers

In addition to relevant, properly-formatted content and the right hashtags, it also doesn't hurt to encourage interaction within your captions by asking pointed questions or even requesting a like without sounding overly anxious about it - something along the lines of 'Don't forget to double-tap if you're impressed!' If someone takes the time to leave a comment on your post in response to a question, there's a chance that they will also spend a second liking it.

Going Live to Your Followers

One of the more undervalued features available on Instagram, broadcasting live video allows you to engage directly with your viewers in real-time whenever you wish. No matter the topic, this can be a great way to spark interest in your profile and even gain new followers along the way. Although going live may not have a direct impact on your number of likes, the increased activity around your profile certainly will.

In-Progress Posts

Mostly applicable to artists and other creative types including those folks who like to showcase their cooking or baking prowess, this tip can be used elsewhere as well with a little creativity. Rather than posting only the finished product, whatever it may be, many Instagram users choose to share in-progress photos along the way - involving their followers in the actual process and providing them with something to look forward to at the end. This tried-and-true practice is almost always worth the effort, as you're much more likely to gain a steady stream of likes as opposed to just posting the results of the final step.

Trading Likes for Contest Entries

This one typically applies to businesses, but can really be extended to almost anyone with a little imagination and ingenuity. Many Instagram users will run contests, offering to give something away to the winners. In some cases, all you have to do to enter one of these games of chance is to like a post. We don't recommend utilizing this tactic too often, as it can appear desperate. However, running this style of the contest once in a while is an easy way to rack up those likes.

The Boomerang App

Creating and posting videos created with the Boomerang app has become all the rage on Instagram, due to its rather unique style of melding a burst of ten photos into a type of live-action selfie. With just a couple of finger taps, you can capture and share these mini-videos right to your IG profile, and the likes should soon follow.

Paid Promotion

This tip will cost you more than just time, but if used correctly its overall effectiveness may be worth the hit to your wallet. The Instagram Ads program allows you to pay for promoted posts, reaching segments of the IG population not always possible via free methods and all but ensuring an increase in both your follower base and subsequent likes.