Although we shouldn't be on Instagram for the attention, having likes and followers is weirdly fulfilling — finally, my picture of pizza is getting the attention it deserves! And, in case you didn't already know, there are a few different tricks to get more Instagram followers, like utilizing the right hashtags and knowing precisely when to upload your selfies and sunset pictures. I'm not promising you're going to reach Kim Kardashian level Instagram fame, but a little bit of Instagram savvy will definitely benefit you if you, like so many, are a little obsessed with the app.
One of my favorite parts about Instagram is the activities page, where you can see what your friends are up to on the Instagram app, instead of just glamorizing their lives through expertly filtered pictures. Due to this feature, everybody else can see what you're doing too — so the "like 4 like," "comment 4 comment," get-popular-quick MySpace schemes may work, but they'll definitely make you look uncool to anybody paying notice.
By being a bit sly about the way you post, when you post, and what you post, nobody will know that you're reaching for more Instagram followers. There's nothing cool about trying to be cool, so sneakiness will truly be your friend to gain followers without seeming like you care about followers.
1. Avoid Cliché Pictures
Nobody cares about sunsets or Starbucks cups as much as they care about something they've never seen before, so try avoiding posting pictures you've seen posted by more than three friends and you may lose a few less followers.
2. Pick A Theme
If all your pictures have a rockabilly theme or a food theme or even just share common color scheme, then people with similar interests are going to take notice. Pick a theme and stick to it. The creativity and consistency will gain you followers, more often than not. Take, for example, Marie Southard Ospina's Instagram account, which has a theme of body positivity.
3. Use Popular Hashtags
A hashtag is used so that your image will come up while searching for it, so if your hashtag is a lengthy inside joke between you and one friend, nobody's going to search for it! Search for the hashtag and see if it's a popular hashtag before using it.
4. Only Post High Quality Pictures
Nobody cares about a grainy Snapchat that you've screenshotted and edited further to put on Instagram — even if it's the funniest, cutest, or most interesting picture in the world. Poor quality just looks like you don't care. Aim not just for great content, but great quality as well.
5. Spread Out Your Posting
Five great pictures all at once aren't all going to get the same attention, and rarely posting at all isn't going to get you followers either. Even if you've truly captured a moment, you can wait another couple of hours (or days) to share it. Like if you're at a big event — e.g. fashion week — make your pictures from one event last throughout the entire day.
6. Post When People Are Going To See It
You can probably guess nobody's going to see your selfie at 6 a.m. or 3 a.m., but if you use Iconosquare's statistic section, it's easy to find out when is the perfect time to post for you. When I posted this simple outfit snap, I got way more likes than I was expecting just because everyone was logged in!
7. Pay Attention To Your Main Page
The overall aesthetic of your front page shouldn't be sacrificed for one picture — when you look at someone's Instagram account you look at all the pictures together, not just value the merit of each individual pic. People will be doing the same to you, so be aware how the picture will look with the rest of your account!
By paying attention to these more sneaky ways of gaining likes and followers, there's no way anybody will know how you've raised in Instagram popularity, and your photos will look better too. It's a win, win.