How to Get More Likes on Instagram: 40+ Expert Tips

Get 40+ expert tips on creating valuable content and driving Instagram engagement.

There are over 700 million active Instagram users in the world, which is a lot of people posting selfies, holidays or brekkie snaps of avocado on toast.

There’s a certain rush people get when they post a picture and watch the notifications roll in as users Like it in real-time – perhaps even from some new people that might follow you or your business.

Likes (and followers) are fundamentally one of the biggest reasons why we’re so obsessed with Instagram, to get appreciation for our pictures and maybe become Instagram famous along the way.

So how can you ensure that you maximise your time and get the most value out of every image that you post?

Well, look no further, here’s our guide with tips and tricks to help you increase your likes on Instagram:

A like on Instagram is when you double tap on the post or click on the heart icon under your content.

So why is a like important? It’s a signal to Instagram that your image has resonated with your followers.

They are also a way for Followers to show a small gesture of appreciation for your post, or as a way of agreeing with what you are posting.

Social proof can increase a users likeliness to trust a person or brand, compared to one with little or no likes or engagement.

Followers bring recognition to your Instagram page by showing how engaged they are with your content – so in a world where Instagram likes and follows are linked to popularity, quantity can matter.

Let’s dive in and example 40+ more ways to drive more likes on Instagram.

You need to put some effort into the photos and videos that you post on Instagram. Make sure the lighting is good and everything is in focus.

Don’t forget you don’t have to take photos with mobile devices, you can take professional photos then upload them via the Instagram app at a later date.

Aesthetically pleasing photos will naturally get you more likes.

Captions are a very important part of your Instagram post. Unlike Twitter, Instagram does not have a character limit, but there is a limit before users will have to start scrolling.

Telling a story with your caption lets your followers get to know you a bit more. The best combination is having an amazing photo and a killer caption to go with it (more on this later).

Being consistent in your filtering scheme is one the biggest keys to building your Instagram identity. It’s kind of having a theme, so pick one or two filters and stick to them.

Consistency will make your photos recognisable on your followers feed which increases recognition and that leads to more likes.

Check out how @andrewknapp does it:

Consistent Instagram Aesthetic

Instagram can sometimes feel like everything is staged or fake, it can be fantastic to be humble and just be yourself. Remove the filter and let users see the real you.

A study from over 30M+ Instagram photos found that using blue as a dominant colour in your photos increased the number of likes by 24%.

It’s easy to follow a formula on Instagram, however many accounts are often rewarded for being unique and having their own twist on things.

Try to post content you think will be intriguing for users.

Here’s another great example of a YouTuber doing an interesting challenge:

Be opinionated and stand for what you believe in. This can be a great way to resonate with followers that have the same views.

Just remember that can also attract negative attention, so be considerate.

Sometimes our accounts are quite specific to the point that they only get attention from a specific segment of users (for example Knitting photos).

Sometimes it can help to go more mainstream with certain posts to appeal to a wider audience (and increase your likes/engagement).

In the example above Nomad Goods posts images of activities that their customers might use their products for (i.e. camping or hiking). You don’t always just have to show your products, try to show the bigger picture too.

A great way to reach a new audience is to invite a popular user to take over your account for a day.

Vice versa if you’re a brand you can also invite an influencer to post on your account for a specific period of time.

The Fifth Watches does a really good job of this. They run an ongoing competition to grab user generated content from their 5th Fam members.

They then re-use this content which shows their product being used by real users in beautiful settings.

Very smart 🤓

Everyone loves silly content that makes them laugh or smile. Don’t be afraid to step outside your boundaries and show your humorous side.

Hashtags can be a great way to have your content seen by users who aren’t following your account (as they get listed in #hashtag searches).

There’s no need to go overboard with your #hashtags though, try to keep them on-point and relevant to the content.

A great Instagram #hashtag hack is to leave majority of your hashtags in the comment section after you’ve already posted your image.

Look at some popular locations or #hashtags from your city and see who the top accounts are.

It’s a great way of connecting with people that are nearby and getting more likes.

#Ibiza On Instagram

Whilst using popular #hashtags doesn’t directly lead to more likes, it increases your chance of getting featured or noticed by users browsing those #hashtags.

Which, in turn, can lead to more likes on specific photos.

#surfing on Instagram

There are around 6,060,495 posts on Instagram with the hashtag #avocado.

#avacado on Instagram

The top 20 most popular #hashtags right now are:

  1. #love
  2. #instagood
  3. #photooftheday
  4. #beautiful
  5. #fashion
  6. #happy
  7. #tbt
  8. #cute
  9. #followme
  10. #like4like
  11. #follow
  12. #me
  13. #picoftheday
  14. #selfie
  15. #summer
  16. #instadaily
  17. #friends
  18. #art
  19. #girl
  20. #repost

Many brands use branded hashtags to engage with their followers by encouraging them to tag their own photos with the hashtag. It’s a great way to create brand loyalty and a community feeling.

#thefrankeffect on Instagram

Branded #hashtags are fantastic way to collect all user generated content from your brand into a single place

#thefrankeffect is a branded hashtag created by Australian beauty brand Frank Body.

Learn More About Running A Hashtag Campaign

Create your own hashtag and run powerful campaigns that grow your audience, drive engagement, and generate awesome user content.

If you work with influencers or friends make sure you use the Tag friends in a photo feature. This notifies the user that you’ve tagged them and can increase the number of likes (due to the increased visibility).

Try to be relevant and non-spammy with this technique i.e. don’t tag unrelated people in your photos

Tagging Accounts in Instagram Posts

We’re a curious race, people love knowing how things work – you only have to look at the rise in popularity of Twitch and live streamers on YouTube.

If you love the people you work with, don’t be scared to show off how amazing they are! This will help to develop your brand personality and create a more emotional connection with customers.

Another way of showing off your culture is to introduce your employees or the people that make the magic happen behind the scenes.

A few studies have shown that Instagram photos with faces are 38% more likely to gets likes, so you should use this to your advantage.

Take your users along on your journey – it might be art or even fitness related but regular updates that show your progress are a good way to give you users a peek into how you operate.

This creates a more emotional connection with followers and will increase the percentage of users liking your posts.

Think about ways you can project your brand image across Instagram, is there a logo or something else you can take photos of and feature in posts?

This coffee shop, Brother Baba Budan, regrams photos of customers that snap their coffee cups in interesting places around Melbourne.

Canadian designer and photographer Andrew Knapp takes creative photos with his Border Collie, named Momo. The dog is often hidden among crowds of people, nature or buildings – leaving the task of finding him up to you.

This is a fantastic way of challenging, interacting and engaging with your followers. You can even do cool things like asking users to click like once they’ve found the dog.

One of the biggest trends of our increasingly commercialised modern society is personalisation. It offers your customers a look at a more genuine side to your business or personality.

By featuring customer success stories you can interact with your followers on more personal level, this portrays that you actually care and aren’t some robotic organisation that has no face.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so what about a video? We all know that videos can convey much more information and emotion than an image, so don’t be afraid to use them.

Some ideas:

  • Behind the scenes videos
  • How to videos
  • Videos with customers

If you have fancy editing skills like Zach King you can make videos that will amaze your users:

Boomerang is a way of quickly sharing a video that is unique and resembles a GIF but is also easy to digest.

The app is now built directly into Instagram and allows you to create a quick loop of a video, which is a very simple way to get creative on the fly.

Your photo gallery is where content can be perfect and polished, but Instagram Stories are raw and in the moment.

You can get really creative and show a different side of yourself and your business. You can also use Instagram Stories to direct your followers to your post to get more likes (there’s a final swipe up step at the end).

J.Crew Instagram Stories

Like Facebook, Instagram has also launched its live platform to allow people to live stream. You can use Instagram live to host a Q&A, do a webinar, broadcast an event or to share a snippet of your daily life with your followers.

It’s also a great way to engage with your followers and let them ask you questions which you can reply to directly. The possibilities are fairly endless and the kind of broadcast is up to you. It’s again a great way to promote your brand and direct them to your recent posts.

Goin Live On Instagram

Increasing your engagement on posts isn’t always about the content you post, but it’s also about how you interact with your followers.

Let’s talk about some ways to change your Instagram behaviours in a way that helps you be more efficient and drive more results.

Use the explore feed to find people with interesting posts about relevant topics, particularly on #hashtags that you like to use. All you need is one big account to mention you.

Make sure you actively engage with your own followers and other users by following them, liking and commenting on their posts.

Follow on Instagram

Instagram is the perfect platform for businesses to interact with potential and current customers. Targeted engagement can help you to build your brand and promote it. Try to run promotions and shoutouts by finding users in similar niche and try to help build each other’s audience.

Try to have a routine of following, commenting and liking a certain number of posts each day.

You should be posting regularly to keep your followers engaged. The trick is to post just enough. If you post too infrequently your followers will forget that you exist and you won’t get many likes when you actually post.

However, posting too often will quickly become annoying for your followers which will lead to fewer people liking your post and unfollowing you.

It’s generally recommended to post at least once per day, and no more than 3 times per day, on Instagram. A daily post is a good reminder that you’re still active and care about sharing on social media.

Before you start scheduling Instagram posts, you need to find out more about your followers and target market. When are they most active on Instagram? When are they online?

There is really no best time to post to Instagram because different followers will be active different times and in different time zones. Instagram users are usually very active in the morning, at lunchtime and in the evenings. You can try to understand when the best time to post is for you if you look at your Instagram analytics to see when followers are active the most.

Instagram Posting Schedule

The quietest day on Instagram is Sunday, so you have less competition. Try to switch it up and see which times work best for you!

Asking users to like a post is a valid way to ask users to enter your contest (provided you host it on Instagram itself).

Simply find a prize, add your CTA, launch your campaign and watch the likes roll in.

You can also ask users to comment on a post to enter, it could be to answer a question or give feedback or simply to let you know that they entered.

Tracking entries and picking winners for Instagram comment contests is a breeze with Gleam's powerful import actions.

You can even filter comments by designated #hashtags or words and only accept comments into your contest if they comply with your rules and guidelines.

Gleam's Instagram Comment Import Action

Another powerful type of contest you can run to drive up engagement on Instagram is a photo contest that tasks users with posting a photo and either using a designated #hashtag, or @mentioning your page in the post.

You can either manually gather these submissions and pick a winner yourself, or you can use Gleam's powerful import actions to automatically collect submissions and randomly generate winners.

This type of contest is an outstanding way to build engagement and expose your profile to a huge new audience which is fantastic for boosting your longterm likes and follows.

There are many ways to get more likes on Instagram, many of them can subtle psychological plays on words.

For example having a call to action is a way of telling your followers exactly what you want them to do. I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of YouTubers ask their fans to smash the like button and whilst it may feel cheesy, it does in fact work.

This is by far the closest thing to the smash the like button that you’ll see on Instagram. In fact, many people don’t realise that you can double tap to like a post.

This strategy was widely used by Foundr to grow their Instagram account to 100k+ followers in just 6 months.

There’s no better way to drive engagement than to ask you users questions. Most posts are simply visual, so a post that prompts an action is more likely to attract a user’s attention when scanning through their Instagram feed.

You can ask questions in the post description or even put the question in the photo itself:

A lot of big accounts use motivational quotes to fill the gaps between normal posts. Motivational quotes work exceptionally well on Instagram as often people will like the post if they agree with it.

Photos with faces are 38% more likely to get likes than those without, so use this to your advantage.

Carousel posts provide an excellent opportunity to showcase your brand’s unique narrative. Carousel posts are a way of promoting products and services, but also a beautiful way of telling stories.

Tips for carousel posts:

  1. Think about your audience.
  2. Grab attention with the first image (get your message across right away).
  3. Make them swipe (encourage engagement with other images).
  4. Create a scene (write interesting copy to accompany the images).
  5. Leave them wanting more (put a “learn more” or “continue reading” button so the followers will finish the story on your landing page).

You can ask your followers to tag their friend in your post for more engagement.

Instagram has an app called Layout which allows you to add some interesting mirroring and kaleidoscopic effects to your photos.

When sharing video content, such as cooking tutorials or any videos with voiceovers, it's really important to include closed captions or subtitles. This significantly enhances the accessibility of your content for several reasons. First and foremost, it ensures that individuals with hearing impairments can fully engage with and enjoy your videos. Additionally, many people often browse social media without sound, particularly in public settings like on public transport or in waiting rooms, where they might not have headphones. By adding subtitles, you cater to this audience as well, ensuring that no potential viewers are excluded simply because they aren't using audio. Subtitling your videos is a straightforward process and a small effort that can make a big difference in reaching and engaging a wider audience.

Instagram engagement groups are communities where members actively support each other's content through likes, comments, and shares. By participating in these groups, you can significantly enhance the visibility of your posts. This is because increased engagement signals to Instagram's algorithm that your content is popular, which can lead to better placement in user feeds and on the Explore page.

However, it's important to choose the right group that aligns with your brand or content style. Engaging with relevant and quality content is key to maintaining the integrity of your profile and ensuring genuine growth. Remember, the goal is not just to increase numbers, but to build a community of engaged followers who are genuinely interested in what you have to share.

Make the most all of your platforms by of cross promoting your social media accounts. You can add the URL to your Instagram profile on your website, Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media channels you use. This is a great way to make sure people are aware of your other forms of content and marketing, making it as easy as possible to click and go straight there.

Link in bio

Invest in Instagram ads to reach a broader audience beyond your current followers. Ads can be targeted based on demographics, interests, and behavior, making them an effective tool for increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or promoting specific products or services.

Instagram ad

Make the most of the interactive features in Instagram Stories, such as polls, questions, and quizzes, to boost audience engagement. These tools encourage followers to interact with your content and provide feedback. Creating polls or conducting Q&As are also great ways to keep these interactions accessible, quick and ongoing.

Interactive story

Make sure you're using trending sounds and music in your Instagram posts and Stories to tap into viral trends and increase the visibility of your content. Trending sounds can attract more viewers and help your posts stand out, potentially leading to higher engagement and follower growth.

So, there you have it!

We have just gone over 40+ ways to get more likes on one of the biggest visual content platforms in the world. Just remember that having a large number of likes is pretty useless if you don’t take the time to really engage and interact with people to convert them into followers.

Best of luck with your Instagramming!

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Ahron Burstin

Ahron is a Growth Marketer at Gleam. Shoot him a Tweet if you got something out of this post ☺