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The number of Likes you get on your posts is still one of the biggest indicators of success on Instagram.
Think about it! What gets a bigger reaction? Telling someone you posted a picture of your fitness transformation? Or that your post got 30,000 Likes?
The second option, almost always.
Here you are going to read about:
Let’s get this out of the way first. It’s obvious and has been said a million times. But there’s a reason it’s repeated so often.
If you post the exact same content that a billion other people are posting on Instagram, then your post isn’t going to get a lot of Likes. Plain and simple.
Become a successful content creator and publish feed and Story posts that people can’t find anywhere else.
Related article: How to Create an Instagram Content Plan for Your Business
A quick and easy way to get Instagram likes is to use a likes app for Instagram that will help you to attract numerous followers in a short time. Some of these apps offer you free Instagram followers trial so that you can decide whether you want to use it or not.
An important factor is the time at which you post. Some studies have discovered the best time to post on Instagram. you can also figure out your best time yourself. In order to post feed and stories at the best time, you can use an Instagram scheduler to schedule posts ahead of time and never miss a day.
While your followers are going to see your posts regardless (although not all the time as a result of the Instagram algorithm), the main way that non-followers are going to see your posts is through hashtags.
The hashtags that you use are going to change from person to person. This is because, generally speaking, the kind of people who are going to Like fitness-related posts is going to be different than the kind of people who are going to Like car-enthusiast-related posts.
Once you understand what hashtags that people who are likely to be interested in your kind of Instagram posts are using, you can use these hashtags in your posts. That way, you know that your posts are getting in front of people who are likely to actually be interested in your posts.
The more targeted your hashtags, the more likely that interested people will see your posts. The more interested people that see your posts, the more Likes you will get on your posts.
No matter what kind of Instagram page you have. You can use the following steps to find out what hashtags you should be targeting:
Or just watch the GIF below:
You should then use these hashtags in your posts.
Related article: The Best Way To Search Multiple Hashtags on Instagram
Take the research you did above for what hashtags to include in your posts and engage with people using those hashtags.
The idea is that when you engage with people using these hashtags, they’ll see your engagement, check out your page, see that you’re similar to them, and ultimately follow you and Like your posts.
Follow the steps shown in the GIF above. And start engaging with people using the hashtags that come from your research. People using these hashtags are more likely to follow your page and Like your posts than just engaging with random posts.
What does “engage” mean? It means Like and comment on their posts, follow their pages and send them DMs.
You can either do this manually or, to save you a lot of time and energy, you can use a managed IG service to get the actions done by an Instagram expert, on your behalf.
AiGrow has a Pro and VIP Managed service on which ac account manager will take control over your account and grow it organically. You can expect your account manager to take any actions you want. Start your Free trial here.
What better way to draw relevant people to your post? Nothing than sending them a notification saying that they’ve been tagged in your post!
You should tag people in your posts for the following reasons:
Tagging too many people in yours, especially if they’re not related to your post, comes off super spammy and will probably make people less likely to Like your post.
Captions serve to build on the contents of your post.
You can really set the scene of your post by writing an engaging Instagram caption. A caption should explain the Story behind your post and add any details that could serve to improve your post overall.
Geotags, like hashtags, are another way that people can discover your posts, especially if you want to get local followers on Instagram.
Someone might not find you through the hashtags you use. But they might find you through the geotags you use.
The more ways that people can discover your posts, the more opportunities that people have to see and Like your posts.
There’s a science to back this one up.
A study by Tailwind found that when people went from posting less than once a day to post seven or more posts a day increased their likes by almost 13x.
With this in mind, start posting at least once a day and see if you experience a boost in Likes.
The Instagram algorithm will show you a post that was uploaded yesterday sooner than it will a post uploaded three days ago.
This is why it’s so important to understand when your audience is online.
If your audience is online at 4 PM every day but you are uploading at 8 AM, you are allowing seven hours for the other people that your audience follows to upload their posts.
As a result, your post gets pushed down the feed by all the other, more recent posts.
While the best time to post on Instagram is going to be different for everyone, Instagram Insights makes it easy to see when your audience is online. Therefore when you should be posting.
To find your Insights, just tap the three horizontal lines in the top right corner of your Instagram page, or tap “View Insights” below any one of your posts to view your Insights.
Under the “Audience” tab in Instagram Insights, scroll down to the very bottom. Here you can what days of the week, as well as which hours during each day, your followers are online and active.
Look to see when the majority of your followers are online, both days of the week and specific times. And make sure you are uploading posts on those days and at those times.
For example, your Insights tell you that the majority of your followers are online Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12 PM and 6 PM. Then, make sure you are uploading posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 PM and 12 PM.
While this data only shows when your followers are online, there is a good chance that it also applies to people who aren’t following you but are likely to be interested in your page.
In this sense, by posting when your followers are online, you are also increasing your chances of getting your posts in front of likely new followers.
Whether it’s current followers and potential new followers, the better you can get your posts in front of your audience when they are online, the more potential engagement you can get for your posts.
The more people that engage with your posts, and the more consistently they engage, the more likely the Instagram algorithm will make sure those people continue to see your posts on their feeds.
Getting your posts in front of likely new followers is also related to how targeted your hashtags are. But we’ll talk more about that later.
There are a million ways to host a contest on Instagram. But one kind of contest that works especially well to generate more Likes is the “Like-to-win” contest.
Here’s a super simple contest formula you can use:
Of course, what you offer as a prize is going to change from person to person.
If you are a business you could offer a free product as a prize, if you are a popular influencer you could offer a free shoutout, and so on.
Related article: The Best Instagram Contest Picker and Giveaway Apps in 2020
While this kind of contest won’t directly generate more Likes, it will inadvertently help you get more Likes.
It does this in two ways:
Even if you aren’t running a contest, asking people to tag their friends in your posts also doesn’t hurt.
Your followers are more likely to Like your posts than any other people on Instagram.
Your followers have already taken the plunge and put in the effort to follow you. If you’re constantly thinking about how to get your posts in front of new people, you’re neglecting the group of people who are most likely to Like your posts.
One easy way is welcoming all new followers to your page with a DM. In this DM, you can express your thanks for their follow and direct their attention to your recent posts.
If you’re running a contest, then this DM is also a good opportunity to alert the new followers of your contest and how to enter (i.e. Like your three most recent posts).
If someone likes a post from someone who posts similar content to your own, there’s a good chance that that person will also Like your content as well.
Follow these steps to find competitors:
In this section, you can see the most popular Instagram pages in your niche.
You can then explore these competitors one-by-one, record the usernames of the people Liking and commenting on their posts, and engage with the content of these people.
Alternatively, to save a tremendous amount of time and energy, you can also use a smart automation tool like AiGrow to automatically engage with followers of your competitors for you.
Just provide the names of the competitors you want to target, hit “Start Growth”, and AiGrow will begin Liking, Commenting, DMing, and Following the followers of your competitors.
The idea is that these people will then see your engagement, check out your Instagram page, see that you post similar content to someone they already follow, and ultimately follow you and Like your posts.
If you have established audiences on other platforms (email lists, other social media platforms, website forums, etc.), let them know about your Instagram.
There’s a good chance they’ll like your Instagram posts as well.
This is an easy one.
If you’re Instagram is private and you want to get more Likes on your post, opening up your account to the public is an easy solution.
It costs you. But paid ads are one of the easiest ways to bring people to your Instagram page who are likely to Like your posts.
You can target your ads by demographic traits like gender, age, and location. Then, as people begin to roll in, you can better understand who your audience really is, where they’re coming from, and what they like content-wise.
You can then adjust your non-paid, organic Instagram strategy accordingly.
Did you know that specific filters have been proven to produce more Likes for your posts?
As found by research conducted at Georgia Tech and Yahoo Labs, posts with filters are 21% more likely to get viewed and 45% more likely to get comments.
Even though the results dealt with comments, we can assume this carries into Likes as well.
Based on a study carried out by Canva, the most popular Instagram filters in the world are:
It’s been said before. But the emoji is one of the fastest-growing languages to ever exist.
So much so that one experiment by WordStream founder, Larry Kim, found that emojis get more engagement than content without emojis (11.06% for content with emojis vs. 8.82% without emojis).
Another study conducted by Quintly, in which 20,000 profiles with 6.2 million posts were observed over the course of 2016, found that posts with emojis had a 17% higher engagement rate than posts without emojis.
With this in mind, use emojis in your posts to get more Likes.
If you’re a business or brand on Instagram, constantly posting products, promos, and generally business-related posts is a quick way to bore your followers.
Bored followers equal fewer Likes on your posts.
To balance out your content and regain your followers’ interest, show the human side of your business or brand by posting behind-the-scenes posts.
Here are some easy behind-the-scenes posts you could post:
Use the influence of someone else in your Instagram community to bring more attention to your Instagram page.
If you are a photographer, go out on a casual shoot with another photographer on Instagram and let the other photographer post some of your photos. If you are a music producer, collaborate with other musicians and let them post behind-the-scenes footage of both of you in the studio.
When this other person posts this content, shouts you out, and tags you, that other person’s audience discovers that you exist.
When these new people see the post, check out your Instagram page, see that you’re similar to the person they already follow, there’s a good chance that they’ll start following you and Liking your posts as well.
If you are a business with money to spend, you can also pay popular influencers in your community to post about your product or service.
While megastar influencers like Kim Kardashian will likely cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. you can get smaller influencers to work with you for much more affordable fees.
Plus, there is data that shows that working with smaller influencers, called “micro-influencers, produces better results than larger, more popular influencers.
Similar to working with influencers, having an influencer in your community “take over” your social media is another way to attract new audiences to your Instagram page and get more Likes on your posts.
Someone may not know about you or your Instagram page. But they may be an avid follower of Person A who is an influencer in your Instagram community.
If Person A announces that they are taking over your Instagram for a day, then the followers of Person A are going to see that and check out your Instagram page to see what Person A posts.
Once you have drawn Person A’s audience to your page, part of this new audience’s interest in Person A’s posts is going to inevitably spill over into your own posts.
The more eyes on and interest in your posts, the more Likes your going to get on your posts.
This strategy also works for Instagram Stories, wherein an influencer takes over an Instagram page’s Stories instead of their feed (they can also take over both).
Posting Instagram Stories won’t directly get more Likes on your posts. But it will help get more eyes on your posts and page in general.
The more ways you give people to discover and/or see your content, the more engagement you will get your content.
Instagram Stories are unique in that they occupy the top-most location on your feed – the most valuable space on your feed in terms of people seeing your content.
This means that your followers are theoretically more likely to see your Instagram Stories than any other kind of post.
If you are trying to get more Likes on your recent posts, then, you can treat your Instagram Stories like a “recap” of the posts you uploaded throughout the week.
Someone may miss your most recent post but see that same post in your Instagram Story. There’s then a chance that that person goes back and checks out the original post, potentially leaving a Like in the process.
In this sense, Instagram Stories can be used as a Like recovery tool for your posts.
Schedule your Instagram Stories ahead of time with AiGrow’s free desktop scheduler.
Like Instagram Stories, Instagram Live Streams are another way for people to see and discover your content.
When you start an Instagram Live, your followers who are online will receive a notification that says “[Your Username] has started a live video. Watch it before it ends!”
This alone is a great way to capture the attention of your followers who otherwise might have missed you. Then, during your stream, you can point attention to your recent posts, direct people to your Instagram page with a CTA (Call-to-action), and any other thing you can think of that might lead to more Likes for your posts.
You can also invite online followers through DMs to join your live stream.
If they join your stream, you have the added benefit of their followers discovering you, contributing more engagement to your stream, and potentially following you and Liking your posts.
And don’t forget to engage with the people actually watching your live stream!
The more you reply to your viewers, the more likely they’ll continue to engage.
The Instagram algorithm weighs photos and videos the same. But you should prioritize videos for two reasons:
The second point self-explanatory. But people staying longer on your posts is important because it’s one of the most influential factors that the Instagram algorithm considers when deciding what posts to show in your feed.
How the Instagram algorithm works
In a nutshell, Instagram prioritizes showing you posts from people that it considers to be close to you.
The more that you engage with posts from a specific person, the closer that Instagram will consider your relationship to be with that person. Therefore the more it will prioritize showing you posts from that specific person.
Let’s bring this back to videos. If people are more likely to see your posts in their feeds if they’ve consistently engaged with your posts in the past, and videos make people engage with your posts longer, then it makes sense that the more videos you post to Instagram, the more that Instagram will prioritize showing your posts to your followers.
The more of your followers that actually see your posts in their feeds, the more likely that they’ll see and Like your posts.
The more your followers Like your posts, the more that your posts will be shown to them in the future.
It’s a beautiful cycle!
User-generated content (UGC) is one of the easiest ways to generate more Likes for your posts.
It’s a staple among businesses because the more customers that post about their experience with your product or service, the more content you have to repost on your business’s Instagram page. And the more legit your business looks to potential new customers and followers.
While UGC is mainly used by businesses and brands on Instagram, non-businesses can also UGC.
An example of a non-business on Instagram using UGC is spotlight pages.
A spotlight page is an Instagram page that reposts content uploaded by other users.
As long as they are properly credited, people like it when their content is shared.
A person is way more likely to like a post that directly has to do with them than they are a post that isn’t.
Instagram is inherently a selfish platform. Most of the time, the main focus of your page is you or your business.
While tens, if not hundreds of millions of people have undoubtedly grown successful Instagram pages centered around themselves, instructional content aimed at teaching people is more likely to keep people around, get people to share your content, and ultimately get more Likes for your posts.
The reason is the value that people get from instructional posts compared to the value people get from self-centered posts.
If people leave your post having learned something new, there’s a higher chance that they’re going to Like your post.
Not everyone is going to Like your posts just because you asked or told them to.
However, if you don’t ask or tell people to Like your posts in the first place, you’re going to miss out on the few people who do Like your posts because you asked or told them to.
There is a popular and overused saying that applies perfectly here:
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky
Here are some places you can include CTAs:
Kony 2012, ice bucket challenge, Drake dance, green screen Shia Labeouf…
Stay up-to-date with what people are talking about and posting about.
Finding viral topics and posting about them is an easy way to take advantage of people’s interest to get more Likes for your posts.
Two of the easiest way to incentivize people to Like your posts are money and goods.
And here is how to use discounts and/or promotions to get more likes:
This strategy not only directly generates more Likes. But because people are also tagging their friends, this strategy also helps bring new people to your Instagram page. The more people that come to your Instagram page, the more potential Likes you will get.
Plus, because the post explaining the rules of your discount or promotion is likely going to generate more Likes and comments than your usual post, your chances of showing up as a Top Post for your hashtags significantly increases (read here to learn how to rank as a Top Post for your hashtags).
Ranking as a Top Post for your hashtags means WAY more eyes on your post. This means more traffic to your page. And it inevitably means more followers and Likes.
Instagram engagement pods (or Instagram engagement groups) are groups of people on Instagram who agree to comment on, Like, and generally engage with every post uploaded by a group member.
Engagement pods are one of the few guaranteed ways to get more Likes on your posts.
While some pods accept anyone, most pods cater to specific niches on Instagram. This means that one pod will be for photographers with less than 10,000 followers, another pod will be for fitness gurus with more than 20,000 followers, and so on.
To give you an idea of how simple pods are, here is an example of how a three-person Instagram engagement Like pod would work:
This way, in addition to the regular number of Likes that you might get on a post, you get the guaranteed additional Likes from your Instagram pod group members.
Take into consideration the fact that some pods have thousands of members and this can mean thousands of additional Likes on your posts every time you post.
The easiest way to find an Instagram engagement pod that fits your needs is to join a platform like AiGrow.
It currently has over 200 active Instagram engagement pods catering to all page sizes and niches. Plus, whereas most pods require a lot of manual maintenance, AiGrow’s pods are completely automated.
Once you join your pods (there is no limit to the number of pods you can join), all you have to do is upload your posts through AiGrow’s free Instagram scheduler.
Once your post is live on Instagram, all of your pod members from all of your pods will automatically engage with your new post. This way, you don’t have to worry about leechers – people who receive Likes from other people but don’t like other pod members’ posts.
Plus, in addition to the Likes you automatically get from your pod members, you can also use your pods to exchange ideas with like-minded people in your community (i.e. how to get more Likes on Instagram).
Viral trends aren’t the only things you should be looking to for inspiration.
You should also look to other Instagram pages in your community that are doing well for post ideas.
Obviously, you don’t want to upload the exact same posts they’re uploading. But you do want to understand what they’re doing that is getting them Likes.
Here are some questions you should be able to answer:
While these are good starter questions to ask yourself, the more comprehensive you can be and the better you can understand what is bringing your competitors’ success, the better you can optimize your own Instagram page for more Likes.
Think of Instagram Insights as your Instagram coach.
It can tell you what’s working about your Instagram page, what posts are performing the best, what day and time you should be posting to reach the most possible followers, and other key metrics that can help your overall Instagram strategy.
While you do need an Instagram business account to access Instagram Insights, setting up a business account is very simple and doesn’t really even require you to have a business.
Read the rules according to Instagram and then follow the steps shown below to convert your Instagram account to a business account.
If increasing the number of Likes on your posts is your main focus, then there is one area of Instagram Insights that should really focus on.
Under the “Content” tab in Insights, scroll down to “Posts” and tap “See all”.
See the GIF below to see which area:
Here, among other metrics, you can see which of your posts produced the most:
With this information, ask yourself:
Does a specific kind of post always produce more Likes than any other kind of post? A specific color? A portrait? Lots of edges and angles?
If the answer is “yes”, then prioritize creating that kind of post to get the most Likes possible for your posts.
Studies show that Instagram posts that include human faces get 38% more Likes than posts without faces.
That’s about as clear as it gets. Make sure you include as many human faces in your posts as possible.
Instagram’s algorithm is a complicated beast. While it’s better at making sure that as many of your followers see your posts as possible, it’s still not perfect.
Some of your followers are inevitably going to miss your posts on their feeds. Missed posts mean fewer Likes on those posts.
To make sure that your followers see as many of your posts as possible, encourage your followers to turn on post notifications.
When someone turns on post notifications for a specific Instagram page, that person will get notified every time that specific Instagram page uploads a new post.
See the image below to see how to turn on post notifications.
Include in your post captions, comments on your posts, Stories, and DMs, and CTA to your followers to turn on post notifications.
You can even go so far as to upload a post asking your followers to turn on post notifications. In the post, you can clearly show how they can do that.
It’s hard to drive a car without knowing where the gas pedal is.
For the most possible likes on your Instagram posts, you need to understand how Instagram’s algorithm currently works.
For example, consider that change in Instagram’s algorithm that happened in 2018.
Previous to the change, your feed was purely chronological.
This meant that the only thing that Instagram considered when deciding what posts to show you on your feed was a post’s upload time. A post uploaded two minutes ago would be higher up in your feed than posts three minutes ago.
This quickly became an issue as people were only seeing 10% of the posts uploaded by people they followed, so Instagram changed the algorithm in late 2018 to be more relationship-based.
As explained in our Instagram algorithm guide, Instagram now looks at three main factors (Interest, Recency, Relationship) instead of just one factor (Recency) like it did before when deciding what posts to show you on your feed.
This kind of change is important to know because it can affect where you devote your resources.
For example, if you didn’t know about this change and assumed that Instagram still operated almost exclusively on a Recency basis, you might be devoting more energy and time into researching when exactly your target audience is online than necessary.
While it’s still important to know when your audience is online so that you can post accordingly, you can now get away with being less specific because there are more factors at play.
By knowing how the algorithm now operates, you can devote that time you might otherwise put into audience research into something more productive (better content, more community engagement, etc.).
Similar to staying up-to-date with algorithm changes, not knowing all that Instagram has to offer in terms of features is potentially missing out on features that could generate more Likes for your posts.
For example, as talked about before, not using something as simple as filters on your posts is potentially missing out on Likes (see the section “Use filters” to understand the positive effects using filters can have on your post engagement).
Not using Instagram Stories or Live Streams takes away opportunities for people to discover your Instagram page, not encouraging people to turn on Post Notifications limits the number of followers that actually see your posts, and so on.
Subscribe to Social Pros to stay up-to-date on all features and algorithm changes released by Instagram.
According to Instagram, the Instagram algorithm doesn’t necessarily penalize people who post too much.
Combine that with the fact that the algorithm also prioritizes showing you the most recent posts uploaded by people you follow, and you’ve got all the incentive you need to start posting more.
However, don’t go crazy and start posting 100 times a day. Instagram has also said the algorithm may “switch up” content if you post too much.
Posting too much could also start to annoy your followers. Which could negatively affect the number of Likes you get on your posts.
The point is to not be afraid to experiment with how frequently you post.
Here’s an easy experiment to try: upload more daily posts every week for two months and monitor how your Likes are affected.
After the eighth week is finished, go back and look at the number of Likes, comments, shares, and/or views your posts received week after week.
Did posting three times a day produce more Likes than posting twice a day? Did posting nine times a day produce fewer likes than posting eight times a day?
With a simple experiment like this, you can find out how many times a day/week/month you should be posting for the most possible likes on your Instagram posts.
Make your life easier and schedule your posts ahead of time. Click here to get a free Instagram desktop scheduler.
Contrary to what you might think, there is data to show that multi-photo or multi-video posts generate more Likes than an average post.
One possible reason for this is that there is more content to draw from in an album than there is in a single photo post. Someone may not Like the first photo in the album. But they might Like the third photo.
Even if someone only Likes one photo from the album, that Like goes toward the total Like count for the entire album.
Automation can go very wrong on Instagram. But it can also go very right.
With the right automation tool, you can be drawing thousands of interested people to your Instagram page every day.
For example, with a tool like AiGrow, you can automatically engage with thousands of people every day based on the hashtags they use, who they’re following, and where they’re located.
When these people see you’ve followed them and Liked and commented on their posts (all of which is automated by AiGrow), there’s a good chance that they’ll then check out your page, Like your posts, and follow you back.
Plus, you can automatically send new followers DMs thanking them for their follow. In this DM, you can also direct them to turn on post notifications and to check out your most recent posts.
See the video below to see smart automation in action:
Most of the time, your specific followers have a defining trait.
If you’re a fitness Instagram page, then the majority of your followers are likely interested in fitness. If you’re a dog reposting an Instagram page, then the majority of your followers are likely interested in dogs.
When you begin to have a decent following, posting content that’s outside the interests of your followers is probably going to generate fewer Likes than posting content that captures the attention of your followers.
For example, imagine you have built an Instagram page around the topic of fitness. Then suddenly uploading a post about how to repair your bike isn’t going to get as many Likes as a post about fitness.
This isn’t to say that you can’t ever post outside the theme of your Instagram. But if you are going to start posting other kinds of content, do so slowly! And explain why you’re posting unfamiliar content. So that your followers don’t unfollow you.
To maximize Likes, understand: Who you’re followers are? Why they follow your page? And post content that caters to their interests.
Instagram has gone on the record to say that it gives comments more weight than Likes in terms of engagement.
With that in mind, don’t neglect to get more comments on your posts in your pursuit to get more Likes! As more comments can indirectly generate more Likes and vice-versa.
Here are two quick things you can do to get more comments:
Top Posts for a hashtag are posts with the largest engagement in the shortest amount of time at the time of searching.
Therefore, the more comments and likes you get on your posts and the quicker you get them, the more likely you’ll rank as a Top Post for your hashtags.
Top Posts are what people see first when they search for a hashtag on Instagram. Ranking as a Top Post. Depending on the size of the hashtag being searched means potentially millions of new eyes on your posts. Which means more Likes and comments on your posts.
Research shows that posts with lighter colors, particularly blue, receive more likes than darker colors by a factor of 24%.
Splash some blue and/or lighter colors into your posts and see if you notice a bump in Likes.
Now it’s over to you!
Incorporate the tactics above into your Instagram strategy and watch your Likes explode.
Do you know how to get more Likes on Instagram through ways not described above? Drop us a comment below with your suggestions!
In the meantime, the easiest thing you can do right now to start getting more Likes is to sign up for AiGrow.
It’s completely free for five days. During those five days, you can:
Pretty cool, right? Click Here to sign up for free.