True ‘gram love is completely free. It only takes a little time and effort to generate high-quality Instagram posts that are worthy of actual people’s likes.

Finally, the objective of Instagram is to show off your best side by sharing valuable content. It takes time and effort, but if you’re ready to step up your game, we have plenty of advice to help you get started.

This video outlines the top 7 tips on this list if you’re short on time:

Bonus: Get a free checklist that exposes the precise steps a fitness influencer used to go from 0 to 600,000+ Instagram followers without spending a dime and without using pricey equipment.

Instagram users can now hide theirs like counts. Do they still have any significance?
Of course, the answer is yes. Likes are still important if you buy instagram views.

In case you missed it, Instagram began experimenting in mid-2019 with not showing the number of likes a post received (a.k.a. ‘like counts’) in certain areas’ feeds.

According to Instagram’s CEO, Adam Mosseri, the change is part of the company’s attempts to preserve the platform’s community’s mental health. The goal was to make the entire experience for users healthier and less competitive. “We want your friends to focus on the photographs and videos you share, not how many likes they get,” Instagram explained.

The move was met with mixed reviews: some individuals loved not having to worry about keeping up with the competition, while others felt they were kept in the dark about what was hot.

Instagram’s approach was to announce in May 2021 that users would be able to hide public like counts on all posts or just on their own feed so that others couldn’t see them.

Regardless of whether or not we can see Instagram likes, the Instagram algorithm continues to function as it has in the past, according to the platform. Here are the best ways to convince people to hit that heart button, whether they’re visible to the rest of the world or not.

1. Make use of the appropriate hashtags

Hashtags are essential for growing your Instagram following. If you use a hashtag, your post (or Story!) will display on the hashtag’s website.

People can also select to follow hashtags, which means you could end up in the news feed of a complete stranger. Surprise!

To appear in those topic searches, illustrator Joe Taylor tagged this post with hashtags like #illustration and #characterdesign. With almost 1,800 likes, it appears that was a brilliant idea.

Keeping everything under 11 hashtags is recommended practice, whether you’re utilizing product or service hashtags, seasonal hashtags, acronym hashtags, or geographical hashtags.

2. Add tags to users who are relevant.

Whether you’re tagging a colleague, a new acquaintance, or a childhood idol, the idea is to show how much you like them and to share that admiration with your audience.

And what if your value is likely to be recognized by their audience as a result of the process? That’s fine with me.

The makers of these stylish, Brazillian-made camping chairs were clearly tagged by Cool Ruggings – an account dedicated to photographing cool rugs from across the world, of course. It was an opportunity to spread the love, with the added benefit of a little more attention from those Instagram users and their respective follower networks.

3. Create captivating captions

It depends on your brand language and messaging whether you should write a novel to fill Instagram’s 2,200 character restriction or keep things mysterious and punchy with a one-liner. Captions, whether long or short, are an important part of a post’s success.

Great Instagram captions give your photos context and personality, and they encourage your followers to interact with you. Don’t speed through this section! Before you start typing, have a look at these 264 examples of intriguing Instagram captions for some inspiration.

H. H. Hooks, a fiber artist, discusses the inspiration for her most recent piece. (Yes, it’s a different rug.) Please accept our apologies; we’re in a bad mood right now!) It contextualizes her cocktail image while also generating dialogue and interaction.

4. Add a location to your post.

Geotagging your location is a means for more people to locate and appreciate your images. It’s more than simply a humblebrag about your outstanding taste in beers or coworking spaces.

It’s much more beneficial if you’re a company with a physical location, as it allows you to cultivate a feeling of community among your regulars and… potential regulars. (Just remember to double-check your physical location so you show up on the map.)

In this post promoting its new entertaining outdoor mini-putt, The Keefer Bar made sure to include its location – who knows what lucky golfing boozer will come upon it?

5. Go to the Explore section of the website.

The Explore page, hidden behind that little magnifying glass button, is a treasure trove of gorgeous, fascinating stuff that Instagram has tailored for you. Brands that appear there get a lot of attention.

But how do brands end up on the Explore tab on Instagram in the first place? In short, you’ll need a high engagement rate and an active community, as well as a willingness to adopt whatever new feature Instagram is promoting in its algorithm right now. (Have you noticed how many Reels there are? This isn’t a coincidence!)

Bonus: Get a free checklist that exposes the precise steps a fitness influencer used to go from 0 to 600,000+ Instagram followers without spending a dime and without using pricey equipment.

Here’s where you can learn more about how to go to the Explore tab. (Also, while this is a list of free ways to earn likes, Instagram began introducing Explore tab ads in July 2019.)

6. Make your post at the appropriate moment.

Although Instagram does not display posts in chronological order, its algorithm favors “recency.” This means that if you want to get your app in front of people’s eyes, you need to know when they’re actually looking at it.

That is… When do you think you’ll be able to do it?

Because every brand has its own sweet spot based on its specific clientele, your own data will provide some direction.

However, we crunched some numbers and conducted some tests to determine the optimum time to post on Instagram, and it appears that 11 a.m. on a Wednesday is a good place to start. Start there and tweak as you find what works best for your particular audience!

7. Hold a contest for people who want to win.

Contests can involve a little or a lot of planning. A like-to-win contest, on the other hand, is one of the simplest ways to increase engagement in a short amount of time.

The idea is to make sure your gift is appealing to your target demographic while also being particular enough to attract true fans rather than opportunists (for example, don’t give away cash, iPhones, or trips to Ibiza).

With this Design My Night contest, daring diners might win a brunch experience dangling above London’s O2 stadium.

Here are some more Instagram contest ideas, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to run one efficiently and effectively.

8. Use high-quality photographs.

We must all admit that our taste occasionally exceeds our skill, lest we forget that photography was an art before it was a business instrument.

There’s no such thing as a “good enough” photo on Instagram. It’s time to advance.

Rather than simply publishing a construction photograph of an ongoing project, Sturgess Architecture arranged a meticulously posed group portrait in front of the eye-catching facade, which takes advantage of the natural light.

Figure out what the pros do differently than enthusiasts, whether it’s taking a photography school to improve your eye or dedicating some money to upgrading your equipment.

Here are some techniques and tools for editing images for Instagram like a pro to get you started.

9. Interact with people who aren’t in your feed.

The algorithm emphasizes Instagram posts from accounts it considers “near” in its continual effort to give consumers what they want. What criteria does it use to determine proximity? By keeping track of how much each account interacts with the others.

So, if you want to increase your reach and, as a result, your chances of receiving likes, don’t be a wallflower: get out there and interact. Don’t be stingy with your likes and comments.

10. Make user-generated content available.

Sharing material from your followers is a sure-fire technique to get others to interact with you. It’s exciting for the user to be featured by a brand they admire, but it also serves as social proof, proving to your other followers that being a big fan is perfectly acceptable.

It also demonstrates your sincerity and ties to the community. So go ahead and share that link!

Each week, the TV show At Home with Amy Sedaris features “Fan Art Friday,” in which the public submits drawings (or, in some cases, stop-motion animations using Barbie) to the show.

11. Share behind-the-scenes material

You’ll be rewarded if you’re a little vulnerable and reveal the less-than-shiny completed product.

People enjoy seeing how something is manufactured, getting a behind-the-scenes look at a photoshoot, and knowing about the true hardships behind the glamor photographs in your feed.

Ilana Kohn uploaded a cute impromptu video of an employee roller skating across the warehouse in the lead-up to a sample sale. We’re not sure what else will persuade you to press the heart button and then go out and buy a drapey linen jumpsuit.

12. Inquire about other people’s opinions.

“Ask a question in the caption” is a popular piece of engagement advice for a reason: it’s a straightforward request for followers to leave a remark.

And if they’re already interacting with you, the chances of them throwing a like your way increase. TLDR: It’s never a bad idea to ask!

Summer Fridays encapsulates its laid-back feel by combining lovely clouds with a big question that elicited both likes and comments.

13. Organize a takeover

Instagram takeovers are a terrific approach to attract a new audience to your page if you’re okay giving over control of your account to a partner.

Naturally, the business or influencer who takes over for you should share your beliefs – you want any fans who relocate to your page to enjoy what they see and stay.

Panimation, a multi-platform artist community, is an excellent example: they welcome a rotating cast of illustrators and animators to join their account and share their work with their 65,000-plus followers.

14. Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing well.

If you set your Instagram to see likes, you might be able to see what’s working (or not) for your competitors once more. Keep an eye on things… or better yet, conduct a competitive analysis.

To evaluate mood and detect trends throughout the sector, use social listening in your social media marketing approach. You don’t want to fall behind or miss out on an opportunity to pick up where your competitors left off.

15. Request that people tag their friends.

It gets a little old doing this all the time… However, the act of “tagging a friend” combined with the correct post might result in a frenzy of activity.

The goal is to provide them a compelling reason to tag a friend, whether it’s a clever quip or a free prize.

16. Accept memes as a part of your life.

People can’t help but like and share humorous gifs, poignant sayings, and ridiculous gags, which is why Instagram is filled of memes and aggregation accounts.

There are tasteful ways for brands to hop on the meme bandwagon in a planned, profitable way – just make the humor appropriate for your voice, content, and audience, and don’t overdo it. A little bit of meme can go a long way!

Dog rescue organization based in Vancouver Fur Bae uses a witty, text-based “real talk” meme approach to blend in photographs of their foster and up-for-adoption pups. Almost as adorable as the dogs themselves.


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