In February of this year Instagram hit the milestone of 100 million active users. Since Facebook bought Instagram last year there it is very likely that they will only help this number rise even higher.
Instagram is a very active network. By very active I mean to the tune of 40 million photos shared per day, 8500 likes pressed per second, and 1000 comments shared per second.
After considering the activity numbers above there is no doubting that Instagram is a vibrant community that you can use to build your brand. But to make the most of Instagram and to get plenty of exposure for your brand on Instagram I recommend you apply the following powerful ways to Get More Instagram Followers and Likes.
Connect your Instagram account to Facebook
Although this tip is obvious taking this simple step can net you great results. Sending photos to Facebook is a great way to connect your Facebook friends as Instagram followers and get likes for your photos on both Facebook and Instagram.
When you connect your Instagram account with Facebook this does not mean that every photo will automatically post to Facebook, you will have the option to send or not send your Instagram pictures to fb on a photo by photo basis.
Use Popular Instagram #Hashtags
Hashtags are a huge part of Instagram and using them can enable you to get great engagement on your content even if you have only a few followers.
And if you use these tags within your photos, they are more likely to be discovered by other users.
Here are the top 10 tags as of the time this article was written.
Want more? Here are the top 100 Instagram tags.
Use Instagram Automation Software
The Instagram tool Instagress is arguably the most effective way to get more Instagram likes and followers as this is the most powerful IG tool I have come across.
To quote the Instagress about page Instagress is designed to attract attention to your Instagram account and gain more comments, likes, and followers.
It does this by automating Instagram engagement. To get more specific Instagress is basically a robot that uses your account to automatically comment and like photos based on any hashtags you specify without you actually seeing the photos.
This tool is certainly controversial and could get you into trouble if your comments or likes are inconsistent with what you would like or say, but the fact remains that this tool works and works well.
See the image below for a few screen shots of this Instagram automation app.
Use Popular Instagram Filters
At first I did not think that the filter you use made that big of a difference but the infographic below begs to differ. Check it out to shed some light on the most popular Instagram filters and what they “say” about you.
Follow other Instagram Users
Reciprocity is a powerful force and one of the most effective ways to get more Instagram followers is by following other people first.
Like Plenty of Other Photos
Often when you like someone’s photo they will notice this and follow you, even if you don’t follow them.
I have noticed when I use popular #hashtags I notice that my photos are liked by people who have thousands of followers but follow only a few people.
My guess is that these people just like hundreds of photos at a time in hopes of people following them and liking their photos in return.
An Excellent Instagram Tips Video
The video below is hands down the best Instagram video I have seen. Check it out for tips on being awesome on Instagram, which will undoubtedly lead to more followers and likes.
Keep Your Quality High and Your Frequency Low
If you just post pictures of your food or your feet don’t expect to light up your Instagram with dozens of likes and new followers, no matter how many hashtags you use.
Don’t bleed the feed. Posting several pictures of the same thing at once will annoy your followers and cause people to unfollow you.
Try to make each photo unique and cool and space them out over time so that you don’t piss people off.
Combine Images and Use Picture Frames
If you’re an iPhoneographer there are a few different apps you can use.
I paid a few bucks to get the app PicFrame and really like the way it works.
Below is a picture I created using the PicFrame iPhone app.
For the Andrioidographers out there the app that I recommend is InstaPicFrame.
Although this app made me want to throw my phone a few times before I got the hang of it I now use it with no problems. The app is pretty good and it’s free.
Below is an example of a picture I created using it.
Pro Tips from Instagram Experts
Instagram Expert – Brian (@briandowd)
My friend Brian (@briandowd) has built up a highly successful Instagram following, and typically gets over 100 likes on every picture he posts.
I asked him to share with me some of his best tips and here they are verbatim.
1. Focus on quality pics especially those that are of interest to a wide audience.
I tend to post what I like and am a bit eclectic to keep from making a boring stream. I also post a variety of different types of pics and use various edits.
2. Like others pics and comment.
It’s important to develop a positive “relationship” with other IGers. They tend to comment and like back and most often follow back. Be engaging.
3. Be selective with posting pics.
Someone who “over posts” can be quickly unfollowed as they flood the stream of pics in the viewer. I tend to post 2-3 pics a day and try to make interesting captions that can spark a conversation.
Instagram Expert – Paul (@mcquilz)
My friend Paul (@mcquilz) and I played hockey together growing up so I have watched his Instagram photo collection and following grow to become nothing short of EPIC.
Here’s a snap shot of his profile.
Paul’s average photo gets at least a few hundred likes and one of his pictures was re-posted by @instagood and hit the trending page of Instagram, netting over 16,094 likes.
Below is the awesome Instagram advice Paul shared with me for this blog post:
Instagram (IG) is a photography based social media app intended to highlight our daily activities using some form of photographic creativity.
Many users miss the creative mark and simply use Instagram as an extension to Facebook or Twitter; neglecting the difference that causes Instagram to do so well.
First rule for me, if it’s not something I would want to see in my feed, why would somebody else want to see it in theirs? If you don’t want to look at someone else’s Cheerios or sleeping cat, why would they want to look at yours?
Actually interact with your followers and those that you follow!
This is a social media platform! It’s intended use is social interaction. If you don’t like or comment on my photos, why would I like and comment on yours? (Exception, of course, to the inspirational photographic genius’ that we love to follow – so seriously, don’t be disappointed if you don’t get a “thank you” for your one word comment.)
Avoid spammy unspecific hashtags. Some hashtags, like “love” are the most tagged on the platform nearing 100 million tags! If you use that tag, it will become irrelevant in less than 3 minutes and the majority of people who use that hashtag will never see your picture. Instead use more specific, less spammy hashtags to get more likes, comments, followers and the occasional shout out!
Photo Editing: Some users never edit, others use too many edits, but maintaining a consistent style while achieving a creative aspect is the ultimate goal.
Picfx (iOS) is one of the top used iPhone apps and deservedly so! It offers hundreds of filters, lighting effects, frames and the ability to apply them all in a user selected ratio…it’s awesome!
With over 100 Effects, Textures and Frames Picfx is your go to square format photography app. Picfx has many different folders grouping certain effect types, these include: Urban, Classics, Vintage, Cross Process, Premixed, Black & White, Scratches, Light, Textures, Space, Grunge & Frames.
The next top 3, in my opinion, are:
They all offer a unique user experience, with various editing options. Having options for variety, increases your overall ability.
Picture Taking Apps: To implement a variety in my feed, other than the iPhone camera, I take my pictures using three different apps.
1) Photosynth (Free | iOS & Windows Phone), takes a 360 degree panoramic image that can create a vivid depth of field.
2) AvgCamPro ($.99 | iOS), takes a series of photos from 2-128 images and blends them together to normalize the result. Amazing, love this app.
Average Camera automatically takes multiple pictures (immediately or after a timer expires), calculates the average picture out of these and normalizes the result, to make the lightest pixel become white. It is useful for producing low-noise pictures in low-light situations. Because of the long exposure time, you should not hold your iPhone in your hands, but lean it against something to get sharp results.
3) SlowShutter ($.99 | iOS), the best app available to open your cameras exposure time to bring in light or movement.
Hashtag Strategy: My last comment has to do with hashtags. “Thirty hash tags is not a caption!” #tree#sun#leaf#this#is#awful
Add a Follow Badge to Your Site
One way to ramp up your Instagram followers is with an Instagram badge for your website.
Here is an example of an Instagram badge:
Feel free to use it to follow me @Garin.
Embed Your Photos
Instagram recently made it possible for you to embed photos into your website or blog. This gives you yet another way to promote your Instagram photos and profile.
To embed a photo simply click the photo, click the embed button, then copy the embed code into your site.
As you can see from the embedded image above this image includes a link back to my profile, and back to the original image location.
The Fastest Way to Get More Instagram Followers
The fastest way to get more Instagram followers is to buy them. I recommend the service InstaPro.
How do you get more Instagram followers and likes? Let us know in the comments below.
Feel free to share your Instagram username as well!