Everyone knows this revolutionary and addictive app called Instagram. It was released back in 2010, when people were obsessed with their phone cameras. And this obsession required a social network (as any obsession does these days). Today is almost the year 2016, and Instagram is not anymore just about square-shaped images. Right now photographers and designers use it to showcase their work, companies and online stores promote their products. And, of course, it’s THE tool for business. That’s why it’s really important to know how to use it in a right way. So le’ts start and see how to become Instagram famous in a few hours.
By the “right way” I mean successful one. Many people say something like “Oh, Instagram? I’m just using it for myself, to post pictures. It’s not a big deal”. But why would anyone join the social network which literally means “sharing with others” to use it privately? Usually it means that they are looking for recognition and appreciation which means “likes”, “followers” and “comments”. And this article is going to show not only how to get those, but also how to make it work for your portfolio/blog/shop or anything else you want your Instagram account to be.
Let’s start at the very beginning and talk about content. I’ve already mentioned that five years ago the whole point of Instagram was to shoot and share images captured with phone camera. But we are talking about how to be successful, and it’s the fact that the majority of successful accounts produce high-quality images by using digital cameras. So basically if you want to get noticed — make great content. After all, Instagram is a visual tool and that’s why you have to take a good care of pictures you post there.
Using DSLR camera is awesome. But spending some time on editing could be good, too. Because it can really make a huge difference in the quality of your images. There’s an endless amount of apps that can let you do this, but I’d suggest to use these:
Oh yes. Now it’s time to talk about this. If you want to have your photos “liked” and commented, and your account followed, you’d need to make sure people actually see them. But people won’t be able to see them until they find them. And that’s exactly what we need hashtags for: to be found. Those #words are a very effective and powerful tool for getting popular on Instagram or any other social network. And it’s necessary to know how to use them correctly.
Here’re some tips and tricks that you might find useful. As an example I’m going to take an imaginary startup company called “Mister Noom”. The one that makes social and mobile apps, plugins for shopify and many other interesting techy things. They are based in, let’s say, New York, and they’re willing to become Instagram famous as fast as possible. So here’s what they need to do:
First of all, to find most popular tags connected to their niche and industry. And there’s a great website called Websta that can help them with it. We’ve made this “tag research” already and here’s the result:
#startup #startups #startuplife #startupweekend #techstartup #startupgrind #startupbusiness
#shopify #shopifypicks #100daysshopify #myshopify #shopifyexpert #shopifysummit
#ecommerce #iloveecommerce #ecommerceshopping #ecommercewebsite #ecommercestore #ecommerceplatform
#technology #technologythesedays #newtechnology #technologyrocks #informationtechnology #nailtechnology #instatechnology #technologyisawesome
#app #tagsforlikesapp #instaplaceapp #apps #populartagsapp #instalikesapp #application
But those words aren’t everything we know about “Mister Noom”. We also know that company comes from New York, and adding some location tags would be great, too. Besides, they might even want to post some pictures to show around.
#newyork #newyorkcity #newyorkgiants #newyork_instagram #newyorknewyork #newyorker
#travel #travelgram #traveling #instatravel #traveler #mytravelgram #igtravel
#america #theus #unitedstates #american #loveamerica #livinginamerica
Another category for their Instagram pictures could be team members. Photos of people who work in “Mister Noom”, their everyday life in the office or the way they relax. That’s why the following tags could be useful.
#team #teamwork #followbackteam #likebackteam #teamfollowback #liketeam
#work #working #workhard #workinprogress #workhardplayhard #workspace
#office #officemate #officelife #theoffice #officespace #officework #myoffice
#coworking #coworkingspace #coworkingday #coworkinglife #coworkingoffice
Looks like we’re all set to go after collecting all those most popular tags for “Mister Noom”. But there’re some other hashtag categories that could make a huge difference and gain a lot of attention to your profile. First of all, it’s “like-follow-comment” category. Those hashtags basically say “please like my picture” or “please follow me and I’ll follow you back”. It was created to inspire people to help each other with account promotion.
#like4like #likeforlike #tagsforlikes #likes #likeforfollow #likesforlikes #instalike #followforlike
#follow #follow4follow #instafollow #followme #followforfollow #pleasefollow
#promote #promotefree #promote_me #i_promote #promote_instag
And you should never forget about general hashtags. Those are hashtags that are most popular on Instagram. They can not be connected to your niche but it wouldn’t hurt to use them anyway.
Most popular hashtags
#love #instagood #me #tbt #cute #like #photooftheday #happy #beautiful #girl #picoftheday #instadaily #fun #smile #igers #selfie #friends
This is pretty much everything I wanted to say about hashtags. Of course, there could be more options like, for example, adding hashtags related to days of the week when you post, or any other interesting and unusual hashtags. But in general, that’s it.
Dos and dont’s
There’s a list of things that each Instagram user should be aware of. For example, you can’t do limitless “liking” because at some point you will get blocked. Or you can’t follow more than particular number of people. But there’re also things that you should do on your way to success. So here they are:
- Like photos with hashtags like #like4like (better most recent ones)
- Like photos with hashtags of the same niche as yours
- The limit of likes is 350 per hour but I’d suggest to do around 200 (if you’re not using a bot)
- Return likes to those people who liked your photos
- Use bots for liking/following/commenting (will name them after this list)
- Don’t do any additional liking/following/commenting while your bot is switched on. This will lead to blocking your account
- Follow your competitors and those among their followers you want to steal
- Follow most popular accounts in your niche/country/city
- Instagram prohibits users from following more than 7500 users
- Only 49 follows and unfollows are allowed per hour
- Comment pictures of your competitor’s followers
- Comment pictures related to your niche
- Comment pictures with #like4like or #comment4comment tags
- Don’t write more than 15 comments per hour
Best timing. Best filters
Best timing = period of time with maximum instagram activity. If you post during this time there’ll be more people to see your post + you’ll get two times more likes. Best timing to post is 8 — 9 pm (in any country). But I’ve also figured out that 8 — 9 am works, too. Another good time to post is 5 pm or 2 am. Posting at 5 p.m. is an especially good time to engage people who have hopped on Instagram at the end of the workday and are procrastinating before they leave for the evening. Weekend is not the best time for posting because people don’t use their devices this much. So if you, for example, post 3 times per day, reduce it to 1 during Saturday and Sunday.
You can see your time graph by using Iconosquare website.
Speaking of days, Wednesday is the day to post to Instagram. So the most ideal time to post is at 5 p.m. EST on Wednesdays.
Major brands post an average of 1.5 times per day to Instagram or more. Good strategy is to post 2 times on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. 3 times on Wednesday. And 1 time on Saturday and Sunday.
Speaking of filters, there’s a graph, too. Personally I don’t think that filters matter if you make high-quality photos and edit them afterwards. But most of Instagram users prefer to use them anyway. So here’s the graph with current most famous filters:
After reading this post you might get surprised by the fact that using Instagram (or any other service) can be quite a science 🙂 And it actually is. And pretty much a fun one. To sum up, I just wanted to tell: be smart, produce great content, post on right timings, use right hashtags and communicate with other users. After all, that’s what all social apps and networks are about!