Getting started on Instagram can be a challenge, especially for business owners that aren’t naturally drawn toward social media use. It’s well worth the effort, though, as Instagram likes, followers, and overall engagement rates are all surprisingly accurate predictors of how well a business is attracting new customers. 

Why Likes Still Matter

In recent years, people have been assuming that likes don’t matter anymore because Instagram decided to make public like counts optional, but if you want to improve your influence, that’s simply not true. The misunderstanding stems from the fact that, when the company made the announcement that it would be changing how the like function worked, it was also made known that the underlying algorithm would not be changed. 

Many people seem to have missed the second part. What it means is that whether businesses choose to make their likes public or not, they’ll still have an outsized impact on engagement rates.

Top Tips for Getting More Likes

Now that business owners understand why like counts still matter, even if they don’t show up on everyone’s posts, it’s time to discuss some strategies for increasing them. Start by implementing one or more of these simple tips.

1. Ask Directly

The most straightforward way to get likes on a new post is to ask for them. Well-established businesses sometimes do this by cross-posting on other social media sites or reaching out to customers directly. However, most businesses don’t have enough loyal followers to boost like counts significantly. The solution for them is to buy likes from a reputable Instagram engagement company.

2. Ditch the Filters

Studies show that photos with filters result in fewer likes. Wondering why? It’s because they look disingenuous, and followers want to feel like they’re seeing the real people behind the brands they love, not a carefully crafted public-facing image.

3. Use the Right Colors

The basics of color theory are pretty straightforward, but the ways they apply to Instagram users seem to be a bit more convoluted. As a general rule, users like photos that predominantly have grays, blues, and greens. They avoid those with dominant yellow, orange, and pink tones. Of course, there’s no way to avoid incorporating a full range of colors, especially once brands eliminate the filters, but focusing on the right end of the spectrum can still help.

4. Show Faces

People are social creatures, especially Instagram users. They like to see pictures of other people. Brands can start incorporating photos of human faces in a variety of ways. Users will appreciate photos of a company’s happy customers just as much as they do those of its workforce, so those posts will get just as many likes.

5. Post at the Right Time

It’s impossible to get likes if no one sees a post, which is why brands need to post at the right time of the day. Every audience is a little different when it comes to preferred log-on times, but Instagram makes it relatively easy to figure out the best time to post. Take advantage of the audience analytics features instead of relying exclusively on conflicting expert opinions about when to post for maximum likes.

6. Vary Content

If it seems like a brands like counts are starting to flag, the chances are good that its current followers are getting sick of seeing the same types of posts. Switching things up by including a mix of business pictures, customer stories, advertisements, and even memes can keep things interesting and bring those like counts back up.

7. Plan a Giveaway

People love free things, whether it’s branded merchandise, discounted products, or just an opportunity to be featured on a popular brand’s Instagram page. Hosting a giveaway that rewards a lucky user for liking posts, following the account, or tagging friends is a great way to boost likes and increase engagement.

Don’t Lose Sight of the Big Picture

While getting likes is important, it’s just one piece of the bigger picture. Higher like counts signal to Instagram’s algorithms that a post is more popular, which boosts it in more people’s news feeds and gets it in front of a greater number of eyes. That, in turn, makes it more likely a brand will get more followers, offering the possibility of turning them into loyal customers. Don’t lose sight of that goal.

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