If you’re trying to grow your audience on Instagram, you need to boost your performance in their algorithm. There are several ways to do this, including growing your number of followers. But you can also boost your ranking by garnering a lot of Instagram likes. The best thing about likes is that they cost your audience nothing. All they have to do is click a button.
This might seem surprising, since Instagram is actually removing like counts from their posts. This has already been tested in Australia and Canada, as well as the US and several other countries.
So, aren’t the number of likes going to become a thing of the past? As it turns out, no.
Instagram likes are still going to be part of Instagram’s internal metrics. So if you run a brand account or you’re an influencer, they’ll still be important to your account. And even in the countries where likes have been removed publicly, you’ll still see them as part of your analytics.
To help you boost your Instagram success, TechEye has put together a number of tips that will help you get free Instagram likes (from real people). There are certain basics we haven’t mentioned. For example, only post good photos. So you’ll still want to keep the basics in mind. These are more advanced tips for influencers and businesses who earn money from Instagram posts. By following this guide, you’ll get more likes on your posts and garner more followers as a result. Let’s get started!
How to get real likes on Instagram: 10 smart ways to get free Instagram likes
1. Don’t Neglect Your Captions
When you think about Instagram, you probably think about pictures, right? After all, Instagram is a photo-sharing platform. But there’s a reason they call your profile a “story”. It’s supposed to weave a compelling narrative!
One example of a company that does this very well is the New Yorker. They post impactful images, along with excerpts from their famously well-written magazine. This is designed to draw people into the piece, and make them visit the New Yorker’s site to learn more.
The type of content you’ll want to write is going to depend on your audience. For example, the New Yorker targets an educated urban audience. But you don’t need to be a Pulitzer Prize winner to write a good caption. For example, suppose you run a local bakery. In that case, why not just post something funny?
Regardless of what you do, don’t skip over your captions. Make sure they’re as great as the photos you’re already posting. Proofread for typos, too, so you don’t look silly. Unless that’s the look you’re going for.
2. Start a Like-Based Photo Contest
In a like-based contest, you offer a free prize that goes to one or more people who like your post. Think of it like a raffle, except the ticket is totally free. People love free stuff, even if they just have the prospect of getting it. They’re going to mash that like button like there’s no tomorrow.
But why not use your like-based contest to drive even more interest? A great way to do this is to add some extra requirements for entry. Typically, savvy Instagram influencers will require users to follow them and tag a friend. This is still totally free, so people are going to engage. So not only will you get a lot of free likes, you can potentially widen your audience.
This is an especially smart move for brands and business owners. Suppose you run a coffee company, and you’re releasing a new blend. Why not offer to give away a free pound of coffee to ten people who like your post? This is a double whammy. First off, you get a bunch of real Instagram likes. Secondly, you expose your brand new product to a wider and larger audience. And all for the cost of a few pounds of coffee.
Although you could buy Instagram likes from service providers, TechEye recommends trying to get your likes naturally. Alternatively, look into free to use services such as Likezoid that will help you get free Instagram likes on your photos (yes, it's a completely free service).
3. Take Advantage of Geotagging
Geotagging means adding a location to your post, and it takes just a few seconds. When you make your post, click the “Add Location” button, and select your location from a list. This is mostly effective for businesses. After all, you want potential customers to know where you are!
The advantage of geotagging is that people will often search Instagram for specific locations. For example, many Instagram users use the platform to find restaurants. If you run a restaurant and you’re not geotagging your posts, you’re essentially passing up on free money. Similarly, travel companies can benefit by geotagging posts from popular travel destinations.
That said, influencers can also benefit from geotagging. A geotagged post will rank higher in Instagram’s algorithms. And you’ll get exposed to people who are searching for your location.
4. Give Credit Where Credit is Due
If you’re running a brand page, you’re probably featuring your own products. But suppose you get a visit from a celebrity? Ask them if you can take their picture! It’s an easy way to gain social media clout. If you tag them on Instagram, all their fans will become aware of your business. And they’ll know that their favorite celebrity shops at your store or eats at your restaurant!
For influencers, it works the opposite way. For example, let’s say you take a picture with a cup of your favorite tea or a product from a high-quality brand. Why not tag the brand? It costs you nothing, and exposes you to all those brand’s followers. Be careful, though. If you tag a brand or popular user in irrelevant posts, it’s just going to look like spam, which it is.
5. Invite People to Tag Their Friends
There’s a concept in web marketing called a “call to action”. A call to action means exactly what it sounds like: asking your audience to do something. To use the most basic example, an ad might ask you to “click here” or “contact us”. But you can apply the same principle to Instagram.
If you post funny, engaging content, take advantage of that caption and ask your followers to tag a friend. This takes just a few seconds, and it’s easy to do. Best of all, it requires virtually no effort on the part of your followers. If your content is interesting enough, they’re going to be happy to share it. Giving them that little prompt will be enough to push them over the edge.
6. Pay Attention to Analytics
Have you ever wondered why some of your posts get traction, and others go over like a lead balloon? One way to find out is to use Instagram’s analytics feature. The most useful function is to track the time of day. Different audiences are going to check their feeds at different times. By tracking this, you can ensure that your new followers are actually paying attention when you drop your next post.
7. Brush up on Your Hashtag Game
Hashtags are the heart and soul of Instagram’s search system. Users who are looking for a particular topic will enter a hashtag, then click on whatever comes up. By tagging your posts, you can ensure that they appear when users might be interested. This can also be useful for brands. Create a hashtag for your brand, then get free traffic when other people tag your business. This costs you nothing, and can built your follower base.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should start spam tagging all of your posts with fifteen hashtags. That gets old fast, and potential users will know you’re just begging for clout. Instead, use your #hashtags intelligently. Look at what’s trending in your industry or niche, and tag posts appropriately. This also means creating content that’s appropriate for the hashtags you want to target.
For influencers, this works both ways. Not only can you promote yourself, but you can add value for your clients. If you’re being paid to promote a brand, add their tag on your post. Not only will your followers visit the brand, but the brand’s followers will see your posts. It’s a win-win. This is one of the best ways to get free Instagram followers.
8. Draw Inspiration From Outside Sources
Every good social media campaign needs fresh ideas. And if you’re like most social media users, you’re probably living in a bubble. For example, you probably only see other posts from your industry or your circle of friends. But there’s no reason to limit yourself. There are literally hundreds of millions of Instagram accounts, and every one of them has a story to tell. Follow some people or brands that are outside your niche, and you might find some useful principles you can apply.
One good example of this is the use of illustrations. Williams Sonoma frequently uses them to explain complex subjects that would take hundreds of words to explain. Now, maybe your particular nice has nothing to do with fashion or travel. But you could still learn a few things about illustrations by following their account. And by learning these lessons, you’ll end up with a better Instagram story.
9. Take Advantage of Current Memes
Like it or not, memes are a constant feature of the internet. Whether you’re on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit, you’re going to see the latest hot memes. At the time of this writing, everyone is meming about the Tiger King, but that will be old soon enough. The key is to stay current. By taking advantage of a modern trend, you can catch on with an audience that wouldn’t otherwise be interested. For example, there’s the Pennzoil shop that went viral with a social media post that said: “Carole Baskin used sardine oil. We use Pennzoil.”
This specific example might not have anything to do with your business, but the point is that the shop was clever enough to jump on a trending topic and run with it.
10. Mix up Your Content Types
Instagram has a lot more than just pictures. You can post text to your story, add photos, or even add videos. Analytics show that when stories were added, engagement with other content types dropped. But here’s the kicker: overall engagement remained the same. Active users were just spending their time in different places.
So, why would you limit yourself to one kind of content? For example, some users scroll right past videos without watching. Others will watch every video they come across. Some people love reading, while others prefer pictures. By using different types of content, you ensure that you’re engaging with all of your audience, not just a portion of them.