Instagram engagement: What really works?

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Photographs, infographics, and other types of visual content seem to be the latest trend in social media marketing, which is great because they are a lot of fun to create.However, you can’t post just any old picture to Instagram and expect to become an overnight sensation. Gaining followers and getting likes and comments on Instagram often proves just as difficult as it is on any other social media network. In this article, we provide you with 8 tips that will help you get the most out of your Instagram posts, based on the recent research conducted by Dan Zarrella of HubSpot. So waht really works for better Instagram Engagement?

  1. Ask and you’ll receive

Although this tactic may be considered rude or desperate on other social media networks, asking your audience for exactly what you want on Instagram is not only considered acceptable, it also really works! If you want people to like your image or comment on it, let them know. Statistics show that, on images that specifically include the word “like” in their caption, the rate of likes can increase as much as 89 percent. Similarly, images that included the word “comment” in their caption saw an astounding 2,194 percent increase in the number of comments, as opposed to the number of comments on images where the direction to comment was not included.

  1. Be creative, but don’t go overboard

Unless you are a professional photographer, you should steer clear of using those nifty Instagram filters. You may think that filters make your images look more elaborate or professional, but your Instagram audience will most likely disagree. In fact, Instagram images with no filters have the highest number of likes-per-follower compared to those images with filters applied.

  1. Brighten their spirits

The degree of luminance, or what we think of as the brightness of an image, can also have an effect on your audience’s level of engagement. Research has shown that images that we would perceive as brighter, or which have higher luminance, can receive up to almost 600 percent more comments and likes on Instagram than darker images, even if they are of the same subject. These statistics make sense when we think of the tendency for people to often consider brighter images to be warmer, happier, and more inviting than darker images.

  1. Make use of hashtags

Instagram allows users to add as many as 30 hashtags to each post. With so many options, it is hardly surprising that images with more hashtags receive a higher number of likes and comments. In fact, it would appear, based on available data, that the more hashtags an image has, the more likes and comments it will receive. Remember, though, to use your hashtags wisely. You should avoid using irrelevant or “spammy” tags, or you may run the risk of being perceived as unprofessional.

  1. Keep your cool

Although many creative types might love the look of rich, vibrant colors, apparently the larger Instagram community does not agree. Comparisons of images have shown that photos with primarily cooler tones, like blues, grays, or greens, tend to receive more likes than images with warmer tones, such as reds, oranges, or yellows. Overall, it appears that the majority of Instagram users are more drawn to cooler, more calming shades.

  1. Tone it down

If you were asked whether more or less colorful photos would be more appealing to viewers, which would you choose? Did you pick the more colorful photos, assuming that the colors would catch viewers’ attention? This would seem to be a logical assumption, but on Instagram it is simply not the case. According to comparisons, images with lower saturation, rather than those with bright, vibrant colors, generally have up to 598 percent more comments and likes.

  1. The eyes have it

We, as human beings, have an innate preference for seeing the faces of others. This preference is evident from birth, and is no different among Instagram users. It has recently been shown that Instagram images portraying human faces receive roughly 35 percent more likes than images containing no human faces.

  1. Make your subjects stand out

You may be in love with beautiful landscapes and flowing lines, but it seems as though these types of images will not get you very far on Instagram. According to analyses of various types of images, those with more clearly defined subjects and more obvious edges garner more likes from Instagram users, as well as more comments. The difference in the number of likes can be up to 125 percent, as opposed to more cluttered-looking images with no discernible focal point.

Did this Instagram crash course help improve your audience engagement? What worked for you, and what didn’t? We would love for you to let us know!

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