While it’s possible to buy Instagram likes from ViralRace, that’s not the only way to get it done. You can build natural engagement and likes with these tactics.

1. Know Your Audience – Watch Instagram Insights

If you haven’t already, convert your personal profile to a business account. This will give you access to the Instagram Insights tool that provides analytics about how your posts are doing, and information about your audience, including demographics and when they are most active.

As your account ages, you’ll learn which posts get the most natural engagement, so you can build more posts like them into your overall strategy and content pipeline. You’ll also learn when your audience is most active, so you can schedule your posts around those times. When the content goes live when your audience is already active on Instagram, you’re going to get much higher engagement numbers naturally.

2. Tell a Story With Your Posts

Instagram is first and foremost a visual social network. Your photos should catch their attention, and your captions shouldn’t preach marketing and promotional messages. For better engagement rates, offer “microstories” with your captions, videos, your Stories, and profile in general.

To get an idea of how it’s done, take a look at brands like Nike, Lego, Airbnb, and Red Bull. Even if you’re not in the same niche, you can mimic the style of their profiles and captions so that you’re becoming a more creative storyteller.

3. Experiment with Instagram Video

Photos are worth 1,000 words, so that means video must be worth more, right? Instagram provides a variety of video formats for you to work with, and you should explore them all to see what works best with your audience. You can create Stories to mash up various videos and stills into a single ad, or standalone 60-second videos. Then, there’s always the Stories’ live video option you can use for product or service reveals/launches or behind-the-scenes looks at your business.

As video becomes increasingly popular online, there are many situations where people want to watch a video but don’t necessarily want to deal with the corresponding audio. Think about how often you catch yourself browsing social media when you’re waiting at the doctor’s office, riding the bus or train to work. If you don’t have headphones, you’ll either disturb others around you, or the background noise is so loud, you wouldn’t be able to hear it anyway. That’s why it’s important to use subtitles and closed captions on your Instagram videos (and others, too.)

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4. Research and Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a catalog for Instagram and will help people find your content. You can use up to 30 on each post. If you don’t want them to clutter your caption, simply put some space between them, or use them in the first comment. Use a mix of niche, general, and brand-specific tags.

Look for hashtags that have some activity, but aren’t so popular your post will disappear from the feed fairly quickly. You can use a tool like Hashtagify to help you find the best hashtags to use.

5. Use Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are visible for 24 hours – and can use a combination of photos and videos. Every time you post a new story, there’s a red ring around your profile picture, to help draw attention to it to get people to watch it and engage with it.

6. Run an Instagram Contest

People love free stuff – and if you offer your products for free in a contest, people who are interested in what you have to offer will enter. You can use likes and comments as entry methods, which will definitely increase your engagement – at least in the short term.

7. Make Use of Emojis

Emojis are popular in general, but especially on Instagram. Nearly half of comments or captions on the network feature emojis. There are more than 2,600 emojis to choose from, and the number is growing. You should create a strategy on how to use them in a way that captures your brand without looking too informal.

But it’s essential to make sure you understand their meaning so you use them correctly. (I’ll give you a hint – you don’t want to use the eggplant. It’s synonymous with a male body part that most brands don’t want people to associate with them.)

8. Put Your Best Foot Forward

Only focus on providing high-quality images. If your images aren’t the best they can be, then people won’t pay attention to them. You can take great pictures with a smartphone, as long as you know what you’re doing. These smartphone photography tips can help you get started.

9. Post Content Consistently

Create a schedule and stick to it. Even if you only post once a day Monday-Friday, keep up with that schedule. People like consistency because it helps them know what to expect. And consistent activity will help keep your brand at the front of their minds. Use a scheduling tool so you can load your posts in advance and not have to remember to do something every day.

10. Ask Questions in Your Captions

Asking questions is a great way to get people talking to you. You don’t have to ask a question every time, but it will help spark conversation, and you’ll learn about your audience. You can use what you learn in future posts and marketing efforts.

11. Use a Call to Action in Your Captions

A call to action, or CTA, tells the user what you want them to do. Simply tell your users to double-tap if they agree, or like the post. Sometimes asking for the likes is all it takes to get more of them.

12. Focus on Making Friends

Yes, the follower number matters, and the more the better. But if you’re just starting out, take your time. By treating each of the followers as if they were a friend, you’re well on your way to building relationships with the people you’re interacting with. The stronger the relationship, the greater the chance you’ll be able to convert these followers to customers later on.

When you start, find a small group of people with the same interests as you and support each other whenever possible. Turn on post notifications for the most engaged followers, so you can return the favor with likes each time they post new content.

Using any one of these techniques will increase likes and engagement. Using more than one in conjunction with another will definitely help it grow. Good luck!