Though we are constantly uploading image after image, are we actually using the social media platform to its full potential to make it rain likes on those snaps? That’s the question social media scientist (yes, that’s a real profession) Dan Zarrella recently answered in a study aptly titled “The Science of Instagram.”
To determine the best tactics to take on Instagram, Dan collected a dataset of 1.5 million randomly selected photos from over half a million Instagrammers evenly distributed throughout a few years and at least over a month old. He then analyzed those shots’ tags, captions and the visual content in the images to identify characteristics that correlated with higher than average likes- and comments-per-follower. Check out the findings below and adjust your Instagram game as you see fit.
1. The More Tags, The Merrier: Though an endless caption of hashtags not only looks ugly and kinda desperate for the uploader, they actually do indeed work positively. Dan found that the more tags a person used, the more comments and likes a given photo ended up receiving. So take advantage of the 30 tag limit and get to hashtaggin’.
2. Hashbrown No Filter: Shockingly, no filter is the best filter. Uploads that used the “Normal” filter (aka none at all) ended up with the most likes. If you are a person that can’t do without one though, the three that got the most likes were Willow, Valencia and Sierra.
3. Demand That Engagement: Instagram uploads that had the word “like” or “comment” in their captions got ’em. Guess you gotta tell your friends/followers what to do if you want them to actually follow through ;)
4. Desaturated > Saturated: Apparently people aren’t fans of overly bright photos, because images with lower levels of color saturation had higher average likes compared to ones with higher color saturation. Makes sense — you don’t wanna have to wear sunglasses and sunscreen to scroll through your feed.
5. Show Off That Face: If you’re looking to get more engagement on your account overall, more selfies are a necessity. Using a face detection algorithm, Dan determined that photos containing one or more faces got more likes than ones without a mug.
6. Cool for the Colors: Fall may not be the best time for Instagram likes, as the study uncovered that images with cooler colors (grays, blues, greens) received more likes-per-follower than those incorporating warmer tones (yellows, oranges, pinks). We’re sure your PSL snap is bound to get plenty of double taps, however.
7. Turn on the Brightness: Essentially, if your photo is bright and not a pitch black grainy snap, it will get more action. Isn’t that obvious though?!
Check out the full infographic below to help transform your Instagram account management moving forward.
What are your thoughts on these science-backed Instagram tips? Share them with us in the comments.