EATANDTREATS Guide: How To Get More Likes and Followers on Instagram!

First things first! Before you start judging me or making these comments about me making this post like "Who the hell does he think he is?", "He's not even that popular!" -.- please dude, I am totally aware that I am not THAT popular or big of a deal on Instagram, there are millions of accounts out there with a lot more followers and more famous than me. This is just a fun post, because when I see myself 1,5 years ago until now, I have a pretty decent number of following, and PS: I am not an Instagram analysist ok!

not bad eh!

totally not bad! Sometimes gets 1000+ likes so I am not a complete unknown.

I started playing Instagram around 1,5 years ago, exactly few weeks before I created eatandtreats, back then was kinda up and down because I wasn't into Instagram and I was barely updating! I started with probably 50-60 followers on the first month and those guessed it: friends and family, but as the time passed, slowly but sure, I started getting people following me (keep on reading to know how).

One thing that I need to clarify before I continue, I DO love getting followed and have a quite strong following, but sorry to say, that is NOT my main goal. I use Instagram to engage my relationship with my readers and keep on updating my daily feast adventure. I love sharing food photos on my Instagram MORE than I love sharing my selfies. Mine is not that account with all perfect photos with the best styling or the best lighting because you know what? If I keep on waiting to shoot during the day (when the lighting on its best) where in fact there ARE events held during the night, I'd probably not where I am now... just saying :). I am a little perfectionist but not THAT crazy, I try to shoot the best that I can lah!

When I say quality, I mean REAL FREAKING FOLLOWERS! and real followers are those who actually are alive and not just some crappy bots used to boost up your following number or some lousy followers some people bought online to jack up their image.

I just updated my Instagram a week ago and found out that I lost 1k followers (heard happened to a lot of people) which I was not sad about because apparently Instagram is deleting all those ghost followers (spams) and clearly, those spam followers DO NOT contribute anything to my account, not even liking or commenting, they just contribute to the numbers!

One of my friends who happened to have an online shop said they used to endorse a 'celebrity' with 90k something followers but in return he claimed this (swear) he got tons of followers but NONE buying the outfit, see, number contributed, but as in quality or sales...meh!

In the social networking life, people tend to be affected easier to follow a profile with a lot of followers already, I used to be that kind of person but after a while, I started to realize that I should follow accounts that are inspiring, fits my kind of profile (I love following foodies, bloggers and photographers) and most importantly, I follow because I want to.

Take this as example:
Japanese Instagrammers are the best!

I don't know why but Japanese people are mostly bloody talented when it comes to...probably everything. They have this signature dreamy tone that I am still learning to 'immitate'. See?! This when I feel like they're becoming very inspiring and I pace myself to become better, but still doesn't mean that I suddenly changed my editing style, that would NEVER happen because I believe each and everyone has their own style, it's just that maybe the editing could be applied on certain photos.

@moron_non is one of my personal favorites on Instagram, I still don't know if that person is a he/she but 'this person' deserves MORE FOLLOWERS!

You need to know that people follow you for some reasons: if you're crazy good looking like those Thailand people (don't understand why so many Thai people got into popular page), if you're a freaking celebrity and "celebrity", you are friends with celebrity, you are an inspirational account on Instagram (like me, LOL kidding guys!) or you simply accidentally famous for being famous.

The most followed Indonesian on Instagram must be Pevita Pearce with over 600k followers and growing, people definitely follow Pevita for some reasons but I believe one of it is because of... her money maker (face), she is so beautiful and I once worked with her on the Lenovo campaign and in real life, she's just like very berry nice she even offered to follow my Instagram *nose bleed*, and I think she is one of those accounts with great engagement with her followers (another one is Raisa Andriana), need proof? Just look at his brother's IG account Keenan Pearce, a valid proof of how popularity affect the sibling and *ahem* boyfriend.
She always gets more than 30k for each and every photo of hers! Proving that she has real followers!

But engagement doesn't always mean driving followers to an account, but also how good one role promotes the product to the public, and that's why when hiring one ambassador for a campaign, that person should fit the criteria, for some reasons I think Pevita fits Lenovo just perfectly. HERE if you want to read my post about it.

Meanwhile, take a look at this following profile, he claimed himself an actor, but for the goodness sake I decided to censor the picture and his name.
Woaah, 475k Instagram followers!

er... but wait,
Why is he getting 60 something likes only? Browse through his pictures and he mostly got less than 100 likes, only one or two photos actually got 3000 something likes! Hmm... *scratch head*. 

I honestly feel a little more awesome realizing that I might not have as much followers as he does but I have way more likes and comments!

Just for the record I have no issue against him, I don't even know him, I just found his IG to be completely funny and... irrational. If I personally hate him I wouldn't bother censoring his face and let the world know him through my blog and maybe he'll get huge real followers after HAHA.

So the main question is... how to get more likes and followers on Instagram?!
Before I continue, this is NOT the express way to reach big followers, without having to like on random people's photos, without having to follow thousands of people expecting you'll be followed back, definitely not Instagram followers cheat but this could be the key to strong and loyal following.

1. Post decent looking clear photos!
Since I am a food blogger and Instagram is my media to share the food pictures, I want my friends to drool over (yes that's my main goal) through the pictures, hence I have to post decent looking pictures! That's like THE MAIN KEY. Your photos are your main contents! Try your best to post clear photos (especially if you focus on food or still life).

2. Good eye!
I am not sure if this is a gift but some people do have good eyes, I have been following a lot of talented people on Instagram and that's pretty stressful because they are so bloody talented it's almost unfair, even the simplest things were captured almost perfectly! When it comes to good eyes, one of the outstanding talented people on Instagram must be Alice Gao (@alice_gao). Her Instagram account is such a p*rn.
Her Instagram photos were taken by iPhone, surprise-surprise.

One thing that I happen to believe is that 'sense' is something you can work on and improve.

3. Thumbnail Feed Impression
When you click on someone's profile on Instagram, you must be aware that the profile is showing the grid of the person's feed. Take a look at this example, stole took it from @felixpradipta 's Instagram account, I have been following him for a while even though I don't know him personally, but that's the beauty of Instagram right, following so-called strangers with talents and good eyes! He has amazing photos (you should follow!). What I also love about his account is that his IG is very conceptual and he loves white background. Thumbnail feed impression like this definitely led my thumb to click 'follow'.

4. Too much selfies could be pretty annoying
Not unless you are super good looking like Pevita or Megan Fox, please stop sharing too much of your selfies, based on my experience and personal preference, selfies could be pretty annoying! Even more annoying when you post consecutive of your face with THE EXACT SAME EXPRESSION! (just admit it). Well, this one I couldn't control because it's your account. I am a kind of person who wouldn't unfollow unless I got unfollowed first, but I draw the line at "too many selfies", but lucky enough I have never done that before.

5. Be inspirative and informative to others
I have been receiving some emails from my Instagram friends saying that they loved my Instagram because I am very informative and very mean (meaning making people hungry), so I guess if you could inspire and being informative for others, that should be good... this would lead to...

6. Engagement!
This might or might not be true, but I feel like since I am kind of informative to my friends on Instagram, I feel like the engagement to my followings are becoming stronger and stronger and most of the times I have been receiving comments like "@xxx recommends me your account" and even some companies and restaurants that I have worked with told me that everytime I mentioned them on my Instagram, they got pretty big following delivered to their account and the restaurant got more crowd and they refer my Instagram (another gratitude :)), but that of course depends on the product that the companies are selling and something I couldn't fully control.

You have to remember that the nature on Instagram: more followers = bigger chance to get more followers, because then on the "following" bar, you'll see things like "xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx just liked xxx's photo", and especially if you made it to the Instagram popular page where you could get promoted for a while to the UNIVERSAGRAM. Make sure what you started from zero has a good basic. Unfortunately, I just learned that Instagram is now no longer having that "Popular Page" on the mobile app, now it's more like "People You May Know" page, but if you look at the web version like Iconosquare (formerly Statigram), then they still have it.

7. Filters and... VSCO?
Choosing the right filter for your photos could be the key to the 'it' photo as well as... fame! So many IG celebrity have been using VSCO filters (you can tell!), even though I found it's getting a little boring and mainstream because they mostly shoot something with bird eye view and with very organized styling, but since it's trending right now so I guess it's not wrong to give it a try, right? What's good about VSCO filters is that they could increase the Thumbnail feed impression because they have these film tones with gorgeous finish, I am also a hardcore VSCOcam lover! Only I tend to shoot with my style instead of following the trend.

8. Check-ins
I think checking in on your Instagram (supported by Foursquare) could increase the chance for you to get followed, especially when people click on the place and they will be driven to this page with photos taken on the particular place, if your photo is outstanding enough, you might got the chance to attract some people to follow you.

9. Quiz and Giveaways!
I have been so honest on this post it's like I am sharing you guys everything, but hey, I think a lot of people did that too so that's okay. Instagram people are very into giveaways, well who doesn't, especially if the prizes given are promising and drooling like gadgets or money or whatever that is, and most of the times when I do an Instagram giveaway, one of the terms and conditions is that people MUST follow me and like the photo, and of course those following you must be real followers, trust me, I do check!

10. Desserts and the colorful pretty things, or simply YOU being YOUnique!
This I am totally aware of, everytime I post cute desserts and colorful pretty things (especially ones shot during the day), I always get more likes than I usually get. Instagram audiences and myself are so into pretty things, another advantage of colorful things that it could stand out more on the feed, that's the nature of people's sight and preference I guess :). As in for unique people, lately I have been noticing so many funny Indonesian people creating basically silly videos but they got massive following, for some reasons, I also want to follow them because they literally got me LOL-ed.

11. Hashtags
This I put the least because I don't really believe in the idea of using hashtags on your pictures. Don't you find it annoying that people could post a pic of themselves and actually post #dog #animal #onedirection to their photos? They're not even dogs, animals or even a freakin one direction. Hahstags are just the instant way to get more likes but very little possibility of having qualified followers.

I personally think I don't need any hashtags right now because I finally know what my audiences want, they want me to post decent looking food pictures to keep them drooling! So have you found one that fits you?

Sometimes I think that 19k is not a huge number, but as soon as I picture 19k people standing in front of me right this second while I am holding... let's say a poster with my current Instagram post, that's when I feel more grateful having that much following (THANK YOU GUYS!). You might call this luck or whatever because I remember I started 1,5 years ago and have been an Instagram addict, I just have this obsession about posting food pictures on Instagram and I have always known and aware that at least my photos are not bad leh, maybe I guess that's when people slowly start following me, is it true? Anybody reading this right now? Why are you following me?

Whoever is so obsessed about getting to the Instagram Popular Page then you should read this. I read online about how Instagram described the way to reach the popular page, and you know what I think? A complete stupid shit.

"The goal of the formula is to surface the most recently interesting photos based on a variety of variable. We do not simply count likes. It takes into account much more than that to make sure new people with fewer followers also have the chance of being discovered"

BLAH BLAH, so to make things short and after stalking everywhere online, apparently they have this system called "The 10% Formula", so basically, in an hour, the amount of likes given to your newest photo should reach at least 10% from your amount of followers. So let's say I have 19k followers now, if I want to get into the popular page, my most recent photo should get at least 1,9k likes in a hour, more than an hour and I fail.

Not only that, I also found some (probably not so valid) information regarding to the popular page T&C: you can't use too much hashtags, you need to have at least 1k followers, and you need to have 20% people who don't follow your account to like your photo (retarded! and people can't use hashtags?!).

of-to-the-course, NOT everyone could reach this UNLESS they have very strong following and huge numbers of people liking the photo. Remember, Instagram users are huge, millions already. Stick with the 10% percent, but trust me, 50 likes per hour won't be able to beat someone with 10k likes per hour and don't forget that so many famous people out there on Instagram including the...celebrities. Hope this explanation helps.

In conclusion, maybe you just need to be popular, and the way to achieve it might be a thousand way, but the tips I am giving you should be the little part to reach it.

The thing is, just be yourself, have fun and be creative, and when it comes to me, I tend not to follow too much or else I'll be seeing to none.

Have you ever felt like some people are not going to like your photos or follow you simply because it' I think I personally have experienced this and certainly not me being sensitive, but trust me, it's WAY BETTER to have qualified Instagram followers, it's like the case when it's better to have a quarter than 4 pennis, if you know what I mean :).

Disclaimer: showing someone's picture on my blog is not against the law because Instagram profile is clearly A PUBLIC account, unless he set it as private. Well, at least I also censored right ;).

If you care about following, my Instagram is @STANISLAUSHANS


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