Being “instafamous” is a surprisingly difficult task. Instagram is a young person’s game; over Christmas I noticed all my younger family friends had at least hundreds of followers. This unique breed of users, neither celebrities nor popular bloggers, walk a tightrope between established conventions and unique content. After talking to a few of these social butterflies in hopes that some of their magical pixie dust will rub off on my inferior Instagram account, here are some tips I got on how to join the upper echelon of “instalikes.”

Variety

The type of content you have is integral. If your account isn’t based on the adventures of your cat, then refrain from taking too many selfies with her peeping out of your backpack, no matter how cute and tempting it is. Keep pictures of inspirational texts to a minimum and only for appropriate times. Strike a balance between established shot styles (picstiches, #fromwhereistand etc.) and a creative shot of your S.O.’s silhouette in your bedroom curtain.

#nofilter

One of Instagram’s notable features at its initial release was the wide range of filters available that improved your mediocre photo. While photo editing is still an integral part of Instagram, filters have gotten a bad rap recently. It’s now for the amateur Instagram blogger, so just stick to an editor like VSCO. Side note, #nofilter should only be used ironically.

Likes per Minute

The dreaded likes per minute is that stomach churning feeling you get when you keep refreshing your page in the first 20 minutes to see how many likes you get. If it doesn’t break a certain threshold then your picture is destined for Instagram mediocrity. Personally, I’m a strong believer that you shouldn’t concern yourself with such things, but the LPM is the harsh reality for the “instafamous” wannabe.

#hashtags

As a burgeoning Instagrammer, hashtagging is an indispensable way to reach your target demographic. Though be careful to not use hashtags excessively; #food, #foodporn, #delicious, #beef, and that list of 15 you have for that one photo of your dinner is too much. At the very least, post your hashtags in a separate comment. In a similar vein, don’t write a paragraph to caption your photo because no one likes reading on Instagram.

Like and Follow

Engage with the Instagram community! People tend to forget the social aspect of Instagram in that you are encouraged to interact with similar people whom you would otherwise be unable to. Follow accounts that are similar to yours and like or comment on their photos. The discover page is a great place to get started. Don’t neglect your own followers either! Even if you don’t hit that follow back, take a minute to check out their page and like their media.

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