Eleven Secrets To Going Viral On Instagram

09/19/2017 10:49 PM ET
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Updated Sep 20, 2017

I’ll admit it. I don’t know the first thing about Instagram.

So why am I writing a post on how to go viral on it?

Well, the great thing about being a time management expert is I do have time. And with time, you can solve pretty much any problem.

When writing an article, I feel a little like Sherlock Holmes, searching for clues, looking for answers. Thankfully, the Internet makes it a breeze. A few keyword searches and I have all the information I could ever need to write an article on pretty much any topic.

Instagram is THE hot social media site right now (5th biggest right now and gaining), so it makes sense for entrepreneurs and businesses to create an account and start building their audience. I’m all about productivity so put the two together and here I am.

“Instagram”, “secrets”, “viral” and boom, 28 million hits. I’m ready to rock.

Read a few articles, check out a few videos and you’re bound to find out what I did - that the “secrets” to going viral on Instagram and pretty much the same.

So I put together my list of what the most common ones are for you.

  1. Viral Content - Cute cats or microwave macaroni? Sunrise from the top of Mt. Fuji or your local taco stand? To go viral, you must have content that can go viral.
  2. Simplicity - People whip through Instagram even faster than FB. I have heard that you have less than three seconds to catch someone’s eye can get a like from them. I don’t know about you, but three seconds feels like an eternity over there for me. If it doesn’t catch my eye instantly, scroll. Check out photographer Tyson Wheatley’s page for inspiration.
  3. #Hashtag - This was actually a tip given to me by one of my younger clients (and confirmed by Google). She told me the key is #hashtags because that’s how people search for stuff on Instagram. Don’t be bashful, they’re free so load up on the max (30) and use a core group over and over again. If you’re looking for more information on #hashtags, you might want to check out this guide.
  4. Know Your Audience - Who are you appealing to? Teen like artists such as Taylor Swift and Beyonce. Women love make-up. Knowing your audience allows you to cater to their needs and increase your chances of getting likes and followers.
  5. Know Your Competition - You don’t have to invent the wheel. Head over to someone in the niche you’re interested in and see what they’re posting. What posts are getting the most likes? What #Hashtags are they using? Has any of their content gone viral? Jot down anything that might be of help.
  6. Engagement - I already talked about #Hashtags which is a key component to engagement. Here are three others tips 1. Post content at times when you audience is most active. 2. Add in a CTA (call to action) to create communication between you and your followers. 3. Be social. Being nice is powerful. A simple “Great pic” on someone’s post goes a long way on getting people to check out your account.
  7. Sex Sells - We all know why advertisements and commercials have sexy people in them. Beauty never goes out of style. Don’t have any hot friends? Here’s a quick list of the most popular Instagrammable objects: bikinis, revolvers, perfume and puppies. Avoid these at all costs: Kitchen utensils, golf carts and tools.
  8. USP - In marketing people talk about having a unique selling position. The same goes for Instagram. The more you can distinguish yourself from your competition, the better. You want to be the go-to Instagrammer for something. How can you set your account and photos apart from other accounts out there?
  9. Hot Topics - People are always searching for what’s trending right now (new events, product releases). By linking your pics to something that’s blowing up increases your chances of people seeing it.
  10. Red - Want to catch people’s attention? Red is hardwired into our brain as a sign of danger. Blood, fire trucks, stop signs. Red. What color lipstick do women wear when they want to look badass? Red. What color do we associate with a Ferrari? Red. Something to keep in mind.
  11. Patience - Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither will your Instagram account. The key is consistency and patience.

Instagram has to be one of the most fun and powerful ways to engage with your audience. It’s also super easy making a perfect productivity tool for any business. I’m personally going to help a client set up his account this week as part of a productivity project. Armed with these tools it should be a piece of cake to help him build an audience quickly.