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Do the Number of Likes you have on an Instagram Post Define it as Good or Bad?

Welcome to The Social Lab! This blog will not only help you navigate your personal social media, but also investigate marketing trends and examples of great social media work. Do you have something we should talk about? Make sure to send us an email or contact us on social media.

Instagram engagement

We have all been on Instagram and seen beautiful photos of sights, food, and art. We have also seen these exact same photos with only thirty likes, which of course left us wondering how they had so few engagements. For individuals that do post beautiful images, should they be discouraged by their lack of engagement? What are some of the reasons for why these images don't receive more love?

Whether or not an image is "good" or "bad" is completely subjective, but whether or not an image is optimized for engagement is a totally different matter. Here are 3 steps to make sure that your beautiful images are seen by more people and also the correct people.

1. Make your Instagram public

There are many individuals that don't realize their IG is private, which severely lacks the amount of engagement it is going to receive. You can go ahead and change this option in settings. While it does open you up to people you don't know liking or following you, the amount of engagement will increase drastically,

2. Utilize hashtags

After you post an image with a caption, you can comment with up to 30 hashtags. What does this accomplish? These hashtags are keywords (similar to SEO) that places you in front of more viewer's eyes. If you are posting an image of a beautiful beach, research hashtags that are applicable and would consist of individuals that would enjoy your image (I.E. beach).

3. Post at the correct time of day

You may follow the first two steps, but if you post your beautiful image during an off hour and you have a low follower count, the picture will not gain any traction. There are many places to research the best times to post, but we suggest here.

Once you gain more followers and figure out what your target audience is, you can then research when that specific population is on IG the most. For example, Teachers are more than likely on IG at different times than retired individuals.


The three steps above are simple steps to help improve your engagement in an organic and natural way. You can pay or utilize online programs to increase your impressions and engagement, but many of these stats will be hollow. Social media should be about natural, organic engagement, so you should keep that in mind before paying for an inappropriate "growth hack".

Remember, whether or not a photo is "good" shouldn't really be about the number of likes. If 4000 teenagers like your masterful photograph, but don't engage or are not influencers, than how useful is it? On the other hand, if 200 people like your photo, and one of them works for National Geographic, wouldn't that be much more impactful? Keep this in mind when you follow the steps above.

Do you agree with our suggestions? Do you have any topics you want us to explore? Comment below or email us today.

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