The short answer is: I don't know. But this is a question that I frequently think about. How many times have you posted a picture that you thought was amazing, and only a handful of people liked it? The opposite is also true, with some "OK" pictures getting more "likes" than I thought they would.
A few months ago I posted the photo that drove the most "likes" so far since I joined Instagram 4 years ago. Compared to celebrities, the engagement I got is only a fraction of what public figures get in a second, but the high amount of positive feedback I got made me think about the reasons behind it.
So, what are the drivers involved? Here are some of my hypotheses:
- Number of followers. Although there might not be a formula that dictates that, it would make sense that if your overall "audience" is large, more people would be exposed to your pictures.
- Time of the day.
- Color contrast.
- Instagram's algorithm.
- Quality of the photo?
After I posted that, I tried to validate my assumptions by posting "equally enticing" photos at certain times of the day, with the same hashtags and the results were...
If anyone has the answer, I'd love to hear your perspective.
Brazilian, proud husband and father, photo geek, Beatlemaniac. Living in Dublin, Ireland. Leading Squarespace in EMEA.