You’re getting crazy excited your trip—the sites, the culture, the food, the bars—but there’s one other important thing: all those Instagram gems. A well-known byproduct of travel is all the photos you’ll take, followed by sharing them and making everyone you know (and don’t know) have FOMO. But how do you get all those likes?
I’m Linnea and I run our Instagram at College Break. Here are some tricks of the trade to gain the most likes.
Always use a geotag. This is when you “Add Location” to the top of your Instagram post. This ensures that if someone were to search the place you’re in, your post could show up. You might even get lucky and show up in the “Explore” feed. Instagram sources photos for the Explore feed by location, things you like and people you follow.
2. Play with hashtags
Hashtags exist as labels or explanations of your photo and a way for people to find content. You can keep it simple with #rome or #travel, but you can also go crazy with something like #wheninromeeatgelato. The perfect number doesn’t really exist—some say 7, some say 9 to 12. I, personally, like to test out different numbers of hashtags. When choosing hashtags, try a mix of generic ones that are more likely to be searched (#italy #travel #adventure). Then, you can put in more specific ones (#efcollegebreak #ilikewritinglonghashtags). And IMO, you should put the hashtags as your first comment instead of in the caption.
3. Tags & mentions
This doesn’t mean tag anyone and everyone. Only tag the people that it makes sense to tag; tag @efcollegebreak (because you’re on a College Break trip), tag your friend who’s in the picture or the people you are with at that moment. You get the gist. This is a great way to get more exposure to other people. If you mention someone in your caption, try to keep it to one or two handles (you can do this and tag people/brands in the image), but again this is a great way to earn more eyes on your post.
4. Choose a look & feel and stick with it
Go look at some of your favorite Instagram influencers’ profiles; you’ll notice all of their pictures “feel” similar. Try to stick with a specific filter, method, or subject. Although our Instagram has pictures with slightly different filters and times of day, our profile stays cohesive because our subject is always travel.
5. Time of day
Time of day is a tricky thing. It is not easy to determine the perfect time of day to get the most likes as it changes day to day, depending on who follows you. Also, with the new algorithm Instagram posts stay higher in people’s feeds for more time. A couple tips though: post when people are more likely to be on their phones—lunch, commuting times, before bed. And the other thing—avoid posting when people are sleeping. This is good to keep in mind when you’re traveling in a different timezone!
6. The rule of thirds and other photography tips
This is more of a photography trick, but it’s breaking up the composition of your picture in thirds. The focus of your image would therefore take up one, or maybe two, thirds. Turn on the grid lines in your photo settings to help with this (Settings > Photo & Camera > Grid). This isn’t to say that a perfectly centered focus or symmetrical picture isn’t just as good. Play with what’s best for you! You can also try playing with the lighting by tapping the screen of your phone and dragging the little line next to yellow box up or down. And finally, turn on HDR!
So now that you know how to kill the Instagram game, go follow us and be sure to share your pictures from your trip. Tag us @efcollegebreak and use #ultimatebreak! If you’re lucky, we’ll share your picture on our page for some Instagram fame.