In the world of Instagram, the number of “likes” you accumulate is a good indicator of how interesting or engaging your audience finds the images you post. While celebrities and other notable individuals earn thousands of “likes” for nearly every image they post, earning more “likes” is slightly more difficult for the average user. If you’re hunting for more interaction on your Instagram photos, you’ll need to be willing to put in some legwork.

Use Hashtags to Widen Your Audience

When you post an image to Instagram, only the people who currently follow you can see it. Adding hashtags helps expose your images to a wider audience from which to draw “likes.” A hashtag is simply a keyword preceded by the “#” symbol -- for example, “#happy” or “#love.” Using popular hashtags on Instagram such as “#tbt” for “Throwback Thursday” or “#latergram” for something that has already happened will give new users a way to find your images.

Think About Your Images

If you want people to follow you and “like” your content on Instagram, you’ll need to post engaging content. Simply posting dozens of selfies or pictures of your breakfast isn’t going to do much to set you apart from the average Instagram user. Instead, look for opportunities to provide unique, engaging content to your followers. Explore your environment and take photographs that are accessible only to you, colored with your personal perspective. Images that make people laugh or coo are sure winners on Instagram.

Interact With Other Users

Instagram, like most social media sites, is all about two-way communication. If you’re expecting other users to comment on and “like” your content, you should be doing the same for them. Interacting with your followers and the people you follow is a powerful method for building online relationships and earning more attention for the content you post. Don’t expect people to simply “like” your content just because it exists; people “like” content when they feel a connection to the person who posted it.

Follow More People

Unless you’re famous, you won’t get many Instagram followers simply by having an Instagram account. More followers translates directly into more “likes.” One of the most efficient methods of getting more followers is to follow other users yourself. Find Instagram users who post content that is similar to yours or interesting to you and follow them. Follow the same rules of interaction with the new people you follow and you’ll see more “likes” on your images in no time.