12 tips to get you seen on Instagram (and all your other social media platforms)

Jul 11, 2016 by Brendan Jack

There’s a jungle of information and content out there. It’s estimated that five hundred hours of video gets uploaded to YouTube every minute. (That’s a lot of cats chasing their tails and lip-sync selfie videos.) Are you one of Instagram's 300 million daily users, or one of the people adding to 10 billion video views on Snapchat every day?

How do you compete, especially if you’re a brand or individual who can’t rely on skateboard fail videos for maximum exposure? There is no definitive answer, but here are some strategic ideas to get you heading for success.

Happy face emoji

Happiness and optimism seems to be a strong emotion to tap into online. Even if it brings out sarcastic curmudgeons who post pessimistic comments on your media, reply with a “Hey, thanks for clicking by for a look.”

Be Human

Elon Musk fears the rise of Artificial Intelligence. Stem the threat of AI by being a real person on the other side of the screen.

Share relatable stories and ideas, or just something that resonates on a human level. Make it shareable content or pictures, even if it’s just there to raise a smile. (We need more smiles don’t we?)

It’s called ’social’ media

Be kind to others, comment on and share the posts of people you resonate with. Offer an encouraging word of advice. Make them feel special with random acts of kindness or by offering them an exclusive discount. Help them help you. Get stuck into likeminded conversations; you might get respect in the form of followers and a like on your photo of that rusted motorbike you found in a lake.

Tell stories

Add some context and storytelling to the image, complete the picture. How did you find that rusted motorbike in the lake? It adds to the overall experience.

Go for FOMO

Focus on what users will perceive to lose out on if they don’t click your link or check your feed. Mystery and the promise of adventure are always enticing. Even if you have to pretend that you’re living a Kanye West world tour adventure (while faking the backdrops and friends in Photoshop).

Random question: If you dive into a rock pool on an island holiday and don’t Instagram it, did it really happen?

Take it offline

Consider outings such as Instawalks or group meet ups to make connections outside of the cellphone screen. A smile in real life is better than a like online.

Money talks

When in doubt, buy followers.

Numbers grow numbers; sometimes you’ve got to spend money to make followers.


Add the word ‘influencer' or 'life hacker' to your bio. Bio lines are precious real estate, make it interesting.

Influence the influencers

Get to know the influencers. Then send them a free t-shirt or branded coffee mug if you’re next level. Just being a nice, considerate person might also be enough to get a positive response.

Otherwise get into photos with them (photobomb if you have to) and tag them for possible sharing to their audiences.

Influence influencers with money or free stuff (swag).

On that note, you can’t add too many hashtags. Get creative for maximum exposure.


As mentioned, people love free t-shirts (and anything free). Buy the kindness of strangers.

Linking up

Cross pollinate to all your social media feeds

Only have 65 followers on Twitter? Maybe one of them will click on your posted Instagram link and look at your photo for three seconds. Day made.

Link your Instagram and social media feeds to Google+ It probably won’t ever get seen, but don’t take the risk. Google+ might still take off soon.

Why go for Instagram or YouTube famous… Explore other platforms, why not go for Google+ or LinkedIn famous?

Are Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake still Myspace famous?

Ask for feedback

What can I do better? What else can I photograph for you? Can I send you a free t-shirt with my social media name on the front?

Summing Up

Don’t be a robot unless you really are a robot. That is, be authentic and offer something unique. If you can’t offer something unique, then offer money.

Try have fun, real enthusiasm comes through online. Create a strategy that works for you, there is no definitive, correct way.

For more Instagram fun, check out Coolfidence and Smallest Offices.



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