13 Instagram Hacks that Rival Instagrammers Don’t Want You to Know

Oh, Instagram. Whether you’re using it as a creative outlet, a way to show your ex that you’re better off without them, a way to stalk your ex to see if they’re better off without you, or to kickstart your business, we all want our feed to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. And while there are definitely some secrets to acquiring the perfect grid, these tricks aren’t totally obvious. Luckily, we’ve got your back.

Here are the 15 tips that top Instagrammers don’t want you to know, so share these at your own risk and watch as the likes come rolling in.

1. To use or not use a theme?

Accounts adopting a white or gray theme have been trending like wildfire. It’s pleasing to the eye, but it can be tedious and limiting to the versatility of your photos. If you’re a new Instagrammer, just know that there are a plethora of accounts with similar-looking feeds, so look for something else to make yours stand out. It can be easier to stick to the same filter for each photo or adjust each photo to the same contrast, temperature, etc. but switching things up can add a little bit of flair.


2. Post during primetime.

Sounds ridiculous, but there are actually peak times to post. General research has concluded that the best days are Wednesday and Sunday, especially at 5 P.M. so make sure you’re saving your best photos for later. The early bird may get the worm, but that theory isn’t Instagram-friendly. Yes, there are plenty of apps that can help you predict your own personal primetime.

3. Use hashtags sparingly.

Limit hashtags in your caption to about five and make sure that they are relevant and concise. Custom hashtags can be effective, but only if done right. A recent update has allowed emojis to be added to hashtags. If you want to expose your photo to a larger amount of users, after posting the photo, comment five bullet points (within the same comment, not separately). In the sixth line, post as many hashtags as your heart desires. This way, the comment won’t be exposed unless clicked on and those who see the photo won’t be blinded by your use of 50 hashtags.


4. Decide whether you want borders or not.

Many apps were created so that photos wouldn’t be cropped on IG, but the white borders tend to be tricky. Unless you consistently use NoCrop or InstaSquarer for every photo you post, don’t switch between cropping using apps and having IG crop so that there are no borders. Or, don’t mess with those apps and just have Instagram crop your photos so that you will have a uniform feed. I use the SproutSocial site as it lets you upload your photo and lets you choose from four sizes that are compatible with IG.

5. Show off that face.

Regarding photo content, photos showing your face tend to receive more attention than, say, a pic of your food or shoes. If you want to post a group photo, those with fewer people tend to get a better response. So, that summer photo of you and your 15 fellow camp counselors smiling and swatting away bugs? Probably best left in your camera roll. If anything, it’ll make a great lock screen image.


6. Unum app

I use this app to add all of the photos I consider posting. You can see how all of your photos look side by side in order to keep up with your theme or just to make sure a photo doesn’t look out of place. Unlike Vscocam, users can rearrange the photos with an indication of which photos were already posted to your IG. At the moment, it’s iPhone only but is currently being worked on to accommodate Android users.

7. Airbrush app

This app doesn’t necessarily advocate embracing your flaws due to its smooth, firm, whiten, blemish and conceal features, but hey, we have to be prepared now that we can zoom in on IG. I tend to use the whitening feature to clean up any shadows or funky-looking colors in photos in order to maintain a crisp look. If you’re going for a gray theme, this feature will help greatly with your backgrounds.


8. Crowdfire app

I use this to see my recent followers and unfollowers. If you’re petty like me and want to unfollow whoever unfollows you, this app shows their handle bright and clear so you won’t have to go digging through your list of followers wondering who made your number decrease.


9. Be somewhat consistent with posting.

Those who seem like they’re constantly gaining new followers are the ones who treat Instagram like their job and constantly post. If you’re juggling school, a job and family obligations, this may seem less realistic but remember that one great post is better than five average posts. If you post more than one pic a day, keep them about seven hours apart.

10. Everyone is raging about the ratio.

You know, where you “have” to have more followers than you’re following. Don’t buy too much into it. BUT, if you do care, a simple hack is to follow many famous Instagrammers at one time. You’ll probably gain a handful more followers, even though they’re usually just bots.

11. Now, how to properly stalk someone.

Put your phone on airplane mode so you can zoom in and out of every crevice of each photo without fear of accidentally liking a post from two years ago. If you want to see if someone is following a certain person, Instagram has created a new search bar.


12. Engaging is more important than you think.

If you’re intent on increasing exposure for your feed, commenting is just as important as liking. We dish out more likes than we do comments and this is the quickest way to generate more attention. Go to your favorite hashtags and go ham. Give a compliment or constructive criticism. If you have an account all about capturing people, find similar accounts and get inspiration. If you engage with and follow someone who’s just starting out, chances are they’ll follow you back, especially if you have similar visions.


13. Have the right intention when creating an account.

We won’t all end up like Humans of New York. You can hope to gain fame with your account but it shouldn’t be your main motivation. The best accounts aren’t necessarily posting what’s trendy, rather, they are staying true to their original vision. Authenticity comes first and success will eventually follow.

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