The human brain processes images in about 13 milliseconds.

You read that correctly.

13 milliseconds.

To put that into perspective, it takes you about 350 milliseconds to blink.

That means that anytime someone is scrolling through their Instagram feed and they see one of your posts, it takes them about 13 milliseconds to process the data that you are presenting.

That doesn't leave you with a whole lot of time to get your message across and make a good impression.

Luckily for you, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can instantly boost the effectiveness of all of your Instagram marketing, almost overnight.

1. Use Faces in Your Posts

Subconsciously, people connect with faces more than they would with an animal or an image of an expensive car for example.

The human brain is specially wired to recognize emotion and data presented through facial expressions more rapidly than just about anything else.

Recent studies have shown that one of the easiest ways to start increasing the success of your Instagram posts is to start using faces more frequently.

In fact, according to market research, Instagram posts that featured faces received 38% more likes and 32% more comments than their faceless counterparts.

So, what's the point?

Start using more pictures that feature people's faces and watch your likes and followers soar.

2. Show Customers Using Real Products

While this point obviously does not apply for those of you with digital products, studies have shown that user engagement was increased by nearly 30% whenever a post included a picture of a customer using a real product.

So even if you don't have the most aesthetic product in the world, get some customers who are willing to be photographed using your product. You will be able to quickly improve engagement on Instagram.

3. Post More Photos and Less Videos

This point may seem counterintuitive...

After all, "A picture is worth a thousand words" -- right ?

It therefore stands to reason that "A video is worth a thousand pictures".

But that's not the case on Instagram. At least as far as engagement goes. A recent study showed that user engagement is actually decreased for videos longer than 9 seconds long.


Think about it for a minute.

It takes the human brain 13 milliseconds to process one image, and we live in a world where the average attention span is around 12 seconds.

Therefore, holding a user's interest long enough for them to watch a video and then like and comment on that video is much less likely than holding a user's attention with a simple picture.

4. Use Blue as the Dominant Color

The human brain associates the color blue with trust, comfort, and serenity, making it a simple way to increase the number of shares and comments on your content.

I see a lot of Instagram marketers using red-dominant pictures which, while great for grabbing a user's attention, are not ideal for instilling trust (the primary goal of most marketing campaigns).

In fact, studies have shown that blue-dominant pictures have almost 25% more likes than red-dominant pictures.

Like most things on this list, this is a fairly easy tip to employ and will quickly increase user engagement and likes.

5. Use Lighter Images vs. Dark Ones

I know that you think all of those monochromatic shots of big houses, luxury items, and puppies are super beautiful. But does that mean you click "Like?"

Not necessarily.

Studies have shown that users respond better to lighter colored images than darker ones.

In fact, market research has shown that whenever you use a "cooler" color palate, odds of users clicking the like button go up by nearly 25%.

While this does not mean you can never use a black and white photo for your campaigns, it does mean that you should be intentional about making your post's lighting more appealing.

6. Publish Your Big Posts on Sunday

I have written a number of articles on my blog about scheduling your Facebook posts and ad campaigns based on the days that have maximum user engagement. Like Facebook, simply shifting the days that you post can sky rocket your engagement with no additional effort.

Studies have shown that Sundays have a 6% higher engagement rate than Wednesdays (the least viewed day of the week).

This means that if you ignore everything else in this article, simply changing the day that you publish your content from Wednesday to Sunday can instantly increase engagement by 6%!

7. Use More Creative Hashtags

Posts with multiple hashtags get more engagement than posts with less. However, not all hashtags are created equal.

As Larry Kim points out, when you get specific with your hashtags, more people with engage with your posts.

In other words, it's better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond, especially on Instagram.


Instagram is one of the most efficient ways to market your company, grow your brand, and increase your revenue, and with these few simple tips you can instantly increase user engagement and boost your account through the roof.

With these easy tricks, you can increase engagement by over 100% while not working any harder in the process.

What is your top tip for boosting Instagram followers?

Published on: Sep 15, 2016