March 31, 2014

Whether you use Instagram for business or personal use, you likely want more likes on your posts. You want to know that the posts you share are enjoyed by your followers. There are plenty of studies out there that describe what types of photos get more likes on Instagram. And the latest study from Georgia Tech indicates that Instagram images with faces get more likes.

According to this study, if you want to increase likes by an average of 38%, try adding images with faces to your gallery. Images with faces also generate 32% more comments.

So, yes, faces generate more likes on Instagram.

BUT, I share this advice with caution.

Yes, in theory (and I don't think this is the first study to confirm that faces and selfies get more likes), posts with faces have popularity. Have you ever checked the hashtag #selfie on Instagram? You'll get more results than you could ever look at. People enjoy taking selfies and they like seeing selfies on Instagram.

But there are also a number of other things you can do to get more likes, according to various studies.

Just like any other social media site, there are a ton of "best practices" to implement. On Instagram, these best practices (may) include:

  • Posts with certain colors are ideal (blue is supposed to be the bestl)
  • Posts with specific filters work best and Mayfair is the leader (lo-fi is highly recommended for food)
  • Sunday is the best day to post
  • Post with more than 11 hashtags get the most engagement, and
  • Images with faces are popular

But who is your audience? Why are they on Instagram? Why are you on Instagram? What's your business all about?

While there are "general" suggestions for what produces the best results, you need to do what works best for you and your audience. You need to test your posts and know what works best for your goals.

If your only goal is to get more likes, then start slapping up photos with faces (or according to other rules). But if your goal is to drive traffic, get more sales, increase brand awareness, connect with your audience, or any other goal, photos with faces may not be your best strategy.

Now, if you have the opportunity to include people in your posts and make it make sense, do it! For example, if you sell products, include photos where the product is displayed with a person and where you can see their face. Now you get the best of both worlds!

On a side note, I also recommend you read this study from Georgia Tech. They have some other interesting data regarding post frequency and their thoughts on why faces generate more engagement.

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