The Two Laws of Instagram
Photo by Jonathan Hane

The Two Laws of Instagram

Similar to Einstein’s theory of relativity, there are certain principles and laws at work with any successful Instagram account. We all have experienced the overwhelming sense of bitterness and jealousy upon meeting someone who has more followers than you. It is a clear and obvious fact that your identity and value as a person is completely wrapped up in how you present yourself on social media; that Instagram is the best and greatest place to seek affirmation in your life. Today I would like to take you through just two very simple unspoken guidelines and tips that, if followed and applied correctly, can help make your Instagram profile stand out overnight.

Rule #1: Likes Are Everything
Do not believe the lie that people today preach that your identity and talent as a photographer is not wrapped up in the number of likes on your photo. It absolutely is. If you’re good, you get likes. If you don’t get a lot of likes, you are not good and should reconsider pursuing some other form of social media such as MySpace or Snapchat. In fact, this number really is more of a representation of your value as a person as a whole. It really is all that defines you and accurately describes who you are. Receiving more ‘likes’ on your photo makes you better than those around you who do not receive as much, it’s really that simple. That being said, there are two very important strategies to boosting this number and ensuring that you will always be able to look down on your neighbor for their feeble double-digit number of likes.

Rule #1a: Hashtags Are Key
The more hashtags the better; there’s really not a more simple way to put it than that. Nothing is greater on a photo than to see a long scrolling list of pound signs followed by random, indiscreet words that vaguely describe the image. Make sure you stay current and use words you know are trending or what all the hipsters are using. Apparently there is a rumor going around the Internet today that hashtags somehow have a purpose and help to connect other photographers with each other and create some sort of silly hypothetical community. No; hashtags just help to decorate the photo and make it more attractive. Once again, numbers are key here. The more hashtags you use, the better the photo.

Rule #1b: Caption King
If you don’t have an excellent, heart-stopping, tear-jerking, attention-grabbing, knee-knocking clever caption, you’re better off not posting your photo in the first place. Successful Instagramers have been known to lock themselves for hours, even days, in remote mountain-cabins far away from civilization to construct the perfect caption for their photo. The caption of a photo is really what makes or breaks the image. It’s the final hook that reels in that much-sought after double tap of a stranger’s finger on your image. Cheesy overused quotes, or verses taken completely out of context statistically have been proven to be most effective in getting the most number of likes possible. The key here is to be as completely unrelated to the image as possible. The greater the disconnect between the photo and the caption, and the more obscure the meaning, the more the number of likes. It’s really quite simple.

Rule #2: Following-to-followers Ratio
The key to having an attractive Instagram profile is all about your following-to-followers ratio. Known as the “golden ratio,” the important thing here is to have more people that follow you than you actually follow yourself. Today, more proficient and successful IGers have been known to maintain an average of 1 to 300 following-to-follower ratio. While difficult to endure the burden of all those likes and comments, the golden ratio is truly what divides the boys from the men. It is what makes your Instagram account truly stand out.

By taking these two simple rules into account whenever posting on social media, especially on Instagram, you will greatly enhance your life by improving your popularity on social media. Because at the end of the day, we know that’s really all that matters.

About The Author

Jonathan Hane, Staff Contributor
Jonathan Hane is a junior at Southern Nazarene University. Growing up overseas, Jonathan still struggles with counting American change and would much prefer a large bowl of rice over a sandwich at Chick-fil-a. He is currently studying Mass Communication and hopes to move back overseas to travel after graduation while doing photojournalism for missions and humanitarian aid organizations.

What do you think?