10 Reasons Why Your Instagram Photos Aren’t Getting Any Likes

Fear not: You can fix this.

10 Reasons Why Your Instagram Photos Aren’t Getting Any Likes

I’m totally guilty of deleting my Instagrams if they didn't get enough likes. Although I’m sure it’s something that 0% of other people notice, I don’t like having a lackluster feed. It all hinges on that magic 11th like (although for me, anything under about 15 goes).

Here are some of the reasons why you may not quite be getting there:

Your flash is on.

Overexposed faces and yellow-tinged everything is never a good look.

The picture is dark.

If I haven’t made it clear, lighting is important. If it’s dark, it’s probably not a good time to gram. Better to save your snaps for when crisp, clear natural light is available. It’s the most flattering for your subjects and for your feed.

You’re not taking it at a 90 degree angle.

When I ask friends to take a picture of me for Instagram, I pretty much always get the same thing: they just hold up the phone and click from wherever it is they were standing. I don’t want to be the person who makes them retake it, but more often than not, I won’t use that picture. You want to shoot your pictures head on at a straight angle. It’s the best for framing and makes whatever you’re capturing look a lot more professional.

10 Reasons Why Your Instagram Photos Aren’t Getting Any Likes

Your aesthetic isn’t cohesive.

I overheard two people talking about this in line the other day, and it’s absolutely true. Users are attracted to a profile filled with similarly-themed pictures, not necessarily in subject but in things like color, light and size. A jumble of photos that range from rectangles to squares to collages with a mix of soft gray morning light and bright, blown out summery oranges doesn’t make me want to take a closer look, and definitely won’t make me double-tap.

You don’t have a caption.

A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but a good caption takes it from blah to bl-Ah-mazing. If you make your followers think or chuckle, they’re more likely to engage, giving you a precious like and maybe even a comment.

The subject is overdone.

A picture of your food is definitely an Insta-classic, but after a certain point I find myself thinking “next” whenever one is on my feed. Same goes for feet shots (of which I’m totes guilty) and coffee grams. We’ve seen these so many times before—why not give them a twist? What are you reading with your coffee? What are you wearing above your shoes? What does your plate look like after you devoured that photogenic meal?

10 Reasons Why Your Instagram Photos Aren’t Getting Any Likes

You’re posting too often.

If my friend travels to Italy and Instagrams a giant plate of pasta, that’s def worthy of a like. But then if she Instagrams her pizza…and her gelato…and a gondola…and another gondola…I can’t keep up! Even if I could, liking every single picture would make me feel a little obsessive. If you’re out and about, feel free to snap away! But at the end of the day, pick your favorite and give it the sole spotlight.

You’re only using Instagram filters.

There’s a whole word of iPhone photo editing beyond the Instagram app, but they’re still totally Instagram-compatible. My faves are VSCO and Afterlight. There’s a wider range of filters and the ability to toggle intricate specifics when it comes to color and contrast. Plus, there are cool ad-ons, like light leaks and dust, which give your photos that vintage film look.

10 Reasons Why Your Instagram Photos Aren’t Getting Any Likes

You’re posting pictures that aren’t relatable.

I’m all for other people as subjects, but if it’s just a picture of your old high school friend sipping a cocktail…I don’t know her! I can’t relate and don’t want to like a photo I don’t feel like I understand. Your followers don’t have to be intimately familiar with all of your subjects, but present them in a way that they recognize the sentiment.

You’re posting at the wrong time.

If it’s too early or too late, people have checked out. Midmorning is usually a good time. People are scrolling on their way to work, on their way back from the gym…on the way out of bed in five more minutes they promise. Think of it this way: If you’re not spending that time scrolling through your feed, not many other people will be either. Save your photos for that common down time when you know they’ll reach the widest audience.