A Game Of “Likes”
You might think that teenagers are the demographic that is the most concerned with the number of “Likes” on their social media posts, but the average adolescent has little more than an ego-boost to gain from a popular post; however, those with a specific agenda, such as businesses, public figures and professional bloggers, can use platforms like Instagram and Twitter to reach hundreds of millions of people.
This obsession with “engagement” -- the technical term for how much a post is viewed, commented on and/or liked -- has led to a variety of news stories and even studies examining why certain posts fare better than others.
The poster’s tactic is going to vary depending on their objective and account type. For example, a personal account may focus more heavily on hashtags, so that those outside their ‘Followers’ are more likely to see it, while a business account may be more regimented in scheduling their posts and consistently use similar filters and hashtags. While using a popular hashtag increases the likelihood of people outside one’s network seeing the post, it also means the post is likely to get buried quickly.
Regardless of the goal, one of the most effective ways to boost Likes is to engage with the audience. Whether that means asking questions and encouraging Followers to comment, tagging other users, or commenting on another accounts’ posts, viewers seem to be more interested when the account is personable and not solely focused on content.
Deciding when to post can be tricky, there are studies and meta-analyses that break down when the best times to post during a given day or time of year; however, many social media outlets are no longer sorted chronologically. For example, Instagram now uses an algorithm sort posted content, meaning that the more interaction a post receives the more it will be shown on viewers’ timelines.