Using popular hashtags
Hashtags provide a good way to get likes on Instagram for your photos. Hashtags can be based on the subject matter, the style of photography or processing, Instagram filters, location or your apps. You can also choose from one of the popular tags used frequently, such as #photooftheday, #instagood or #tigers. Explore the hashtags used by other users. If you feel that adding these tags from your phone is difficult, you can post your photo from the phone. Then using Instagram's web based interface, copy and paste the hashtags from a draft in your email, a saved document or use Tagstagram.
Participate in community activities
Innumerable Instagram activities on mobile social networks provide options for you to participate. One of the largest community activities is perhaps JJ's daily forum that was started by Josh Johnson, an Instagram user with approximately 280,000 followers. With thousands of members, his forum has expanded to now include a network of editors working to highlight photos every day. To participate, follow Josh Johnson, find out the daily theme and submit your photos. The themes are generally based on style or content, such as black and white or reflections. Other Instagram communities include Steetphoto bw, Photooftheday, Ampt, EyeEm and many others.
Give and take
The most important element for success at Instagram is engagement, just like any other community or social network. The more you give your time to other members and interact with them the more they would do the same for you. Like others' photos and leave thoughtful comments to catch their attention. Paying more attention to photos by people outside your immediate group of friends will get you more likes and followers. In turn, their friends will notice you and your network will expand faster. Be selective about the photos you like, since it pays to engage with Instagrammers interested in similar types to photography.
Be creative with photo-editing
You might want to try Instagram's filters, but do not stop there. Although they are amazing, there are unlimited options with Android and iOS apps for enthusiast mobile photographers. Use Adobe Photoshop Express or Snapseed for photo-editing, or PicCollage or Fuzel, creative apps that let you generate striking collages. Create your signature style and add your mark to your photos. Once you establish your distinct niche or style, you will get noticed more easily and soon build a subsequent following.
Get featured by Instagram
While getting featured by Instagram is rather difficult, this could get you thousands of followers in a day. Instagram has not disclosed its policy or criteria for choosing users for their suggested users' list. If you do get selected, you would stay on for one week, giving you the greatest possible exposure on the social network. If you do not know about the recommended users' list, you can check it out in settings-find and invite friends-suggested users. The list varies immensely and you could feature on it for an interesting perspective, a unique style or for your niche.