So, you want to go viral on Instagram? Join the club!
Knowing that you can take proactive steps to boost your odds of going viral is the first step on your road to Instagram fame.
A word of warning: This guide doesn’t actually show you how to go viral on Instagram. We can only arm you with tips — the rest depends on your audience.
Follow these steps to gain more likes, shares, comments, and followers. You might even hit a home run and go viral on Instagram.
How to Go Viral on Instagram: A Quick Glance
Going viral is the Holy Grail of Instagram, but not all posts can succeed.
You can increase your odds of going viral on Instagram by following these tips:
- Know your audience.
- Develop a unique and instantly-recognizable voice.
- Create a signature Instagram aesthetic.
- Discover the best time to post on Instagram. Post at peak times and use Instagram Insights to find out when your followers are online.
- Engage your audience. Like and reply to comments. Share interesting posts.
- Know what types of Instagram posts your audience prefers.
- Get inspiration from other viral posts in your niche — but never copy ideas.
- Jump on the latest trends.
- Collaborate with other Instagram influencers to expand your reach.
- Be active on Instagram. Post often. Every post has a chance to go viral.
- Run exciting competitions or giveaways to create buzz.
- Boost posts with viral potential to reach more people.
That’s easier said than done, so keep reading to find out how to go viral on Instagram!
1. Understand Your Audience to Go Viral on Instagram
Everyone wants to go viral on Instagram. Going viral is a worthy goal, but it’s too broad.
Maximizing engagement is a more specific goal, and you have to understand your audience to succeed.
These tips will help:
Step 1: Create a Buyer Persona
A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your brand’s target audience that covers all bases:
- Purchasing power (socioeconomic class)
- Struggles (problems your customers need to solve)
Every brand has at least one buyer persona. Some brands have several.
Create a buyer persona to understand who your Instagram followers are, what they’re interested in, what they struggle with, and how you can help them.
Tap into that power to make Instagram posts that hit home.
Step 2: Take Advantage of Instagram Insights
Instagram Insights, the platform’s inbuilt analytics tool, is available to anyone with an Instagram business or creator account.
This powerful tool lets you compare your existing follower base to your buyer persona.
Follow these steps to access Instagram Insights on the mobile app:
- Launch the Instagram app and go to your profile.
- Tap the hamburger menu (three lines) in the top right corner.
- Select “Insights.”
You’ll be able to see where your followers are based, how old they are, what their gender is, and when they’re online.
Step 3: Analyze Your Competitors
Your competitors have the same target audience. Social media strategies that work for them will work for you, too.
A specialized Instagram competitor analysis tool can show you how to better connect with your followers. Great examples include:
- Sprout Social
2. Develop a Strong and Unique Voice to Go Viral on Instagram
You have better odds of grabbing attention if you can set your Instagram account apart.
Here’s how to stand out from the crowd:
- Craft a unique and instantly recognizable writing voice.
- Develop a signature style.
- Create a predictable Instagram routine.
- Let your values and mission shine through.
3. Establish a Recognizable Aesthetic to Go Viral on Instagram
Instagram is the web’s most visual social media platform. By now, it’s clear that you need to create stunning posts to succeed — but do your posts stand out from the crowd?
Your Instagram posts need a recognizable aesthetic that ties all your content together.
Using the same backdrop is one way to achieve this effect. Filters can help, too. You can also include the same visual element in all your Instagram photo and video posts. A company mascot can, for example, help you craft a consistent look.
4. Find the Best Time to Post on Instagram to Go Viral
Your Instagram posts could be magical, but you’ll lose out on the potential to go viral if you don’t post on Instagram at the right time.
What is the best time to post on Instagram? You have two options:
- Post at peak times. Posting on Wednesday at 11 am maximizes follower engagement. Every day offers new opportunities to connect with your audience.
- Use Instagram Insights to discover when your audience is online. Take advantage of this knowledge and post your best content when you know your followers are ready to like, share, and comment.
5. Engage with Your Audience to Go Viral on Instagram
You increase your chance of going viral if you’re an active part of the Instagram community.
Don’t just shout into the void and hope success will follow — Instagrammers are social creatures.
Engage your audience by taking the time to:
- Like posts and comments, you enjoy or appreciate.
- Leave comments on followers’ Instagram posts.
- Reply to relevant comments you get on your Instagram posts. Answer questions.
- Share posts that feature your brand.
- Host Q&A videos.
Make sure to be authentic when you engage your followers. Half-hearted comments won’t cut it — be thoughtful in your replies.
6. Discover Which Posts Your Followers Like Best to Go Viral on Instagram
Do your Instagram followers prefer photo posts, reels, or video posts? Finding out is essential if you want to go viral on Instagram.
Keep in mind that photo posts perform better on Instagram. These posts typically attract 36 percent more engagement than videos, but there are no hard and fast rules.
You’ll want to tailor your Instagram posts to your follower base to boost your odds of going viral.
7. Get Inspiration From Other Viral Posts to Go Viral on Instagram
What does it take to go viral? Analyzing content that’s already gone viral is one of the best ways to find out.
You can learn from:
- Instagram posts within your niche that went viral.
- Competitors’ viral Instagram posts.
- Content that went viral on other social platforms.
A deep dive into previous viral content in your industry lets you know what works for your target audience.
Be careful, though — never plagiarize successful content. Allow viral posts to inspire you, but don’t copy ideas or formats.
8. Jump on the Latest Trends to Go Viral on Instagram
You can use existing trends to your advantage when you aim for viral Instagram posts.
Comment, inspire, and participate in trends to connect with your followers — but try to steer clear of controversial content that could offend them.
Tributes, inspirational posts, and uplifting messages are your best bet.
9. Collaborate with Influencers to Go Viral on Instagram
Working with Instagram influencers in your niche is a great way to boost views, likes, comments, and shares.
Collaborations draw new followers to your Instagram page and maximize engagement. They also show that you’re part of a community.
Don’t assume you can’t work with influencers if you don’t have a big budget! Micro-influencers have small but loyal audiences that can drive sales.
10. Be Active to Go Viral on Instagram
It takes high-quality, compelling, and targeted content to go viral on Instagram — but going viral is also a numbers game.
Develop a social media calendar and post on Instagram regularly.
Not all content can go viral, but you get a new shot with every post.
11. Run Exciting Contests to Go Viral on Instagram
Instagrammers love to participate in competitions. They’re in it for more than the chance to win and welcome creative challenges that give them a chance to shine.
Running social media contests is an easy way to up your odds of going viral. Generating buzz is easy:
- Don’t just invite people to follow, like, and comment to enter a giveaway. Instagrammers see right through this tired format.
- Prepare a grand prize.
- Ask participants to participate in a creative challenge.
- Tease your competition before it goes live to get people excited.
- Add relevant hashtags to your giveaway posts.
- Use Instagram Stories to promote your giveaway contest.
Offer an exciting, exclusive, or unique prize, and wait to go viral on Instagram.
12. Boost Your Posts to Go Viral on Instagram
If you want an Instagram post to go viral, you’ll need to reach as many people as possible. People who don’t see your Instagram post can’t like, comment, or follow you!
Boosted Instagram posts are an easy way to maximize your reach. These ads are marked as “Sponsored” — but look just like regular posts.
Boosting posts can be expensive. You don’t want to boost every Instagram post, but try boosting posts with viral potential to give them a nudge in the right direction.
Anyone with an Instagram business or creator account can boost posts. Here’s how:
- Go to the Instagram post you’d like to boost.
- Find the blue “Boost Post” button at the bottom right of your screen.
- Choose your goal. To go viral, select “more profile visits.”
- Pick your audience. Instagram lets you choose target location, age, gender, and interests.
- Select your budget.
- Review your boosted post and add payment details.
- Wait for Instagram to approve your boosted post.
What Does it Take to Go Viral on Instagram?
Everyone wants to go viral on Instagram — but what does that mean? Narrowing your goals down increases your odds of achieving them.
There’s no one agreed-on definition of going viral on Instagram, but here are three helpful ways to look at it:
1. Getting at Least 100,000 Likes on Your Instagram Post
Everyone agrees that an Instagram post has gone viral if:
- The post gets at least 100,000 likes and many more views.
- It bags thousands of comments.
- The post leads to a massive spike in followers.
2. Going Viral in Your Niche
Going viral in your niche is another worthy goal. An Instagram post is viral in your niche if it draws much more attention than your competitors’ most popular Instagram posts.
Are you in a popular niche? You’ll need those 100,000 likes to go viral.
Does your Instagram account fall into a much smaller niche? You might only need 10,000 likes to go viral in your niche.
Getting 10,000 likes isn’t the big win you were hoping for, but it still deserves to be celebrated!
3. Viral-for-Me Instagram Posts
An Instagram post is “viral for me” if it gets 10 to 20 times more likes than usual.
This milestone won’t make you internet-famous, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Like actual viral posts, you can expect these viral-for-me Instagram posts to bring in lots of new followers and ongoing engagement.
What Should You Do After You Go Viral on Instagram?
Loyal followers and new fans will expect more great Instagram posts after you go viral.
Keep making high-quality posts and engaging your audience. Set the bar higher than before. With the right steps, you can keep the momentum going and go viral again!
How to Go Viral on Instagram: A Final Word
There’s no guaranteed recipe for success, but you can take proactive steps to boost your odds of going viral on Instagram.
Here’s a quick recap:
- Understand your audience inside-out to go viral on Instagram.
- Develop a strong voice and recognizable aesthetic.
- Discover the best time to post on Instagram and post regularly. Photo posts have the best chance of going viral.
- Engage your audience. Try running a giveaway contest.
- Be inspired by other viral content and jump on the latest trends.
- Collaborate with other Instagram influencers.
- Try boosting Instagram posts with viral potential.
You might not go viral right away if you follow these steps. Viral-for-me posts that attract at least 10 times your usual likes are a great milestone, too.
Keep working, and you’ll craft a winning Instagram post that gets 100,000+ likes!