Going viral on Instagram simply means posting content that rapidly spreads through the platform and is shared quickly by thousands of Instagram users.

While it sounds easy, how to actually “go viral” is far more difficult to understand.

There aren’t any rules for deciding when the content achieves viral status, but there are a number of factors involved to consider a post, viral:

• The number of shares a post has received
• How many likes the post has received
• The number of unique users it has reached
• How quickly the post’s content is consumed
• The amount of link clicks the post has

Though it is complicated figuring out if your post on Instagram has gone viral, usually we know something is viral when we see it on our social feeds. So it is pretty relative.

How many hits do you need to go viral?

To go viral on Instagram you need at least 100,000+ likes and views along with thousands of comments even if your account only has a hundred followers.

But to achieve that benchmark isn’t easy. You need so many other things working in your favor. Yet the key to it all is how much your followers engage with your content.

How Do Instagrams Go Viral?

The majority of Instagrams going viral is through increased engagement. This means you have to do everything you can to encourage and boost engagement fast.

The idea is that a big push in engagement will force your post onto Instagram’s Explore page, which makes it even easier for people to discover and view your posts.

Strategies to Help You Go Viral on Instagram:

The following tips and tricks will help you to achieve viral status on Instagram.

1. Understand Your Audience:

Getting to know your audience on Instagram is very important to create viral content. You need to know what makes your followers tick, what their interests are, and the type of content they interact with the most.

An easy way to understand your audience is to create a buyer persona (semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on data and research). It clearly defines your ideal audience so that you can quickly determine their interests.
Your persona should include these details:
• Age
• Gender
• Location
• What Instagram accounts they follow & what type of content they like

With this information in hand, you’ll be better prepared to create the type of content that’s relevant to your audience.

2. Create a Unique and Creative Voice:

The best content on Instagram has to have a unique voice and a clear point of view combined with stunning images and you can have the ideal recipe for a viral Instagram post.

When brands really kill it on Instagram, it’s a result of understanding and serving the needs and wants of their audiences, as with any other social platform.

3. Develop a Striking Aesthetic:

But creativity goes hand-in-hand with a unique aesthetic and theme for your posts. Striking images have the power to send your content to the top posts section. And getting the result is even more engagement with your content.

A good Instagram aesthetic has a consistent theme throughout all posts. You can achieve this by using the same set of filters, or photo backdrop.

4. Engage With Other Content:

It’s important you interact and engage with your Instagram followers as much as possible since Instagram is a social network so the focus should be on being social.

Get involved by liking other posts, and leave thoughtful comments about why you enjoyed the content. Therefore engage with your followers but keep it relevant and thoughtful.

5. Review Your Competitors Posts:

Another way to make your Instagram posts go viral is to study what your competitors are up to. There is no rule saying you can’t borrow ideas and use them in your own content.

You can note down certain ideas from going through their posts like following:
• Use of images
• Post captions
• How often they post on Instagram
• Posting time
• Hashtags used
• Who they tag or mention
• Type of humor

This list can then be compared to the persona you have created for your audience and use the elements that overlap with their interests and preferences.

6. Leverage Analytics to Learn What Works Best:

You can also look into your Instagram analytics to find out what content works best for your followers.

Insights, as they’re known on Instagram, provide detailed information on your follower demographics.

From the insights, you can learn:

• Age range of followers
• Follower gender
• Follower locations
• The times your followers are most active
• How many likes you receive for a post
• The number of comments each post gets
• How many impressions a post receives

For example, if you published a post at 6 pm but got very little engagement, then a quick glance at when your followers are most active might highlight that most of your followers don’t use Instagram at that time, rather they’re more active at around 10 pm.

So instead, you could experiment with posting around 10 pm with the hopes of reaching those people when they’re active.

7. Run Viral Instagram Contests:

Running a contest is a great way to get the engagement boost you need to quickly go viral.

8. Focus on Photos Over Videos:

Photo content on Instagram gets 36% more engagement than video.
So if you want to create a piece of super viral content, you’re likely better off sticking to images rather than video to get the best results.

It’s much easier to create viral content on Instagram if the topic is already trending in the news. Current events are at the top of peoples’ minds, so posts relevant to those events will resonate more with your audience.

10. Partner with Influencers in Your Industry:

By getting celebrities and influencers to use your products, you can not only raise awareness but also cement yourself into their sphere of influence.

11. Boost Your Post Reach with Paid Ads:

Social media marketing statistics show that over 2 million advertisers are active on Instagram. And that’s because many brands understand that Instagram users are more likely to engage with sponsored content there than on any other platform.

Therefore if you’re interested in creating viral Instagram content, you should consider paying to promote your posts and increase your reach.
And this isn’t just for the bigger brands either.

It doesn’t cost much to go viral on Instagram. Most engagement methods are free to implement.

But if you’re using paid ads, expect to pay an average of $0.50 – $1.00 per click. If your industry is a competitive one, such as beauty or fashion Instagram ad costs can reach up to $3.00 per click.

12. Create a Consistent Posting Schedule:

The final viral tip for Instagram is to ensure you have a consistent posting schedule. Planning and scheduling posts ahead of time, helps you manage what’s going out, and when.

This means you can time the publishing of posts for when your followers are most active to maximize engagement. And it also prevents rushing out last-minute posts, so you can keep your content high quality.

Unlike Facebook, you can’t directly schedule posts to Instagram. But there’s a range of social media marketing tools available to help schedule your content outside of the platform.


Well, now you know how to go viral on Instagram by using the crucial ingredients detailed above. And now it’s up to you how you implement these tricks in your posts to make them viral.