July 7, 2014

If you're using Instagram for your business, then you want to expand your reach and get in front of more customers and potential customers. Having more followers will ensure more people see your message and increase your opportunities to drive traffic and sales.

And so, I want to show you how to get more followers on Instagram.

But, I want to be clear, this is not a list of cheap tricks to drastically increase your Instagram followers. Instead, I am going to show you methods that take time and effort to attract quality followers related to your business and your goals.

Having quality followers who are actually interested in your business and products or services will ensure you get real results from Instagram. Just having tens of thousands of random followers does not do anything of value for your business.

Tell People You're on Instagram

First and foremost, you need to tell your customers and potential customers that you're on Instagram. Chances are they aren't going to find you on their own - you need to tell them.

This can be as simple as mentioning it in person or in conversation with others. I also recommend you include your Instagram handle or link on all of your media - website, business cards, contact info, pamphlets, etc. Make it easy for people to find you and follow you.

Use Teaser Images on Other Sites

Rather than sharing all of your Instagram images to Facebook and Twitter, share only ONE or two images to the other sites and invite your fans and followers on those sites to check you on Instagram for the rest of your images. If you already have a strong following on other social media sites, encourage them - and give them a reason - to follow you on Instagram as well.

Use Contests or Exclusive Discounts

If you want to consistently get more followers on Instagram, offer Instagram-exclusive contests and/or discounts. Rewarding your Instagram followers with exclusive opportunities will encourage people to follow you - and they'll tell others to follow you there as well to take advantage of these promotions.


To reach new audiences, make good use of hashtags in your Instagram posts. Hashtags will increase the reach of your posts and boost engagement levels as well. Hashtags are actively searched on Instagram and are a great way to reach new potential customers.

For more insight on using hashtags efficiently, check out my post on creating a hashtag strategy.

Follow More People

The more active and engaging you are, the more people will reciprocate. So to get more people to follow you, follow more people.

I recommend you follow people in your industry or people you are associated with. Engage with them and participate in their post conversations. Their followers will see this and be more likely to follow you as well.

I also recommend you find people who follow those who follow you. Did you follow that? 😉 Take a look at your followers (the people who follow you). Find those of most relevance to your business or brand goals and go to their profiles. Then go see who's following them. Chances are if they are following your competition, your associates, or others associated with your business, they'll want to follow you too!


As I said at the start, this is not a quick fix to get thousands of followers overnight. This is a tried and tested method to get more legitimate followers. The pace may be slow but it will be steady and will increase exponentially over time.

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. Great post Jenn. What do you think of doing a ‘collage’ or composition with multiple images to use as that teaser you mention? Something like ‘Hey, see what you are missing on Instagram!’

    1. I think that’s an awesome idea, Antonio! That’s a really good way to showcase multiple images without giving it all away.

  2. Ya, I agree with you that hashtags are a great way to get followers. The trick to this is looking at folks with a large following and seeing what hashtags they use. I’ve always been happy with the follows I’ve gotten from #liveauthentic and #livefolk .

    1. That’s great, Jim. I’m glad you’ve found a method that works for you 🙂

  3. I created a hashtag, how do I make people aware about that hashtag? My question is how can one make a hashtag popular?

    1. Hi Wendy. The best way to increase awareness about a hashtag is to use it and promote it. Tell your customers about it, use it in your advertising, use it on your website, and use it in your social media posts. But small businesses need to be aware that you aren’t likely to get your hashtag to go viral like a company like Nike does.

      1. Jenn, thank you for your reply. I am currently working on my MBA and we have a client who has no presence online. Our team will create a hashtag to promote their wedding venue. Thanks again.

  4. how can I make my hasthtag known to people?
    how can i get people to start using a specific hashtag?

  5. Great tips Jenn. 🙂
    I have found one thing on Insta that people loves combined photos, when a sequence of pic is arranged together and posted rather than posting those pics alone and the timing of posting also matters a lot.
    What do you think ?

    1. Yes, Karan. A lot of people do enjoy those, especially when viewing your gallery. Of course, the images don’t tend to flow as well in the feed and if you add a single post after consecutive series, it will mess up the alignment of the series until you get three new posts uploaded.

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