Jenn Herman
July 24, 2014

5 Ways to Get More Followers on Instagram

instagram followers

This is the seventh post in a 12 month series on the use of Instagram for businesses.

While we don’t want to over-focus on the number of followers you have, the reality is that more followers mean more eyes on your posts and more opportunities to drive traffic and sales from your Instagram account. I’m always going to advocate that you focus on getting quality followers, though, not just “more” followers.

And so, in this post I want to show you how to get more followers on Instagram. But these methods are not overnight, quick-fix options. They will take time and allow you to grow a healthy and appropriate Instagram audience.

Tell People You’re on Instagram

This is the easiest and most efficient way to grow your audience. If you already have customers coming in your store, visiting your site, or following you on other social media sites, you already have an audience. Therefore, you can leverage these dedicated customers and fans and have them join you on Instagram.

Telling them 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 Occasional Instagram Images as Teasers

I highly discourage posting every Instagram photo to your Facebook or Twitter accounts. Doing this doesn’t give your Instagram fans any reason to follow you here (they can see everything on your other sites!). So, instead, “tease” the occasional Instagram image on your Facebook or other social media pages, inviting your fans there to come check you out and follow you on Instagram.

This works especially well if you have an event or a series of photos around a specific situation (product launch, celebrations, etc.). Teasing one image on your other sites but sharing the full gallery of images on Instagram gives people a reason to stay connected on Instagram.

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.

Using flash sales or even pre-scheduled, regular sale announcements allows you to connect with your audience based on expectation – it keeps them coming back regularly to find out what the next sale is all about.


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.

Make sure that you use relevant hashtags though! No hashjacking! Focus on keywords related to your post, your business, or the purpose of your post.

Including an average of 3-10 hashtags per post is sufficient for reaching new audiences and expanding your reach.

Follow More People

If you only follow 10 people, chances are people aren’t going to follow you as freely. So follow more people! I’m not saying you have to follow everyone who follows you. But you should follow people who are relevant to your business (associates, partners, vendors or suppliers, customers – if applicable, etc.).

Be engaging as well. Don’t just post and run. Take the time to respond to comments and questions, engage on others’ posts, and generally create relationships with those on Instagram. The more you forge real relationships, the more of your followers that will become brand advocates and promote you and your business!


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Jenn Herman is a social media strategist and Instagram advocate who writes a blog focused on understanding trends in social media management. She provides tips, resources, and training for small to medium sized businesses that need to structure their social media strategies for success. Her business background includes Administration, Sales, Human Resources, and Marketing. If you would like to learn more about how to use Instagram, you can download "The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Instagram" here.