By Leslie Youngblood

Instagram is where it’s at these days.

Just look at some of the numbers:

  • 1 billion people use Instagram.
  • 59% of US-based Instagram users are under 30
  • 95% of US Instagrammers also use YouTube.

So it’s not only excellent for reaching your target audience, it's also perfect for cross-promoting your YouTube videos (something we've talked about previously).

Clearly you know you need to be on Instagram as a business owner. Maybe you already are, but find yourself scratching your head about how to get your following up. We’ve all seen the influencers and brands that have thousands of followers. How do they do it? What’s the secret?

While there’s no magic potion there are some easy tricks to help you drive your following up.

Step 1: Use The Platform Correctly

This is kind of a DUH step, but hear me out for a moment.

Instagram is first and foremost a visual platform. That means you need high quality, relevant pictures to post on your account. Counterintuitive to that, many people post grainy, dark pictures on the platform. These will not do well and can actually turn people off from returning to your account.


Additionally, don’t post your kids on your business page. They’re cute obviously, but unless they’re a direct part of your business, keep them out of it. Your business account should be about your business not your personal life.

Don't miss your chance to engage with more customers on Instagram.
Step 2: Schedule Your Stuff

Instagram rewards those who post consistently by internally boosting their photos.

Posting randomly will not help you. Instagram growth is like any kind of growth- it needs your attention. Post once a day with high quality photos and you’ll see your numbers go up organically.

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Step 3: Talk It Up!

So many people forget that if you want people to talk to you (via comments and likes), you need to initiate and talk to them.

There are a number of simple ways to do this: Ask them questions in the comments of your photos, and in your stories. Use the poll feature in stories to get them to tap on the story. Also make a point of sharing comments in posts of those you follow.

Instagram growth is not just about the numbers, it’s about how much of your audience is engaging with your content. Be the first to talk and you’ll get people to talk back! Then continue to talk to them.

Again: One post a week with a question isn’t enough. You need to keep engaging with your followers for them to engage with you. When you put the effort in, you WILL see results!

So essentially the steps to boost your Instagram following boil down to:

  1. Strategize
  2. Schedule
  3. Talk!

When you do these three simple things, your Instagram following will surely climb. Maybe you’ll even become one of those brands others aspire to!

Now tell me, what other strategies have you found to help you improve your followers on Instagram? I'd love to know. Just share in the comments.


Leslie Youngblood is the Creative Director for Excelerate Americathe fun, smart service for small businesses. You can ask Leslie for some more Instagram insights anytime by emailing her at 

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