Your Guide to Get More Followers on Your Business Instagram

With more than 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is one of the most essential social media platforms for marketers and business owners to connect with their audience.

If you’re new to the platform, you’re probably wondering how to get Instagram followers who are genuinely interested in what your business has to offer.

Growing your following takes time and attention, but there are a few things you can do right now to build your Instagram platform.

Let’s dive into the steps you can take to tap into your audience on Instagram and increase your follower count.

New Data: Instagram Engagement Report [Free Download]

1. Don’t Buy Instagram followers.

While many social influencers and major brands work hard to build an organic following, some choose to buy followers to increase their social reach and engagement.

Buying followers is cheap; some companies charge less than $5 for hundreds of followers.

However, buying followers and likes can severely damage your brand image and decrease engagement.

For example, Hootsuite created a fake Instagram account and bought 1,000 followers for as little as $15 to test how purchased followers influence audience engagement.

The company received some new followers over the course of a month, but the followers were fake, barely interacted with the content, and were unrelated to the brand.

Furthermore, you risk Instagram removing your account for violating their community guidelines if you buy fake followers.

Moreover, fake followers won’t buy your product or support your brand. Instead, focus on gaining authentic followers to increase your engagement and sales.

2. Create and optimize your Instagram account.

Your Instagram profile should tell your potential followers about your brand, what you do, and why they should follow you. Most importantly, your Instagram should be set up as a business account and not a regular personal account.

To set up a business account on Instagram, follow these steps. Once your business account is set up, you can optimize it to attract followers.


As for your account’s name, start with a recognizable and easily searchable username — like your business name. If your business’ name is already taken, try keeping your business name as the first part of your username so people searching for your business are more likely to come across your account.

For example, the Australian activewear line Lorna Jane uses the username @lornajaneactive.

Screenshot of Lorna Jane Active Instagram page; How to Get More Instagram FollowersImage Source

Pro Tip: Make sure to add your full business name to the “Name” field by clicking “Edit Profile.” This will appear under your profile picture and your username in search.

Public profile

Make sure your profile is public. To make your profile public, open Instagram, click on the gear icon to open “Options,” and make sure “Private Account” is turned off.

Profile photo

Choose a profile picture on-brand with your other social networks, like your company logo. Check out HubSpot’s profile picture for reference.

Screenshot of HubSpot Instagram page; How to Get More Instagram FollowersImage Source

Profile bio

Fill your bio with delightful, actionable, and informative information about your brand. This lets people know what you’re about and gives them a reason to follow you. Include who you are and what you do, and add a hint of personality. Here are a few examples for inspiration:

  • @WeWork: “For all the #waysyouwork, we’re here #wework
  • @Oreo: “Playful moments from your favorite cookie.”
  • @natgeo: “Experience the world through the eyes of National Geographic photographers.”

Notice the bios are short, to the point, and may include relevant hashtags.

Profile link

Add a link to your bio to make it easy for people to go straight from Instagram to your website if they want to.


Enable notifications to see when people share or comment on your photos so you can engage with them quickly. To enable notifications, go to “Settings” > “Notifications” > “Posts, Stories, and Comments.” Select “From Everyone” for every category.

Pro Tip: We don’t recommend you link your Instagram account to Twitter and Facebook, so your Instagram posts are automatically published on those other accounts. The post types are different.

3. Designate a content creator.

There should be one or two people managing your business’s Instagram account. If possible, assign a content creator for your account who has the experience and understands the platform, including all its unique features. 

Pro Tip: If you work for a large organization, keep an organized guidelines document so your content stays consistent with your brand and that others who want to contribute know what/what not to post.

4. Post high-quality content.

Get familiar with essential photography and videography tips and editing apps. Since Instagram is a mobile app, you’ll likely take most of the photos and videos you post on Instagram on your mobile device. Here are some tips for taking great photos and videos:

  • Focus on one subject at a time.
  • Embrace negative space.
  • Look for symmetry.
  • Capture small details.
  • Capture a variety of angles.
  • Make sure the video or image is clear and steady.
  • Have excellent lighting and avoid grainy imagery.

Pro Tip: Instagram also offers a wide range of filters, effects, and tools to make your content stand out, so experiment with different features to see which you like best.

5. Leverage Reels, Stories, and Live videos.

In 2021, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, announced the platform is no longer a photo-sharing app. Since then, Instagram has prioritized video content such as Reels and Stories.

It makes sense, considering videos are more engaging than photos. Our Instagram Engagement Report found that video posts got three times more engagement than photos.

So when you’re creating content for your brand’s Instagram, focus primarily on engaging, dynamic, and interesting Reels and live videos.

For example, the owner of Perfect Pooches Dog Grooming runs an Instagram page called Girl With The Dogs. The page mainly consists of videos showing the behind-the-scenes of pet grooming as well as tips for different breeds of animals.

These Reels are excellent because they showcase the groomer’s work and care for her customers’ pets.

Pro Tip: You can also repurpose content from TikTok or YouTube Shorts as Instagram Reels, but avoid any logos from other apps as that can cause the algorithm to show you video to fewer people.

6. Optimize your Instagram Stories Highlights.

Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, but you can keep them up indefinitely by sorting them into Instagram Highlights. Highlights are especially useful if you have special, ongoing deals or offers.

Take a look at Sephora’s Instagram and how the company uses highlights to display current offers.

 Screenshot of Sephora's Instagram page; How to Get More Instagram FollowersImage Source

Sephora’s use of Highlights is a great example because the company’s highlights organize and display different categories of products, such as fragrances and hair care. Furthermore, they have a highlight showing the brand’s values.

Pro Tip: When posting Stories, think of ways you can later archive them into Highlights.

7. Post meaningful content.

Post content that is relatable, authentic, and on-brand. This means posting content that highlights your products and services but doesn’t always feel like a direct advertisement.

Look at Dove’s official Instagram as an example. The company post Reels like “Choose a Dove Body Wash with Me” where viewers watch a person go through different body washes to start their morning.

Screenshot of Dove's body wash Reel; How to Get More Instagram FollowersImage Source

However, the company also posts more heartfelt content, such as a Reel showing different mothers and daughters washing each other’s hair and playing together.

Screen shot of Dove's Reel; How to Get More Instagram FollowersImage Source

Both videos feature Dove products but in a more humanized and authentic way.

Pro Tip: Keep tabs on trending topics, holidays, and social media trends to help you create meaningful and relevant content.

8. Keep a consistent content calendar.

To start posting on Instagram, download this social media content calendar template and plan your Instagram posts.

Over time, you’ll want to build up a backlog of photos for times of need, like the weekends or when you go on vacation.

Keep your target persona in mind when planning your posting schedule, as that can drastically change your posting timing and frequency — especially if you’re targeting an audience in a different time zone.

Optimizing your schedule for your specific audience might take time and experimentation.

According to our State of Social Media Report, the best times to post on Instagram are:

  • 12 p.m. – 2:59 p.m.
  • 3 p.m. – 5:59 p.m.
  • 6 p.m. – 8:59 p.m.

Pro Tip: For a United States audience, combine Eastern and Central time zones, as they represent almost 80% of the U.S. population.

For audiences outside the U.S., use whichever time zones your target audience uses.

9. Curate user-generated Instagram content.

Encourage your customers to post content using your products or services and tag your Instagram account.

This will alert you to a new tagged post, and you can repost the content on your own Instagram account or to your Instagram Story.

For example, camera company GoPro often posts content taken by athletes, stunt experts, and active influencers using GoPro cameras.

The Instagram photo below was taken by professional surfer Kai Jenny.

 Screenshot of GoPro's Instagram photo; How to Get More Instagram FollowersImage Source

Pro Tip: Create a brand hashtag customers can use when posting content of your products or services.

10. Optimize your captions for SEO.

Captions are integral to your Instagram because they can showcase your brand voice, double as a call to action, and contextualize your content.

They can also make your posts easier to find when optimized for SEO.

Instagram now allows users to search for content using keywords rather than just usernames or hashtags.

So, be sure to use keywords that align with your brand so your content is easier to find.

For instance, an influencer posted a Reel showing themselves using a concealer by Fyne Cosmetics. The caption included the word “concealer.”

As a result, it was one of the first videos I found when I searched “concealer” in Instagram’s search bar.

Screenshot of an influencer promoting Fyne Cosmetics on Instagram; How to Get More Instagram FollowersImage Source

Pro Tip: To help you find the right keywords, look at other brands within your industry to see what keywords they include in their posts.

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