5 Ways to Grow Your Instagram Following Don't just ask people to follow you on Instagram. Give them a good reason.

By Jess Ekstrom

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At my company, Instagram is the social media platform that results in the most engagement -- despite the fact that we actually have fewer followers on Instagram than we do on Facebook. On Instagram, we have more of our audience liking our pictures, commenting, tagging their friends and posting pictures of themselves -- including pictures of them wearing our company's headbands.

Related: Social-Media Marketing Is Not Dead: 10 Companies That Are Still Rocking It

That kind of promotion is what Instagram can offer. Here are five simple ways you can grow your own Instagram following:

1. Put your handle on your packaging and marketing materials.

Make your handle highly visible on your marketing materials and products. The chances of someone thinking about you having an Instagram and searching for you are lower than if you expose your handle for your consumer to see.

2. Send products to Instagram influencers.

What accounts does your target market follow? Find those accounts, and see if they'll do a promoted post for you. Ideally, they'll agree to posting in exchange for free products. However, a lot of times they'll impose additional fees for posting. If your site allows promo codes, see if the influencer will agree to a custom promo code, where you pay them per use. When one of the influencer's followers orders, you win and the influencer wins.

Related: Instagram Is Too Large for Your Business to Ignore

3. Comment.

Try to be engaging on other people's accounts by posting comments. Obviously, "liking" pictures is nice, but when you comment, your name and handle get more exposure than does a like.

4. Tag a friend.

Host an Instagram giveaway that requires your followers to tag a friend in the comments. Therefore, your audience will bring you new followers who may not have heard of you yet. Recently, we did a giveaway where we had our followers tag a friend and add an emoji story about their respective friendships. We got more entries than we've ever had on a giveaway!

5. Give people a reason to follow you.

Instead of just saying, "Follow us on Instagram," give people a reason. For example, my company has a charitable purpose and we encourage people to follow our Instagram to see their purchases at work. So, if you too have a fashion product, tell followers they can get style inspiration on your Instagram. Incentivize them with the content you provide rather than just telling them to follow you.

Related: 9 Tools to Improve Your Instagram Marketing

Jess Ekstrom

CEO and Founder of HeadbandsOfHope.com, Speaker and Author.

Jessica Ekstrom founded Headbands of Hope when she was a senior in college in 2012. She created the company to bring joy back to kids who have lost their hair and help fund childhood cancer research. Headbands of Hope has given tens of thousands of dollars to childhood cancer research and has donated headbands to every children's hospital in the United States.

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