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5 Growth-Hacking Tips for Startups using Instagram

5 Growth-Hacking Tips for Startups using Instagram

Make users fall in love with your startup. How? By taking advantage of your startups Instagram and building an active following who loves you for you. It’s an incredible opportunity to market your products and services without an extra nickel from your startup’s finances.

1) Make your Instagram Beautiful, Worth Following & Genuine

Figure out your startup’s story and find a way to share that through your Instagram. This will help you develop brand awareness and identity. Now all that might seem a little bit vague and confusing.

Let’s break it down.

One Instagram we admire particularly in our office is our client's Floyd. They do an incredible job of displaying their products and creating a themed Instagram.

One Instagram we admire particularly in our office is our client’s Floyd. They do an incredible job of displaying their products and creating a themed Instagram.

The first step is to pick a theme for your startup’s Instagram. What this means is that your content should be trying to convey something about your company. Perhaps, your company logo is red and yellow – all your images could really emphasize those two colors. Landscapes with a lot of fall leaves and girls in red sweaters holding your company mug. Or maybe your theme is company faces – people from the office doing what they do best. Does your startup have anything to do with travel? Let’s see some landscapes. Food? Well…that’s a given. Is it a SaaS product? Find use cases – make your Instagram the HONY of your product.

Make sure your images are high quality though. It won’t matter how many images you take, if they are blurry and random. They ruin the appeal of your feed. And of course, keep it consistent.

Finally, make sure there is a reason behind each post. It means something to you as much as it means something to the person following you.

Always remember that it is quality over quantity!

2) Drive Followership

The best way to increase your true following is through relevant hashtags and engaging followers. You can do this by commenting on their posts and replying to their comments. Remind them that this Instagram is run by a human, not a robot! This makes followers more inclined to not be ghost followers and consistently like content. You’re always better off with 300 followers who like all your posts than 1000 fake followers where only 10 of them like your post.

Make sure to always respond to those who comment on your picture.

Make sure to always respond to those who comment on your picture.

3) Increase Engagement

Okay, so we have some followers (10, 430, … more than me)  – what next? Make them fall love with more than just your good pictures. Add some call to actions in your captions. We want your photo’s to now be actionable. Ask followers their plans for the week, to send in submissions, or what their favorite part of the product is. Test running promotions or contests. If there is an incentive to do something, anyone would all be more inclined to get involved.

4) Utilize Analytic Tools and Fast Follow Applications

Image Source: Statusbrew.com

Image Source: Statusbrew.com


Image Source: crowdfireapp.com

There are so many top-notch tools out there right now that tell you about your following base, their activity and what works best for your company. This knowledge is so beneficial to your startup because it allows you to craft posts to that audience you’re tracking.

In addition, these tools also help you fast follow look alike Instagram accounts to build on an already active audience. One that MSC has begun using for our Twitter is Crowdfire. Crowdfire is “holistic friend management platform” that can be used to “copy followers”. Another notable one is Statusbrew.


5) Be Consistent and Automate

Image Source: hootsuite.com

Image Source: hootsuite.com

Phew, okay last step. Everyone who knows about startups knows that your team is small and your team is busy. So if you’re starting to wonder “okay this is great and all, but how am I going to have the time to do any of the great tips above?” It’s actually not as bad as you might think. Make a schedule and stick to it. Your company should be posting between 3-5 times a week, every week. If you’re taking a break – post a picture with the caption “going on vacation, will be back next week” so your followers don’t unfollow you from inactivity. But you have to follow through and actually be back next week.

How do you do that? Well the most common practice is using an application called Hootsuite. Hootsuite helps you schedule out all of your social media months in advance. Devote 3 hours once a month to just scheduling everything you possibly can as far in advance as you can. Then spend 15 minutes every few days engaging those who did interact with your comments.

That’s it!


  1. Content is key
  2. Find followers who care
  3. Take advantage of the tools out there
  4. Tell your story

I hope you learn to love Instagram as much as I do & don’t forget to give us a follow @msupplyco!

Elle Shwer

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