Generate Leads From Your Startup’s Instagram

I am placing my bet that Instagram will take the spotlight as the top social platform for businesses in 2017. With 70 percent of U.S. companies transitioning their marketing efforts to this platform over the next year, most of the focus will be around how to generate leads.

Having grown multiple Instagram accounts reaching over 1,000,000 people every month, dozens of businesses reach out to me regularly asking how to drive traffic from their account.

The answer is surprisingly simple -- if you’re familiar with the Instagram algorithm.

100 Plus Potential Customers To Your Landing Page Each Week

In short, to drive 100+ potential customers to your landing page each week from your account each of your posts will need to use the location feature and reach the “Top Posts” section of Instagram search.


When a user searches on Instagram for a topic, they’re first shown “Top Posts” from the most liked and commented posts. This is where your growth team should focus, daily.

To reach this section, there are multiple variables but the primary path is by using multiple hashtags. Each of these acts a keyword someone will be searching on Instagram.


For example, on our company Hacksaw Academy’s Instagram page we use the same hashtags for every post that our team knows will reach the “Top Post” section with between 300-1000 likes. This generates roughly 80 new targeted followers every day and about 2,500 per month.

Hacksaw Academy Instagram stats from

Second: Driving Leads 

The second important piece to driving leads from your company’s Instagram account is using a location feature “hack.”

When creating a post you have the option to add a “location” which is displayed under your username to your followers. Many people have become creative with different location names, but in order to make this work in your favor.

There are 3 key location names to drive leads.

Link in Profile - Location is made up in San Francisco, CA

Link in Bio - Location is somewhere in Phoenix, AZ

Follow Us - Random locations all over the world.


Tagging each of these on of your company’s posts -- with these specific locations (above).

This tagging will drastically help increase clicks through your profile page.

Using these first two strategies will increase your lead generation from Instagram, but it will take time to gradually grow your following. There is a much faster method called shoutout for shoutouts (#sfs)

Shoutout for shoutout (#sfs) is a free tactic used by social media influencers on all networks to grow their followers rapidly. After researching #sfs for over a year I found that there are four unspoken “rules” to getting shoutouts for free.

Unspoken Rules:

  1. Only request #sfs with people in your space or industry.

  2. To get free shoutouts, only message people with accounts as popular as your account (within 10k-20k followers of each other)

  3. Ask for permanent posts. 80% of the time people will use these shoutouts like billboards and delete them after 1-2 hours.

  4. Always direct message (DM) the person. Response time is 2x faster than emails on average

Rapid Increase

If you can execute on enough shoutouts your team will see a rapid increase in the amount of targeted followers on your startup’s Instagram account. After continuously posting on your account you will notice followers tagging friends in the comments. When followers tag their friends in the comments section of your


The two primary reasons teenagers in middle and high school are so amazing at growing their social media is consistent content creation and their ability to shout each other out.

So, think like a teenager.