In a study last year, it was revealed that 60% of people have learned about products and services through Instagram – solid proof that the photo-sharing network is a fantastic platform for marketing your brand. In this post we share some quick tips to help you promote and grow your local business through the Instagram app.
Create your account
To get started, you need to create a new Business account on Instagram, or switch your current account to a Business account. Check out this guide which runs through how to do it. You can then fill in your business contact details for your bio area – including email, phone number and address.
So that you can select your business when posting on Instagram, you need to add it as a location via Facebook. When you add a location to your posts, they will appear on the location page for the specific address, plus the more general area for example ‘London, UK’. This is a great way to really boost your reach while still being seen by the right audience.
Interact with a local audience
Engaging with potential customers, when done naturally, is a great way to heighten curiosity and interest in your company – and likely lead to people following and interacting with you, too. From the Explore page in-app, tap into the search bar and hit the Places tab. Here you can check out the popular location pages nearby (shown above) filled with posts from your target audience.
From these location pages, you can start engaging with new posts in your area – whether liking, commenting, or following individual users. It’s also worth checking out your local competitors’ Instagram accounts and who’s following them – as these are people already interacting with similar businesses in your area.
Get smart with tagging
As well as mixing topically relevant hashtags with trending tags e.g. #photooftheday and #tbt to boost engagement, try adding local hashtags to reach your local audience. An example of great hashtag use is shown above via London cafe @palmvaults. They combine the commonly used #brunch hashtag with more niche, location-based tags #londoncoffee and #vegansoflondon.
Look at top nearby posts and notice hashtags they use for inspiration. Another way to find good local hashtags is via Instagram Search. Tap into the search bar and hit the ‘Tags’ tab. Begin typing in your location and a list of relevant local hashtags will display, along with the number of times the tag has been used across the app.
Boost reach with local Stories
Create fun and engaging Instagram stories and tag them with your business location sticker. Your story may appear in the relevant story ring on the Explore page – which is a great opportunity to reach new people in the area.
Thanks to location tagging, the story above at @sketchlondon appeared in the London story ring. This gave the restaurant a chance to get seen by an audience that really matters – people in the area who are the perfect potential customers for their local business. You can read more about creating fun and insightful Stories here: Why Instagram Stories are a game changer for your brand.